CrossFit has revolutionised the fitness industry worldwide and has opened the doors for many to follow a dream and own their own business where they positively changed the lives of people on a daily basis. The allure of owning your own CrossFit box is one which is obvious, with more than 10,000 affiliates registered worldwide. However, is there more to it and is owning a CrossFit box a good business choice?
There are many types who start a CrossFit box – ex personal trainers, exercise scientists, sports coaches, etc. One common occurrence is that often members turn into part-time coaches and then seek to open their own CrossFit box somewhere down the line. The other type of potential box owner are businessmen ready to make an easy buck through potentially cheap investment. The outlook many have is that a CrossFit box as a business which looks seemingly easy to start, run and own, and it seems relatively inexpensive to start. The truth is that it’s not all that easy and it can be an expensive lesson, especially if done wrong and for the wrong reasons.
First off, passion needs to be a driving factor. A passion for fitness, health, CrossFit itself and to positively change the lives of people. Even for businessmen who would not actively be involved but are looking to invest in a CrossFit box, if they invest in the right people with this mind-set, they’ll be fine.
Technically, to open a CrossFit box all you require is to have passed your CrossFit Level One Trainer course and to register and pay the affiliation fee with CrossFit HQ – they’ll obviously check that you’re not registering an existing name of have any other issues which may stop them from issuing your affiliation (e.g. any prior misuse of the CrossFit brand, etc.).
If your focus is to start a CrossFit box purely as a business, you might very well fail, never mind make a profit. If, however, you believe in what you can achieve by changing the lives of others for the better, then your members will know and sense that and they’ll support you, especially as you grow. Focussing on virtuosity (i.e. doing the common uncommonly well) is a sign that you care about the evolution of an individual’s personal growth and that you’re not there to show-boat on how they can push big weights or do complex movements before they ready for it. This will also see less injury and uphold the name of your facility and brand. Read this great feature on how to choose a good CrossFit gym and you’ll see many of the traits needed to stand above the competition.
What needs to taken into consideration is how saturated the market is and how much more room is there for more gyms or CrossFit boxes out there – specifically in the area you want to open your business. It seems obvious, but keep in mind that CrossFit boxes have relatively low memberships and can service the same areas without chasing the same people, so often they open close to each other. Just look at the USA market.
Financially, outfitting your CrossFit box initially needs to be carefully planned. We’re not talking about just getting equipment from the best source, but getting the best equipment from the right suppliers, at the right price and in the right quantities. Read this feature on outfitting your CrossFit box and you’ll be on the right track to ensure you’ve got the best chance at starting a successful CrossFit box.
When it comes to success, your goal should be to increase your membership, obviously. Just know that to ensure a quality service and facility, as you grow so will your expenses and you’ll need to embrace that now – you’ll need to employ more coaches, have more equipment and invest more into the business from all sides. You can’t let your membership outgrow your facility and services – you’ll quickly get caught off-guard and what started as a good thing will quickly diminish into a badly run facility. You’ll bleed members and your reputation could forever be ruined. Plan for growth and ensure you uphold your initial vision, mission, passion and standard of service.
To become a financial success, your CrossFit box can’t just offer basic weekly training either. You need to offer extra services, like lifestyle challenges, speciality programmes (like barbell or gymnastics clubs), social events, support and host events, and you need to be prepared for the constant early mornings and late nights.
A successful CrossFit box is the one who started and still maintains the ethos of quality service and a personal relationship with each and every member. It’s about the community and it being a place where members see progress in themselves, the box and the community they’ll feel so passionately about.