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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 04-12-2012, 08:22 AM   #11
Lisa Stephenson
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Location: Gaithersburg  MD
Posts: 47
Re: Starting small..stories?

I just got my affiliation approval letter and am putting the finishing touches on my garage gym. I have enough equipment for 3 people at a time to do most of the elements typically seen in a WOD. After that, we'll have to get creative. I am definitely going to start small and probably grow slowly. Working around a full-time job and the fact that I'm a full-time single mother will be a challenge but I love CrossFit and want to share it with the world so I'm going to put all the time and passion into this gym that I can and hopeful something great will come out of it. Good luck to all of you who are starting small too!

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #12
Stuart Brauer
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Location: Charlotte  NC
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Re: Starting small..stories?

I started doing CF in college and was eventually asked to utilize my L1 coaching experience to train our Div II Wrestling Team. I graudated, moved to Nashville and had the awesome opportunity to work at a local box and see the grind of owning a start-up. I realized I had the coaching as a strength (not perfect by any means) but I lacked the business know-how.

So i jumped shipped and went to work at a local Globo gym. Learned about business systems, management, sales, marketing and most of all...why I really wanted to open a CF box.

I rode out the big commission pay checks and took a promotion in Charlotte as a District Manager. I worked my 9-5 there and started a mobile personal training biz on the side. That biz grew, I left my Globo Gym (er..they fired me when they found out) and started boot camps in the park.

Fast forward to today. I own CrossFit SouthEnd (2500sqft box) and within 7 months, we have approx 60 clients.

Start small. Eat, sleep, **** and eat your business and you'll be fine. Not saying you'll be rich, but if you truly love this, then you'll be just fine.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #13
Derek Hutchison
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Coeur d'Alene  ID
Posts: 50
Re: Starting small..stories?

I started in the corner of a gymnastics facilty; I subleased 400 sqft. We had 1 bar, 1 ball, 1 erg, 1 box, and a free standing pullup bar for 1 person that we borrowed from CrossFit Spokane.

4 years later (and 5 locations!) we have 5,000 sqft in a historical building downtown, 160+ members, enough equipment to run classes of 25+ athletes and multiple trainers.

Initial investment was about 4k (would be more now since affil fee is higher, but not much).

Things that helped us:

-1 year leases (every time we outgrew we moved. We have a 3 year now)
-Starting small (we were profitable from the beginning)

We had another CF gym in our area start with a nice, large facility and tens of thousands of dollars of rogue equipment. They went out of business in 12 months. In my opinion starting small is the way to go.
CrossFit Coeur d'Alene
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
Theo Tsekouras
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Location: Houston  TX
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Re: Starting small..stories?

I started in my 234sf garage in july 2010. Initial investment of affiliation and wife's level 1 along with $1000 equipment. By December, 40 members. Moved to a 2400sf place 1500sf gym space. Today, we are at 180 members and will hit 200 by June. Profitable the whole time. I have 15 trainers and assistants. Start small and work your way up.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
Scott McIntyre
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Location: Sydney River  NS Canada
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Re: Starting small..stories?

Sweet stories guys, just sent in my application. I have a 900sq.ft garage gym, cant wait to start training!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #16
Steve Liberati
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Location: Pennsauken  NJ
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Re: Starting small..stories?

Love the stories above of those starting small and turning their labor of love into successful businesses. I started from scratch as well, borrowing space from a small community center to start Steve's Club and in a local park to start CrossFit Tribe. Looking back, I'm glad I did. The growth was manageable along the way which allowed me to focus on doing things right rather than taking on the stress of covering a big monthly nut and paying back loans. I truly believe growing a business this way really gives the artist (or trainer in this case!) the breathing room to create beautiful, authentic art made with passion and hard work.

Doing it for the love without having to take on debt or tapping into your life savings is definitely the way to go in my opinion!
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:16 PM   #17
Martin V. Bolanos
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: LaCrosse  WI
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Re: Starting small..stories?

Thanks everyone for sharing, very inspirational!
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #18
Phil Griffin
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Spring Grove  MN
Posts: 155
Re: Starting small..stories?

Originally Posted by Martin V. Bolanos View Post
Thanks everyone for sharing, very inspirational!
Is this your path, Martin? I'm too far away to join, but I'm getting a crew going here in SG (no plans at all for affiliation, only 1200 people in town) having a box in La Crosse would be great!
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:26 AM   #19
Jason G Foster
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Location: Rockland  ME
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Re: Starting small..stories?

Right on folks! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm now at the local HS as I also coach basketball there. We have fixed it up and made it much more "CrossFit Crossover" friendly. I will add my equipment this weekend. Also rent free at the moment. During the school year I will only be able to have a 5:30 am class and 2 in the evening after 4. Once school is out in June the slot is wide open. I will keep my day job as an insurance agent. If this can grow I really dream of it being a full my soul from insurance and follow my true passion. This is a great opportunity.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:53 AM   #20
Steve Loeding
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Location: Minneapolis  MN
Posts: 464
Re: Starting small..stories?

We started in my garage in the summer and then moved to a martial arts studio and share space - had about 500 sq feet and 4 clients ( my gf, sister, buddy, and another friend)

we had metal plates, one pull up bar, a couple of weight bars and I think 2 boxes to jump on, and a few stall mats

We grew very slow, adding equipment as needed.

I think I invested a total of $3000 in it at first - including affiliation fees.

Still there - now we have about 800 sq ft, 60 members, 6 trainers and plenty of equipment (but always needing to buy more...)

The rent is cheap and allows me to buy equipment before we move, so that when the rent goes up, I've already got everything I'll need.

Never been in debt due to the biz
Steve - Top Gun CrossFit - Mpls MN
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