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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 07-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
Jared Aquilina
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Take a chance?

As of now, I am in the works of opening up a box and becoming an affiliate. The only trouble has been finding locations, however, I found a 800 square foot ($1050/month) place and ironically enough, I was told that there was a gym on the same industrial lot that was doing some sort of fitness based stuff. Quoted by the guy showing me the place "they are pushing things around and flipping tires..."

To make a long story short, I was skeptical so i called the landlord to see if there was something bigger on the lot and coincidently the guy who had his gym there left and its double the size at 1600 square feet ($2,000/month). The bad news was he didnt do so well, forcing him to give up his lease, the landlord said he was doing sport specific training for football.

A few questions...

Should I start in the small space, obviously less expensive, and work my way up if the other one is still available?

Should I just go big and get the larger space?

I know success depends on many other factors but do you think just the crossfit name will give me slightly more security than "John Doe's Hardcore Football Training"
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
Brian D Williams
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Re: Take a chance?

Are you currently training anyone in a park, your garage, etc.? (And are they paying you or just workout buddies?) If you don't have any paying clients, the smaller space might be the better option. But it also depends on how much risk and how much capital you have available. Obviously more costly to equip the larger space as well.

And don't depend on the CrossFit name giving you security over the Football guy's biz name - his business might have failed for a ton of reasons including LOCATION. I'd be inclined to find the previous owner and see if he's willing to discuss why it failed. (even though from the name it seems like your intuition might be spot on.)

Hope that's helpful.

Brian
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:11 AM   #3
Jared Aquilina
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Re: Take a chance?

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Originally Posted by Brian D Williams View Post
Are you currently training anyone in a park, your garage, etc.? (And are they paying you or just workout buddies?) If you don't have any paying clients, the smaller space might be the better option. But it also depends on how much risk and how much capital you have available. Obviously more costly to equip the larger space as well.

And don't depend on the CrossFit name giving you security over the Football guy's biz name - his business might have failed for a ton of reasons including LOCATION. I'd be inclined to find the previous owner and see if he's willing to discuss why it failed. (even though from the name it seems like your intuition might be spot on.)

Hope that's helpful.

Brian
Well the landlord said he was originally in the small space, became successful then I suppose he moved to the bigger space and couldn't support the rent. Currently I personal train at a 1 on 1 personal training franchise, I have some buddies and that are interested but a lot of the clients currently aren't into crossfit type training.

But Im going to ask the landlord where I can find the previous owner and talk about it with him. Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:26 AM   #4
Ian Staab
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Re: Take a chance?

From my experience - start small. We've been going for 7 months in 900sqft and supporting about 30 members. It definitely gets crowded at times, but all that does is support the community feel. People will work with you and appreciate the "small" feel. Plus, thats about 6 less clients you need to start having money to reinvest in the box.

With that said, make sure that you have a garage door or workout access to the outside so you can allow people to move around. Classes of 12+ get claustrophobic for both athletes and trainers if you can't move from person to person.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:04 AM   #5
Jared Aquilina
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Re: Take a chance?

Alright, good advice. I was thinking small too, would be better quality in coaching and possibly greater friendships built from smaller classes.

Thanks again
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
Stephen Flamm
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Re: Take a chance?

A few thoughs from the last 18 months of affiliation:

1. Start small and let your client base dictate expansion/moving. When you need more space, get it.
2. Location within your city/town might make more of a difference than actual building appearance/street. I am centrally located but on a ****ty street in a dirty-looking building. No drive-by traffic. People who care about training hard will work out in a less than beautiful building, but they may not be willing to drive 45 to get there.
3. There is value in the CF name, but do not depend on it.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:33 PM   #7
Jared Aquilina
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Re: Take a chance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Flamm View Post
A few thoughs from the last 18 months of affiliation:

1. Start small and let your client base dictate expansion/moving. When you need more space, get it.
2. Location within your city/town might make more of a difference than actual building appearance/street. I am centrally located but on a ****ty street in a dirty-looking building. No drive-by traffic. People who care about training hard will work out in a less than beautiful building, but they may not be willing to drive 45 to get there.
3. There is value in the CF name, but do not depend on it.
I think that can safely describe my potential location. Great location, great area...slightly below average industrial lot

thanks so much
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