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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 01-14-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
Michael Stoll
Affiliate Michael Stoll is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San Diego  CA
Posts: 55
Re: help on getting members for an "Open-gym" type of facility

We started with classes, then added 3 hours of open gym PER WEEK after 6 months and a few member requests. That gives our members who miss a WOD or who want to work on a specific skill with a trainer time to do those things, but they still all prefer the classes (in other words, we don't have anyone who ONLY comes in for open gym).

CrossFit East Village here in San Diego runs a pretty smooth open gym + classes model, but I'm not super familiar with the ins and outs or how it works.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:28 PM   #12
Seth Kapoi
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Las Vegas  NV
Posts: 4
Re: help on getting members for an "Open-gym" type of facility

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for chiming in. Some really good advise, tips and leads here, thank you. Changes are already in progress and things are starting to look better. I appreciate everything.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
Adam Morden
Affiliate Adam Morden is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Comox Valley  BC
Posts: 473
Re: help on getting members for an "Open-gym" type of facility

Originally Posted by Seth Kapoi View Post

Thanks for the response.

Our USP is the freedom of open-gym. All of the benefits of classes such as programming, coaching, competition, comradery, etc. without having the hassle of having to make a specific class time.

As for our groupon, we had a deal for our beginner's fundamentals course 60 bucks for 6 semi-private sessions plus open-gym for the rest of month 1. The fb ad was for our grand opening, which did pull in a new person. Who will sign up when she gets back in town, about a month from now.

planning on trying another shot at both, any suggestions?

Thanks again!
lots of great points in this thread - Listen to Skip, I followed his advice when I was starting my first affiliate and it really helped. Also $50 for an affiliate in a major city in the US is crazy cheap and people will wonder about the quality, it seams to good to be true.

Not trying to be offensive here, but your USP is pretty weak. First off - how am I going to get all the benefits of classes if there aren't any classes(not saying it's not possible - just that you need to explain it) ie If I show up for a workout at 10am and no one else but the coach is there - where's the camaraderie etc?

even more importantly - for 99% of your potential market they don't even know what CrossFit is and certainly don't know what benefits they will get from open gym or classes. also for lots of people who struggle with fitness, the accountability of a set time really helps them come consistently.

There is also no reason I should do open gym with you over in my garage with some buddies.

Dominoes has one of the best USP's of all time "You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less—or it's free."

here is why it's good:
1) it focuses on YOU the potential client
2) it gives you benefits (fresh hot pizza - yummy food; delivered to your door - convenience) and describes them.
3) it has a promise: in 30 minutes or less Just like setting goals, SMART - is important for promises( WFS)
4) it has a guarantee: or it's free This takes away all the risk

What benefits do you offer potential clients:
you've said:
Freedom - easy to schedule - workout when it fits your schedule

but what about:
getting in great shape,
more personal attention
dedicated facility (as opposed to a globo gym)
great community
fun - these two kind of go together
professional coaches - not some bro science =)
safe - lots of people will think CF = dangerous
effective - show people results

Most CF facilities offer those benefits - pick some or think about others that YOU can offer YOUR clients

can you promise something?
can you take away the risk of trying it out?

RE groupon/FB - did you see my posts on the FB marketing thread? WFS

a lot of those principles apply equally to a Groupon - but it might be a hard sell to pitch your groupon at more money than a regular month (I know they got semi-private training, but if thats what they wanted wouldn't they go to a class based box?
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 01-19-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
Skip Chase
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mount Vernon  WA
Posts: 1,324
Re: help on getting members for an "Open-gym" type of facility

First, we have discovered throughout the years that there are many different definitions, interpretations and perceptions of what is an open gym.
Our 2 gyms have experienced wonderful success. Just as one follower of this thread said, "I constantly get people from him saying that the miss and want the class atmosphere.", and we constantly get people who say, "We love the fact that we can come train at our convenience and not be tied to a specific class time." I'm not going to explain our model, other than to say, ALL of our clients and members are trained and coached each and every time they come in the door. No one EVER does their own thing. Our members love our open gym model.

A little CrossFit Affiliate Psychology 101 for opening a new affiliate:

1-when you first open your affiliate, your new members only care about one thing. RESULTS! That's it. They don't care about winning. They don't care about community. The don't care about competition. They don't care about comradery. They want truth, value for their dollar and RESULTS. If you can accomplish that, you win. That is why when we first opened, we 'stole' the slogan (I think from Robb Wolff at CrossFit NorCal), No TV's....No Mirror's....No Pool....JUST GUARANTEED RESULTS!!!

2-a very small percentage of your marketplace is accustomed to classes. For at least 6 decades, within your marketplace, there have been small and big box gyms. They have a floor stuffed with shiny machine circuits and a weight room. The majority of the members enter at their convenience, workout and leave. A very small minority, mostly women, will walk into the group exercise room and take a class. A VERY SMALL MINORITY. I've worked for both Bally's and 24 hour fitness. Both companies maintained stats on club usage. Less than 10% participated in classes.

3-the vast majority of your marketplace has never heard of CrossFit, and if they have, they either don't understand what it is or they are intimidated by it. Therefor, for a new affiliate to be successful with a new launch, they have to get out in their community and introduce themselves to the neighborhood. I chose to distribute flyers in small businesses.

4-I created a series of flyers and distributed them into the market every 2-4 weeks. Each flyer had a different message. I only had to do that a few months because eventually, my members were doing the advertising for me.

If you want details, PM me.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:26 PM   #15
Koa Meador-Levy
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kailua  HI
Posts: 59
Re: help on getting members for an "Open-gym" type of facility

Brother if I was stationed in Vegas I would be there training! I hate classes and don't particularly care for coaches and their ques and unwanted advice on diet and programming. If I were you I would look towards drawing in strongman and oly lifters. Your strategy is similar to Mana Barbell in Hawaii. They are a strongman and powerlifting gym that also caters to crossfitters.
"Many want to wear the beret, few want to carry the rucksack."
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #16
Lance Neumeyer
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Oceanside  CA
Posts: 216
Re: help on getting members for an "Open-gym" type of facility

Not sure how you could tap into the tourist market, but when I was in Maui over the holidays they had 23 visitors in a 7 am class. Probably not something to base your business off of, but it could sure help.
42; 5'10 190
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