With CrossFit boxes popping up everywhere, you’ve got to make sure you stay competitive! In no particular order, this list covers the 10 most basic problems growing Affiliates run into. Take careful note that EIGHT of these directly concern your interaction with students and ability to create a community!
Problem #1- Injuring Clients. Let’s face it, injuries happen. But if the problem becomes epidemic and your members start associating YOU as the cause, you’ve got trouble on your hands. Take a look at your programming, the warm-ups, the mobility work, and most importantly the on-the-floor coaching. Do the interns let poor movements slide? Do YOU? Remember, every Affiliate’s success is predicated on WORLD-CLASS COACHING. That means going above and beyond the basic CrossFit seminar, taking additional seminars and expanding your breadth of knowledge.
Solution: Keep standards high and continue education beyond the Level 1 test.
Problem #2- Failure to Enroll. Whether you charge month-to-month or use contracts, “enrollment” is a much greater concept. Every member should be invested in the gym’s success and growth. A great gym grows on the strength of its community, not its programming! Your gym is not just a gym; it should be a home away from home for your members.
Solution: Create an inviting and fun community of athletes.
Problem #3- No Off-The-Floor Coaching. Being a great coach goes way beyond the walls of your Affiliate. Check-in and attendance calls, motivating athletes outside of class, and setting the example are all integral to enrolling your members in the lifestyle of CrossFit.
Solution: Take the time to reach out to your members in a personal way, consistently!
Problem #4- Getting Too Big. Having 500 members sounds fantastic financially, but quickly becomes a nightmare for day-to-day operations. How many times do you need to mop the floors and clean the bathrooms if you’ve got 200 people in and out of your gym each day? More importantly, how many of those members become a nameless face? We’re out to create communities- and if you don’t know the names of every member, you’ll find your grasp on memberships slipping.
Solution: Limit enrollments and class sizes to manageable levels.
Problem #5- Not Keeping the Gym Clean. Coach Glassman has reiterated this time and time again- a dirty bathroom reflects the care and attention to detail of the owner. Great gyms are welcoming to all demographics…especially women! Keep your equipment and facility clean enough for your mother to approve, and you’ll never see this become a problem.
Solution: Dedicate time each day to cleaning- don’t shut off the lights until it is done.
Problem #6- Not Being Inclusive. We’re here to create inviting, inclusive communities. Look for members who stay in the back of the class, don’t talk much with others, and don’t stay long after class. Reach out and pull them into the fold.
Solution: Turn loners into teammates.
Problem #7- Failure to Motivate. Maybe it’s a lack of inflection, maybe it’s cueing, maybe it’s your military background that doesn’t translate well to soccer moms- but motivation is a huge factor for the satisfaction and progress of your members. Experiment, study other coaches, and get to know what makes each member tick. They’ll appreciate the effort.
Solution: Stay PUMPED at each class and learn from other great coaches. And, as easy as it sounds, SMILE!
Problem #8- Showing Up Late. No excuses on this one, folks! Set three alarms, make triple-strength coffee, plan to show up at least 30 minutes early- WHATEVER IT TAKES to make that 6am class on time! This is one of the fastest ways to undercut your credibility as a coach.
Solution: Set alarms that allow you time to arrive early to class.
Problem #9- Not Challenging Your Members. CrossFit is certainly challenging enough, but adding more dynamics to your classes could keep members interested and engaged longer.
Solution: Doing team WODs, turning workouts into games, hosting in-house competitions, and regularly adding new movements and drills are all great ways to keep things fresher than 21-15-9.
Problem #10- Not Limiting Class Size. Similar to growing too large, this one can happen to anyone. How many members can you realistically train in your location with the staff you currently have? Find this number! Regularly holding classes with 20+ students (and only 1 coach) is a recipe for disaster. Coaching quality, attention to detail, and enrollment will all drop when you’re bursting at the seams each hour. Aim on the low end, and start getting creative with managing attendance, the classes available, and the coaches’ schedules. If you have resistance, explain to your members how this will make their experience better.
Solution: Cap your classes and require a reservation/sign-in. Let your members know why.
Do any of these sound familiar? You are not alone! Gyms that don’t acknowledge their weaknesses are bound to fail. Admit the problems you face, and take action steps to solve them. The primary difference between the successful and unsuccessful business owner is their determination to adapt and overcome. Take stock of your business, highlight your weaknesses, and make them problems of the past.