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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 12-19-2005, 07:39 AM   #1
Anthony Bainbridge
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I was checking out some of the affiliate webpages (Toronto and Vancouver) and noticed the pricing. It seems a lot higher than any gym/martial art/yoga places around here. I personally know crossfit works, but how do you sell the high cost to potential clients?
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:14 PM   #2
Jeremy Jones
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CF gyms don't run on contracts - where people are forced to pay out for a year (or more) of training and then quit due to injury or lack of interest.
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:14 PM   #3
Skip Chase
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Anthony

The answer is easy....CrossFit=results.

If I was able to offer my clients a pill...take it now and tomorrow morning you will wake up and you will be at your desired weight and level of fitness. Every client would say, "I'll take it!!" Now, if I said, "The cost of the pill is $10,000." My clients would be having garage sales, get a 2nd mortgage on the house, sell drugs, etc. to get $10,000 to pay for the pill,IF I have the proof that the pill works.

I have been blessed with the ability to set a couple of world records which resulted in much media attention. I have received phone calls, emails and personal contact from individuals around the world. I have traveled the country speaking to audiences for 4 years and I hear over and over....."How did you get in such good shape? I have been trying for years to lose weight....."

Overweight and deconditioned people in their 20's have tried to lose weight at least 2-4 times. In their 30's 5-10 times....40's 8-15 times and in their 50's and older they can't remember how many times.

I believe that almost everyone has the thought twice every month (and some have the thought every week), "I need to get in shape!" However, most have tried something in their recent past, experienced failure and do not BELIEVE they can really change.

We buy into every gimmick, diet, and falsely advertised and presented toy there is, only to fail again. I saw one on TV last night...the 'Sauna belt'...sweat inches off in only hours!!!
That 1-800 number is ringing like crazy with people placing their orders for the magical toy that will give them a six-pack. They will fail again.

We began our affiliate in October. Today we have nearly 60 clients who are paying a minimum of $69.00 a month to participate. The highest dues at any of the 6 clubs in our market is $49.00. Why are people coming to us? CrossFit works, and people are changing their lives and they are telling their friends about CrossFit.

This morning at 9am,a local deputy and his wife came in for the first time. He is a co-worker of one of our clients. He is looking for the same thing that most people are looking for....the truth and results.

We are getting fatter and more and more unhealthy and we are finally beginning to realize it. We don't want diabetes, breast cancer, liver cancer, heart disease, etc. We want an improved quality of life. We want our children to be healthy.

I look at the average person and I see the words 'Help me, please' written on their forehead. Help me help my family. Coach and Lauren are teaching us how to help them. Nothing is worth more than a healthy life and we will pay for the truth and results.



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Old 12-19-2005, 05:15 PM   #4
Anthony Bainbridge
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Skip,

Thanks for the response. Your numbers are actually more reasonable. The affiliates I saw were MUCH higher.

I realize crossfit works - there's no doubt about that. I was looking at it from the perspective of, "Why would they pay $150/month to train here when they can do the same WOD at their commercial gym for $30/month?"

I guess not everyone is charging crazy amounts, so that's good to hear!
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:57 PM   #5
Mike Minium
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Anthony,

It's interesting that you associate $150/month for coaching and community with "crazy".

As Jeremy pointed out, these aren't dues to be part of a club. This is money for which one receives unlimited access, community, AND coaching each month.

True, you can do the WOD at a commercial facility for much less, but you'll usually be doing the WOD all by your lonesome (I know; I used to train in commercial facilities). You also may not have access to all of the equipment during a WOD (others may be using it), if the equipment even exists in the commercial gym (Climbing rope, anyone? Or what about open floors for doing rolls, cartwheels, handstands, etc?). You also wouldn't be receiving instruction. Finally, you also aren't part of a community that's committed to achieving the same goals, in the same manner and using the same means, that you are.

It's fun doing the exact same WOD with a bunch of other people everyday--it turns into an event.

In open societies where a premium is placed on choice, there will always be demand in fitness for the two big Cs: coaching and community. And just as surely, there will be those who would rather not pay a premium for the two Cs.

It sounds like you may have already chosen, but I'd venture to say that if you experienced a week of training in a CrossFit facility, you might change your mind.

Also, price differences that you may observe are not unrelated to cost of living and other factors specific to the local market, for what it's worth.


Mike
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:04 PM   #6
Jason C. Brown
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There are some great books out there by Alan Weiss where he dicusses value-based fees instead of hourly rates. He approaches it from a consultants point of view but I think we could apply to our field as well.
This model works best for one on one instruction as opposed to classes.

Here's an interesting article:
http://valuemanagementpartners.com/Articles/Value.htm
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:08 PM   #7
Skip Chase
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Anthony

"Your numbers are actually more reasonable."
Our clients are investing a MINIMUM of $69.00/month. Most are paying much more per month (over $100.00). In addition, our clients pay a $30.00 enrollment fee upon joining the community.
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Old 12-20-2005, 01:23 AM   #8
Neal Thompson
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Anthnoy,

Here has been my experience with CrossFit Boston thus far. When I first opened up the majority of my members opted for the 2 class per week enrollment that requires an investment of $65/month.

Each month more and more are converting to unlimited memberships of $150/month without even blinking an eye. Why? Just as Skip and Mike say, Coaching, community and results. These all speak for themselves.

My class sizes are typically 10 or less so when broken down, each member is paying $8 or less per class while almost getting one on one attention.

The cost for an individual session is far steeper than what I charge for monthly fees when broken down this way, and that is for only one hour. The majority of my members attend a minimum of three classes per week and each would tell you they would never get the same results they have on their own.

I hope that helps.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:58 AM   #9
Anthony Bainbridge
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Ahh, I posted a response and it's not showing ...

Basically, I was asking the question from the perspective of running a facility - not joining. I personally see the value and would have no problem paying. But I've also been training long enough to recognize something good when I see it. I have no doubt others would feel the same after they commit 1-3 months, but I think I'd be hard pressed to get people in at $150/month - at least around here. $60-80 would be more reasonable since it's comparable to other clubs. I know they don't compare in terms of results, but people won't know that if they never try it because of the price.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. It gives me more to think about! :-)
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:17 AM   #10
Don Stevenson
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You have to sell it to them.

Look at the maths of a typical client training with me at the gym i work at.

$80 a month for the gym
8 x 1/2 hr sessions @ $35 a session

$360 a month!

$150 a month for crossfit coaching and use of a gym is pretty good when you look at it that way.

The main thing is that you have to make sure you get the chance to explain those figures to someone before they see $150 a month and run screaming. So don't tell people your rate until you can get them to sit down and walk them through it.
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