(Ambrosio’s note: This is the first in a series of 3 interviews with some remarkable franchisees of Snap Fitness. I would like to thank the folks from Snap Fitness for introducing me to a few of their most inspiring franchise owners. To kick off this series, I can’t think of a better subject than Joshua Schaubach, owner of 3 successful Snap Fitness clubs in Yuma, AZ. Joshua opened his first Snap Fitness club in 2007 and in four short years, his clubs are now ranked #1, #3, and #6 in terms of the size of their membership base among all US clubs in the system. Learn how Joshua did it, and how he was able to bounce back from the mistakes he made along the way. Thank you, Josh! )
Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Average Member Numbers, Projected Revenues and Projected Earnings for Snap Fitness Clubs. Click here.
1. Can you tell us about your work background prior to becoming a franchisee of Snap Fitness?
I started as a trainer with 24 Hour Fitness in Southern California where I eventually became a fitness manager in charge of the training departments for a couple 24 Hour Fitness clubs. After California, I moved to St. George, Utah where I was a partner in a company called Rezults Fitness, which is where I found out about the circuit routine that I use in my clubs today. After Utah, I moved to Bangkok, Thailand where I was General Manager of a massive fitness facility called California Wow Xperience, owned by Eric Levine.
In addition to the management and sales experience that I gained from working and learning from some great fitness minds, I’m also a certified personal trainer with 9 national certifications. All of these experiences and training have helped me make my franchises what they are today.
2. What other franchise concepts did you consider, and what made you choose Snap Fitness?
I had previously developed a business plan that I still use today and had that prior to shopping for a franchise. With all my experience in the industry, I knew I’d still benefit from the franchise’s helping hand and the Snap Fitness business model, which fits my business plan to a T.
3. What is a typical day like in your life as a franchisee of Snap Fitness?
After 4 years, I’ve developed some internal systems that keep the place running smoothly, which gives me a lot more freedom. I have hired and trained amazing managers that run the day-to-day operations of each of my clubs, and I visit and talk with them on a daily basis. Once a week, we have an hour long manager meeting going over the previous week’s successes and things that need my attention, as well as goals and commitments for the following week.
My managers are given goals to hit and exceed each month and are tracked weekly and daily. After four years in operation, we still hit 100 plus memberships per month per club every month, with many months exceeding 150 memberships.
I’ve put systems into place that allow my managers the freedom to work on their own, with a guide of what to do to achieve the end result. I believe that this helps create a pleasant work environment, and in turn makes the gym a place where members want to come workout.
Secondly, I believe I have instilled a goals-driven mentality in all my employees, helping them to understand how to achieve anything they want through focus, physiology, and language. We work daily on keeping a message throughout the company that we are constantly improving, and it’s been fun seeing how much we have all grown in just four short years.
Lastly, we all have a unified mission and that is our core story that we share with every vendor, co-worker, and client — that we are not here to sell gym memberships, we are here to help our clients achieve the fitness results they desire. We are all on the same page that we want to come across not as salespeople but as professionals, who not only know what we are doing but sincerely want to help our clients achieve the results they may have had a hard time with in the past.
5. Can you share the highest point and lowest point of your franchise journey so far, and what lessons have you learned from them?
A low point in my journey was having to let a manager go. I have been blessed with amazing team members that it hasn’t had to happen often. In this case, I hired a former mentor of mine — a man who I worked with in 24 Hour Fitness years back and taught me a lot. He ended up not working out as planned and became a detriment to our success and it became imperative that I let him go. It got done but still was not easy or fun, and was a low point for sure.
A great high point would be where we are at currently. I am more confident in the complete staff that I have now than ever before and it is a turning point in our company. I believe we have further growth coming, which is very exciting.
Being new to real estate, our first mistake was signing a very one-sided lease agreement for our first location. To this day, it is the worst deal we’ve ever made. We pay almost 50% more than the other two locations, which really eats into the bottom line. We definitely learned a lot from that experience and have since signed two great leases in great locations.
In this industry, choosing the right location is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make and it is not to be taken lightly. Signing a bad deal will hurt your bottom line, but even worse, having a bad location will hurt your business permanently.
7. If you were to speak with a prospective franchisee about the profit potential of a Snap Fitness franchise, what would you say?
When I first looked into Snap Fitness, I saw owners making $30-40K per year. But when I looked deeper, they were only working 2-3 hrs per day. If you make a real go of this, treat it like any other job, and put in the time and effort needed, you can make a killing. I wouldn’t do this if I only made $40K per year from each club. I do believe if you pay your managers a great wage but expect a lot from them, you will definitely get rewarded. I believe when each Snap is run properly, there is no reason not to make over $100K per year from each location you operate.
8. Can you describe your working relationship with the home office of Snap Fitness?
I work particularly with our Franchise Account Manager and after being a franchisee four years, there is little need for their assistance but when it is needed they are always there to help.
I like the big group we are a part of. Not many fitness chains can boast 1500 clubs worldwide. I can’t think of anything at the moment I like least. All in all, they offer me an opportunity to do what I do best — and that’s to operate a highly successful fitness franchise that influences several thousand people to live healthier lifestyles. It doesn’t get better than this.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your Snap Fitness franchise?
The last time I chatted with corporate, they informed me that among the US clubs, our clubs have the 6th, 3rd, and 1st biggest membership bases. As far as I know, we are also the only franchise with our own Iphone/Android app which can be downloaded in the app store (just search “snap fitness yuma”).
To learn more about Joshua’s Snap Fitness Clubs, visit their Facebook pages (Yuma, Yuma Foothills, and Yuma Valley) and Twitter account. Also check out their informational fitness and exercise video blog at www.yumagym.com.