A mission statement for CrossFit gym owners is a key part of the CrossFit Affiliate Handbook, and it comes down to leadership.
How you lead your business, your staff, and your members. At the end of the day, you’re the one steering the ship—you want to be 100% confident that you’re doing it well.
We’ll talk about what core values are, as defined by CrossFit, and how you can implement them into your existing gym, staff, and members to create a community environment; not just another gym. Let’s break it down.
CrossFit wants to make sure you have values sitting in the pillar of your business. They don’t want you to just be another faceless gym, and who could blame them? Brands elicit emotion, so this is what they have to say about core values.
“Core values are principles that represent an organization's vision, culture, and overall philosophy. Values bring character to the group and help leaders and management guide teams through ethical and performance concerns. These are the standards organizations can cling to in times of transition.”
While CrossFit doesn’t force affiliates to live 100% by their book, they want to make sure that whoever they allow to carry their brand name has an idea of core values and how important it is in gym culture.
Why Are Core Values Important?
Clients are coming to your gym because they want to improve themselves. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be going.
Working out to maintain your body is self-improvement as well, so don’t think that everyone who seeks out self-improvement has to come from the bottom of a steep goal.
Without core values, your business is just a building with a subscription model. A subscription model that nobody is going to care about because they’re not getting value.
At the end of the day, core values provide established value to your prospective clients. If you can’t uphold core values, another gym will, and you will lose business to them.
How to Establish Core Values
This isn’t specifically in the CrossFit Affiliate Playbook, but there are time-tested ways to establish core values for your gym or any business.
Your values need to set the foundation for your business.
So ask yourself: where do you see your business going in the next few years? Where do you want it to be?
It’s a simple enough question and it immediately tells you where your core values need to be in order to get there. If you want to be an ethical gym, work on ethical practices as a core value. If you want to provide safe services or include self-defense training, make equal training opportunities a core value.
Your core values have to represent who you are right now, or who you’re striving to be.
We can all improve, and we should all strive to be the best versions of ourselves. What does that look like for you? If you know that you want to put an emphasis on a specific aspect of your gym, it’s time to practice what you preach and find a way to become the best version of yourself. This can be a waypoint for your entire gym and gym culture.
Your core values should make you different from everyone else.
What sets you apart from every other gym on the block? What sets you apart from the next CrossFit affiliate gym two streets over? Why you, why your business, and why now?
This is where you can look at your competitors, see what they’re doing, what they’re not doing, and fill the gap. Your core values should immediately register with your brand and identity so that people know your gym is representative of their values as well.
Your core values have to be completely defined, refined, and repeated.
Understand your core values before you open your doors. Define them in plain sight, refine them so that they’re the best possible version of that core value that they can be, and then repeat the process.
Talk about your core values, implement them, and make them part of your identity. If you’re consistently practicing what you preach, it will show, and people will stay interested in your gym.
Your core values must advance your goals over time, include others, and build on a foundation that others can use to grow.
Core values are important because they represent something that your clients want to achieve. If you’ve perfected your core values and live them every day, you’re giving something for your clients to strive towards and achieve. That’s powerful. That’s influential.
Examples of Core Values
These are some examples of core values that brands, businesses, and gyms can use to bring meaning to their service and practice for their clients.
Accountability: this one is common because it shows clients and athletes that you’re willing to be accountable for mistakes and show integrity.
Diversity: it’s a diverse world, and people from every creed, color, and cultural background should feel welcome no matter what. This should be a core value for every decent human being running a decent business.
Teamwork: your coaches, front-end staff, and maintenance staff are all in the same boat. You should make sure everyone is rowing in sync, otherwise the waves come hurdling over.
Integrity: running an ethical, clean business where you don’t put the value of one person above another solely because of money or status. Have integrity, treat everyone the same, and be a good person.
Learning: if your gym is dedicated to learning and implementing as time goes on, then it’s a good place to be. Being progressive in a space like fitness is imperative.
What is a Mission Statement?
Without a mission statement, your business doesn’t give any reason for a client to pay. Your mission statement is relative to what products you offer, what they do for your customers, and how they benefit clients.
Mission statements should be easily digestible, actionable, and quick. These may be repeated to clients or used as slogans to tell others what your gym is about immediately. It should correspond with the goals and personal beliefs of your target market.
In short, a mission statement is both a way to run your organization, and a selling point for the right clientele. You can’t service or please everyone, so your mission statement should attract those that you resonate with, and who resonate with your message.
How to Use Core Values to Create a Mission Statement
Your core values are the ingredients that make your mission statement. It all comes full circle. Ideally, this is how you will find your core values, and apply them to your mission statement.
- Write Them Down: It’s as simple as getting started by writing down what those core values are. Do you want to achieve an all-inclusive space for athletes of every background? Write it down. Live by it. Do you want to create a home for future professional bodybuilders and star trainers? Write it down. You know the rest. Once you write it down, you make it real and not just a thought anymore.
- Be Brief and Clear: You wrote it down, now it’s time to edit it. Compound everything into an easy-to-understand, simple phrase. It can be one or two words, it can be a play on words, but it should be actionable and immediately tell the listener what you’re trying to say. This also helps you carve a clear, concise, and linear path to your goals without chasing after a dozen goals at the same time (which will lead to burnout).
- Focus: A proper mission statement will focus on the main highlight and core value of a business. You can have 10, 11, or 12 core values that are all great. They could inclusivity, focus on self-defense for women, inexpensive adolescent classes, whatever you want, but if you try to appease all these niche crowds, you’ll be pouring from an empty cup. Pick the tip of the spear—the main point of your entire organization’s mission statement—and focus on that above all else.
Last but not least, be sure to show living examples of your mission statement by keeping those core values close to your business and to your personal interest. Show everyone how you’re upholding those values, and they’ll have nothing but respect for you and your business.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
A vision statement is “where are we going,” while a mission statement is “this is how we’re going to get there.” That’s the short version, but these are the key differences.
- Mission Statements Promise the “Now”: A mission statement tells your potential clients “This is what I can do for you right now, because this is what I believe in.” That’s powerful for anyone who’s considering your gym over someone else’s. However, mission statements are not an immediate magnet for success—it’s best to have some information, data, or history to prove that you continually live up to that mission statement. If your mission statement revolves around community, but you can’t tie your gym to any community-based activities (hosting after school programs, discounted programs for children/teens in poverty, etc.), then the mission statement is hollow. If your mission statement is all about making a happy experience, but your instructors are uninviting or off-putting, then the mission statement is hollow. Your mission statement has to promise what prospects can expect right now, and prove that you can uphold that.
- Vision Statements Offer a Future Plan: Where is your company going, and how are you going to get there? Will you be opening another gym, creating the best personal training program in the city, or what? You have to have a plan with reachable goals along the way. Vision statements talk about where you want to be, but also how you’re going to get there. The mission statement is the ship you ride through the entire journey, it’s your foundation, but the vision statement is the first major destination. Don’t worry; you don’t have to plan everything out right now, all at once. Reach your first major vision, and then compound it to introduce another. The sky’s the limit.
- Beliefs vs. Goals: Mission statements are about what you believe in as a company, and as an owner. It’s what your trainers believe in, and the mantra that you incorporate throughout your entire gym. Goals are the products of vision statements. Vision statements can also be enticing to investors who want to help financially fund your CrossFit gym so that they know where you’re going.
There is nothing wrong with operating a CrossFit gym without a vision statement relative to growth. You don’t have to become a 10x bigger gym, open a second location, or bring in more money than every other competitor in the city.
You just have to know where you want the gym to be in the next three, five, and even ten years, and how you’re going to get there. Your entire vision statement could be about how you’re going to stay consistent and offer the best possible experience, no matter the cost.
Providing Your Members With Core Values and Dedication
Core values tell your members that they’re not just signing up to get fit; they’re signing up for a lifestyle change, which is exactly what people want.
When you have core values that your gym embodies, it becomes a lot clearer to everyone involved that they’re in the right place.
Help people change their lives, and their lifestyles, and make a positive impact on themselves and the CrossFit community. You have to lead by example, and with core values in place, you’re on the right track.
Find out more about how we decipher the CrossFit Affiliate Handbook with our additional posts on the subject.