When Stuart Brauer looks around and sees everyone doing the same thing, he typically goes the other way. Currently, that other way is called Urban MVMNT.
“We created a model where we have a facility that has a group strength and conditioning fitness model – a.k.a CrossFit but we don’t utilize the terminology,” said Brauer, the owner of Urban MVMNT in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We brought in a coffee company – a start up, South End Grind coffee shop – and we brought in a start up spin studio.”
The name is Urban MVMNT and it was born out of CrossFit SouthEnd. Brauer had observed that the above three aspects – CrossFit, coffee and spin – did well in his market, so he merged them together. Plus, he wanted to own his branding in hopes to pivot on it in the future.
On top of providing the three different options, Urban MVMNT also has 2,000 square feet of lounge space. Charlotte has a large population that can work from anywhere, so Brauer was hoping to not only be people’s third place, but also tap into that second place as well by creating a work space with free wifi and cool aesthetics.
And the point isn’t necessarily to convert people over to group training or spin. “What will happen more than that is my brand will get out there and some people will associate Urban MVMNT with the place where they go to work during the day or the place where they get their favorite cold brew coffee, or the place where they do their spin or do their group fitness,” he said.
Because for Brauer, it’s about playing the long-term game of chess, versus the short-term game of checkers. By owning his space, and bringing in other businesses, he’s creating more revenue and even paying less rent due to having tenants. “If I’m going fishing, I’d rather fish with six different poles in the water and sit back with a margarita then be standing in the water with a spear trying to stab each individual fish,” he said
Plus, he gets to help create entrepreneurs still, which is a true passion of his. In fact, the owner of South End Coffee used to be a Coach at CrossFit SouthEnd.
Having been in the industry since 2005, Brauer said it’s essential for Affiliates to realize things are going to constantly shift. And they need to evolve with it. One way to do that is to visit your local competitors that aren’t other CrossFit gyms. “[The other CrossFit Boxes] are not the people you’re competing with,” said Brauer, pointing instead to boutique fitness studios that are delivering great experiences, beautiful aesthetics and fantastic client interactions.
If Urban MVMNT doesn’t take off as planned, Brauer said he will be ready to adapt and change to what the market wants. “The one thing that is always constant and will never change is that everything always changes,” he said. “Don’t be romantic about how it is now. Have the foresight – again to play chess not checkers – to keep your eye on the market, and be an entrepreneur, have a vision but keep an eye on what’s going on. Your vision, no matter what you want to do doesn’t matter; it’s ultimately what the market wants to do.”