Something I see no matter what size gym: managing the business almost always gets in the way of the client experience at some point. If your CrossFit Affiliate is struggling with finances, scheduling, or building a community, your clients will see it. Here’s how to avoid it.
Realize You Aren’t Alone
So, you have a gym, you have members, but managing all the moving pieces of running a CrossFit Affiliate is an absolute nightmare. Sound familiar? Luckily, this is a common issue for all businesses, not just those in the fitness industry. How on earth do you deal with programming WODs, getting memberships under control, keeping up the competitive spirit, keep members coming back for more, and not drive yourself crazy?
CrossFit Marketing Myths
I know what you’re thinking, it shouldn’t be too difficult. In some cases it’s not, but there are many misconceptions to gym management. Here are a few:
- You’re going to make a lot of money
- You can do it all on our own
- You need the coolest, raddest equipment
Not only are these not true, I’m going to show you ways to properly handle these myths and, if you’re lucky, turn them into reality.
Show me the money
Of course, you can become really successful and have all the money imaginable. Unfortunately, this is when reality sets in and you realize that this either won’t happen to the degree you would like it to, or it will take a really, really long time to get there.
You can have dreams. You should have dreams. Though with running any business, if your only goal is to fund your lavish lifestyle, sports cars and mansion, you will almost certainly fail. It needs to be understood that money comes second to doing what you enjoy. After all, if your members aren’t happy, how are you getting paid? Trust that if you truly love what you do, care for people and fitness and work hard, the money will start to flow.
All Systems Go
Spreadsheets, love them or hate them, they have their place in every business. These versatile documents can track user lists, finances, and even tackle scheduling. The problem with relying on spreadsheets is that you end up with a ton of them, it’s hard to cross reference between multiple sheets, and they get lost. Investing early on in an Affiliate Management Software will greatly cut down on these headaches. There are several options including Wodify, Wod Hopper, PushPress, Box Command, and ZenPlanner to name just a few. Implementing one of these tools will seamlessly allow you to manage members and their dues, class schedules, and will also help promote a competitive spirit. It’s no secret that onboarding a new member is critically important to the term of their membership. A member that is onboarded properly is likely to stay longer, spend more through ease of purchasing, and help promote your gym.
Simply the best
Many people who set out to open a new gym assume that they need the shiniest, newest piece of equipment on the market. This may be true for the large “GloboGyms” who’s fickle member base judge the quality of the facility by the age of their machines. CrossFit on the other hand, is a completely different animal. Most CrossFit boxes are in industrial buildings, and the equipment favors function over fancy. Beat up tires, ropes, chains, pull up rigs and barbells set the tone here. The same goes for the clientele. CrossFitters want an unadulterated raw workout that will make them stronger and faster. A typical elliptical-bound gym goer definitely has different priorities. Don’t get hung up on the age of the equipment as long as it gets the job done and provides a killer workout.
Simple Mistakes to Avoid
Don’t assume that just because you built a state-of-the-art facility with some new paint and shiny rowers that the clients will just start piling in. In order to keep people in the doors you will need to learn their wants, needs, strengths and weaknesses. Understanding this is key to member retention. Do it long enough and you’ll start seeing your gym flourish.
Another rookie mistake is to try doing everything on your own. Build up a support system of friends and family to help you get over whatever hurdle you’re currently facing. Finding yourself short on coaches? Maybe see if a friend can run your errands for you while you teach a class rather than try to be everywhere.
Enhance your member experience. A large appealing characteristic of CrossFit is the fun, competitive aspect it has. It’s been shown that progress tracking, mini games, and hitting personal goals are what keep people coming back for more. Many of the Affiliate Management Software solutions I mentioned earlier, such as Wodify, take competition at your box to the next level. Yes you can bill and schedule with them, but that really doesn’t make much of a difference to your members. Their leaderboards, and progress trackers on the other hand certainly do! In fact, members can travel away on vacation or business and drop-in at another affiliate using Wodify, and all of their progress and records are saved. Sweet.
Focus your time, energy and money where it matters. Choose to invest in smart solutions and they will pay you back ten fold. If you already have a website, we can easily help you integrate your own Gym Management Software. If you don’t already have a website, you might want to invest in one. They serve far past just being a place to put your contact information. Leverage these tools to grow and enhance your fitness business.
If you have questions or concerns shoot us an email. We love helping CrossFit Affiliates crush their goals.