If you recently read the article that Emily Beers wrote about “5 Ways That CrossFit May Never Get Fixed”, you may understand what I’m talking about.
There are a ton of problems with the group-fitness-CrossFit-gym-model.
But there are also a ton of benefits to be gained from “original” CrossFit methodology.
These are two different things.
Owning a functional fitness gym is incredibly difficult and requires constant focus. You must constantly work on the community, on events, on keeping members, attracting new members, and working to motivate/inspire your people to get better.
This is the job. Sorta sounds like a business doesn’t it?
The argument that all these things should happen naturally if you’re ‘really delivering an exceptional product’ can be made — but, let’s face it, if you’re not consistently focusing on all those things mentioned above, things are going to slowly die.
Plus, times have changed. There are a LOT of preconceived notions out there. And we’re also fighting a constant flow of highly engineered distraction from a variety of sources. Add in all of life’s many hiccups and we sure as hell better be interesting, be damn good at what we do, and have something unique.
I’ve owned a gym since 2012 and I’ve been coaching since 2008. I’ll be honest, the transition from coach to gym owner was a hard, long road.
My struggles as a business owner haven’t just been because when I started I was totally inept and had no experience — the environment is also constantly changing, always becoming more competitive.
Even after many years it still requires continuous focus and effort.
If you let up for one second your numbers will reflect it. Your members will leave. Your community will dry up.
There are gyms closing all over the place, there are gyms changing their names, it is a rampant epidemic.
Just the other day I was in jury duty and we were all asked what we do for work and I said “Gym Owner.” Later in a break a woman next to me asked “Oh you own a gym what kind of gym is it, like a Golds?”
And I smiled and replied “No we do fitness, small groups. We guide people every step of the way and focus on functional movements, like CrossFit.”
The truth is we ARE an affiliate but we don’t have CrossFit in our name, and generally avoid mentioning it specifically because of reactions like this woman gave me which was:
“Oh CrossFit, that’s SUPER dangerous.”
And she scrunched up her face and gave me that look like she’d never want to do it…
And so this is what we’re dealing with.
Well ONE of the things we’re dealing with.
This is a regular woman that I just randomly met who has absolutely no experience with fitness, hasn’t done CrossFit, but she has this one-sided stance — a preconceived notion about what it is. Maybe a friend of hers went to a bad gym and had a bad experience.
The outcome? She’s already made up her mind about whether she’d want to come to a gym.
Sure, we could work really hard to convince her … but the cards are stacked against us and it’s an uphill battle regardless. Now, here’s the thing, I normally don’t mention CrossFit -- not because I don’t like it but because I’ve learned over time that it elicits the wrong response.
In her article, Emily mentions increased competition, low client retention, market saturation, commoditization, lack of coaching professionals, lack of support, and overworked owners.
The obvious argument is that everyone who has these problems will find their way OUT of the market, the cream will rise to the top, and offer more opportunities to those who stay.
Sure, that makes sense. But it’s not how things work in the real world.
Because it assumes normal people know what they’re looking at (that they can tell the difference between good and bad), which they don’t (and can’t).
It also assumes that marketing doesn’t work … and that the gyms with the best marketing (but a crappy service) aren’t destroying future prospects for the rest of us.
Ok, so what are we gonna do? Give up? Go to a completely different model that doesn’t take advantage of the POWER of groups? Move away from functional fitness and have a room full of bikes or machines?
No, I’m not suggesting that -- we simply need a NEW way.
A BETTER way to manage groups that will give us tools to provide higher value services to our clients and give us the best of all worlds.
We need a way that automatically increases average client value, but not from the standpoint of taking advantage of anyone but by giving people MORE of what they want, need and demand. We need a way to engage and excite the BEGINNER, keep them safe and excited.
A way to PUT them on the path and keep them there.
The Level Method is that way.
If you’re feeling these problems. If this message resonates with you because you’ve been in this game long enough and SEE the writing on the wall. Then you want to schedule a discovery call ASAP. In the Discovery Call you’ll talk to a gym owner who has implemented the Level Method in their community and can share experiences with you and answer questions. No hard sales tactics.
Now, you might want more info about what the Level Method actually is, and how it works -- and that honestly is beyond the scope of this little blog, so click on About in the menu to learn more about Level Method.
And while you’re watching, keep your mind open to how our system solves so many of those problems.