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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 03-06-2015, 06:42 AM   #1
Scott DeLange
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Thumbs up Opinion on new facility

So we are in the beginning stages of locating a new facility for our gym. Current size is right around 3,500 square feet. With about 140 members
The main reason I want to move is not really for a bigger workout space but to offer more to the clients.
Our early morning classes are very popular but I feel we could do better if we had some showers/ locker room to offer the clients. We have no real formal entry or area for athletes to hang out and wait for class to start
And lastly I want a new spot with a secondary workout area in it. Something about 800-1000 sq feet so we can run other classes or personal training sessions while there is a crossfit class going on
We run over classes such as Boot camps, striking and yoga classes


Do you feel this is a good reason to move? I feel the more we offer the community the better and it will help us stand out
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:14 AM   #2
Rivers Plowden
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Re: Opinion on new facility

I feel like this is very situational dependent without more information. How far in debt would you have to go to make such a move? What new expenses would you incur and how will this change cash flow? Many more questions could be asked. I would consider these things down to the most minute piece. I think your motivation is right, but you have to make a decision whether it's financially viable without putting too much emotion into it. It may be something to save and plan for rather than just jumping into.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:46 AM   #3
Scott DeLange
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Exclamation Re: Opinion on new facility

Financially we can afford it without growing any more members then we currently have. We are planning on moving no more then 2-3 miles away so hopefully we don't lose any members. We have an investor coming on board to aid in the move and to upgrade equipment.
So we don't need to grow our current member base but obviously we plan on growing
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:47 AM   #4
Scott DeLange
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Re: Opinion on new facility

Also we plan on attempting to re brand ourselves. We will have a gym name, home of crossfit ...... I feel the crossfit name can scare people away who could benefit from our other classes and scared of the crossfit brand. We want to be more then just a good crossfit gym
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:01 PM   #5
Scott DeLange
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Re: Opinion on new facility

Anyone have a gym with more then one training area and run multiply classes ????
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:05 PM   #6
Steven Thunander
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Re: Opinion on new facility

The affiliate I go to has two separate areas. The first area (the one I see all the time) is the CrossFit area. The other is separated from the first in that you need to go outside and then enter the other area through a separate door. That area is for personal training; and some powerlifters also use that side of the facility at times.

The facility is about 3000 square feet for both sections, with an office and bathroom in each section; no showers or waiting areas. The owner is currently scouting out a new space to move into, as demolishing the wall will not work (too long and not wide enough).
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:46 PM   #7
Steinar Ţór Ólafsson
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Re: Opinion on new facility

Congratulations on be doing a good job with your business Scott! I know as a manager that the phrases come to seldomly compared to what you are giving to other people.

These would be my thoughts and maybe you think screw this guy I'll do it my way.

#1 - Try to be as independent as you can. I have managed a box for investors and it's very different to have someone who is mainly interested in the money and not the "concept". No one opens a box to be rich (except maybe Jason Khalipa) and often it's a lot more about passion and putting the money into the business again then looking for the ROI in $.

#2 - That said it's often better to "make it sweat" until you have to move out of pure necessity (and can do it with your own money). If your box isn't top notch but you are offering first class quality coaching and super friendly and nice atmosphere people will find their ways to shower and don't mind missing the reception. I think people often get to caught up in branding and making the boxes look super cool when it comes to it it's all about the coaching.

#3 - I would steer away from Boot Camp classes and other concepts unless you feel this will not be a profitable business for you otherwise. People should be coming to you because you offer the best Crossfit in your area and if your programing is varied enough the bodyweight/metcon monsters will live with the heavy days every now and then.

Focus on what you are good at. If that's Crossfit then stick to it and if you have a second room you can use that for intro courses and maybe run classes that start every half an hour over peak hours. I have tried this myself with boxing and bootcamp and it mainly made the atmosphere in the box very akward. The people coming for your Bootcamp and yoga classes will not be there for the same reasons as your Crossfitters. This will also spread you thin on focus and energy.

I would say the biggest problem with Crossfit is the "economy of scale". Everybody want's to train between 17:00-21:00 in the evening fx. but you can only accomodate so many people per class. And if you assume that maybe ~30% of your clients come daily it's pretty easy to see how many clients you can have total and what you can make as a profit.

So being able to run a class that starts 17:00 and another class that starts 17:30 will both make you a more attractable box because you can come to your box for a WOD every half an hour and it allows you to "double" the number of clients you can handle during peak hours. But this is a little bit off track.

#4 - What will make you a better box is the quality of coaching you offer. I don't know your background or education but you can grow so much as coach. I have a B.Sc. in Sport Science and couple of thousand classes taught since 2011 and just did my Level 2 cert and it really opened my eyes to keep striving for excellence in my coaching. No fancy party poppers no major branding for my affiliate just the best possible coaching you can offer and people will stick to you like a glue.

Hope this weighs in on your decision. Best of luck!
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:42 PM   #8
Sean Smith
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Re: Opinion on new facility

Sounds like you have an identity crisis, management issues, and you want to move locations because you think you should.

First thing - change the name of the gym to something besides CrossFit XYZ (whatever the affiliate is called). CrossFit scares people away. Something like, "Levittown Fitness - Home of CrossFit XYZ" would help you. Continue to be a CrossFit affiliate.

Investor - You don't need one. Without looking at your financials, I know you don't need one. Unless you've been open for 2 years and you're losing money, you're fine. You may just need some guidance. What will an investor do for you? "I'll give you $30k for 20% of your business." If you have a proven record of growing your gym and making more money each month, why are you taking an investor? I know people like you - you'll take the money and overbuild your gym. If you take the money, use it to hire someone that will in time, make you more money than you took from the investor. Hire a marketing intern, IT/computer person, custodian...whatever.

Moving - Have you ever thought about opening a second location? Here's the gamble you are about to take without even knowing it...how do you know your members are going to come with you to the new location? You have 3,500 square feet now with 140 members. Let's say you run 7 classes a day, that's an average of 20 per class if everyone comes every day. A little tight in a colder climate where you can't always spill outside. 180 square feet per person. Let's say your rent is $2500 and you charge $150. If you move to a 6,000 square foot place, maybe your rent is $4000. You'd have to instantly gain 10 members to remain the same on your financials. What if you opened a second location of 1,500 square feet that could handle 8-10 people per class? You'd have the same amount of square feet and the overall rent is the same, now you have a better geographical reach and you could advertise two locations. Maybe even have them with a different programming focus?

Don't just move gyms because that's what other gyms do. Think 6 months about moving. It could be a genius play, or one where you lose lots of money.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:19 PM   #9
David Osorio
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Re: Opinion on new facility

I agree with much of what was said in the previous two posts. In short,

Investors: If you don't NEED them, STAY AWAY. Sounds like you're doing well enough to transition into a new space.

Move to the new space to increase your carrying capacity and the ability to offer more training services for your members. Start slow and add only what makes sense for you right now. Prioritize the experience of your current members before becoming concerned with taking on new populations. Especially folks who for some reason or another don't want to do "CrossFit". It sounds like it has the potential to make your gym even better, do it.

We run tons of different programs. (CrossFit, personal training, yoga, pilates, Starting Strength, Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, Active Recovery, Foundations, CFKids) People love options but you need to grow into them slowly
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