Ten years ago, the “box gym” space was uncrowded as CrossFit was in its infancy and the big “globo gyms” ruled the fitness world. Underground warehouse style box gyms started popping up everywhere and it seemed like anyone with a few thousand dollars could open their very own gym. Times certainly changed, and so had the culture of the gym industry. As the box gym space becomes more competitive only those with the best business models were left standing.
Today, consumers want the best even from their local box gym. To stay competitive in today’s market you need to be firing on all cylinders. You must have a great training product, amazing community, top-notch customer experience, and the business systems to support your growing gym. Because of this the market has retracted a bit in the last year. In 2015, CrossFit opened roughly 2600 new affiliate gyms, their best year ever, but in 2016 there was a drastic drop off and their numbers plunged to only around 1500 new gyms. WHY?
According to Forbes.com here are the top five reasons private “box” gyms fail:
#5 – Hiring Hourly Coaches – Hiring hourly coaches means that you have not made a real investment in them, in turn will not make the investment back into your company.
#4 – Poor Communication with Clientele – Once you get a client you must consistently engage with them. Emails, social media, thank you cards, phone calls, and client events should all be part of a good client communication system. Failing to do so means the client feels disconnected from your community and lacks loyalty to your tribe.
#3 – Random Programming – Not planning your training in advanced is just planning to fail, and potentially injure a lot of clients. It is also your opportunity to design fun, unique training programs that make your gym stand out in your local market.
#2 – Lack of Leadership – Leadership in business is a skill just like learning to train. If you do not cultivate this skill it will be difficult to grow your business. How will you direct a team of employees with no leadership? Spend time learning how to motivate, cultivate, and delegate to your employees.
#1 – No Well-Defined Marketing, Sales, or Operational Systems – This is a big one! Imagine if Apple of Microsoft ran the companies by the seat of their pants? Reacting to every little internal and external change is no way to grow and scale a business. Every company no matter the size needs to have a lock down plan to execute when it comes to marketing and sales. Systems are what allow you to focus on the big-ticket items knowing the all the little details in between are taken care of.
If you’re failing into any of these areas, don't worry, we did too for the first 5 years in business. Then we got smart. We outsourced, hired help, and got serious about turning our passion into a "Real Business." If you are interested or would like to discuss details of the event personally, shoot me an email. I look forward to working with you soon.
Dedicated to Your Success,
- Coach Joe
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