Have you ever seen those gyms whose websites loudly proclaim CrossFit So & So: Anytown’s Very First and Finest CrossFit gym? Every time I see that, I feel their pain. These poor folks are old school. They’ve been in the game for five or six years now, and they were also the only gym in town. These “Prebok” gym owners were pioneers, only to suffer from the new kids on the block that may, or may not, be hangers-on to the CrossFit explosion.
Is this true of your gym?
Rather than sulk with you on a quality-control tirade, I’m going to challenge you to flip the script. I’ve seen this play out in two very different ways in cities all over the United States.
It goes something like this: CrossFit So & So is in business for a few years, setting the standard, and over time Johnny CrossFit, CrossFit CopyCat, and CrossFit North So & So open up, at a discount, of course. The consequences are numerous, including loss of business, confusion in the marketplace and increased resting heart rate, to name a few.
In situations like this, the competing businesses rarely, if ever, communicate with each other, and tension builds. The result can be a muddy, angry battle. I’d like to challenge gym owners, trainers and students alike to flip the script on a situation that appears to be negative.
With communication, situations like the aforementioned have the perfect ingredients for powerful collaboration, community events and friendly competitions. Leveraging each other has the potential to build an entire city into a community that is better for both the citizens and the businesses.
Rather than hoarding clients and passively-aggressively badmouthing other affiliates, collaboration can ease tension and help solidify gym branding. What better result is there than growing your gym’s identity into a unique discernable brand? A town then with four or five distinct affiliate brands that communicate amongst each other will eventually help land the right clients and the right gyms. The result? Lasting enrollment, sustainable business, robust events and a fitter zip code. And that’s a win-win, right?
Sure, this idea may be a bit optimistic, given that it takes two (or three or four) to tango on collaboration like this. Regardless if you’re a gym owner, trainer or just a student, I’d bet that your efforts to reach out to a neighboring box would be well received.
“Don’t get bitter, get better.”