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Successfully Opening a Gym During a Pandemic

Like all businesses, 2020 has brought on new challenges for the health and fitness industry with successful businesses struggling to stay afloat. Experienced Snap Fitness franchisee Tudor Vasile has not only overcome the challenges of keeping his clubs running throughout the pandemic, but actually launched a brand new club in Queensland.

Tudor has a passion for helping others make positive decisions about their health, wellbeing, and fitness goals. This passion prompted Tudor’s journey with Snap Fitness, and in 2013 he opened his first club in Indooroopilly, Brisbane. Seven years later and faced with a global pandemic, Tudor’s passion saw him through to open his eighth club.

We chatted with Tudor about the winning recipe for successfully opening a club and his experience doing it during COVID-19.

Create a positive environment

From the beginning, Tudor has understood the importance of a positive workout environment – creating a space where members feel comfortable and can connect with others in their community.

Tudor believes that it’s about making your workout as enjoyable as possible to make the hard days easier and the good days a lot of fun.

“The connection between our staff and team members is pivotal for client retention. Our members come for the facilities and stay for the community,” said Tudor.

That community is reinforced by having the right staff.

Create a team who share the same goal

When it comes down to it, your team personify your business and brand reputation. For Tudor, finding the perfect manager and staff to represent his clubs from the get-go has significantly helped the opening success.

“Positive and enthusiastic staff who are passionate about supporting healthy changes in people’s lives for their wellbeing are a key ingredient in maintaining a successful fitness business,” said Tudor.  

“Being able to come to the gym and know there are staff fighting for you and your health journey is something that will keep members coming back and new registrations coming in.” 

The expertise of incredible staff needs to be paired with high quality facilities to find the sweet spot.

Offer an outstanding product

Snap Fitness gyms are known for their affordable, accessible facilities however, quality plays a huge role in achieving a consistent offering.

“In our new club, we’ve created a product that ticks all the boxes for the Ipswich community. From group fitness classes and functional training, to the high-performance equipment and crèche services available, we’ve become the premium fitness option in Karalee,” Tudor said.

Flexibility, opportunity, and variety

Create a diverse offering and do it well. By providing a range of equipment, classes and services, you are able to support every kind of member throughout their journey – from the everyday mum, body builder or yogi.

“A new member may start out interested in our functional offering and discover they love yoga. Likewise, a member who originally signed up with us as a student, may now have young children and use our crèche services,” Tudor explained.

“The key to success is offering members the flexibility to choose their own destiny and grow personally throughout that time.”

Put health and safety at the forefront of everything you do

The pandemic has reiterated the significance of a safe and clean environment in all workplaces and public spaces. For Tudor, this was a primary part of his success with the Karalee club and winning over new members.

“We have a new standard for health and safety in line with our commitment to providing members with a COVID-safe environment. From the beginning my focus was on insuring that members and staff knew their safety was the utmost priority of Snap Fitness Karalee,” said Tudor.

“At the end of the day, it’s about trust – our member’s trust is everything to us and in turn it’s our obligation to ensure their health and safety when they come in our doors.”

Go into business with a partner that is 100% for you

Going into business can be a huge leap of faith and one that should be taken with the right support, explains Tudor.

“Opening a new club during the COVID-19 outbreak was one big rollercoaster. My emotions were constantly switching between excitement to fear,” he said.

“Snap Fitness have supported me throughout the whole journey, from choosing the location, helping my marketing strategy, designing the floor plan and sourcing the right equipment.”

Most importantly, it’s about being confident in your venture and what you want out of it. Once Tudor saw people’s attitudes towards health changing, all the puzzle pieces aligned.

“I’ve realised that the best thing you can do is keep looking forward and aiming for the stars,” he said.

“I’m finding now more than ever people are taking health and fitness seriously and are wanting to engage with their gym community.”