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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 04-11-2014, 05:07 AM   #1
Jeff Sprunger
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market saturated

How do you know (can you tell) if a particular market (city) has too many boxes? Our small city, population around 200,000 already has 6 boxes. Now, I understand that it only takes a certain number of members to make a box successful, but surely a market can have too many boxes.

any thoughts?
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
Adam Morden
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Re: market saturated

I posted a reply in this similar thread: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=86693
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #3
Steven Wingo
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Re: market saturated

I would suggest there is lots more room for growth with just 6 boxes in a city of 200k people. Can CrossFit reach just 1% of the population? I would say yes, clearly, and really a 3-5% market penetration should be possible over time.

If there is 1% market penetration in your city, with 200k people, that is 2,000 potential members. A 3% penetration would be 6,000 members. A 5% penetration would be 10,000 members. Even if only 1% market penetration is attained, I would say there is definitely room for growth with just 6 current boxes unless they are all very large. If they average 200 members each that is just 1200 members.

Just as a comparison, I used to do lots of volunteering for a large YMCA--27 branches and over a $70 million annual budget. The target market penetration considered attainable would be up to about 10% of the geographic area surrounding the branch facility (within reasonable driving distance of home or work).
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
Brian Diez
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Re: market saturated

Go to FL sometime. They're opening up boxes in the bathrooms of other boxes.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:05 PM   #5
Ezra Green
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Re: market saturated

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Originally Posted by Brian Diez View Post
Go to FL sometime. They're opening up boxes in the bathrooms of other boxes.
this is true.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:12 AM   #6
Brian Strump
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Re: market saturated

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Originally Posted by Ezra Green View Post
this is true.
And funny(but sad at the same time)
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:44 AM   #7
Jeff Sprunger
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Re: market saturated

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Originally Posted by Brian Strump View Post
And funny(but sad at the same time)
thanks for the info everyone. I guess the best thing for me to do is wait til boxes in my town begin to close and pick up some great equipment on the cheap!!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
Steven Wingo
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Re: market saturated

Just for the fun of it, I looked at the CrossFit Affiliates map to estimate the number of boxes per capita for Florida and a couple of other states. I picked Georgia and California for comparison to Florida, just because I know the approximate population of each of those states. It appears Florida has less boxes per capita than both Georgia and California.

My numbers are rough, but still it does not appear to me Florida is above other states. Keep in mind Florida has 19 million people. It was one of the largest states by population, so there will be a lot of boxes (just like California, New York, and Texas). Just like some places can support a Starbuck's on every corner, in some places there may be room for CrossFit boxes just down the street from each other.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:05 AM   #9
Steven Wingo
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Re: market saturated

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Originally Posted by Jeff Sprunger View Post
thanks for the info everyone. I guess the best thing for me to do is wait til boxes in my town begin to close and pick up some great equipment on the cheap!!!
I tend to think you are saying this in jest, but just in case you are not: The risk is that you might be waiting for a long time. If you really want to open a box, and are dedicated to doing so, I would not let fears of "market saturation" scare you away in any way at all. There will almost always be room for another small, quality box just about anywhere.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:19 AM   #10
Jesse Gray
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Re: market saturated

I first got "into" CrossFit in 2007 or so. My brother had been really into it and I'd heard about it some years before that. Anyways, back in those early days, it was SOOOO hard to find a box or other CrossFitters to train with. Then, around 2010 there was a sea change. Almost overnight, it seemed like we went from "there's not enough boxes!" to "there's too may boxes!" Now, if you could look at a map of affiliate locations in 2010 you would find it laughable that anyone then could think there were too many.
In my opinion, nothing has changed.
The bottom line is, it just doesn't take very many people to make an affiliate successful. Most box owners can do quite well for themselves with around 150 members. Of course, every community is different but generally 150 or so is a healthy number. Now, say you want to get 1% of the population to do CrossFit. Not unreasonable I would say.
Currently, around 15% of Americans have gym memberships (if you look at just Americans over the age of 18 the percentage is more like 20%). So, if we can just 1 out of every 20 people in America with a gym member to be a CrossFitter we would have a potential base of about 3.1 million CrossFitters. Divide 3.1 million into 150 and that works out to around 20,000 boxes that could all have 150 members. That's just in America. That's ignoring the fact that we are changing the face of fitness. More and more people are getting away from the old model and figuring out that what we do works pretty damn well. The market isn't saturated, it's the exact opposite! There is so much room for growth it makes my jaw drop. Run your box like a business, train people well and be nice and you will find all the clients you can handle.
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