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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 10-26-2011, 12:15 AM   #11
Lisbeth Darsh
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

Don't affiliate. If you're not committed to the CrossFit ideals enough to absolutely have to affiliate, want to affiliate, can't live without the CrossFit name on your shirts, your signs, your Games, then really don't do it.

I'm not being glib. I'm serious.

CrossFit affiliation is not for everyone. When I opened my affiliate over four years ago, I couldn't even think of NOT having the CrossFit name on my back. This community was and is so important to me that not a day goes by that I don't proudly wear some piece of clothing that says CrossFit. I'm all in.

Until, and unless, you have that fire burning in your belly to really be one of us, then don't do it. Don't fill out the application. Don't write the essay. It's supposed to come from the heart -- and if CrossFit is not in your heart, then good luck to you and I wish you well. I'm not being smarmy or joking. I'm serious as could be. If you have that fire, welcome. If not, life will go on, for all of us. Best of luck to you, Brent. I know times are hard and money is tight -- I've been in your shoes. Think long and hard and you'll find the right decision for you.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:03 AM   #12
Andrew Craig
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisbeth Darsh View Post
Don't affiliate. If you're not committed to the CrossFit ideals enough to absolutely have to affiliate, want to affiliate, can't live without the CrossFit name on your shirts, your signs, your Games, then really don't do it.

I'm not being glib. I'm serious.

CrossFit affiliation is not for everyone. When I opened my affiliate over four years ago, I couldn't even think of NOT having the CrossFit name on my back. This community was and is so important to me that not a day goes by that I don't proudly wear some piece of clothing that says CrossFit. I'm all in.

Until, and unless, you have that fire burning in your belly to really be one of us, then don't do it. Don't fill out the application. Don't write the essay. It's supposed to come from the heart -- and if CrossFit is not in your heart, then good luck to you and I wish you well. I'm not being smarmy or joking. I'm serious as could be. If you have that fire, welcome. If not, life will go on, for all of us. Best of luck to you, Brent. I know times are hard and money is tight -- I've been in your shoes. Think long and hard and you'll find the right decision for you.
This!

We ran out the back of a van, in a school hall, 1 session a day for 3 years. No squat racks, rowers, ghds. Power bars rather than oly as they were cheaper. Guys don't need ghd's or rowers straight away and I would argue if at all for the normal person that wants to get stronger and fitter in general. If you get to the stage where you have games/competition athletes this would probably dictate at what point you are at and warrant getting some.

Break down the affiliation fee. Typical membership in states is $150 (roughly) a month. With just 2 members you would have paid for the affiliation fee in 10 months.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:47 AM   #13
Tom McFarlane
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

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Originally Posted by Brent Eno View Post
My opinion is that we should use the additional $5,000 on equipment and come up with a name that doesn't involve "Crossfit"(we have a good understanding of what we can legally do, and have been in contact with HQ).

Any feedback, tips, or gym name suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Regardless of whether you decide to affiliate, I would recommend you come up with a name that doesn't involve "Crossfit." It's Branding 101, you want to distinguish yourself. Look at Hybrid Athletics and Optimum Performance Training as good examples of what to do: both are very successful affiliates but, although we all know they are crossfitters, we also think of them as something unique among crossfit gyms. Then look at the typical Crossfit Anytown as a good example of what not to do: looks like just another franchise to the public. And when Crossfit West Anytown opens up, maybe its a little closer or cheaper or has showers, etc.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:01 PM   #14
Lisbeth Darsh
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

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Originally Posted by Tom McFarlane View Post
Regardless of whether you decide to affiliate, I would recommend you come up with a name that doesn't involve "Crossfit." c.
Well, having a CrossFit name is now part of your affiliation requirements (and has been for over two years) so that might come into consideration . . .
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:34 PM   #15
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

I wouldn't want to have to explain "Its just like CrossFit, only we didn't affiliate and we don't have [fill in some more blanks]".

With your close circle of friends this may be a good enough explanation but if you want to deal with people who don't know you, being an affiliate is better.

I'm kind of interested if you and your friend have different feeling about how to proceed forward. If you are not 100% on the same path you will have a hard time no matter what you choose to do.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:27 PM   #16
Brent Eno
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
I wouldn't want to have to explain "Its just like CrossFit, only we didn't affiliate and we don't have [fill in some more blanks]".

With your close circle of friends this may be a good enough explanation but if you want to deal with people who don't know you, being an affiliate is better.

I'm kind of interested if you and your friend have different feeling about how to proceed forward. If you are not 100% on the same path you will have a hard time no matter what you choose to do.
We are on the same page. The only issue right now is resource allocation. I love Crossfit, and I want to affiliate, but I'm just concerned about not having enough equipment to keep the variation that I want in our WODs. Burpees, box jumps, and kettlebell swings get old. We have been very creative and built sand bags, found tractor tires...all that stuff. We just want to keep it as interesting as possible, and that is going to require imagination on our parts. Based on the responses thus far, I am favoring becoming an affiliate now, but we will do what we decide is best for our gym and go from there. Thanks to everyone for your support and opinions.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:47 PM   #17
Rob Samuels
 
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

Its been pointed out before but just something to consider, there is more than one lame a$$ crossfit gym owned by people who had the cash to buy a brand. If you are a good gym with quality training at fair prices people will come regardless of if you are crossfit jim or jim's crossfit. Priority is establishing a good gym with good training and exceptional service.

I think its unfair to equate "crossfit" with its component parts as if they can't exist outside of the name. Crossfit does not hold a patent on exercise so you would never have to say "we are just like crossfit"

Crossfit has tons of postives and, well, some negatives I'm just suggesting we "keep it real". If affiliating is crucial to your business plan then you should do it I'm just suggesting that you shouldnt affiliate, just cuz. I think that was pointed out already.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:21 PM   #18
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

I would say pay for the equipment first. The money will come into your wallets to affiliate in a short enough time, IMO.

I can see the argument about quality of training over equipment but without some barbells and what not, you cannot do serious strength training. What about Squats and Deads and Press (though I'm not so adamant about bench).

GHD's are very costly and I know a lot of affiliates who don't have more than a couple of them that they generally use as finishers or for the athletes that can handle (and have weaker trainees do easier subs like Good Mornings or Back Extensions on a Swiss Ball or floor). Get by with 1 or 2 but you can't really program that into metcons unless you have at least 3.

I would value the rowers over the GHD's, and get some squat racks and bars and bumpers or medballs. I don't mind homemade balls but they look like ***, same with homemade rings.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:26 AM   #19
Tom McFarlane
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

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Originally Posted by Lisbeth Darsh View Post
Well, having a CrossFit name is now part of your affiliation requirements (and has been for over two years) so that might come into consideration . . .
Well, just don't use the Crossfit [location] type name. No reason to go out of your way to make yourself look like a franchise when you aren't one.

There is reason McWords are generally perjorative (McMansion, McDojo, McNews, etc.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McWords (safe)
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:13 AM   #20
Chris Cooper
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Re: Affiliating worth it?

Y'know what I love? That the Affiliates who answered your question all recommended Affiliating; 'members' - presumably, non-Affiliates - did not. When you undertake to operate a business, that becomes your job - not coaching, which may remain another of your jobs - and your primary responsibility. Those who are IN the business you seek to enter are recommending Affiliation.
By the way, you're not franchising. The idea of paying for a 'brand' is a red herring.
Perhaps you can describe your methods without saying the word "CrossFit" (like writing a grocery list without using the letter, "T") - can your clients? Your growth and future success will come, largely, from grassroots recruitment. What tools will you give them to help you build?
This raises a question, though, that maybe Lis can answer: would HQ ever consider financing a new Affiliate's fees, especially in their first year? I can definitely see the hurdle of staring down insurance fees, a new lease, etc. on new business owners.
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