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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 01-23-2014, 09:03 AM   #1
Christian Loyer
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Has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time?

Hi all, has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time? I have been doing crossfit for less than a year but I have a very exciting business career that I want to keep until the box runs better (to fund it as well). I would be quite present at the box but really I would consider myself the owner and a part-time coach and get the full time more experience head coach to run most of the classes and open gym, perhaps hiring another 1 or 2 part time coaches... your views please? Thanks
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:46 PM   #2
Steinar Ţór Ólafsson
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Re: Has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time?

Hey Christian,

I am actually in the "unique" position of having been a head coach at two gyms but never be the owner of the gym. So my perspective is different from those who have been hiring.

What I have experienced the hardest part of being a hired full time coach with out the ownership is keeping the motivation for giving it my all for the job. As Starbucks quote is "We're not in the coffee business. We're in the people business serving coffee".

Crossfit is in my view pretty simular. People don't come to the gym because of our expert programming they come for the social reasons, to get in a good workout and have fun in the process.

Therefore the person running the show has to act as it's his own gym. When you put in all the work for X amount of money each month you sometimes lose the site of why you should put in that extra effort that actually makes or breaks if the gym does just OK or will succeed.

My recommendation would be to have some kind of "reward system" to ensure that he also benefits from increased number of members and aim for that taking place as soon as you even break even.

If you have any questions I would gladly answer them or give you my thoughts on the topics. I have both worked for the money greedy person who was in this only for the money and now for someone who actually has some passion for the business to strive.

Best regards,
Steinar Ţór Ólafsson
Manager - Reebok Crossfit Valens
Luxembourg
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:39 PM   #3
Brian Strump
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Re: Has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time?

I agree with the post above.

The affiliates that I know that struggle the most are the ones who's owner is not there often, or one that has investors; that are not coaches at the affiliate.

If you don't take VERY GOOD care of this head trainer, they will leave you; and since they have the relationship, not you(the owner), many will likely follow.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
Adam Morden
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Re: Has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time?

Great posts above. You might look at offering a revenue share, or bonuses based on achieving milestones in addition to base pay. It's a lot of work to be the head coach, and lots of people would think - Hey why am I working for this guy if I could do it myself... Combined with the super low barrier to entry on starting an affiliate and if you don't treat your staff right you could lose a lot of members when they leave.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #5
Christian Loyer
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Re: Has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time?

Cheers guys, few responses but of top quality!

Indeed Steinar, I have a very high passion for crossfit and will try to be there as often as possible. I am not money greedy but do want the business a success afterall this is how we can make it sustainable. I travel a lot for work the reality I will probably be there 50% of the time.

All of you seem to indicate a reward system for new customers and I fully agree with that. Only problem there is how to structure it... If you guys have any proven way of making this revenue/sahring work let me know.

By the way, I do intend to find a head coach before I open the box and will offer him/her a share in the business up to 25% so they will (ideally) be owner as well.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
Joey Dussel
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Re: Has anyone started a box with a head coach hired full time?

I'd say the responses you've gotten so far are on point. The athletes will be "with" the coach, not with the box, so be real careful / take good care of the head coach or you're risking a lot / risking it all!

Also, my thought is that maybe you could come up with a tiered pay scale. For example, a base hourly rate for everything that is not the actual coaching (and there is a TON of this stuff), and a group class rate. Maybe the group rate is like $10 for 1-5 athletes, $12 an hour for 6-10 athletes, $15 an hour for >10 athletes, etc. (Just examples there, look at the relationships between the numbers rather than the number itself, you may need to pay more or less).

Then after the coach has taught X number of classes, you could increase the rates for all sizes of classes. Like the 1-5 person class goes from $10 to $12, the 6-10 goes to $14, etc.

Just a thought! Definitely incentivizes growing the classes. That combined with a comission for new sign ups could be great!

-Joey
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