It took about two years for CrossFit South Bay to find the perfect space. The Affiliate Forrest Jung said the main concern when searching for a space was maximizing their capacity early so they would be prepared for rapid growth.
“I ran projections based on the average attendance of 3.5 visits per week, per member, and then calculated our total capacity,” said Jung. “We also liked smaller spaces and in order to make the 12,000-square-foot location still feel intimate, we had to break the space up into multiple rooms and areas.”
By breaking it up, Jung said it has allowed for multiple classes to meet at the same time with reduced levels of distraction and interference.
Now, CrossFit South Bay has split into two California locations — one in Torrance and one in Hermosa Beach. But Jung said layout is dependent on what feels natural in the space, which means each location’s layout varies.
For instance, the rig placement is different. The Hermosa Beach location has the rig against the wall, adding stability and opening up more floor space. The Torrance location has the rig down the middle of the Box. Placing it in the center of the gym increases capacity on the rig and allows the room to be split up into three to four sections, with the rig acting as a natural barrier.
Despite their convenience, Jung didn’t plan the Boxes’ layouts in his head. “I took the dimensions of our new space and plugged it into Google SketchUp and then made a list of what I wanted to cram into our space,” he said. “Then [I] started laying everything out in order of priority. Ideally, we get the largest return on our rent per square foot as we possibly can without making our space feel cluttered.”
The layout of a Box will not only determine member capacity, but revenue capacity as well. For example, Jung said you can generate an extra $5,000 a month by adding a 5-by-5 foot retail space. Plus, the ability to have multiple classes going on in your gym allows for your overall capacity of members to increase.
All of this wisdom hasn’t come without a mishap or two. “One of the mistakes that I made early on was thinking that people could do CrossFit in any space,” said Jung. “That may be true for some, but the truth is that most people simply won’t do CrossFit in any location. The facility needs to be clean, organized, convenient and welcoming.”
He encouraged Affiliates to have a plan how they want their space to be laid out, and then have patience when selecting a location. Plus, by knowing your surrounding demographics, you can figure out how much members will be willing to pay, if there will be noise complaints and if you can have a safe path for running. “Ultimately, you want to pick a spot and layout that will make it as easy as possible to grow,” said Jung.