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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 07-16-2014, 10:42 AM   #11
Adam Morden
Affiliate Adam Morden is offline
 
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Comox Valley  BC
Posts: 473
Re: Groupon Information

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Alt View Post
"I highly recommend you do not mix groupon with regular member classes. I also don't think it's worth doing a groupon if you don't have a high conversion rate for your existing trials (say over 60%) and as mentioned before, if your box has retention problems you have to fix that first before doing a deal."

Adam, why do you say this? Are you assuming that the Groupon people have no CrossFit experience and are therefore unsuitable to be in a regular class?

I would think that if you want Groupon people to have the best chance of converting to regular members and having them be happy, you would want to include them in the regular culture of your box as soon as possible.

d
Hi Dianne,

My reasoning is this:
1) In our experience with groupon type deals (and those of my affiliate owner friends I've talked to about it) most (90%+) have very little or no CrossFit experience.
2) In order to be successful with a groupon type offer most gyms are hoping to sell at least a hundred deals
3) most gyms who are doing groupons membership bases are under 125 members
4) that means doubling the size of your membership base in a week or 2.
5) I personally believe that small class sizes are paramount to the success and quality of a CF affiliate - others may differ in this opinion.
6) At my affiliate, even experienced CrossFitters are asked to either do an assessment or complete a foundation series. This is because many affiliates operate differently and I want to be sure that everyone is on the same page before people jump right in.
7) New members (experienced or not) demand more of a coaches attention as even if they are technically sound, they do not yet have the experience with the ways your classes are run, how WoDs are expected to flow, where equipment is, your specific terminology, etc

Taking those points into consideration, it is my belief that selling a groupon that was open for all your regular classes could (and most likely would) result in the following problems:
1) class sizes increase. potentially existing members can't attend their regular classes (waitlists etc), shortages of equipment (say you have 5 rowers and your classes were usually 10 people, now you have 15 people in the class...), space constraints, etc

If you have very small classes and lots of space/equipment, this might not be a problem.

2) Coaches (especially less experienced coaches) may find the influx of new members harder to manage. They don't know their strengths and weaknesses, their technique issues, etc. this can also result in the coaches having to spend more time getting the new members up to speed. with 1 or 2 new people in a class of 10 this isn't normally a problem, but if you have 8 new people in a class of 10 the 2 original members may feel like they are not getting the attention they deserve.

Setting your groupon deal for a specific set of classes/class times is a great way to avoid these issues. especially the issues around equipment and class size. It is not at all about saying, "you get treated differently because you paid less" it's about ensuring the best experience for both your new members and your longer term members when your gym suddenly doubles in size for a short period of time (because it is HIGHLY unlikely that 100% of the groupon buyers will become members, so your gym will drop back down to bigger than it was before but not as big as it was for a short time).
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Adam Morden - Owner CrossFit Courtenay, Comox Valley BC (WFS)
My blog on the business of running a CrossFit Affiliate (WFS possibly some language)
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:50 PM   #12
Diana Alt
Member Diana Alt is offline
 
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Olathe  KS
Posts: 118
Re: Groupon Information

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Morden View Post
Hi Dianne,

My reasoning is this:
1) In our experience with groupon type deals (and those of my affiliate owner friends I've talked to about it) most (90%+) have very little or no CrossFit experience.
2) In order to be successful with a groupon type offer most gyms are hoping to sell at least a hundred deals
3) most gyms who are doing groupons membership bases are under 125 members
4) that means doubling the size of your membership base in a week or 2.
5) I personally believe that small class sizes are paramount to the success and quality of a CF affiliate - others may differ in this opinion.
6) At my affiliate, even experienced CrossFitters are asked to either do an assessment or complete a foundation series. This is because many affiliates operate differently and I want to be sure that everyone is on the same page before people jump right in.
7) New members (experienced or not) demand more of a coaches attention as even if they are technically sound, they do not yet have the experience with the ways your classes are run, how WoDs are expected to flow, where equipment is, your specific terminology, etc

Taking those points into consideration, it is my belief that selling a groupon that was open for all your regular classes could (and most likely would) result in the following problems:
1) class sizes increase. potentially existing members can't attend their regular classes (waitlists etc), shortages of equipment (say you have 5 rowers and your classes were usually 10 people, now you have 15 people in the class...), space constraints, etc

If you have very small classes and lots of space/equipment, this might not be a problem.

2) Coaches (especially less experienced coaches) may find the influx of new members harder to manage. They don't know their strengths and weaknesses, their technique issues, etc. this can also result in the coaches having to spend more time getting the new members up to speed. with 1 or 2 new people in a class of 10 this isn't normally a problem, but if you have 8 new people in a class of 10 the 2 original members may feel like they are not getting the attention they deserve.

Setting your groupon deal for a specific set of classes/class times is a great way to avoid these issues. especially the issues around equipment and class size. It is not at all about saying, "you get treated differently because you paid less" it's about ensuring the best experience for both your new members and your longer term members when your gym suddenly doubles in size for a short period of time (because it is HIGHLY unlikely that 100% of the groupon buyers will become members, so your gym will drop back down to bigger than it was before but not as big as it was for a short time).
Hey Adam,

Thanks for the information! Based on the assumptions you give, I can understand a little better why you like to approach things the way you suggest. That said, I do think it makes more sense to look at everything from an "experience" standpoint rather than a "was this person a groupon client" standpoint. If that's what you're actually doing and I just didn't read it that way, then I understand.

That said, I am not sure that the definition of "success" as being selling 100 or more Groupons at a current membership size of <= 125 makes a lot of sense for a business like a CrossFit affiliate. Instead, it seems like a recipe for disaster. Better to define success as selling 25-40 specials and being able to serve them well and have a higher conversion rate in my opinion...and if you do it right you sure can! The affiliate I go to has done a very good job of converting their smallish number of groupon clients to full-price clients.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:24 AM   #13
Monika Scott
Affiliate Monika Scott is offline
 
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Woodbridge  VA
Posts: 11
Re: Groupon Information

Howdy,

There is a long list of GREAT points listed!

I recently used Groupon and had a great experience. As the first poster stated however, if you're looking for $$ these deals aren't for you.

If you're looking to get exposure and great marketing with the potential of converting grouponers to clients then YES, go for it.

Personally, I offered memberships I don't offer as contract deal: 1 month and 3 month membership deals. 2x/week, no open gym, no membership holds and no other discounts apply.

I treated the Grouponers as actual members. They received a health history, baseline, foundations, and were integrated into the WOD when ready.

Out of 30 groupon sales (we only ran our deal for 1 month), I've had 10 full conversions, 1 immediate refund in which he joined our unlimited program and several referrals!!

So... my point: Use these deals to get them in the door! Once in the door - it's up to you to get them stay. Ask them specifically what their training goals are, what they hope to achieve by joining, their intention for using the groupon, etc.

You'll come away with an idea of who will be become permanent and who you may not see once the deal is over with.

BTW- Size does matter... meaning you're able to monitor your groupon sales. If it gets to the point things get large too fast, you can cancel or pause the groupon immediately! You can cap the number of sales: i.e. only 100 groupons can be sold, or 50 or whatever.

NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING - including the cut that you and groupon get!

Good Luck
-M
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