Starting a CrossFit gym could be one of the most rewarding endeavors of your life. It’s not an easy one, and experienced gym owners will verify that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But the ability to change lives is an incredible thing to strive for.
So how do you get started? As a team of gym owners ourselves, we can confirm that “winging it” is not a strategy. Well, not a successful one, anyway.
While there are numerous individual tasks to be completed on the way to opening your doors, start with the big picture. Today, we’re grouping the tasks into five categories to get you rolling as you work toward starting a CrossFit gym.
Five Areas to Focus Your Attention.
As you’re developing your business plan, the key is to build a strong foundation. That way, as you get closer to your grand opening, you’ll have the systems and processes in place to grow and scale. Here are five areas to start with:
1. Do Your Research.
There’s a fine line between researching the competition and completely adjusting your plan based on what others are doing. As such, when you’re starting a CrossFit gym, doing market research is crucial. But the key is not to let it dictate all of your decisions and actions.
Look at some of the other fitness businesses in your area. Make note of their location, the services they offer and the rates they’re charging. Then, get a little more in-depth by asking yourself what you believe they’re doing right and where they could improve.
Based on your research, you’ll be able to find your gym’s niche and establish your unique selling proposition, or what makes your business unique. With an abundance of fitness options out there, this is how you’ll stand out for your prospective members.
2. Choose the Right Location.
Finding the perfect location is imperative when you’re starting a CrossFit gym. And there are quite a few factors that go into choosing the right one.
First, you’ll want to decide if you plan to rent or own your space. You’ll also want to consider the proximity to other gyms in your area. Additional market research will help you to determine demographic and economic information for the areas you’re considering.
Also, in your search for the perfect gym location, consider things like neighboring businesses and noise allowances. After all, there are few things worse than being required to keep the music volume low or not allowing members to drop weights.
3. Develop a Strong Marketing Plan.
A strategic marketing plan is critical to the long-term growth of your business. And there are two complimentary pieces to consider as you start to create your marketing plan.
The first is member acquisition, or the steps it will take to gain new members. This can be accomplished through lead generation from paid, earned and owned marketing.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve gained the interest of potential members, use the power of automation to save time through the nurture process! Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today to find out more!
The second part of a strong marketing plan is member retention, or keeping your current members for the long run. From creating the ultimate member experience to designing a strong referral program, increasing member retention is key.
4. Utilize Gym Management Software.
When you’re first starting a CrossFit gym, you might not yet see the need for a gym management software system. But as you grow, you’ll want the tools that will help you manage things like class scheduling, billing and more.
As PushPress has grown over the years, we’ve created products to help us run our own gyms better. But we also remember those early days, when every penny was tight. That’s why we created PushPress Free, to give owners access to our software as they work to get everything up and running.
The other major benefit to working with PushPress is having access to a team of gym owners who understand your day-to-day struggles and wins. We also have a network of partners that can help with everything from running paid ads to generating revenue with gym merchandise.
5. Hire the Right Team.
Chances are, you’ll be a one-man-band when you’re first starting a CrossFit gym. But as you grow, so will your team. And you’ll have to be able to trust the people you hire. Not only will they be facilitating classes and interacting with members, they’ll be helping you carry out the overall vision and culture you’ve created.
So as you’re hiring CrossFit coaches and other staff members, think about the areas you could use the most help. Maybe it’s simply coaching classes. But the more your gym community grows, the more you’ll need specific skill sets for different roles, like sales or accounting.
In Summary: Starting a CrossFit Gym, One Step at a Time
You can take the same approach to starting a new fitness business that you would with any long-term endeavor: One step at a time. The key is to start with the big picture and create a strategy around the various categories. From there, you can break each category down into smaller, actionable steps.
Doing market research and choosing a location will help to get the ball rolling. From there, a strong marketing plan will help you build and keep your community. The right gym management software will assist in your day-to-day operations. And surrounding yourself with a strong, trustworthy team will give you the support you need.
Beginning with these five areas of focus will help you to lay a solid foundation for a starting a CrossFit gym that will be successful for years to come.