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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 11-12-2010, 10:54 AM   #1
Matt Short
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Co-existing relationship

I've recently been asked to bring CrossFit into an existing gym. Having gone through Level I and considering opening a box of my own, I have a pretty firm grasp on the affiliation process, insurance, etc. However, when working with another gym what is the best way to negotiate compensation (i.e. $x per class, per client, % of sign-ups for classes, etc.)

Matt Short
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:47 PM   #2
Meghan Reid
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Re: Co-existing relationship

Two things to consider from my personal experience on the "other side" of things - I was in management at a globo and ran the group exercise program. The CF gym I currently attend started as CF workshops at my globo gym before the owners rented space for an independent box right behind the gym.

1. Make sure, and I MEAN SURE that the management understands crossfit and supports everything that may occur. Specifically, dropping of heavy weights. Has been a huge problem in our affiliate.
2. Understand that if you open a CF studio and open it to regular gym members, you may get a lot of group fitness bunnies who will hop on for a few weeks to try a new trend but will head back to step class, ultimately. Or someone new will come in once every 8 weeks and stop coming after that. Not ragging on GF people, but it's just how we are. I think once of the reasons that the affiliate model works so well is that people are making an investment in their fitness, and it is their primary "fitness center."

Hope that makes sense, just a few things that came to mind.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:09 PM   #3
Matt Short
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Re: Co-existing relationship

Thanks Meghan! It did make sense. I spoke with the owner in-depth about CF, its community and what a "typical" day-in-the-life of a Cf'er is like. His reason for coming to me was to break away from the "industry standard" group exercises and move into functional fitness. What was really cool about our conversation was watching someone who was leary in the beginning about CF drink as much Kool-Aid as I would give him. I was also very clear about the commitment expected from members and, fortunately, he was completely on-board.

Thank you again for the input and I will take any advice you have.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
Jerod Sausville
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Re: Co-existing relationship

Matt,

While your original posting was close to a year ago, I will post my take on this for others to read who may be in this situation.

I am currently working in this same capacity, at a newly founded local gym. The growing pains with this were several, but I think we are lucky in many respects. Here is what I have learned.

1. The owner has to be genuinely interested in CrossFit. In my case, the owner attends our classes as a perk for us being in his gym. All he does is our classes, which says a lot. He is willing to work with us because he wants to keep it there for his own benefit,as well as for the benefit of his members and business.

2. Make sure your globo gym owner is in a financial position to take you on. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, if they are supplying equipment, you want to be able to get good equipment when you need it. If they are hard up for cash, you will be working with nothing, which means you have not much to offer to someone who can just go to the gym and do the mainsite wods. Second, this helps ensure that they will be willing to work with you on the pricing. CrossFit affiliate membership prices can signal $$$ in a globo gym owner's eyes, and even more so if they are in a bad position. Last, you need to be properly compensated. Affiliation is expensive, when you combine the fees and insurance, along with certs. They need to be willing to give you your fair share.

3. Make sure you do the figures, over and over. What I did is figure out what I need to get per person, per class, in order to break even. I essentially doubled that amount and proposed pricing based on that for a year long membership. Our affiliate takes a percentage of each month's CrossFit revenues, which makes book keeping simple. Don't put yourself into a bad situation by trying to give too much away for the rights to work out of an existing gym.

4. Always keep in mind that someone else can open up in your area. Think about how that will affect your situation.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:34 AM   #5
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Co-existing relationship

I believe his post is only 2 months old...the new year always throws me off too,
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:52 AM   #6
Jim Crowell
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Re: Co-existing relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Short View Post
I've recently been asked to bring CrossFit into an existing gym. Having gone through Level I and considering opening a box of my own, I have a pretty firm grasp on the affiliation process, insurance, etc. However, when working with another gym what is the best way to negotiate compensation (i.e. $x per class, per client, % of sign-ups for classes, etc.)

Matt Short
I am a firm believer in getting everything in writing before starting every agreement. To me this helps eliminate future confusion as well as protects your bases if things don't go as you had formerly agreed.

Also, I would be careful to make sure that you gym understands all the dynamics of CrossFit as previously stated. For example is the gym ok with the outfits (or lack there of) that many crossfitters wear meaning no shirts and sports bras?

Make sure that the management is on-board with you and helping you promote or at least that they are ok with you taking some of there members for your box.

Just be careful its always easier to open by yourself than trying to work with an established entity when it comes to having your say as to exactly how you want your business to be ran.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
Meghan Reid
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Re: Co-existing relationship

I'm sorry I keep beating this horse, but I feel like you should explicitly take the owner into the room with you and have him observe a workout like Diane (heavy-ish deadlifts that get dropped at the end of a round) and a heavy deadlift strength workout where someone could be attempting a PR of 500-600 pounds and dropping from waist height. Tell him - this is what a heavy weight sounds like when it falls. Is this a problem for you? is it a problem for you at (insert time of session here)? Then make sure you outline in your contract that you have permission to drop weights of up to XXXX pounds. I would also do the same with some heavy clean and jerks or push presses dropped from overhead. Because seriously, globo gyms do not usually allow dropping of weights, they don't understand why we do it, and they DEFINITELY do not appreciate noise.
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