The idea of starting your own CrossFit gym might sound challenging or outright impossible, but it’s actually not that far of a stretch. The number of resources that are around to help you in your endeavors have tripled with the accessibility of the Internet as well as other sources and people who have done what you are thinking about doing at this very moment.
Knowing how to get started, what you will need and what to expect are all typically the largest problems that first-time business owners tend to run into. Really, if you want to start your own CrossFit gym, the process itself can also be boiled down to only asking yourself about five questions. What are they, you might ask?
1. What Kind of Experience Do I Need?
The first question to ask yourself when starting your own CrossFit gym is: what kind of coaching experience do I need? It should go without saying that if you are wanting to put yourself in charge of the health and safety of a number of individuals, you should more than likely know what you’re doing. Many individuals spend years getting trained professionally or attending higher education in order to get themselves ‘coaching ready’.
Things you must understand are the fitness schedules of the people you hope to call customers, no matter how early or late these rituals run. Realistically, you will have needed to have spent years working with people, individuals and groups alike, and understanding how all kinds of bodies work and move before you take on your own CrossFit gym.
Being ready to coach and run a gym will vary per individual, of course, but the above are the bare minimums that will help give you a guideline for when you are ready to jump in.
You wouldn’t want to call yourself the master of a dojo unless you had spent a sufficient amount of time learning to craft, right?
2. What About The Costs Associated with Starting a CrossFit Gym?
What about monetary concerns? Owning or starting any kind of business can be a huge financial undertaking, so understanding what you are getting into on the financial side can save you a lot of headache. There are the standard CrossFit costs to consider, of course: $3,000 per year for basic buy-in requirements, insurance coverage that is approved by CrossFit Inc. can vary from $1,000-$5,000, and equipment can run $50,000 or higher.
For example, treadmills that track your workout can be quite expensive. This is especially true if you buy some of the newer models from brands like Lifetime Fitness.
Unless you have a heck of a nest egg saved up, then you are probably going to need to take both a loan and ways to get your CrossFit gym’s location and information out there.
3. What Resources Can I Use to Get Started and Maintain my Business?
If you want to start a business and keep it running, then your best resources are going to be:
- A small business loan site like SmartBiz. This site that offers small business loans up to $350,000 at pretty reasonable interest rates. Applying with them is quick and straightforward, so if you’re looking for a business loan to get started, you know where to look, now.
- A hosting company to host your website like BlueHost. You can get a web hosting plan through BlueHost, who will take on the responsibility of hosting your website and making sure it is up and running for anyone who might be looking for a gym in your area.
- A registered domain name done via GoDaddy. This will let you buy a site like mycrossfitgym.com and will also let you build an attractive site that will reel in potential clients and customers.
- A point-of-sale system like Booker can help you keep track of current and potential clients. With the help of a POS system, you can send your clients coupons and specials to keep them coming back.
The buy-in, equipment and website are all just a few costs of many that you can expect, especially if this is your first time as a small business owner. The best thing you can do is make yourself a spreadsheet of all the costs you know of, any resources you have access to that might help and any other costs that might come into play. Give yourself as much of a head’s up as you can – minimizing any surprises is a good thing.
4. How Do I Pick a Premium Space?
So, now you’re coaching ready, your gym is funded and your website is raking in hits. What’s next? In short, your next steps are going to be filling in the inside and outside of your new business. Let’s start with the outside aka your location. We’ve all heard the old “it’s all about location” and, well, it is a phrase that exists for a reason.
How do you know when you have premium real estate or a spot that is going to drive business in from all over? A long-term lease can trap you in a space you might come to regret while a shorter lease will at least allow you an out if you decide you don’t like the space after a few months or so. Try finding a good space that will allow you some more lenient leases, especially in small spaces.
One thing you have to remember about a gym is that they are loud. Not just because of any kind of music you might have playing either, mind, but because of the activities and people going on inside.
With that in mind, you’re not going to want a spot where being noisy can cause any agitated neighbors. Before you even have customers testing out your new space, it is a good idea to do some sound tests of your own and scope out your neighbors to see what they can and can’t hear.
No matter the location, if this is your first rodeo in the world of small businesses, try and find a shorter lease term on your space so you aren’t figuratively trapped for a long amount of time. No matter what space you are looking at, just make sure you know the terms of your lease and have researched your space well.
5. How do I Go About Furnishing Gym Equipment?
Now, what about the inside? If you’re going to have a gym then you obviously need gym equipment. Certain fitness vendors like Rogue will offer free consultations and can help you get an idea on what you need to start out in terms of your individual budget. Remember, the cost of equipment can run $50,000 and up so it is going to eat a lot of your budget up from the get go.
Part of that coaching experience will help you determine what kind of equipment your customers will need to get a full workout or that will appropriately address their needs. To put it simply, the sticker price of professional gym equipment can shock even the most well-prepared small business owner.
Some ways to mitigate the cost can be to create some of your own equipment like training plates or rowers, or, just as easily, to find some of these pieces used on sites like Craigslist. Naturally, you don’t want anything that’s in poor condition or visibly used, but you never know what you can find from people who no longer need it.
When it all comes down to it, just remember that you still have a life outside of your gym and business altogether. This needs to factor into your budget decisions and into the area of your mind not currently occupied by starting your own CrossFit Gym. Starting a business may mean some major life changes, including moving to a new location, downsizing your life style or living quarters or just any area in which making income becomes a factor.
Having a good idea on how much you actually need to survive is definitely a step in the right direction, as your new business is more than likely going to be dictating a lot of how your lifestyle changes. No two situations are the same, of course, but the important thing is to be prepared, have as many plans in place as you can. There are always going to surprises and unexpected problems when it comes to starting your own business, CrossFit Gym or not.
Again, no two situations will ever be the same. All you can do is prepare as best you can and take care of yourself and your customers. There are more than enough sources and help out there to get you started owning your own CrossFit Gym, so start making those plans, find your ideal space and take that first step.