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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 03-04-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
Howard Wilcox
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What to read, research, etc?

Hello folks,

As one of many people considering starting a crossfit, I have zero business experience (other than being at a large corporation). While I have some experience at stuff that would be relevant in that role (time management, effort projection, constructive confrontation, task prioritization, etc)...I have zero experience in larger business stuff (and I'm not even sure what that means?? budgeting, marketing, etc).

Those of you with a business background and/or who have an affiliate...what else should I look at?

I know priority number one is product knowledge and enthusiasm and that learning (and training) will continue. But what else? Stuff I probably haven't even thought about? What should I be reading? Books, webpages, etc??

I know that is broad but at this point, I feel so ignorant on stuff like that...and being an engineer, I'm a little too good at 'worst-case scenario analysis' and can scare myself out of it.

This is because I have no knowledge of business stuff.

So...
[Dr. Evil Voice]

I need the info...

[/Dr. Evil Voice]

Thanks,

howard
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:34 AM   #2
Matt DeMinico
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

Well, one thing I can say for sure is right along the lines of what you said: Just cause a guy's a great plumber doesn't mean he'll be a good owner of a plumbing company. It's two completely different things, and they require different information.

If I were you, I'd find close affiliates and start there, and then find the biggest and best affiliates in driving distance (by driving distance, I mean within 4-5 hours of driving, when you can get out of work right on time or maybe an hour early, drive there, visit, talk with the owner, etc, and then drive home with enough time to catch maybe a few hours sleep before you have to be back at work the next morning).

Then again, there's also the weekends if they're available for a visit then. But pre-arranging a meeting on a Thursday evening when you live 4 hours away and have to be at work Friday morning, that'll impress the heck out of anyone and make them more than willing to share information with you.

Now, on this topic, I'm working on putting together a plan to send out to at least affiliates (and leave the door open for regular CF'ers), to subscribe to a primo leadership development service. It wouldn't be a requirement, but it would prove very helpful.

Last edited by Matt DeMinico : 03-05-2008 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:50 AM   #3
Adam Head
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber - amazing book. Really helped me out.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:08 AM   #4
Jason Homesley
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

Howard,
We just opened our affiliate last weekend. We researched everything we possibly could for 5 months. We opened with little money and lots of support that we got through networking. My partner brought us support through his clients (he was a personal trainer at a globo gym) and I drummed up support by doing WOD at that same Globo gym. I have a sales background, so I just used my motivation to bring people "on board". Now those people that used to do the WOD's with me at the globo-gym are now my "silent" sales people.
I would really recommend you having a partner going into this. I could not have done this without my partner. luckily our strengths compliment each other.
First of all do a census analysis, find out what civil service are in the area, military, and different age groups you have that could possibly come to your facility. High school athletes, college athletes.....etc.

If you would like I can send you some info that maybe really helpful if you send me your e-mail.
Good luck,
Jason Homesley
www.tricitiescrossfit.blogspot.com
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:12 AM   #5
Howard Wilcox
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

Thanks folks...


Jason, email sent.


howard
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
Mark Reinke
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

Howard,

Another thing is to start small and work up from there. While we're only an 1100 sq/ft facility, we also have easy access to at least another sq/mile of space right outside our back door, including easy access to a usable bike path. We were blessed with landing the location that we did. Initially, we WAY over did our business plan to present to lenders which ultimately shot us down. So we downsized our plan to the essentials, and were able to open up within a reasonable amount of time with minimal debt to repay. I myself have only a solid training background, I suck at sales. So Jason complements the effort with his experience. We're basically shooting from the hip with operations right now until we figure what system works best for us and the member base. But we've had no problem getting a steady stream of people in here during our first week! Good luck!

Mark
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #7
David Long
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

E-Myth Mastery (or Revisited)
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
Raving Fans

Also look at affiliates that are like what you want to be like. Most affiliates have a flavor, or twist, of their own. Find one you like and find out what they did. I have an incredibly succseful bisiness owner friend whi gives all manger 7Habits and The Servant. Both are great reads. I have a business owner friend who swears by How to Run a Small Business by Lasser, haven't read it so don't know. You can not go wrong with E-Myth
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:04 PM   #8
Howard Wilcox
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Re: What to read, research, etc?

I've actually had the full 7-habits seminar. Yes, it is truly fantastic. Not a bunch of pie-in-the-sky stuff, but actual steps to take to accomplish goals.

Just in case anyone else is interested.


howard
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