With its low barrier to entry, minimal startup costs, and low risk, opening a CrossFit gym is a very attractive proposition.
A licensing fee under $10,000, no requirement for cash bond or mandatory equipment, and no coursework required to get into an exploding brand? The world is catching on to the business value of CrossFit.
At the macroeconomic level, this is fantastic news. More market permeation – success at the highest level – trickles down to each individual Affiliate. If you haven’t had a new client say, “My daughter does CrossFit in Rockford, and told me I had to try it…” you soon will. Out-of-state referrals are becoming commonplace, thanks to social media and the overwhelming passion CrossFitters share for their lifestyle.
(Thanks, CrossFit Rockford!)
Treated as an invasive species by Big Globo, the new CrossFit gyms offer an opportunity to fulfill a dream – to be your own boss – that many of us have held since our first Lemonade stand. This notion – of ownership, control, risk and reward – is more important, among those who hold it, than money. I’ll repeat that: the notion of self-fulfilment is more important than money to every new Affiliate I’ve spoken with in the last six months.
How can you provide these strong feelings of control, entrepreneurialism, and self-actualization to your staff?
How will you keep them in-house, engaged, and wearing your colors long-term?
Through a process I’ll call:
Intrapreneurialism: allowing your staff to start their own projects under your umbrella.
If you have a new program you’d like to launch, but feel as if you don’t have the time or resources, create an opportunity for a staff member to take on the task. Share costs and workload as required, but remember: it’s their baby. Let them take as much risk as they’re willing to shoulder, and offer them a reward that’s in direct proportion to that risk.
The simplest example: adding a CrossFit Kids program. Almost every Affiliate should have a CFK group, and many have fantastic Coaches who would do well with kids. However, adding CFK creates a lot of work behind the scenes: different streams of programming, scheduling, equipment, Certification…why not offer the project to someone who would like to tackle a large project and see personal reward?
For example, if a staff member takes the CFK Certification on their own, creates a schedule and knowledge-based (‘expert’) content to push the program….their pay for the CFK program will reflect its success. If they’re unsuccessful, they’ll be paid less. It’s not selfish: people WANT it this way. Your share, of course, will be lessened, but the workload will be minimized (and potentially nonexistent, if done properly.)
Benefits to your Coach:
- An opportunity to learn more about something for which they’re passionate;
- An opportunity to make more money
- A chance to test out their ‘business’ smarts
- Self-actualization (satisfaction that they’re making a living on THEIR work and brainpower.)
Benefits to you, the Owner:
- Greater retention among Coaching staff
- Less work
- Less risk
- More time
Benefits to the Client (the MOST important part of all):
- A fully-engaged Coach
- New programming
- Consistency at your Box
A final consideration: the risk-reward balance
If your Coach takes a greater risk – perhaps they pay for their new Certification or education, or not; perhaps they purchase new equipment on their own, or not; perhaps they pay rent, or instead make a commission…..the greater their risk, the greater the reward financially.
Keep people happy. Let them take the reins.
Show them that they can have a lifelong professional career, and create opportunities for themselves, while still wearing your t-shirts.
This article was written by Chris Cooper, of Catalyst Fitness/CrossFit Catalyst. He has his own blog, Don’t buy Ads, where he shares relevant info for CrossFit boxes. Chris has also partnered with 321Go Project to offer affiliate business mentoring/coaching to affiliates who are either stuck or are ready to take it to the next level. Find out more about our affiliate business mentoring/coaching strategies >>