Snap Fitness


Snap Fitness evolves its business model to remain an attractive option

for franchisees looking to get into the health and wellness space.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Knighthouse Media

In the competitive fitness industry, Snap Fitness has always strived to be a leader in the small to medium gym category by evolving with the trends since its inception in 2003. “Our business model and fitness concept has evolved,” Director of Marketing Caitlin Tvrdik says. “We started as a turnkey 24-hour solution, which at the time was a new, hot concept. Today, our clubs are still 24/7, but they feature robust offerings, lively communities and personal trainers focused on results.”

Peter Taunton founded the Chanhassen, Minn.-based company with the goal of creating the world’s best fitness experience from day one. As a franchise concept from the very beginning, Taunton believes in providing franchisees with all the support they need to thrive and lead the industry in providing a results-driven, affordable and innovative fitness experience. Snap Fitness info box

Snap Fitness prides itself on offering variety, including functional fitness, cardio and strength training, group fitness and personal training. The brand now focuses on providing members with daily intensity workouts, which can be accessed by members at any time of the day. In-club TV screens display GIFs of the movements on a timer so members can complete the workout at any time. Unlike many boutique and big box gyms that have set times for group classes, members at Snap Fitness have many options to get fit when it fits into their schedule. 

As a results-focused concept, Snap Fitness has begun offering its members MyZone heart rate tracking devices to monitor their performance. “MyZone offers the most accurate heart rate monitoring technology in the industry,” Tvrdik says. “By wearing the heart rate belts, members can see in real-time exactly how hard they need to work to burn fat, build muscle and achieve the goals they set early on with their personal trainers. Our personal trainers love the belts.”

The average Snap Fitness location ranges from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet and has evolved into a boutique-like fitness center with high-end detailing and state-of-the-art equipment. “The clubs are designed to inspire and deliver results fast” Tvrdik says. “By offering the convenience of 24/7 access alongside our results-only training philosophy, Snap Fitness is the answer for today’s consumer: real, results-based workouts for a busy lifestyle.” 

The Right Fit

Snap Fitness has more than 2,000 locations open or in development around the world. The company prides itself on being an affordable option for those interested in getting started in the fitness industry. In one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, Snap Fitness offers potential franchisees the opportunity to make their mark and change lives through a globally recognized brand. “There’s nothing better than helping members reach their fitness goals except helping our owners reach their business objectives,” Tvrdik says.

Entrepreneurs passionate about fitness and wellness often become Snap Fitness franchisees. “Fitness is a very rewarding business to be in,” Tvrdik says. “It’s also an industry that’s growing like wildfire. Consumers are more in tune with their health than ever and are making a commitment and investment in fitness to live happier, healthier and longer lives.” 

The company’s franchisees include people who have a background in business, personal trainers, as well as people who just want to help change people’s lives for the better. From there, Snap Fitness handles the rest. By being one of the most mature franchise systems in the fitness industry, the brand has had years to learn and evolve, and as such, has a very robust training program for franchisees. 

Snap University, the first step in the Snap Fitness training program, provides franchisees with a full week of education and training including operations, sales, personal training and more. In addition, from February through June, Snap Fitness hits the road to meet with franchisees throughout the country to continue educating them.

“The goal of our annual Road Show is to help our franchisees continue their education and evolve with the industry,” Tvrdik explains. “We expose them the latest technology, training methods, and marketing tactics, for example. We create a new program every year so that our club owners, managers, and staff can stay on the cutting-edge.” 

Flexible Model

In addition to being an affordable franchise opportunity, Snap Fitness also prides itself on the flexibility it affords its franchisees. Owners are allowed to make this business their own and celebrate their individual strengths. Snap Fitness owners say they find that to be a really attractive attribute of the brand.SnapFitness2

After an initial franchising conversation, Snap Fitness conducts research on behalf of a potential franchisee to determine the viability and potential of the specific market of interest. Snap Fitness is also available to assist franchisees in real estate selection, from initial identification to the assessment of the specific market. 

“Once we have helped our franchisee select a location, we have a highly talented in-house team of personal trainers and interior designers who develop a club design that’s custom to the specific market and the franchisee,” Tvrdik says. “We work together to maximize the space while also making it look and feel like a boutique gym, truly transforming the space into something to be proud of.”

A lot of Snap Fitness members find the gym via word-of-mouth, but the company does offer its franchisees marketing assistance and the freedom for franchisees to market on their own as well. With MyZone heart rate monitoring belts, for example, Snap Fitness coached its franchisees on how they work, how to train with them, and how to utilize them to attract and retain members. The company supplied its owners with marketing collateral to promote heart rate training to members so that their members could understand the benefits and achieve better, faster results.

Achieving Results

Snap Fitness prides itself on giving its franchisees all the tools they need to say on trend and evolve in the ever-changing fitness world. At its corporate offices, Snap Fitness focuses on research and development to ensure it stays on the cutting-edge. “It’s our job to source the best partners to help us stay ahead of the competition,” Tvrdik says. “We forge relationships with innovators throughout the world, sourcing the best of the best for our brand so that our franchisees have a significant edge.” 

The company includes franchisees in its research and development process, and listens to those who bring new ideas to the table. Franchisees often test out concepts on their own accord. Snap Fitness then assesses out how it’s working in their club and implements the best of the best into its franchise system. 

Because the world of fitness evolves so quickly in terms of trends and technology, Snap Fitness says its challenge will continue to be remaining on the cutting-edge. “We are really focused on hitting the trends as they emerge and before they emerge, selecting those that have longevity and integrity” Tvrdik says. 

Moving forward, Snap Fitness will focus on opening more locations both domestically and internationally. Around 50 percent of its franchisees, globally, have more than one location, but the company hopes to open more than 130 new Snap Fitness locations this year in new markets.

“We have been focused on more rural areas in America because those towns are typically overlooked when it comes to health, wellness, and healthy food options,” Tvrdik says. “These underserved communities are in great need of what Snap Fitness offers: community, accountability, and a resource for pursuing a healthy lifestyle.” 

“When we come in with our 24/7 model that offers quality personal training and versatility to suite a wide range of physical fitness levels, it’s amazing to see the change our brand can effect on a community,” she continues. “We are honored with the opportunity to change so many lives by offering consumers a fitness club that’s affordable, cutting-edge, and results-driven.” 


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