Your Box is more than a business for almost everyone who steps through your doors. Owners need to start seeing their Box as a place that changes lives because of the people inside of it rather than the program it runs. The business of your Box should thrive on the small things that are extremely big to your athletes. The core of your Box lies in the relationships that are being forged. Forging elite fitness is the slogan of CrossFit. Although this may be true, Boxes are forging relationships, memories and communities first.
We surveyed over 100 athletes and determined that relationships are the number one reason why they stay. They are less likely to care about programming than they are about the personality of their Coach. This is the first time in many of our athlete’s lives that they are part of a team. Owners often forget that athletes thrive on what we do for them that is beyond the Box. How often are you making your athletes feel special or part of something greater?
Understanding why your members keep coming back is the best way to keep them from leaving; do more of what they want and less of what you want. The more pride you have in running classes your way and less concern about your members’ feeling, the more likely they will leave when they find a Box that makes them feel at home. Start to implement strategies that get your athletes feeling the sense of togetherness. Tighten the bonds you have with your athletes to increase your business.
A few easy ways to transform your Box from a place where people work out to a place where people forge long-lasting bonds is to keep things fresh, organize social outings, express your gratitude and check-up on people.
Keeping things fresh mainly focuses on programs/classes at the Box. The weekends are a great time to start new challenges or programs for your athletes to get excited about. Every month there should be a different theme to the weekend format. Whether that is team events, contests, yoga, bootcamps or the like, you want to change things up on a monthly basis. Don’t let your Box get stuck in the same old rut week in and week out.
Organizing social functions that have nothing to do with working out or being at the Box is a great way to build relationships beyond the Box. As an owner, you get the chance to talk to your athletes about their life and other things that interest them. Movie nights, dinner nights, paintballing and bowling nights are just a few of the unlimited options. Express your gratitude via letters or emails. Congratulate your athletes when they hit milestones and accomplishments. It takes effort to write a letter, effort that your athletes will appreciate you for. Check-up on your athletes when they have not been to the Box in a week or so. Text them to find out if everything is okay and when they will be coming back. Most people will thank you for doing so!
Bringing your Box together as a community will have long-lasting benefits. There will always be new people who enter the family and old people who leave the family. Making people feel at home and appreciated is a never-ending part of the business. Athletes are more likely to give up on a program than each other.