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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 12-24-2011, 01:54 PM   #1
Dan L Miller
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lansing  MI
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opening in rural community

I am getting ready to open an affiliate in a rural community about 10,000 people. I was just wondering what i could expect in regards to members. I am stuck in the middle of starting in the large city or the smaller community. The type of people I would like to target are in the smaller city. It is where my family is from. Is this a bad idea, I am not looking make a lot of money but I dont want to put my wife and I on the street also. It appears that I would need about 30 members to be profitable. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. I know the money would be in the big city but that was not my goal with crossfit. Thanks
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Location: Seattle  WA
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Re: opening in rural community

30 members out of a community of only 10,000? That's likely to be tough.

Think about it. Only a small fraction of the population exercises at all. And of the people who exercise, only some are going to choose Crossfit instead of something else. And only a fraction of the potential Crossfitters are going to find, then choose, your gym.

Then for the long term, you have to consider attrition. You'll lose some fraction of your membership every year: they get bored, they find something else, they move away, their lives get too busy, whatever. So you have to replace those people from the same pool.

Katherine
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
Ronna J Dillinger
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Location: Evanston  WY
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Re: opening in rural community

Dan, I know nothing about running an affiliate. But living in Wyoming and doing some traveling, I know that quite a few of the ones in this state are in communities with populations less than 10,000. Lander, Buffalo, Sheridan, just to name a few. You might want to check out a few from the links on the main site page and then maybe contact them.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
Matthew Wade
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Location: Brownwood  TX
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Re: opening in rural community

It can be done, but you need to look at every possible stream of revenue you can possibly create. Katherine is right you will lose members no matter what, some will come back, some will move on. We are in a community of 19000, have been open since April and are at about 60 members. But of those 60 about 20 are CrossFit Kids and 15 are Pre-schoolers. Parents will always find a way to keep their kids in the program, where as adults will drop their membership a lot quicker at signs of financial hardship.
We are comfortable with our Kids program continuing to grow, which makes it less stressful trying to grow the adults program.
Anyway, if you can find other revenue streams that can help sustain the business you will be a lot better off. Just remember you have to have the right people on your team or you will end up with several mediocre programs instead of great programs that feed eachother.
Hope that makes sense.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:15 PM   #5
Rob Hefley
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Location: Searcy  AR
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Re: opening in rural community

We opened in a community of 25,000 and have 125 members. Our prices are not as extreme as people in larger cities, but we have put helping people as our main priority over doing this for purely profit. We have people that clean, mow, and other stuff for memberships. I'm not saying you should devalue your training, but there is a happy medium in smaller communities.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
Jacob Seng
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Location: Ludington  MI
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Re: opening in rural community

Hey Dan, I saw from your message your near Lansing, we just opened in Ludington MI (another small town on the west side) and things are going extremely well. Commit to providing the best experience for your clients and the box will explode. If you have any questions or would like to visit give me a call 231-357-4328. -Jacob
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