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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 06-18-2012, 06:26 AM   #11
Brian Strump
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

We allow a person to come to one of our On Ramp classes, or a Saturday "Fundamentals" class as their free trial.

They are not with the regularly scheduled class. If someone brings a friend to try it, we may let it slide depending on the history, and fitness level of the friend.

Otherwise, the class is approx. 40-45mins of learning. If a Saturday, it's air squat, deadlift, and some more simple movement. If it's the On Ramp, it would be dependent on that days On Ramp class. The workout at the end is an 8min AMRAP consisting of some of the movements that we did in the class.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

Originally Posted by Julian Gaylor View Post
I'm just curious as to how these "free saturdays" work. I assume the are very basic otherwise it opens the door to many issues. How do you screen for competency of lifts/fitness levels or ability due to past injuries before throwing them into the session? Letting untrained people jump into sessions with complex motions seems like a recipie for disaster and some of the reason why CF has a bad name among some circles.

I am new to the CF world from a business sense and I do love it but am well aware of the negative images out there. Many of the respected boxes ive spoken to in australia dont let people participate before showing they can complete the movemesnts well or at least comepleted a funtamentals class. I cant help but feel that allowing people to just turn up and train isnt going to help the image.

just my 2c as a succesful business owner looking into CF
Free Saturdays are usually watered down or easily scalable workouts. No one would be thrown into complex movements if they couldn't do them. And we typically had 4 or 5 coaches present for them so it made it easy to move around the group and identify any potential problems.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:41 AM   #13
Sean Dunston
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
Free Saturdays are usually watered down or easily scalable workouts. No one would be thrown into complex movements if they couldn't do them. And we typically had 4 or 5 coaches present for them so it made it easy to move around the group and identify any potential problems.
we do it much the same way (lots of coaches, easier WODs - that newbies can understand (and do) with only a moderate amount of coaching)... and those Saturday freebies are often "team" WODs, too. That gets new people into a small group, they meet other members right away, and they can gauge their fitness by seeing how the others in the group are handling the work.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #14
Julian Gaylor
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

awesome... thanks for the pointers.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:05 AM   #15
Mark Dong
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

I did the livingsocial ad to get me started. I only had 4 before the livingsocial ad. I sold over a 100 vouchers and I have had 25 of them come in so far. As to how many are gonna stick around, well, if I can get 10-15 of them to stick then, I would say that was worth it for me. Considering, I had only 4 from the get go and I did NO other form of advertising. Now, from here on out, I will go about things differently like the OP suggested. Livingsocial is great to get people to come in and try the kool aid, but, wouldnt count on a lot of people to stick around after the trial month is over. Like one said, people are always wanting to get something cool for cheap and once they do, they try it and move on to the next special.

Like I said, in my case, just starting out, I had nothing to lose.
Mark Dong
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:05 AM   #16
Eric McKinley
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

We run a free Saturday WOD as well right after our members only WOD. The free WOD is team based (3 or more) and the new folks are split with our existing members. The movements in these WODS are mainly body weight with possible Ring Rows or other BASIC movement thrown in. These workouts have evolved into a pretty social event when our members that workout at different times during the week get to come in and see each other. They are by far our biggest workout (in terms of numbers) of the week and now they've grown into a breakfast trip afterwards for a good number of the athletes. New folks have come out, had a good time, ended up at breakfast afterwards, some have signed up some haven't... but we've been sent folks that have signed up by the ones who didn't more than a couple of times.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:20 PM   #17
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

We have ran the Saturday WOD, I am really considering going from every Saturday to every other Saturday, or maybe even just once a month or none at all.

I've loved the Saturday Free WOD, it is a great time I feel for the San Diego community to come get some CF in, even if they don't CF. It has been a great way to at least get people in the door.

Some of our best members (longest lasting, meaning the most to the community, and revenue) have come from the Saturday WODs.

The reason we may scale back...and soon, is that our Free Intro button on our website generates WAY more leads then the Sat WODs...

We now have "regulars" at Saturday they are beneficial, first they make it so that there are people there, and whenever you have people there you have an event and that's good publicity. Also they may join at some point. OR they bring in friends on Saturday with them who may join.

The problem is doing our Free Intro 1-on-1 has a MUCH higher success rate, and it's quicker. Clobbering Saturday's with something for non-members when that time could be used for skill sessions or Intros is starting to look less and less beneficial.

I think just like if you use a Groupon at the right time in the right situation it can work, especially for a gym with fixed overhead, the Saturday free class can work too. But at some point in the growth both of those have diminishing returns and HURT your business in the end.

The key is to constantly analyze and track the pros/cons of EVERYTHING you do, then discard the bad, and focus more on the good.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:07 PM   #18
Jim B Smith
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

BUMP........ Good info to be considered for sure. I know I am in the process of hopefully opening my own box soon. I have spent a lot of time working on pricing. I went to and downloaded a great spreadsheet which allows you to play around with numbers. It's so easy to see why underselling yourself makes no since at all. I know of a couple boxes that started off thinking they needed to be super cheap, like $50.00 a month for 3 times a week, because they wanted to build up a base of members. Well now they have a box full of members and are working way to cheap. If you work with the numbers enough and find the apex you'll be working much smarter and for a lot more money. After all wouldn't you rather train 85 members at $115 average membership than training 200 at $50? It coast you less to train fewer members and you provide a far more superior product when you aren't spread so thin.
As for running specials etc. those are great areas to debate no doubt. I'm still on the fence as to if I'll be doing those croupon type adds myself but sounds like they have worked for some and not for others. The thing is to be open minded. Talk to as many other affiliates as you can and when you find something that works share it with the community!
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:38 AM   #19
Andrew Bolliger
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
So my question would be how is your profitability?

You have a lot of people but is there anything left over at the end of the month?

What are the % break down of your memberships by type?

How many hours a week are you working?

This is not an attack or an argument for higher prices. I had a big box open 1 mile from me with a slightly different membership plan. I'm trying to understand if I need to change my offering and if so how. I think these questions help us to understand if your 200 folks are worth it.

Great questions Brenden. Yes there is money left over, we are doing very well. My family is well supported and we use the extra to expand the business every month. Now at 250 members since I posted (the break even was 125 members to pay all my business expenses and salary). I have about only 30% of clients paying for Unlimited classes, the rest are 2-3 days per week and punch cards. I do work a lot, but completely by choice, we have enough trainers I could stay home all month... teaching about 10 out of 45 classes a week right now. I find the bulk of my work now is on back end management and expansion plans, I teach classes for fun and to stay connected. I do think my rates are too low, we are raising them very soon and will offer less discounted plans. Lastly, there are many different ways to be successful, "specials" have worked for some people... I did a groupon early on and got $800 which was badly needed at that time so I understand. But I would not do one again, I am not so desperate and the reasons I mentioned above outweigh the short term payout. I believe maybe 1-2 of the 30 people that bought our groupon lasted.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #20
Chuck Swain
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Re: Affiliate membership pricing/tips

Originally Posted by Aushion Chatman View Post
This is moot without a contract system. We didn't have contracts back then so our stick around numbers could've been higher or lower with a contract system.

You also want to consider what numbers you are looking for, 25% may or may not be bad...

I can't say for certain the Groupon thing we ran jump started memberships increasing at CFSD, I'll just say it coincided with the turn-around.
Aushion, Our box operates without contracts and we are the highest price box in our town, which now has four boxes. The most recent about 600 meters from ours. But we have done fairly well (in the black in 4months) we put in about 30K seed money and the rest of costs have been paid via cash flow. But I have recently had a bit of slippage (December) and am wondering how it would impact our business (and clients) if we had contracts?
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