The Box Business Plan: Part 4

5 min read


crossfit owner and athlete

crossfit owner and athleteOver the past several weeks, I’ve been sharing tips on how to create the perfect business plan for your box. First, I shared how to develop your mission and vision. I then discussed the importance of setting your rates and writing your policies and procedures manual.

So now that you’re up and running, how’s business?

Unless you answered, “perfect,” this is for you. (If you DID answer “perfect!” pop over and try our Gym
 just to make sure.)

Just as fitness coaches measure 10 elements of fitness, gym owners should track the following seven areas of excellence.

Metrics That Matter

ARM (Average Revenue per Member), LEG (Length of Engagement), Profit Ratio, Fixed Costs and Net Income. These are the important ones. Stop working for free, and stop trading coaches for membership.

Owner Lifestyle

How close are you to your “Perfect Day”? How much time are you working? What’s the value of your time? Are you building assets or have you bought yourself a job?

Coach Education and Opportunity

Research shows the best way to keep staff is to provide them with ongoing education and the ability to feel entrepreneurial (without the risk.) A salary is best for some staff…and worst for others. Are you putting people in their best positions? We built UpCoach to train staff, and teach Intrapreneurialism to keep staff long-term.


Measuring culture is subjective (we know it when we see it.) Is it really the best hour of the client’s day? Is your community really as strong as you think? When all else fails, send a mentor to your gym as a “secret shopper” to get real feedback on your culture.

Client Experience

Net Promoter Score, client surveys and coaching feedback forms are good tools. Knowing how to use that data to improve the experience requires a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ.)


How robust is your business? What percentage of your gross revenue comes from group training? What would happen if your coaches quit today? What if 30 new people joined this week–could it break you? Resilience scores tell you how likely you are to survive disaster.

Long-Term Planning

How will you retire? How will you stop working 60 hours every week? How will your kids go to college? For me, these were the biggest questions of all. We aim to build cash-flow assets for the long term. If you can set these in place today, you can retire tomorrow (literally).

Identifying your strengths is important. Identifying your weakest links is even MORE important. This business plan is a start. It’s a start to a robust forecasting tool; the start to a staff handbook, and the start to tracking habits that will help you focus on what’s really important in business.

It’s also the start to a life of entrepreneurship. It’s the start of taking control over your life—if you take control of your business, instead of letting the business control you.

A microgym is built to serve: your clients, your staff and its owner. A business can be a wonderful servant. But it can be a horrible master. Start with a plan, and lead.

Interested in learning more about the metrics you should be tracking at your affiliate gym? Get your copy of our free guide, Six Building Blocks to Financial Health for Your Affiliate Gym.

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Guest post written by Chris Cooper, Two Brain BusinessChrist Cooper

Chris Cooper is the world’s foremost authority in building profitable gym businesses. He is the author of three books: Two-Brain Business, Help First and Two-Brain Business 2.0. He is the Founder of Catalyst Fitness, IgniteGym, Spark Rehab, Two-Brain Business and the new Two-Brain Workshop.

In over five years as a mentor to entrepreneurs, Cooper has done over 1,100 free phone calls, worked directly with over 500 owners and built the Two-Brain mentorship practice. His passion is coaching: for 20 years as a fitness coach, and now coaching other fitness professionals.
He’s living his Perfect Day.

About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.