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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 09-27-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
Jim B Smith
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Would you?

Quick question if I may. I'm looking to open a box and not really sure where I want to open it. The problem I have is the city I live in has a box which is where I train. I don't think opening another one here is really an option as the town is small and the current box is still growing and I love them to death. My original idea was to open one in a town about twenty five miles away where my wife and I both went to HS and operated our own business for ten years. There are no affiliates in this town nor the neighboring town. The two are only a mile apart and the total population of the two is pushing 35K. The biggest advantage I see to going there is I'm pretty confident I could open with a small base of around 10 people. My marketing concept would be to pretty much work off of word of mouth. Concentrate on providing excellent service and leaning on the current members to bring in others.
My wife like a couple other towns which may be slightly closer. Again no competing boxes in the area and rents may be slightly less. I'm nervous about not knowing anybody at all. I take that back I may have a couple contacts at the local police department as I was an officer and range master at the police academy for several years. Where ever I end up I will be targeting the local PD.
Just curious of your thoughts and ideas. I feel pretty strong there would be a faster start in our old home town. I think starting with a few good friends and school mates would be a huge advantage.

Thanks
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Would you?

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Originally Posted by Jim B Smith View Post
Quick question if I may. I'm looking to open a box and not really sure where I want to open it. The problem I have is the city I live in has a box which is where I train. I don't think opening another one here is really an option as the town is small and the current box is still growing and I love them to death. My original idea was to open one in a town about twenty five miles away where my wife and I both went to HS and operated our own business for ten years. There are no affiliates in this town nor the neighboring town. The two are only a mile apart and the total population of the two is pushing 35K. The biggest advantage I see to going there is I'm pretty confident I could open with a small base of around 10 people. My marketing concept would be to pretty much work off of word of mouth. Concentrate on providing excellent service and leaning on the current members to bring in others.
My wife like a couple other towns which may be slightly closer. Again no competing boxes in the area and rents may be slightly less. I'm nervous about not knowing anybody at all. I take that back I may have a couple contacts at the local police department as I was an officer and range master at the police academy for several years. Where ever I end up I will be targeting the local PD.
Just curious of your thoughts and ideas. I feel pretty strong there would be a faster start in our old home town. I think starting with a few good friends and school mates would be a huge advantage.

Thanks
Is your first choice you mentioned also 25 miles away from where you live? If so, I would not do that. You are going spend alot of time there already, adding 50mi round trip....and that's if you stay there all day, is not what I would choose to do. If it were for a short term, no big deal, however, this is a long term decision. It's much easier to start a business such as this "in your own backyard" where people you already know, can refer people that you see on a daily basis.

My 2c
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:18 AM   #3
Joey Dussel
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Re: Would you?

I knew a CF coach who started a gym 35 miles from where he lived and he said that the drive was killer. Also, I agree what with Brian said about staying there all day. I go to my affiliate twice a day (once for morning classes and once for afternoons) and I can't imagine driving more than 5 miles to get there.
Flipside is that location is everything. A box in a nearby town might be a great move if you're filling a need and are able to find a good location in that town.

-Joey
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:59 AM   #4
Brian Strump
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Re: Would you?

I don't think location is everything, especially for a CF affiliate. It's not like everyone is driving around and see your place and says, "Hmmm, I wonder what this CrossFit is all about". People may choose your affiliate over another because it's more convenient to them, but they won't start CrossFit because it's more convenient than any other globo gym out there.

I know affiliates in strip malls struggling since their space is limited, and pay a premium for it. Some in strip malls do fantastic! One of the best affiliate(and largest member base) in Charlotte, NC is hard to find! I got lost my first 2 times out there!

My best piece of advice is to find a place you want to be, that has a reasonable commute. Even if it's the best place, and makes all the money you could imagine....You will be spending ALOT of time there. Consider if you have a 20-30min commute each way. AND you go there once in the morning, and once in the evening. That's TWO hours in your car each day!

I did just that for 3 years for my doctors office. Worst decision I could have made. Once I was able to get out, I moved 20 miles closer to my home. Think of where your largest circle of influence is; and open near them.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
Jim B Smith
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Re: Would you?

Thanks guys very good points!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
Joey Dussel
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Re: Would you?

Yeah I didn't mean that location is everything for being successful as an affiliate; I meant that location is hugely important for how you feel about traveling to your affiliate.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #7
Paul R. Gunawan
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Re: Would you?

so basically open the box close to where you live.
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