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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 09-06-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
Nicholas Scarabosio
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To Kids or Not to Kids?

So we are currently in the process of opening the box (yeah not even open yet). And already I am having a debate with a partner. Should we look at having CrossFit kids?

Unfortunately it is a biased opinion in the fact that I have a kid and one on the way and my partners do not!

But at the same time I see nothing but possiblity with a kids program. So I would be interested in hearing opinions from those who do and do not have a kids program. Also why did you/or not? Anything you would change, etc.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
Becca Borawski
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

Speaking from experience:

Get one business started and when it's up and running smoothly and you have a solid, growing base of adults...then start your second business - kids.

Kids programs are pretty different from adult programs, for a lot of reasons, and there's a whole separate learning curve to getting one running smoothly. Different programming, different marketing, different coaching, different communication skills required (you're communicating to TWO parties at all times - parents and kids), different equipment, and preferably and entirely special and separate place for the kids, too.

Plus, the best/easiest way to get a kids program going is to start with kids of existing clients -- so get some existing clients first!
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:58 AM   #3
Brian Strump
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca Borawski View Post
Speaking from experience:

Get one business started and when it's up and running smoothly and you have a solid, growing base of adults...then start your second business - kids.

Kids programs are pretty different from adult programs, for a lot of reasons, and there's a whole separate learning curve to getting one running smoothly. Different programming, different marketing, different coaching, different communication skills required (you're communicating to TWO parties at all times - parents and kids), different equipment, and preferably and entirely special and separate place for the kids, too.

Plus, the best/easiest way to get a kids program going is to start with kids of existing clients -- so get some existing clients first!
This. We started out kids program after our first year. First and foremost you will need someone that WANTS to work with kids! Personally, I don't have the patients for someone else's kids crying when their sister beats them at a game....but luckily, my wife does.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:54 AM   #4
Nicholas Scarabosio
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

Thanks for the great feed back. It makes sense!
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:33 AM   #5
Chris Cooper
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

I'm all over the other posts, too. The Kids program is the easiest to implement, grows your client base the most, and we integrate it with Ignite (CrossFit plus brain training) to create an even BIGGER bubble. You DEFINITELY need someone with the patience and skillset to work with kids - and that ain't me, either.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:49 AM   #6
Nathan Whitehead
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

I agree with the others about a totally different skillset for working with kids. Adults are happy and understand the purpose behind lifting and getting stronger to apply it towards something else. Kids on the other hand (depending on age of course) typically need things turned into a game to get real involvement. From a management perspective, if neither of you have that skillset and still want to pursue, employ someone who loves working with kids, and train them the technical side.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #7
Brian Strump
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

Another thing about the kids, and the same holds true for parents who bring their kids to us 12-18y.o. for sports.

The first time the kids tells us that he/she does not want to be there, I'll discuss it with the parent and child. The second time, I'll tell the parents that they need to take their child elsewhere. You just do not have the time to waste on people that don't actually want to be there. If the parent is forcing the kids into it, we will not be a part of that.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:24 PM   #8
Lisbeth Darsh
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

Read this for another affiliate's viewpoint on having a CFK program: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-affiliate...ay_110910.html (WFS)
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
Andrew Beedle
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Re: To Kids or Not to Kids?

We've just opened, so this opinion could certainly change over time. After asking a number of other Affiliate owners about the value of CrossFit Kids to their business, we came to the conclusion that it really does boil down to two issues: Do you have someone on staff who *really* wants to work with kids and their families and do you have the bandwidth to create a kind of parallel business in your box (new marketing, pricing, etc...)

Neither of us is really all that interested in working with really young kids, but would be happy to work with high school athletes and the occasional, motivated middle school athlete. Clearly that means that we're not going to be successful with a Kids program simply because we don't/won't have the heart and interest for it to make it successful. And (at least in the experience I've had in my other businesses) a poorly executed program is often worse than no program at all.

Great discussion. Thanks to everyone for the ideas and input.
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