• What happens when you combine a passion for helping others, a sound business model and the skills and talent deliver? Fit 4 Two , provider of  pre and postnatal fitness and yoga classes for thousands of women across Canada! We asked Melanie Glaim-Osmack, founder and CEO of Fit 4 Two  to share her thoughts on how her business has grown.

You have been in business for over 10 years, and Fit 4 Two is now an international franchise. Did you have this vision when you started out in 2003?


  • No!  My original goal was to open my own studio.  Once I started crunching numbers in my business plan I quickly saw that I would have to work 10-12 hour days to break even.  Around the same time I was fielding several calls and emails a day asking for classes in other cities. I decided to franchise based on my local business model of offering classes through community centres. This low risk, low overhead model appealed to potential franchisees and we have proven it to be effective for over seven years now.


Now that you are operating on a global scale, how do you stay connected with your customers?


  • Well I still run my local territory: Vancouver Downtown/False Creek.  I have instructors who teach with me but I teach 3 classes a week.  Connecting face-to-face with new moms and moms-to-be is what I love the most.  And of course…. social media. Because each franchise is locally owned and operated, franchisees mainly do their own local social media.


What marketing strategies worked best for you in the early years in gaining brand recognition and attracting new customers?


  • In the early years getting out to events like baby fairs and tradeshows was key.  Connecting face-to-face with potential clients and networking with other entrepreneurs had a high return on investment.  A lot has changed with technology in the last 10 years.  Many new business launch with social media being their main or only source of marketing.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.  A lot of it depends on the product/service and who the potential customer is.


How has your marketing changed over the past decade?


  • When we started out our marketing plans were basically checklists. Really long checklists.  Our business and families were growing.  We simply didn’t have time to implement each and every marketing idea.  We needed a system.  We worked with a marketing consultant to create a system specific to our business.  It was worth every penny.


  • Of course we also do more online marketing.  We try to be efficient by using systems like HootSuite.


When you look at what Fit 4 Two has become and all of the people it has effected, what  are you the  most proud of?


  • I think you said it in the question.  My mom called me the other day.  She lives in Winnipeg.  She was at the gym when one of those CTV “My Manitoba is…” commercials came on.  The voiceover said, “My Manitoba is Fit 4 Two” and showed a clip of our class.


  • I believe so much in what we do.  When I see how many thousands of women now have access to our programs….I can’t stop smiling.  I know we are a fitness company, but our classes are so much more than that.  They are a safe place for women connect and grow community.  I am really excited to see our impact now that we are offering classes in the Middle East.


What has been your greatest challenge in running your own company?


  • Setting boundaries and sticking to them.  I am a rock star at this now…. but it took a while.


What aspects of the business give you the most satisfaction, and which  aspects are you happy to delegate?


  • I like to create.  I guess you could call me an ‘ideas person’ who also enjoys implementation.  So I enjoy marketing, systems, operations, curriculum etc.  I also love teaching classes and presenting.


  • I delegate anything someone else can do better or faster than me.  I delegate administrative tasks, bookkeeping, research, I.T., teaching in areas that I cannot walk or drive to in less than 5 minutes etc.  I am also a big fan of using technology to increase efficiency.


  • We truly appreciate Melanie taking the time to give us such clear insight into why her business not only continues to grow, but maintains it’s close connection with its customer base. Now we’re smiling too! You can learn more about Melanie and Fit 4 Two HERE.