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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 04-26-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
Mark Collins
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Startup Costs

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are are currently working through our proforma to start our own affiliate. We have a good amount of savings and great credit for a loan if needed. Any advice on equipment and other expenses and the amount one would typically invest to start a well equipped facility? I know this is sort of a loaded question as there alot of other factors that need to be taken into consideration as well like size of community, competition, growth potential, etc., so we're just looking for a good ballpark figure. We don't want to start with too little but also don't want to start with too much.

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #2
Ian Nigh
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Re: Startup Costs

Take your initial equipment outlay, real estate, fit out costs, company register, and other start up costs. Then figure out your monthly operating costs (rent, insurance, salaries, consumables, etc.), and figure you will need to float these for at least 6 months before you break even. Add these figures up and this should give you a good ballpark figure of how much cash you need to start.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:44 AM   #3
Brian Strump
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Re: Startup Costs

Also consider you are in Montana, where I'm guessing rent and most other goods are considerably less than in the northeast or Cali.

I would start being able to train 5 people at a time, and grow from there. It's not a huge amount(although that's different for each situation), but I would avoid using a bank loan if you can afford to.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #4
Luis Fernandez
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Re: Startup Costs

check this cash flow calculator from againfaster. they have a downloadable excel sheet on that link. wfs.
http://www.againfaster.com/the-micd-...-part-one.html
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #5
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Startup Costs

That's a pretty neat calculator. Pretty simple.

My suggestion: Do NOT take out a loan to start a business. Also, don't empty your savings to go massive right off the bat. Start small, learn it, find out what works in your situation, decide if you need the expensive space right on downtown main street, or if you can get away with a cheaper space four miles up the road on the same street, OR if you just want something tucked away in a hidden corner of an industrial park.

Get yourself a used rower, and buy 'em used as you can find them, anytime you can. Get maybe 2 pairs of 45's, 2 pairs of 25's, a few pairs of 10's, some iron plates for deadlifts, maybe 3 good bars and 2 crappy ones, some kettlebells, a *used* set of dumbbells, and roll with it. Custom make your pullup bar if you can (depending on your ceiling/wall setup)... Just start small-ish, but not "cheap" small (like don't just get one freaking bar unless you plan on only doing 1-1's forever).
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Startup Costs

Start small and hold off on equipment purchases until you see who your clients actually are. I bought too much heavy stuff and most of my early clients where female. I had an expensive 70 KB collecting dust in the corner when I need more 18, 26 and 35 lbs KBs.

I don't use my dumb bells much at all. Mainly for scaling. Sense they are sold by the pound again I would buy 1 pair of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30's just for getting low strength people started.

What is important is the stuff that people will experience for the first time in CrossFit.

Wall balls: need more 6s and 10s then 20's

Boxes for box jumps: you can always make them taller with bumper plates, you can't make the shorter. Doesn't have to be boxes just something that gives you this capacity. I have a lot of women starting at 12" and taking a long time to get to 20". It is mostly physiological. Fear they are going to miss. Seems to be a basic difference between men and women. I guess men just don't think much about the consequences of missing until they do. Many women have enough common sense to think it is going to hurt to miss so they are a lot more careful.

Rowers: If you can't find them used suck it up and buy them new. Start with 2 and be prepared to buy more as you add clients.

At least 1 quality GHD: I have owned and gotten rid of both a Sorinex M2 (didn't like the way the leg braces come forward where someone can hit them) and a York (super hard to adjust and rollers are down right dangerous, it dumped one of my clients on the ground while she was sitting on top of it). I now own 2 Legend GHDs that I love. Yes it hurts to pay up for them but I think they are so worth it.

Barbells: The Rouge bars work fine. Get at least 1 JR bar (10 kg) and one aluminum training bar (5 kg). Make sure you buy the US built training bar. I bought a couple of cheap Chinese training bars I had to return do to poor quality and barrings. I would not buy any nice Oly. bars for a while. Chance are no one will have the skills to know the difference for a while.

Bumper plates: I order from Muscle Driver USA Pendlay economy plates. They have package deals, free shipping (very important) and the plates are nice quality. Maybe there are cheaper one out there but always remember to calculate your cost per plate to your front door.

Pull up bar: In my opinion the most important issue here is the ability to do band assisted pull-ups. 80% or more of my clients come through the door unable to do one pull-up. They absolutely love being able to do assisted pull-ups. They know their starting point and they know they want to do one or more unassisted. Assisted pull-ups inspire people.

Clock: MDUSA "No Limits" I know today that this was the single best $300 I have ever spent on CrossFit equipment. The change in my gym when we went from a hand held stop watch to that big red clock on the wall was amazing. The thing is relentless. Every time you rest you can't help but look up at the seconds getting added to your time. Best motivator ever!

Small stuff like jump ropes and Ab-mats. They don't cost much.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Startup Costs

Really, REALLY think about your goals and programming before you buy anything.

I was fine having a small location off the beaten path. I spent several months looking at locations and ended up with one that is the exact size that I need to start, brand new, on a major road but without any potential walk-in traffic due to it being a warehouse space. It's perfect for me, but some people would much rather pay $18-$20 a square foot for retail space.

High quality bars and bumpers were key for me, since I run a USAW club and am a competitive weightlifter. I have needle bearing bars and colored kilogram competition plates. Those are by far my biggest equipment expenditures.

Since I don't run group classes, I don't need 57 different med balls or space for 10 people to do pullups. I'm not wasting money on things like AbMats because a sled and a prowler and a heavy bag are much more important due to the type of programming that I want to do.

I would avoid looking at any of the "CrossFit packages" from the vendors until you have really thought this through. Otherwise, you may end up with equipment that is not at all in line with your programming.

Last edited by Tamara Cohen : 04-27-2011 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:17 PM   #8
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Startup Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
I would avoid looking at any of the "CrossFit packages" from the vendors until you have really thought this through. Otherwise, you may end up with equipment that is not at all in line with your programming.
And if you haven't thought about programming, you probably aren't ready to open a box in the first place. So stopping to think before you plunk down a big chunk of money is a really good idea.

Katherine
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #9
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Startup Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
And if you haven't thought about programming, you probably aren't ready to open a box in the first place.
Wait. What?

Someone would open a gym without thinking about programming?

Never.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
Brian Strump
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Re: Startup Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
So stopping to think before you plunk down a big chunk of money is a really good idea.

Katherine

And this is sound advice for the rest of your career in and out of CrossFit.
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