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Brent Eno 10-25-2011 08:21 AM

Affiliating worth it?
A friend and I just opened a box. We've put about $5,000 into equipment so far, and I am about to get an additional $5,000. Our original plan was to spend $2000 on equipment and use the remaining cash to affiliate. We have only been open for about three weeks, and the interest we've had from word of mouth alone is incredible. We don't even have a name for the gym yet, and we already have about 20 paying clients.

Because of our rapid growth, we need more equipment(rowers, another GHD...). My opinion is that we should use the additional $5,000 on equipment and come up with a name that doesn't involve "Crossfit"(we have a good understanding of what we can legally do, and have been in contact with HQ). When we have some disposable income in the future, we may reconsider and decide to affiliate, but our priority right now is having enough equipment to run our gym efficiently.

Does anyone have experience with this kind of situation? Any feedback, tips, or gym name suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Kinnick 10-25-2011 09:27 AM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
We consistently get 5 or more new athletes a month directly from These are people that are in addition to word of mouth, that sought us out because they were looking for a gym in the area on When I do the math on that, affiliating becomes a complete no-brainer in my book.

Sean Dunston 10-25-2011 09:28 AM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
Sounds like a great start, Brent.
Best of luck to your future!
If money is tight now, try to create WODs that utilize only a few pieces of equipment, or pieces that you can make/use on the cheap.
Get some old tractor tires - they can be flipped, "slammed" with sledge hammers, or used as a tool for jumping on/off.

Matthew Sorenson 10-25-2011 09:46 AM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
in the end what is a must? true you need to keep your current clients happy that is a priority but like previously mentioned you can seek creative alternitives.... so if you invest in getting more members that you can effectively train with creativity and improv the new members and thier additional income is exponential and will provide more $ to bring in more equipment over a longer period of time.... affiliate and take whats left and use it wisely on the most effective and popular equipment your clients use..the increase in clients will help solve the problem at hand you'll just have to improvise for a little longer:D just my thoughts but in the end you know your box and whats best good luck!

Chris Cooper 10-25-2011 11:09 AM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
Of course it is. Twenty times over, every year. Don't be the guy standing on the sidelines yelling, "I'm just like that! Just like that!" You'll be yelling at people's backs.
The fact that you're on a CrossFit discussion board asking the question should tell you that it's worth it. It's not about the branding; it's about being in the conversation.

Brent Eno 10-25-2011 12:57 PM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
Thanks for the input and the kind words everyone. This is something that's going to take a lot of thought, and I appreciate your help. Jonathan, that is a surprising statistic and it definitely is making me reconsider. We really need rowers right now because we have a few clients that can't run due to bad ankles, but they are so damn expensive. With the $5,000 I would buy two rowers, more weights, more bars, mats, and a GHD.
We have already been very imaginative and frugal. We have about 8 tires of varying sizes that we flip and use for box jumps. I have built two box jumps that can be 18", 24", and 30" based on what side you set them on(really, really useful and cheap). But now we need to spend some money and get the pieces that we can't build. Tough decision. Maybe I'll just flip a coin and deal with whatever happens. Thanks again everyone. This is an amazing community.

Sean Dunston 10-25-2011 01:32 PM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
Look at reconditioned rowers.
they are listed here (wfs) for under $600

Airdynes are also excellent (and cheap compared to C2 rowers) and are no-impact for your injured clients.

Mauricio Leal 10-25-2011 05:20 PM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
Recruitment and increasing your value without necessarily buying more toys should be your top priority. Learn some stuff about olympic lifting, gymnastics, or physical therapy and become a better coach.

I'm getting ready to move to a box and affiliate, and believe you me rowers (and ghds) are the absolute last item on my list of things to spend money on. I have one for myself at home I got for free on craigslist. It is a good tool, but to buy 5+ to make them a frequent occurrence in WODs, etc., is not worth it IMHO until you got cash flowing out of your ears and athletes clamoring to row (I don't know any). If you must have them soon, lurk around craigslist for the occasional deal that pops up and accumulate them one by one.

Be a great coach at fundamentals and you won't feel the need to impress people with your new toys. ~20 drop power cleans @ 135# make a good sub anyway for a 500m row for those in desperate need. Scale weight down and increase reps accordingly.

Make some cheap sandbags out of army duffle bags (wfs) and rubber mulch from home depot if you really want to "impress" people ;).

Brian Strump 10-25-2011 07:04 PM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
We have 105 members and 3 GHD's and 3 rowers. They do not make me money. We have plenty of other equipment that we don't run out of things with classes.

Consider that there are places running "bootcamps" with limited to zero equipment and people keep coming in their doors. If you let the numbers of your members only dictate what equipment you buy, it'll be a long road. Show you care for you members, and perfect your product, and your brand. Most people never have been on a rower or GHD, so the fact that you don't have any yet doesn't matter, unless let it. Find alternatives, and be creative.

I agree with the others, the affiliate fee is a no-brainer.

If a client is looking for a gym, and they see Jimmy's Gym and CrossFit Jimmy; all things being equal they will contact CrossFit Jimmy first; and will probably drive further, and pay more of a premium for it too.

Richard Colon 10-25-2011 10:55 PM

Re: Affiliating worth it?
Some of the baddest dudes on the planet are in prison...

Some of the most useful exercises and movements on the planet involve sprinting, running and animal movements (bear crawls, etc.)...

Watch any youtube video of SEAL training. How many barbells, bumper plates, GHDs and rowers do you see. Do you ever get the feel however, that they aren't physically doing a whole lot?

I can understand the CROSSFIT name thing but even looking beyond that...if I walk into a new gym and see nothing but rubber mats and a few bags of sand in the corner, followed by a trainer that is preaching technique and intensity, followed by some crazy insane fit looking people sweating and working their *** off...well sign me up. If I want equipment I'll just join LA Fitness, because afterall, they advertise "we just opened with over 1million dollars in new equipment."

Now, I'm not dismissing equipment entirely. If you claim to be an Olympic Training Center (not THE center like in Colorado Springs)...well then you better have some good bars, bumpers, etc. But for Crossfit or for ELITE FITNESS THAT IS LIKE CROSSFIT...not so much. It is getting very saturated. It doesn't hold as much weight (the name and only the name) as it used to.

In all honesty though, I think it goes so far beyond the Crossfit name. Just my opinion and I say go for the affiliate but when there are 10 Crossfit gyms within a 50 mile radius, seeing Crossfit might bring people in, but it won't be the thing that keeps them there...

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