Building a Successful Affiliate Gym — Choosing Your Equipment

CrossFit Community

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Savvy entrepreneurs can build the best gym for getting buff without going broke by selecting the right equipment at the right time and right price. While many start-ups believe they need to have the most state of the art equipment sitting in their gym to attract customers, this may not always be the case. Which brings us to our first point…

Cultural Considerations

Depending on the location of your box, you may need to have a stronger focus on different elements. Some of these elements may be:

  • Your box offers the newest and most high-tech equipment.
  • Your box has the widest selection of programs for different fitness types (including specialty athletes).
  • Your box has a keen focus on building and maintaining lasting relationships between coaches and athletes.

Download your copy of our free Affiliate Gym Equipment Checklist to see what you’ll need in order to open a box.

Take a good hard look at where you’re planning on setting up shop and consider what strategy would work best for your gym. In downtown Los Angeles or the Upper East Side Manhattan, having the latest and greatest name brand equipment that looks chic and is ultra modern is going to be far more important in terms of gaining and retaining clients than building friendships. In a smaller town of perhaps 50,000 in the Midwest, offering a varied selection of programs or having a focus on building relationships will likely be of greater importance.

Equipment Purchasing Tips

Knowing who you’re catering to will go a long way in helping you assess your equipment needs. But even for those who are opening up a box in a smaller area, where having the newest thing available on the market may not be a necessity, it’s still important to purchase high quality and functional gear.

1). Package Deals Aren’t Always Best
Though easiest, a lot of package deals may not offer what you need to properly outfit your box. In some instances you may be able to tweak the package so that you get the equipment you want and need for the same discount package price.

2). Purchase from Companies with Great Reviews
A lot of companies are attempting to get in on the affiliate box trend. Unfortunately, this means new companies that want to get into the market with “competitive” pricing are constructing a lot of low quality equipment. Do your research and choose your equipment from companies that have great reviews and are well known in the affiliate box scene.

3). Purchase from Companies Who Offer More
CrossFit is an ever changing field in fitness, meaning there will be times when every affiliate box will need to include new equipment to keep up with the latest workouts. For example, the Assault Bike is an up and coming affiliate gym trend that not every fitness equipment company has available. Choose companies that are aware of and are able to accommodate these trends.

4). Buy Only What You Need
Many boxes follow what they call the “Rule of Three,” meaning that a class should be able to be broken into three groups. For example, a class of fifteen individuals can be broken into three separate groups, meaning you would only need enough equipment for five individuals for each WOD.

5). Ditch the Lease
Most start-ups will benefit from avoiding any capital leasing options that can suck the life out of your gym’s cash flows. Some equipment companies such as Rigquipment Finance offer growth projects such as leasehold improvements. These can be beneficial in some situations, though typically including equipment in your start-up budget and financing it yourself is the best and most affordable way to go.

Are you planning to open your own affiliate gym in the near future? We’ve made the process of purchasing equipment a little easier by creating a helpful checklist. Download the list to see what you’ll need to get started and get tips on where to buy everything.

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Guest post from Ben Rudman & Geoff Eliason