With an entrepreneurial spirit and love for fitness, you may inevitably start to dream about owning your own gym. CrossFit, also known as elite fitness, defines itself as a program that delivers “principal strength and conditioning.” It’s “broad, general and inclusive” — and it’s gaining rapid popularity in Ireland. Learn the basics to starting a premier CrossFit gym that athletes everywhere are paying big bucks for.
Get the Proper Certifications
To use the brand name CrossFit, you’ll need to acquire two levels of certification: Level 1 and Coaches Prep. The Level 1 Certificate Course introduces the fundamentals that make the CrossFit methodology so unique, from movement training and coaching techniques to high-intensity movements and scalability. The goal is to close the gap between theory and practice in the world of exercise. Coaches Prep is intermediate training that expands on the Level 1 course. The class structure teaches you to train others by evaluating form and making effective corrections. It’s recommended to work for at least six months as a trainer at an established CrossFit gym, such as CrossFit Ireland, to acquire skills and gain experience before entering the Coaches Prep course.
Apply for Licensing
You’ll need proper licensing to use the CrossFit name and techniques. Licensing fees are currently about €2264 annually, according to CrossFit Inc. You are eligible to apply for affiliation only after you complete the required courses and get necessary certification. You can become a CrossFit affiliate from anywhere in the world.
Build a Client Base
Networking and establishing relationships prior to opening your gym is a smart business decision. Clients are the heart of your vision, and the gym will grow more successfully if you immediately have members that support the business. Start with family, friends and connections you’ve made in the fitness industry. Offer free training sessions, hand out business cards and use social media. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool that attracts inquiring fitness fanatics and people who want to get in shape.
Get involved with competitions, such as the Reebok CrossFit UK Championship or the worldwide CrossFit Games.
Create a Plan
Detailed business plans are key for startups, especially when trying to get funding. Plan ahead how you will:
- Market the gym
- Budget for operating expenses
- Pay for equipment
Research how you can apply for a small business credit card or acquire a loan from the Small Business Administration (or any source that offers loans or financial services.)
Mistake to Avoid
- Don’t walk blindly into a brand-new business venture. In a perfect world, you could the open doors of your new gym and out-of-shape people would come in droves begging for your expertise. Account for the time and money it will take to build a client base that will make the gym financially solvent.
- Don’t settle for just any piece of real estate. Look for a location in a neighborhood that does not already have a CrossFit gym to compete with. CrossFit is a growing trend in Ireland, but there is still a lot of room to grown in the market. How can you differentiate your gym from competitors? How can you make your CrossFit brand and program unique? Also, research the area and determine demographics, such as age and income. Consider utility costs and parking too.
- Don’t rush it. If you speed the process, you’re opening the door for mistakes, which can leave you bankrupt. A CrossFit gym is about personalized, communal fitness. Take time to start small, grow and form relationships with your members while meeting their fitness needs.