- How were you able to attract 50 members within days of opening? Please tell us your secrets!
My partner and I, Shimi Litkowski, currently have 61 members at CrossFit Outbreak, not counting punch cards and private clients. We have been very conscious not to put barriers in the way of membership, such as foundations or only running free classes one day a week. Anyone can join and they can take a free class at any time. This works for us because we knew that we were going to open as a “beginner box” with inexperienced athletes who all needed to learn the basics. 90% of our members have never crossfited before and the 10% that have are returning back to Crossfit from a hiatus. We are also modifying our wods for more experienced athletes so that everyone is have an authentic Crossfit experience.
We are offering a founders club price of $175.00 for unlimited and $165.00 for 3 days a week. We are continuing that until we get to 100 members. We opened in a neighborhood with no other boxes and only one gym. We did a good amount of marketing, window posters for stores, brochures, “A’ frame signs, press releases, free boot camp that we advertised on meetup.com http://www.meetup.com/Brooklyn-Crossfit-Boot-Camp-Meetup-FREE/ & a little face book advertising. My partner and I have been fortunate that my family owns a commercial printing company and we have been able to buy printing at cost, www.applevisualgraphics.com, The boot camp was a great way to introduce members to the intensity of crossfit before we had our space ready – we signed 15-20 people just from that.
- I noticed you have features that are not common in most CrossFit boxes, like a lounge with bean bags and a towel service for the shower rooms. Did you guys purposely include these things to set you apart from the competition?
Yes, we wanted offer our box to feel like a place that you wanted to come in early to meet your friends and stay late to compare your times and weights. It was also a way to stand out from other boxes in Brooklyn, NY and offer an upscale version of crossfit, with the same intensity and excellent programming that most other boxes are offering. We thought we could do this and still be true to crossfit at a reasonable price point.
- Moving forward, how do you plan to reach your box’s full capacity?
We will continue with our marketing efforts and free boot camp too. We are rolling out a referral program for our members.
- What’s your best advice for other CrossFit box owners out there who want to get the word out about their affiliate?
Put a marketing plan together and execute it – know you market and don’t be afraid to sell to them. The idea that “crossfit sells itself” and that “I don’t market” is passé.