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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 12-02-2014, 12:50 AM   #11
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

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Originally Posted by David Storm View Post
and investing $50K in your business and paying 5% on equipment that wasn't a necessity and didn't increase your members significantly is a bad business move. Unless someone here can guarantee a 10% return I would seek other ways to pick up those rowers. Smart business model - Start small and add as membership grows. Poor model - buy lots of equipment and "hope" your membership will grow. Be aware that more equipment doesn't equal more members.
True, but here is another exampel. Say you do a promotion, and alot of people jump on it. Now you don't have enough equipment to handle such a large load. Would you still not buy more equipment with credit?
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:01 PM   #12
Sean Smith
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

Why would you finance rowers? Buy them 1 by 1. Rowers have been proven to be the worst bang for your buck in a CrossFit gym. I could understand financing bars and plates, maybe. You get a sudden rush of members in one month and you're short on bars, you can buy a 5 pack for $1,100 and recoup your cost in a month with the new members' revenue. A rower is $900/$950...and you get 1. That rower can do 1 thing...row. I've been open for a year and have zero rowers. I don't really plan on buying any soon either. I went to the biggest gym in my town last weekend (has about 200 members). They have 4 rowers.

If you're doing well, like 5+ x your expenses, go ahead and buy a rower every month for a year. All you have to do is tell your members how expensive they are and they will understands. To the OP - I see you're in a smaller town (100,000). If you were in LA/Las Vegas area, I'd suggest financing rowers because your competition will have really nice equipment and facilities. Judging from your post, you're doing well. Debt is the worst thing that can happen to you, or getting sued.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:52 AM   #13
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

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Originally Posted by Sean Smith View Post
Rowers have been proven to be the worst bang for your buck in a CrossFit gym.
Rowers clearly are one of the larger investments. This is especially true if you run big class sizes (10+). They also take up a lot of room when not in use.

If you are good at sales you can attract a lot of members with cheap/minimal equipment. This can be a good formula for quick positive cash flow. Depending on your market you may be able to keep that up for a long time and have a good business. So strictly from a business point of view you may or may not need them.

On the other hand when programmed correctly rowers are devastatingly effective with very little recovery required. They are used inside so when it is too hot, cold, wet, icy, snowy etc. members don't have to run outside. For members with 50+ pounds to lose rowers can be substituted for higher impact exercises like running, jump rope or box jumps to protect knees from the extra weight until it is lost.

Here in Phoenix there is clearly a trend towards bigger nicer CrossFit gyms. This makes sense. That is what happened in the rest of the gym industry. I started my gym with maybe $10,000 and my garage. Today people are spending $75,000 to $125,000 and signing $5,000+ a month leases with enough cash in the bank to lose money for a year or more before breaking even.

If you are the only gym in a small town you can do what you want. If you are not you need to carefully pay attention to the trends in the industry.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:20 AM   #14
Scott Simmonds
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

Brendan, you raise a great point...

Boxes operating two years from now will have a sharper game than those operating now.

Stand still and you will move backwards in the marketplace.

How are you going to step up your game?
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #15
Jesse Gray
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

Don't finance big equipment purchases, lease them. Rogue and AF both offer leasing options I believe. Leasing equipment allows you to get a lot of bang for your buck and not get stuck with outdated equipment you don't want. Flexibility is the name of the game!
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:51 AM   #16
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

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Originally Posted by Jesse Gray View Post
Don't finance big equipment purchases, lease them. Rogue and AF both offer leasing options I believe. Leasing equipment allows you to get a lot of bang for your buck and not get stuck with outdated equipment you don't want. Flexibility is the name of the game!
Depends on where you live though. As far as I can tell, Rouge Europe does not offer that kinda of deal.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:10 AM   #17
Scott Simmonds
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

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Originally Posted by Jan Dahlberg View Post
Depends on where you live though. As far as I can tell, Rouge Europe does not offer that kinda of deal.
Leasing is largely a US tax strategy so Rouge's not offering leasing outside US could make sense.

I would think there is some form of leasing outside US - perhaps your accountant can point you in the right direction - maybe a private leasing company.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:37 AM   #18
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: Financing equipment, rowers

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Originally Posted by Scott Simmonds View Post
Leasing is largely a US tax strategy so Rouge's not offering leasing outside US could make sense.

I would think there is some form of leasing outside US - perhaps your accountant can point you in the right direction - maybe a private leasing company.
Often then companies themselves offer some kind of leasing, but the problem with Europe is the different countries. We are alot more independent than most of the US states.
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