These days more and more people are saying goodbye to their 9-5 to pursue their passion, CrossFit. Now, many of these individuals are not experts, nor are they necessarily knowledgeable about what it takes to start a successful box. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have what it takes to put their CrossFit box on the map. They just need guidance and the right information to point them in the direction of the resources they need.
So, if you’re ready to make your mark in the fitness industry, continue reading.
Step 1: Creating the Perfect CrossFit Box Name and Business Entity
You need a business name for your gym. And not just any moniker will do. It is essential to choose a name to brand your business and convey everything you want members to know about it upfront. It should be catchy, proclaim your business’s values and mission, and capture everyone’s attention in a meaningful way.
Avoid rushing or choosing a name that reflects poorly on your gym. The name you choose must provide a strong connection between you and the fitness community to give it standing above the competition. In short, the name is the brand for the gym’s mission and marketing needs.
Step 2: Developing the Perfect Business Plan
A business plan is essential because it provides a blueprint of what you need to start your CrossFit box and how to keep it running while positioning it for growth. To start, do some research and analyze various aspects of being a startup fitness boutique, such as business structure, goals, services, client type, marketing, projected costs, business and liability insurance, equipment, and marketing strategies.
Use that information to concisely document the steps you plan to take to secure or implement them. A solid business plan helps eliminate potential confusion and hurdles you may encounter when opening a CrossFit box.
Step 3: Acquiring Proper Certifications
Certifications and credentials are very useful for business-minded fitness fans because they add credibility and marketability. They can also pave the way to hidden opportunities that can help give your CrossFit box an edge over the rest.
CrossFit has certification requirements in place for individuals interested in owning an Affiliate. The minimum certification level for those just starting out is Level 1. Professionals can earn three other CrossFit certifications: Level 2, Certified Level 3, and Certified Level 4.
Level 1 and 2 courses are based on learning the CrossFit Methodology and refining coaching skills. Levels 3 and 4 are designed to test CrossFit knowledge and skills.
Step 4: CrossFit Fees and Operational Costs
When calculating CrossFit costs, you’ll need to consider many things, including certification costs, annual Affiliate fees, equipment, facility rental fees, insurance premiums, permits, and other operational expenses. Affiliates ready to walk on the business side of CrossFit should set aside several thousand dollars to help them get started.
Step 5: Register Business & Acquire an EIN Number
A primary requirement for any CrossFit professional interested in opening a box is to apply for an EIN or Employer Identification Number to register their business with the IRS. While this is unnecessary for professionals who plan to operate as sole proprietors, it’s highly beneficial. A few different types of business structures to consider before applying for an EIN: a corporation, a limited liability company or an LLC, or a partnership.
Because these entity designations have different tax liabilities, it’s best to consult with a financial or tax advisor for help choosing the best designation for your situation. This extremely important step is often overlooked until tax time. To avoid legal issues and additional financial liabilities, do this during the early stages of setting up your business.
An EIN is necessary for any professional who plans to hire employees or contractors, pay taxes, secure funding, and keep their personal and gym business finances separate.
Step 6: Research Funding Options Available
There is so much information online for individuals in need of funding opportunities for their CrossFit box. There are also resources available locally and federally. Before you start researching what they are, take some time to determine all startup, operational, and fixed expenses and the types of financial resources you plan to use to cover them.
It’s a good idea to also include potential revenue streams in your calculations. This information is necessary to help boost the odds of approval from potential lenders and investors when it’s time to secure financial resources for your gym.
Step 7: Find a Proper Place for Your CrossFit Facility
Location matters. And professionals who fail to understand this, risk putting themselves at a significant disadvantage that can be difficult to overcome. Take your time, and don’t choose the first location you see. Also, don’t let appearances fool you. Inspections can help uncover hidden issues and prevent many expensive problems as far as building repairs, maintenance, utility costs, and more.
Demographics, accessibility, and competition are also important things to consider when selecting the best site for a CrossFit box.
Step 8: Acquire All Necessary Permits
To maintain compliance with state and federal law, business owners, especially CrossFit Affiliates or soon-to-be business owners, must have permits and licenses. The requirements for these credentials are regulated by local, state, and federal jurisdictions and industry. Because it usually takes time and money to secure the appropriate licenses, it’s best to start this process during the early stages of opening a CrossFit facility.
Step 9: Open a Business Checking Account
A business account is essential for professionals who want to avoid the inconvenience and liabilities of co-mingling their personal and business finances. A business checking account also makes it easier to track your gym’s finances and secure additional funding resources.
Step 10: Acquire a Business Credit Card
Opening a gym can be expensive, even with the right resources. A business credit card provides additional purchasing power for gym owners. This type of credit line is incredibly handy when available funds are low, or the budget is stretched too thin. Credit cards can also be a source of cash flow to rely on during times of instability as long as they are used responsibly.
In most cases, it’s easier to qualify for a business credit card than a commercial loan. Approval requirements vary per card issuer, but usually, all that’s needed are a decent credit score, income or revenue stream, and social security or employer identification number.
Step 11: Get Proper Business Insurance
For CrossFit Affiliates, insurance is a must. But not just any insurance will do. Due to the unique liabilities and requirements of the CrossFit industry, professionals must have, at a minimum, insurance coverage that includes a general liability policy of $1,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,000 aggregate limit and professional liability coverage of no less than $1,000,000. There are additional insurance requirements for CrossFit affiliates seeking to niche into other areas in the industry.
CrossFit RRG offers various policy options and higher coverage limits to help CrossFit Affiliates from all walks of life protect their interests while they pursue their CrossFit dreams.
To learn more about our CrossFit Affiliate and independent trainer insurance products or resources, contact CrossFit RRG at 310-730-8094 today to speak with one of our representatives.