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Crunch Fitness

CALIFORNIA

Steve and Trish Clinefelter, co-owners of four Crunch Fitness franchises in Orange County, California
Source: Crunch Fitness
Steve and Trish Clinefelter, co-owners of four Crunch Fitness franchises in Orange County, California
Description: Group exercise
Owners: Steve and Trish Clinefelter
Years in business: 6
No. of franchises owned: 6
Start-up costs: $304,500 to $1,301,000; liquid assets: $200,000
Franchisor fees: N/A
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $2.75 million; $6 million
2016 projected annual growth rate: 200%

In the crowded world of group exercise brands, Crunch Fitness — the chain that takes a fun approach to fitness — stood out for Steve and Tricia Clinefelter. Steve had nearly 30 years of health club experience at 24 Hour Fitness in California before the couple bought their first franchise in 2010, so he knew what to look for. What he liked about the Crunch model was its marketing and branding expertise. The chain features low monthly membership fees (most range from $9.95 to $24.95, depending on which options a member chooses) with group exercise classes that include workouts like cardio tai box, bosu bootcamp and one called absolution, which focuses on core strengthening.

"I believe the Crunch brand has achieved differentiation in meaningful ways that connect with consumers," he said. "It is perceived as cool, hip and trendy."

Additional resources for franchisees

Site selection in the fitness industry is incredibly important, so the couple spends a great deal of time and energy to make sure they pick winning locations they can afford. "I spend a lot of time looking at real estate," Steve emphasizes. "Nothing is more important than this." Their territory in Orange County, California — midway between Los Angeles and San Diego — gives them the right to open a total of 15 clubs, four of which are now operating. The remaining 11, Steve said, are scheduled to open within the next four years.

Perhaps the biggest benefits they receive from the parent brand are their group exercise programming and great support with club design, equipment purchasing and leasing, and operational standards. "There is no way I would have the time to research and develop the variety of group exercise classes the parent company does," Steve said. The support has paid off: Their four clubs — the newest will open in May — are on track to bring in $6 million in revenues by the end of this year.

His advice for other franchise owners? "Be invested full-time, never part-time. Be humble and self-aware, and know the difference between what you know and what you don't."

"Be invested full-time, never part-time. Be humble and self-aware, and know the difference between what you know and what you don’t." -Steve Clinefelter

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