Disclaimer: WodSites is not in any way affiliated with the CrossFit brand.
3 Gyms, 1 Community: It could definitely present a challenge to unite the culture and community of three gyms, but CrossFit Athletic serves Sydney across its three locations with this exact philosophy. Having affiliates in Brookvale, Mona Vale and the City, CrossFit Athletic works hard to ensure that each box benefits from the same friendly culture, world-class programming and coaching standards. When we chatted recently to Enrico Massi, one of the directors at CrossFit Athletic and the affiliate for the City campus, he shared some great insight into how they keep the culture consistent with multiple locations. CrossFit Athletic successfully operates three boxes with centrally-created programming, coaching standards and staff training, as well as social events to bring members together and finally, a killer website that ties everything together, converts visitor traffic and broadcasts CrossFit Athletic to the world.
Managing employees and members in one affiliate is a full time job, let alone in three but although it has its challenges, it also presents opportunities to reach more people and teach them the CrossFit ethos. Focusing on “quality coaching, exceptional customer service and a welcoming community”, CrossFit Athletic aims to help their clients make everyday their personal best. With social events such as trivia nights and competitions just for the members of CrossFit Athletic’s three locations, as well as a 40-strong crew of supporters travelling to the CrossFit Games in California to cheer on their team and individual competitors, it’s evident that the deliberate focus on community pays off. When asked about his favourite aspect of being involved at CrossFit Athletic, Enrico simply says, “CrossFit changed my life.” With a background in banking and finance, he was introduced to CrossFit by a friend and never looked back. Seeing lasting results and being part of an amazing community are just two reasons he is passionate about helping others embrace CrossFit for life. After talking with Enrico, it’s easy to see why CrossFit Athletic is one of Australia’s leading CrossFit affiliates. Their approach to box business is smart and carefully thought out.
So what can you learn from CrossFit Athletic? Here’s three powerful lessons from CrossFit Athletic:
1. Consistently apply systems, coaching standards and training:
Having systems in place for everything that happens in the gym and then training staff in those systems is vital to maintaining consistent, high-quality service. While every coach or administrator can put their own personality into their role, it’s important that they know what the non-negotiables are. How do you want your members to be greeted on arrival? What is the process for new members? How do you conduct client assessments? Etc and so on. Document your processes, get the systems out of your head and have regular training with staff and coaches to update and make sure everyone knows how things work.
2. Build your community:
So you’ve heard how amazing CrossFit Athletic are doing in this area and, as with most things, all this requires is some deliberate attention. It’s been said that the greatest gift a client can give your business is a referral. Having a supportive, vibrant, welcoming community is something plenty of people want to be a part of and can tell their friends about. Organise a Weekend WOD and BBQ event or a trivia night with prizes for the winning team.
3. Find your passion and do that, then empower others to do the same:
It’s obvious when talking to Enrico that the team at CrossFit Athletic love helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. If something changes your life for the better, it’s natural to want to share it with the world. In practical terms, this means thinking about how you’re going to use your passion to make your box the best it can be, as well as empowering others to use their passions in the areas it’s most needed. Maybe you’re excited about building community; focus on that and empower those who are passionate about coaching to do so. Maybe you have a coach who’s passionate about proper recovery; get them running recovery classes. If you have a staff member who makes everyone feel amazing when they walk through the door, get them onto the new people process.
Of course, running an affiliate has its challenges and as a box owner, Enrico is involved in the strategic planning of the business. “Staying ahead of the curve is important,” he says, “as well as continually honing and improving our services.” When WodSites director Kody met with the team at CrossFit Athletic it was to begin the process of building a new website for the affiliate and ‘staying ahead of the curve’ is one thing Kody is passionate about.
“Staying ahead of the curve is important, as well as continually honing and improving our services.” ~ Enrico Massi
The WodSites team like to say your website should be as functionally fit as you are, however it’s safe to say that many box owners we talk to are initially only thinking about having a good looking website with information mostly geared to current members. At the same time one of the most common problems for gym owners is how to get new members through the door. Enrico agrees, saying, “To be honest, when we first looked at getting a new website it was because we wanted something that reflected more of who we are; our culture… We thought of the website as being more for our current members.” Each of our CrossFit locations has its own way of marketing to its area but word of mouth and location have been our biggest drivers. When we looked at our old website it looked a bit outdated and it didn’t fit with the image we had of our brand. Using the website as a marketing tool didn’t factor into our thinking at that stage.” Adding that they’d had their old website updated a few times, Enrico said it was still not functioning at capacity.
This shift from the original websites of posting a WOD for members and a few gym pictures is changing rapidly. Even having a website that merely looks good isn’t enough to convert visitors to members. Excellent customer service starts before the client ever walks through your door, when they first land on your website. As Kody discussed with the CrossFit Athletic team, your website needs, in fact, to be geared toward converting visitors into actual members.
“Taking people on the journey of who you are, what you do and what sets you apart from the crowd begins on your website.” ~ Kody Thompson
“Taking people on the journey of who you are, what you do and what sets you apart from the crowd begins on your website,” says WodSites Director Kody Thompson, “It should be clear what you are offering; you need to show people the value of what you do and get them to take the next step with you. Once they’re in the gym, it’s up to you and your coaches to do the rest, but before that ever happens, they will have seen your website and hopefully, seen the value of what you are offering.”
Since CrossFit Athletic’s WodSite went live they’ve had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from clients (both new and old) but the main area of improvement has been membership inquiries coming through the website. Enrico said, “We had steady inquiry levels before, but after we got our WodSite we were extremely surprised by the amount of inquiries we started to get. They went through the roof! We really saw a significant increase across all 3 gyms.” Though they had some ways to measure before, their new WodSite has enabled them to see the traffic that is converting and how they interact with the page. Just going to show that your website can look good AND be functionally fit.
“We had steady inquiry levels before, but after we got our WodSite we were extremely surprised by the amount of inquiries we started to get. They went through the roof!” ~ CrossFit Athletic
When asked what he would say to anyone looking to buy a WodSite, Enrico had this to say, “You need someone you can trust to walk you through the journey. Kody offered a lot of great advice and feedback throughout the process and even though we didn’t initially implement all of it, we can see how valuable it was. We’re starting to look into how we can use our website to reach even more people.” If you want more help with marketing your affiliate please reach out at www.WodSites.co or Take time to learn and read this blog about Starting a CrossFit Gym: Which Softwares Should I Use?