It’s not worth it buying cheap.
At least, that’s the opinion of Kyle Flowers, the co-owner of CrossFit Annihilation in Katy, Texas, when it comes to buying equipment.
“The mistake I made was buying cheap equipment, rather than the high-end equipment that lasts longer,” said Flowers. “I ended up re-buying and I bought the expensive stuff.”
However, that’s something that he couldn’t have learned without hindsight. Looking at prices between companies, the cheap equipment was initially more appealing, he said. But, it ended up costing him double. After research and reading up on what other Affiliates had to say, Flowers finally purchased from Rogue. “I go through them now because I know everything they sell is quality,” he said.
When Rhino CrossFit first opened, Julie Johnston said they couldn’t afford more than one rower, one GHD and a limited amount of equipment. However, Johnston said the small number of clients made it seem like they would be OK for a while. “We didn’t realize how many things we would need as quickly as we needed them,” she said. “I think it’s really, really smart to go for the business loan to get everything you need right away, just so that you have it.”
While Johnston keeps an eye on Regionals and the Games to get ideas for what new equipment to buy, she and her team also let their imaginations run wild.
“It is important to set yourself apart,” said Johnston. “One of the things we ended up doing, we have an engineer on staff and we designed a squat rack that has ninja warrior attachments so that we could appeal to the obstacle course industry too.”
With the ability to attach a cargo net, a ladder and more, Johnston explained she is opening up her Box to new markets. “In our world, we feel like everybody knows about CrossFit, but most people don’t,” she said. “If you walk down the street and you ask people about CrossFit, most of the people aren’t going to know about it and if you’re trying to get more customers, looking into other industries like obstacle racing or even runners … that’s where you can go to get your new CrossFitters.”
The equipment evaluation and what to invest in can’t be solved easily. However, by buying from a company with a solid reputation and maintaining your equipment, Flowers said it will last longer. By adding new pieces of equipment for areas outside of CrossFit, Johnston is reaching new niches. Both look to keep their members happy.
“Your members, you don’t want them to ever feel like they’re paying a lot of money and not getting what they’re getting at other Boxes,” said Johnston.