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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 07-12-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
Todd Selva
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Potential Future Affiliate

I have my level 1 certificate. I am running a strength & conditioning program at a local park with the intention of moving into a space in the fall and hopefully applying for affiliation. I currently have 6 athletes and I offer classes 5 days per week right now. I would like some advice on drawing in new clients. I have been a personal trainer for over 12 years, but getting people to try REAL training has been difficult. Any advice to get people in would be great! Thank you
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
Brendan Rabadi
 
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Re: Potential Future Affiliate

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Originally Posted by Todd Selva View Post
I have my level 1 certificate. I am running a strength & conditioning program at a local park with the intention of moving into a space in the fall and hopefully applying for affiliation. I currently have 6 athletes and I offer classes 5 days per week right now. I would like some advice on drawing in new clients. I have been a personal trainer for over 12 years, but getting people to try REAL training has been difficult. Any advice to get people in would be great! Thank you
Hi Todd,

Congrats on the new step towards your own space. I wanted to quickly give you my opinion based on the gym's I've helped set up with equipment and what I feel separates the great ones from the ok ones.

I don't know if you've had many opportunities to train in various affiliate gyms around the country while traveling at all, but maybe you've noticed this too. The gyms that seem to be the most successful in attracting new clientele are the ones that form a really great sense of community among the athletes.

Some affiliates lack this community and it feels more like a bunch of strangers working out together. The ones that gain the most new customers, retain them, and receive a ton of great word of mouth marketing are the gyms that the members feel directly connected to.

At first it may go slower than you'd like, but depending on your goals and objectives, it's a safe bet that a great product and great atmosphere breeds success in the CrossFit industry. It may sound simple but trust me, many lack the ability to pull this off and wonder why they aren't hitting their goals.

Good luck and I'd be interested in hearing more as you go through the process!
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
Todd Selva
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Re: Potential Future Affiliate

Brendan, thank you for your feedback. I make sure to pay close attention to my relationships with the current clients in both a group, and in an individual way. As a p.t. I had 126 clients I trained on a weekly basis. Unfortunately after an injury, I decided to take some time off before ruturning and have lost touch with a lot of them. I have a very good report in the fitness community in my area. Mostly everyone in the corporate gym scene does not have any interest in training hard. Just thought i would point that out... I have had one person refer another, and that person referred another. The current few I have are great! So I can slowly see how this can be effective. Ive had a few people approach me while training at the park that passed on business cards to...I'm working on being patient
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
Steve Jaeger
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Re: Potential Future Affiliate

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Originally Posted by Todd Selva View Post
Brendan, thank you for your feedback. I make sure to pay close attention to my relationships with the current clients in both a group, and in an individual way. As a p.t. I had 126 clients I trained on a weekly basis. Unfortunately after an injury, I decided to take some time off before ruturning and have lost touch with a lot of them. I have a very good report in the fitness community in my area. Mostly everyone in the corporate gym scene does not have any interest in training hard. Just thought i would point that out... I have had one person refer another, and that person referred another. The current few I have are great! So I can slowly see how this can be effective. Ive had a few people approach me while training at the park that passed on business cards to...I'm working on being patient
Todd,

One thing I think you touched on that can have a big impact on attracting potential clients is taking the workout outside to a public area. You already hinted at it's effectiveness since you've passed on a few business cards.

A few ideas that we have seen are very effective is that when you are outdoors, hold team workouts. They are a bit less daunting and as you've probably witnessed, those that aren't in work mode are cheering on those that are. It's catching, makes some noise and will get some attention. If you are friendly with some other gyms, see if you can recruit some of their members to make things more interesting. Keep the workouts non-technical since that may deter some folks. Bodyweight movements, running, farmer's carrys...that sort of thing.

Make a point to get to any local trail runs with a booth or sponsorship. Yep, funds are limited but free trial classes might be just the thing to entice some folks. And trail runners could be a good audience for you. Do what you can to get your logo on a shirt and get out with some free brochures or get a bunch of water bottles with your name & number.

If there aren't any trail runs, meet up with some of the local running shoe stores. We've got one privately owned shop in town and they've been great to talk to. You won't compete with them and since they attract fitness minded individuals, ask if you can leave some business cards or flyers. Send some folks you know there way and make sure they make mention of you when they stop in for a purchase. Refer to them and they will reciprocate.

And our motto on beginning equipment purchases is that if you can't think of five things to do with a piece of equipment then it can wait. Some single purpose equipment is stellar and affordable [jump rope, eg.] but some can wait until you are a bit established. Start small, borrow little or none and learn all you can from those that are successful.

If we can be of any help in getting you started, just look us up.
__________________
www.HammerheadStrengthEquipment.com [wfs]
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
Todd Selva
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Smile Re: Potential Future Affiliate

Thank you Steve for your response. Great ideas! I have been lugging a couple straight bars and 225 in bumpers to the park, along with a 24" ply box, 4 med balls, a kettlebell, sand bags, and I have a cinder block stashed at the park. I also bring two old car tires on occasion. All this in the back of a 2010 honda civic with the seat folded down (where theres a will, theres a way). Box jumps off of picnic tables and benches as needed... I have been putting together great workouts and doing some from the site, along with fran, cindy, fight gone bad, etc. I am definately looking for any ideas to draw more of a crowd. Thats my biggest challenge at this point. I've found some helpful thing on "the biz". Im interested in what else I can learn from there
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