Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kickstart Your Gym - Two Great Things to Keep In Mind

We love hearing about success stories and this past week we heard one that we've just got to share.  Our new friends Motivus CrossFit out in Spartanburg, SC reached out to us a few months ago about a new gym they wanted to start out on the Rail Trail in Spartanburg.  Zac and Glenn have done a bunch of things right to spur their success, but two main things that really impressed us were:

  • Gym Location Research
  • Their Founding Member Plan

Zac was sitting at the dock of their potential location for his gym when he called to discuss our opportunity to work together.  As he was telling me about what equipment made sense, I was asking about his location - how big, how high are the ceilings and did he have outside access.  One subject that comes up often as we talk with potential gym owners is accessibility to get their athletes outside to run.  Having a gym with good outside access can save a ton of startup costs since running can be a great alternative to rowing machines.  Rowers are stellar at what they do and provide immediate feedback, but they do come with a high price tag.

As Zac and I were talking, he was in view of the Mary Black Rail Trail right from his new gym location.  He and his business partner Glenn had done their research on this location well.  Here's an excerpt from one website that talks about the Rail Trail:

This is the most popular walking and cycling trail in Spartanburg County, and one of the finest rails-to-trail projects to be found anywhere. Completed and opened in 2004, the Mary Black Rail Trail is a 2-mile long trail just south of downtown. Bikes are available for rent from the B-Cycle station at the trailhead at Henry and Union streets. Adjacent to the state-of-the-art YMCA that opened in 2012, the Rail Trail also passes by the City's first dog park, the appropriately named Rail Tail, whose entrance sits just across from Duncan Park on Union Street. 
City bicycle police patrol the Rail Trail regularly, and on most days, dozens of people can be found strolling, jogging, biking, and skating on the trail from just before sunrise to well after dark. Watch out for announcements of special events on the trail throughout the year!

As I'm listening to Zac, I'm beginning to realize that he's really got his act together.  And as we are talking, he is telling me how many runners and bikers have already passed by just in the time we've been on the phone.  This location not only has high foot traffic, it's the right foot traffic.  Well done.

So I congratulated Zac on his choice of location and we continued to talk about his equipment needs over the next few days.  We talked a lot about our 5 Athlete Equipment Package which outfits a startup gym very well and is packed with the equipment that allows a wide variety of programming.  We made a few changes to the package and when Zac called a few weeks later, we sent it out.

Now normally, that would be the end of the story for a few months.  It can take some time to grow the membership, market your gym and start getting attention from the community.  This was not the case with CrossFit Motivus, however.  Zac called me about a week after we sent out his package and asked for a bunch more.  That's impressive.  Here's why CrossFit Motivus was able to expand the gym membership so quickly:

Zac and Glenn started their gym with a Founder's Club that was limited to the first 30 that wanted it.  Here's what CrossFit Motivus offered:

  • 20% off monthly dues for lifetime
  • a limited edition Founder's Club T-Shirt
  • a small yearly gift on the anniversary of the gym opening

And they spread the word on the Founder's Club by word of mouth only.  When Zac posted it up on their social media outlets, all 30 slots were gone in 24 hours.  Stellar.

In Zac's words:

This was something we thought would be a good way to promote the gym, get athletes to sign up, but also see how strong our community could be.  We used word of mouth to spread the Founder's Club idea, and on the day I posted the Founder's Club was up for grabs we sold out in 24 hours.  Since the first 30 wrapped up, we have already added 10-15 more athletes that are signed up for our Intro Class.  Like I said, our staff is completely humbled by this and we owe it all to our faith and enthusiasm to help our community.  And Hammerhead Fitness played a HUGE role as well.  Thanks.

Another success in the books.  We wish all the very best to Zac, Glenn and CrossFit Motivus as they embark on their new career!

Is a new gym in your future?  We'd love to help.  You can get in touch with us here.