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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 11-14-2008, 03:30 PM   #11
Sean Dunston
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

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Originally Posted by Patrick Donnelly View Post
I found that it's the same in MD, only that the AoO take seven to eight weeks to file.
Good grief - 7 to 8 weeks? They need to whip that department into shape!

FYI - I just went through a file of mine to confirm... I sent Articles of Organization in on a new LLC on October 23, and the SCC issued the Certificate on October 29, but I did not receive it from them until November 10 - must have been a big lag in time between issue date and the day it was stuffed into an envelope and mailed to me.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:32 PM   #12
Ron Holland
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

For our zoning, we're considered an "educational facility." Look into that - or find out how similar setups like dance studios are classified.

I wouldn't feign ignorance. Too easy to prove that you're not, and it is your due diligence to check the regs in your area.

People I've talked to say that the biggest hurdle isn't getting approved for training in your garage, as much as keeping it intact if the neighbors are unhappy about it. Parking, noise, people coming and going... makes the neighbors nervous; especially if you're "new" to their area.

Just things to consider as you think through your strategy.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:18 PM   #13
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Re: Ron
You might consider yourself an "educational facility," but would the county zoning office agree if one of their workers knocked on your door in response to a complaint?

The thought of neighbors had come to mind, but I don't think there would be too much of a problem there.
- at the very most, there will be two cars parked outside for clients (Zoning even limits it to 2!)
- noise will be reduced by doing the training the garage, with bumper plates and platforms for any weight dropping
- the closest walls of neighboring houses range from 25 to 40 meters away, with several trees around the properties
- across the street is one line of houses, then woods

http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/2...ghousesgi8.jpg
I'm at the red X. (street names blurred out)

If any neighbor poses concerns, I'll simply explain that it is a perfectly legitimate business, working under an LLC, meeting all the zoning requirements, with a certified, experienced, and insured personal trainer overseeing it... Then I'll make sure to mention the hours I have available and the pricing... Haha.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #14
Ron Holland
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

We're in a building, and the contractors took care of researching and securing the zoning permits, etc.

Sounds like you've thought everything out thoroughly. Good luck to you!
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:57 PM   #15
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Found there was a legal aid office on campus... Sent them a message describing my situation and telling them what I knew... Got a reply saying they'd have to refer me to a business specialist, since that was all they knew on the topic too... Haha. That's reassuring, if nothing else.

I'm coming up with material for a website now. How's this for the Programs and Policies page? The whole refund speal is a bit more complicated than I'd like, but it does make it more fair.

Quote:
To sign up for any sort of training, please send an email to Patrick Donnelly (patrickhdonnelly@hotmail.com) explaining your interest, your current health status, your goals, and your schedule, and then we'll discuss how we can best help you. If you've got any questions that aren't answered here, check the FAQ, or send an email.

Personal Training:
UMCP Undergrad - $20 per session
Other - $30 per session
Additional Attendee (student or other) - +$15

If possible, student members with similar ability levels and goals will be paired together. If you would like to have more than two people in your session, please contact Patrick Donnelly (patrickhdonnelly@hotmail.com) to discuss options and fees. Parking is available on site-

Group Classes:
Mandatory 2hr One-on-One Intro Session - $65
Sat-Mon-Wed Classes, 7:00AM - $7 per class

When you sign up for the group classes, you're signing up for all three each week. This is the optimal training volume for beginners, and the rest days in between will help you recover in between. The classes are early enough to let you get back home and get a quick shower and meal prior to work, if you are a professional, or to get to class if you're a student. There's no better way to get you active early in the weekend or jump-start you work-week! There is a maximum of 5 participants in a group class - if you happen to be the only one attending, you essentially get a personal training session for a quarter of the cost! Due to the larger number of attendees, on-street parking is available outside of a 400m radius, or in a public parking lot 800m away.


Workout and Diet Logging Policy:
All members must keep a workout log (indefinitely) and a diet log (for 2-6 weeks, until released from that responsibility). It can be as simple as a paper notebook, though online logs, such as Blogger.com (for workouts) and FitDay.com (for diet) are good, free alternatives, with simple interfaces and privacy options, so you can close your log to the public, but keep it open to your trainer, friends, and family. Allowing your trainer to see your log will make it easier for him to create workouts that suit you. Simply keeping a log will help you form strong lifelong habits and make it easier for you to recognize progress and determine what kind of workouts work best for your goals.

Inclement Weather Policy:
Group classes are canceled when Prince George's County closes schools due to snow by 6AM the day of the class. Personal training sessions are also automatically canceled at that time, unless the member sends an email to Patrick Donnelly (patrickhdonnelly@hotmail.com) by 6:15AM informing him that he or she would still like to come.

Payment, Rescheduling, and Refund Policies:
Your first three sessions are your trial sessions. On these days, you simply pay in cash or check the day of the workout. After these three sessions, you have to decide if you want to continue or not. If you do, you pay for the remaining sessions of the month, then go month-by-month after that, with payment (in the form of cash or check) for the next month being due at one of your last three sessions of the current month. Any weekday where you would typically train will be automatically scheduled, even if you know in advance that you cannot make it. In that case, you have the ability to ask for a rescheduled session, or a refund. You are not held to any payment contract longer than 30 days. If you decide that Steadfast isn't for you, then you're free to go.

Obviously, scheduling conflicts or illnesses can occur from time to time, and that's understandable. When a refund is in order, it is simply deducted from the cost of your next monthly check. Monthly refund totals are rounded to the nearest penny. If you're leaving Steadfast, you can arrange to have your refund check mailed to you at the end of the month.

Rescheduled Session - For personal training sessions that are canceled on the fault of the trainer, you have the option of rescheduling, rather than receiving a refund. Also, if you give at least 24 hours of advance notice of you being not able to attend for a legitimate reason, you may opt to reschedule a session.

Rescheduled Classes - For classes that are canceled on the fault of the trainer, there will be a time set by the trainer for a make-up class. Once again, you have the option of attending, or receiving a refund.

115% Refund - Trainer cancels with less than 24 hours notice via email, and you choose not to accept a rescheduled class/session.

110% Refund - Trainer cancels with less than 48 hours of notice via email, and you choose not to accept a rescheduled class/session.

100% Refund - Trainer cancels with more than 48 hours of notice vial email, and you choose not to accept a rescheduled class/session; cancellations for federal and religious holidays or for inclement weather.

80% Refund - Member cancels with more than 48 hours notice - you may also choose to reschedule personal training sessions, but not classes.

65% Refund - Member cancels with more than 24 hours notice - you may also choose to reschedule personal training sessions, but not classes.

50% Refund - Member cancels with more than 12 hours notice, or ends membership and cancels all remaining sessions for the month. You may schedule an additional personal training session, but it will be at the full cost.

0% Refund - Member cancels with less than 12 hours notice or does not show up. You may schedule another personal training session, but it will be at the full cost.

If you are in a personal training session where some, but not all, members cancel, the refunds apply to the charges for that additional member only.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:02 PM   #16
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

And here is the majority of the FAQ... (All links in it are WFS.)

Quote:
If you have a question that isn't answered by this FAQ, send it to Patrick Donnelly (patrickhdonnelly@hotmail.com). You'll get a prompt reply, and if the question is asked often enough, it'll be added to the list here.

I've never seen most of these exercises performed in a gym. Are they safe?
They are all perfectly safe, when performed correctly. Unlike a machine, which guides you through the exact motion pattern, free weight and bodyweight exercises require a lot more coordination, balance, and flexibility to perform correctly, so we spend a great deal of time teaching you the movements to help ensure your safety. We always use weights that are reasonable and have progressions for exercises that some people find difficult, like pull-ups. Of course, you can always opt for a lighter weight or easier progression at your own discretion if you feel unsafe.

Why do you not have any traditional machines?
Machine-based exercise does not pose any challenge to coordination, balance, or flexibility, and it also isolates specific muscle groups, reducing the intensity of the exercise. The exercises we use are chosen for their effectiveness and AKP (***-kicking potential). They cause greater hormone and metabolism responses to workouts, improving gains. Additionally, hamstring curls and tricep extensions are no where near as fun as the sandbag clean and jerk.

I am looking to gain/loose weight. Will I?
That depends. Weight loss will come fairly easily for anyone with our workouts, proper eating, enough sleep, and good stress management. You will also gain some muscle mass simply from the nature of our workouts and exercises. If you're looking for substantial weight gain (eg. being a 5'10, 220lb male), then your goals would be better suited towards a purely strength oriented program with a high caloric intake and once again, sleep and stress management - we can do that too. Women will gain some muscle mass too, but not nearly to the point of being grotesque. Many women fear that if they so much as touch a dumbbell over 10lbs that they will instantly inflate to looking like Schwarzenegger in his prime. That's not so. Women have less than a tenth of the testosterone in them than men do, so without years of bodybuilding specific workouts and the use of steroids, they won't be able to do anything but improve their figure and appearance by using serious weight training.

Do you use a bodybuilding program?
Far from it. For the average person, we focus on general physical preparedness and strength training. Muscle gain is merely a side effect of a well developed program and good eating habits. For those with sport-specific needs, we will change our program to help better suit you.

I've got this one area I want to spot reduce/tone. Can you help me out?
Unfortunately, no. Spot reduction is a myth. If you scoop a bucket of water out of a lake, it is not removed as a chunk from that portion of the lake, but equally from the entirety of it. Also, some portions of the lake are deeper than others, and will not dry up as quickly. Similarly, fat comes off of the entire body equally and the first places that gain fat on your body are the last places to loose them. That's just the way humans work. "Tone" is just a word used to describe moderate amounts of muscle covered by moderate amounts of fat - in other words, "mediocrity," which is something we don't support here at Steadfast.

What sort of diet do you recommend?
Only registered dietitians can make specific diet recommendations, however, during one of our first few sessions, we will discuss the way in which diet and exercise effect our metabolism and weight. You will also be given some information to research further independently in order to make your own informed decisions.

Why do you require clients to log their workouts and diet?
It improves awareness and accountability. By logging your workouts, you have something by which to gauge your progress, judge what worked best for you, decide where your workouts will go in the future, and maintain good workout habits. Logging your diet lets you know how much you really eat and then determine how that effects you. Additionally, if you are finding it hard to loose weight, but your diet is full of sugary junk foods, then you have your reason right in front of you, and you know what you need to do to change it. A consistent failure to log either your workouts or your diet will result in your being dropped from Steadfast. It's not a one-strike rule, or even a three-strike rule, but a consistent failure to meet your responsibilities is unacceptable. After 2-6 weeks of logging your diet, you will be relieved from that task since it can be safely assumed you have attained the good habits necessary for long term health, though there may be occasional "check-up" weeks where this is reinstated for a short time. As long as your logs are detailed and accurate, it does not matter with respect to this policy how much or what you eat. If you are unwilling to log your efforts, there is someone else who is and who will gladly take your place training with us, and get better results because of it.

What's the difference between personal training and group training?
In personal training, you are working out alone or with another friend or family member, to reach specific goals. Group training is much more like a "cookie-cutter" boot camp program. While it will yield similar results, you may be training with up to four people you do not know (yet), and you will not get as much specific attention. Group classes are better for those who are already apparently healthy, but are still looking to improve their fitness. Those with health conditions that require specific attention may be denied access to group classes until they have taken some personal training sessions to improve their conditions.

Can I bring a friend/family member to my personal training sessions?
Sure. Your friend's first three workouts with you will count as his/her introduction workouts, and at that point, he/she must decide whether or not he/she would like to continue, and then begin paying by the month.

Why do you require the 2 hour intro before beginning group classes?
Since every member may be on a different experience level, the intro session gives us a chance to get you up to speed and to discuss any conditions which may prevent you from participating immediately. We will cover many of the exercises that we use, and find weights that are manageable, but still challenging, for you to use when you come to group classes. In the group classes, we will spend some time practicing the movements used in that day's workout, but having this initial introduction is critical to ensuring your safety.

Why do you charge so much?
Many personal trainers in the DC Metro area charge between $50 and $80 per session, so our prices are comparatively low, with a quality of service that cannot be beat. We charge the minimum possible to continue making ends meet while working the maximum hours possible. Additionally, many hours go into this business off-the-clock, while either planning lessons, cleaning the gym, or doing things like creating this website. None of us are driving in Cadillacs or sporting Rolex watches. Trust us; you'll get every penny's worth of your money.

I'm a student and have little money. Can I get a discount?
There already is a considerable student discount, and unfortunately, this is the maximum discount we can offer. Try a few sessions with a personal trainer from Campus Recreational Services, then come to us, and see whose workout are more effective and more fun. Or simply save yourself the time and money and come straight to Steadfast.

Why do you require payment for the month in advance?
Some members may have trouble adhering to the training until their bodies begin to adapt to the workload. While it is unfortunate that this is necessary for some, it helps improve adherence rates among those people. However, the payment period is not so long as to prevent members from leaving when they so choose; many gyms will lock you into a one year contract, especially with New Year's resolutions in January, so that they can continue to steal your money after you decide you dislike their facility and leave. We not only give great service to give you a reason to keep coming, but we are not looking to rob you either.

Why do you only offer partial refunds when a member cancels but does not reschedule?
As mentioned previously, many off-the-clock hours go into this business. When a member cancels an appointment, that time must be accounted for. Additionally, when a member cancels without rescheduling, the trainer looses work hours and pay that cannot be regained. When a member cancels his or her membership entirely, it can take several days to several weeks to fill the spots again. Personal training, as a business, is very dependent upon the mutual cooperation of the trainer and the member. For this reason, we also offer super-refunds when a trainer cancels suddenly.

What types of payment do you accept?
Check is preferred, though money orders or cash are also acceptable.

Do you have any opportunities for employment?
At this time, our operation is too small to support multiple employees - however, we are always looking to expand. Send an email to Patrick Donnelly (patrickhdonnelly@hotmail.com) with your business proposal and we will see what can be worked out.

Is this a legitimate business?
Yes; this business conforms with all the federal, state, and county regulations regarding taxes, the fitness industry, and zoning. We are a recognized Limited Liability Company in the state of Maryland (THIS STATEMENT NOT YET TRUE) and our trainers each hold at least one accredited certification, if not several.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:04 PM   #17
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

By the way, if anyone is looking to use anything from the above posted FAQ (eg. Bob Guere), just send me an email or PM and ask. Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:10 PM   #18
Peter Terry Haas
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Donnelly View Post
Re: Peter
Thanks for the info, especially the book. I've managed to find an eBook version on the publisher's site, and be ordering that shortly. If it takes 8 weeks to process the LLC documents, should I get on submitting that now, so I'm ready to go for early January? I'm afraid that I may have to file a 2008 Personal Business Property Assessment if I file for the LLC too early. I'm not sure when you're actually considered an LLC.
Sorry it took me a few days to check back in.

As Patrick said, your LLC is recognized as soon as you get state approval. 7-8 weeks is ridiculous. I overnighted it to the NC state office, and was approved 3 business days later.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to the Instructions for 2008 Form 1 Personal Property Return, "A Maryland personal property return (Form 1) must be filed by all businesses that are incorporated, qualified or registered to do business in the State of Maryland as of January 1, 2008." If I'm reading that right, that means it doesn't apply to you, and probably won't until January 1, 2009. Then it will be due on April 15, 2009.

If that's the case, file now (especially with that processing time). You can't do anything else business wise until you get that set-up.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:20 PM   #19
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

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Originally Posted by Peter Terry Haas View Post
If that's the case, file now (especially with that processing time). You can't do anything else business wise until you get that set-up.
Eh, I can. It would just be a bit more risky, and I would need to remove any mention of "LLC" from the website, waivers, etc. and get new waivers signed once the state recognizes me. The problem right now is that I don't have a checkbook here in my dorm - I'm visiting home this weekend, though.

Edit: There's also the option of expediting it so that it will be processed in a week, but of course, there's an extra fee for that. Also, doing that right now would also result in my needing to pay PBPA taxes for this year.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:01 PM   #20
Camille Lore
 
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Re: Questions Regarding LLC's, Domain Names, Zoning, Certs, Insurance, Etc.

Just found this thread. I'm a zoning officer that deals with home occupations in PA. My opinion is that you would fit under their criteria and should be permitted.
I wouldn't classify what you're going after as an educational facility.
If you have any other zoning ?s, send me a pm.
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