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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 11-19-2008, 08:05 PM   #21
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camille Lore View Post
Just found this thread. I'm a zoning officer that deals with home occupations in PA. My opinion is that you would fit under their criteria and should be permitted.
I wouldn't classify what you're going after as an educational facility.
If you have any other zoning ?s, send me a pm.
Thanks, but it's not necessary. I got into contact with the zoning office earlier today, and they said I would qualify. Legit!
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:33 PM   #22
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

On second thought, I don't think it'd be wise to offer any sort of group functions at this point. I can make equal wages off simply doing personal training, while giving myself more practice and avoiding any risks of noise or occupancy problems. Not to discredit my knowledge or abilities either, but it would probably be more wise of me to get more practice coaching doubles and triples before beginning with fives. However, a park-located bootcamp sort of shindig may be a feasible idea during the summer.


Zoning: Check.

Licensing: Check. (I contacted the county and state offices; none are needed for a service like mine.)

Incorporation: Going to file my articles of organization at the end of December with the $50 additional expedited fee, and ask that they approve me no earlier than January 2nd. I will call ahead to make sure they can do this, and if they cannot, I will simply not put my AoO in the mail until January 2nd to be safe.

Leasing: Going to sign this upcoming Sunday or Monday and get my key to the house so I can begin moving in some simple furnishings (bed, dresser, bumpers, and a bar - the essentials). I won't actually begin occupancy until after finals end for the semester, but I would hate to have to begin moving things in during finals week.

Equipment: Currently gathering quotes. I assume another $2500 (in addition to my current arsenal) could get me well covered for up to three people as far as personal training goes. This would include over 800lbs of bumpers total, three 20kg Olympic bars and one 15kg, an 8x8 platform, a 6x8, a power rack, a Concept 2, med balls of various weights, several sets of rings, and power tools.

Website: Working on it. It may be a Google site, but I will make sure that it will not be a POS. It'll take me a while to get some media up there, though. I still haven't bought the URL from GoDaddy yet, but I'm planning on it shortly.

Advertising: Going to rely on Craig's List, starting on Christmas day. After the website has some media, it too, will be helpful. Of course, this media would include photos of my first few clients, who could provide me with referrals to get me to my target of 10 clients (several of which would be working in couples or triples). Google Maps is also a free source of good advertising.

Other: It appears like changing my driver's license, banking, billing, voting, etc. to Maryland will be a greater hassle than I would have expected. Crap. It also appears like I'll have to file a VA tax return for January through November 2008, and a MD tax return for December 2008... Simply buying TaxCut Pro would cost more than the taxes I would pay on that months income... Hah. Does anyone know when W2 forms typically come out? I hope that it is early in January, since I would like to spend some of my vacation working on taxes. ("I would like to spend some of my vacation working on taxes..." I bet that's never been said before.)
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:27 PM   #23
Adam Kayce
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

re: the domain name thing...

I thought I read somewhere that you aren't supposed to register a domain name until after being approved for affiliation; am I right on that, or does anyone know otherwise?
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:22 AM   #24
Steve Rakow
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Check with CFHQ on the domain-name usage.

Patrick has done a lot of research on his own and he and I have exchanged emails on the business side of things. If you do your due diligence, you can do all the things that Patrick did to get set up - incorporate, register with the state and local authorities, check local zoning laws and with the local zoning agencies, review your own contracts, etc., etc. Most people either don't have the time, don't know where to begin, or just don't want to deal with all of this BS (and it is BS). Do an analysis on the cost-benefit of having an attorney do these things for you, plus the overhead cover of having an attorney's butt on the line if done incorrectly is worth it. You shouldn't need an accountant to do the daily/weekly data input stuff to pay the bills, but I advise everyone to find an accountant to advise you on taxes, payroll, deductions, mid-year reviews, and prepare your taxes at the end of the year.

Think of it this way. If you're running your business, hire experts to help you out when you need them. Your clients hire you to help them with their fitness needs, so why wouldn't you hire a professional to help you with your business needs? I'm always amazed at some who think nothing of charging clients several hundred dollars a month for training, but balk at paying a few hundred dollars to an attorney, or accountant, for their professional advice and work.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:45 PM   #25
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rakow View Post
Think of it this way. If you're running your business, hire experts to help you out when you need them. Your clients hire you to help them with their fitness needs, so why wouldn't you hire a professional to help you with your business needs?
Of course. Considering the adage that "time is money," I am well aware that a professional could have done all the research I have done with a much better cost efficiency. I simply prefer to do much of it myself at this stage since not only is it still within what I can generally handle, but I also want to learn at least the basics of business operation. I am well aware that many people would have simply hired someone from the get-go, and that doesn't make their business any worse than mine, nor mine any worse than theirs. It simply means I have a greater interest in the topic.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:27 AM   #26
Steve Rakow
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Again, Patrick, you did a tremendous amount of research on your own. Most people would not have done that and most would not have studied as much as you did. The difference being that you want to know and understand this as much (in some cases better) than the professionals. I think that's great!
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:54 AM   #27
Tish Traster
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

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Originally Posted by Ron Holland View Post
For our zoning, we're considered an "educational facility." Look into that - or find out how similar setups like dance studios are classified.
In my case, Ron is absolutely correct. Like Ron, I dropped the word "gym" from my vocabulary when I soon discovered "gyms" (open gyms like Golds, Ballys, etc..) were not allowed in industrial zoned space where I live. Obtaining permission for my CF facility required me to describe what I do as "personal athletic training" by appointment only. As Ron mentioned, similar to a martial arts or dance studio. I had to assure the county I was not an open gym. I use the word "facility" when talking about my business. I will until the build-out is finished...at least and I'm up and running....business license glued to wall.

I don't think your neighbors will mind, as long as your clients aren't parking all over the street and blocking mail delivery, garbage pick-up etc... So, figure out the parking thing in advance. That really seems to erk people. If a neighbor does complain, invite them in for a free CF workout.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:12 AM   #28
Nancy Meenen
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Hi Patrick,

Quote:
Another affiliate owner suggested to me through email that I park on the domain name of "www.crossfitsteadfast.com," if I have any intent in using it eventually. Apparently, there are many www.crossfit*.com domain names in use, even without affiliates attached to them. Is that legal? I had thought that anything containing "CrossFit" in the URL would be a violation of trademark laws. So, should I grab that URL or not? Apparently, it only costs about $10 per year, which well worth it, assuming that there is a real concern of the URL being grabbed by someone else.
Please do not park on any CrossFit URL's. We ask that you wait until you have been approved for affiliation and approved for a particular CrossFit name before you acquire the URL. Thanks Patrick. Please feel free to email me with any questions at the address below.

Nancy

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affiliatesuppport@crossfit.com
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:25 AM   #29
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Re: Nancy
Thanks for the B&W answer. In that case, I'm assuming that if I go to get affiliated in a few months, and find the URL is taken, without it being taken by a rightful affiliate, that they'll be forced to fork it over, so that there's nothing to worry about.

Re: Steve
Sorry if I seemed a bit odd in my last post. I couldn't quite read the tone of your previous message, so I tried to make mine as neutral as possible.


Re: Everyone
I'll be posting back someone in early to mid January when things get rolling. Wish me effort.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:05 PM   #30
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

All right! Some updates, for those of you who are interested...

Here's the website, a WFS work in progress.
- Yes, I made the banner, and I sort of made it in MS paint. I drew it on paper, photocopied it, then outlined it on the computer. It was the first time I had drawn anything since I took a 1/2 credit art class during the summer after my Freshman year of high school, so I'm pretty damn pleased with it, however bland it may be.
- I've redone a lot of wording on the site so that I don't seem like such a ******bag or a hardass. I've even asked a few college-age friends to review it, and they said they liked it, after I made a few more tweaks.
- The site lacks photos/videos. I'm aware of this. Once I get training, I'll amend that as quickly as possible.
- I've currently got two clients lined up, but have met with neither yet. One is a college student who hasn't yet come back to UMCP because of the weather; the other is a mother of two, who called me two days ago, and said she'd call back once her kids are back in school for the week. Had about six prospectives that I lost. Tried varying tactics, from sending short emails, encouraging them to contact me for more info and to give it a shot, to longer and more detailed emails. Neither worked. It seems that the killing words were "hard work" and "$30 per session." Nearly no one likes hard work, and it seems that they especially don't want to pay for hard work. A few were willing to barter for services that I don't need (eg. childcare - I have no children). It's going to be hard starting up.
- I'm getting my USAW Club Coach certification this weekend, and I intend to host free weightlifting training on Sundays. Partially to help advertise the fact that I'm here, but mostly because I want to help people learn how to lift Olympic-style.
- My studio is still a work in progress. The state health club department has received and cashed my check, so I expect to get some papers soon telling me that I'm cleared to use my studio... At least, I had better, since they have already cashed the check! Here's the equipment I have:
Quote:
Olympic Bars
1 45lb Chrome Bar, no brand
1 20kg Pendlay Men's Economy Bar, 28.5mm
1 20kg York Powerbar, 29mm
1 20lb 2” Fat Bar
1 10lb 2” Fat Dumbbell

Bumpers
2 45lb Powermax, by Hi-Temp
2 35lb Powermax, by Hi-Temp
2 25lb Powermax, by Hi-Temp
2 10lb Green Bumpers, by Wright Exercise
2 Plywood Training Plates

Iron Plates
2 45lb by Standard Barbell
2 35lb by Standard Barbell
2 25lb by Standard Barbell
2 10lb by Standard Barbell
4 5lb by Standard Barbell
2 2.5lb by Standard Barbell

Fractionals
6 5/8th lb chain link loops

Collars
2 spring collars (pairs)

PVC Pipe
3 technique pipes, full of sand

Platforms
4 4x6 rubber exercise mats, flat texture
1 4x6 rubber horse stall mats, honeycomb texture

Racks
1 Parabody, black, 6.5' tall, 1” spotter bars

Rings
1 Rogue Fitness Rings (pair)
3 plywood rings with straps (pairs)

Parallettes
1 Bollinger (pair)

Dipping Belts
1 pair of 7.5' webbing loops, with carabiner

Ankle Weights
1 pair 10lb ankle weights, 1/2lb increments

Standard Plates
2 25lb black steel, by York
4 10lb black steel, by York
12 5lb black steel, by York
18 2.5lb black steel, by York
6 1.25lb black steel, by York

Dumbbell
4 1” solid metal handles

Kettlebells
2 1” solid metal handles, chrome, from a tricep bar

Plyoboxes
1 Plywood, 24” tall

Slam Balls
1 22lb sand-filled basketball

Jump Ropes
1 Nike Speed-Rope

Rowers
1 Concept 2 Model C with PM1 monitor

Sandbags
2 45lb saddlebags

Slosh Pipes
1 45lb pipe, 10' by 4"

Grip Trainers
1 CoC Gripper, 192lbs

Weighted Vests
1 MiR Pro Weighted Vest
1 MiR Short Weighted Vest
1 MiR Compact Short Weighted Vest
60 1.5lb MiR steel bricks
And here's what I still need:
Quote:
300kg Hi-Temps
Pendlay Men's Bar
Pendlay Economy Women's Bar
1kg rule set of iron plates
Two 6x8' platforms
Two 2" plyoboxes
Ceiling-mounted pull-up bar
Two 20lb slamballs
Two 14lb slamballs
To empty the rest of the garbage out of the garage!
So, it'll be nice, once I have people actually using it. It looks like I'll be registering some red numbers for the month of January!
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