As part of our ongoing Affiliate advice series, Brandon Couden, the owner of CrossFit Grandview, shares how his Box has changed since the pandemic and the challenges he has had to overcome.
Brandon Couden, the owner of CrossFit Grandview in Franklin County, Ohio, said to survive in any type of business, you need to be nimble and innovative. And, when the coronavirus pandemic impacted his Box, those qualities shone through.
When the pandemic hit, he immediately hired full-time videographer Mike Murphy. The Box then moved all of its members onto TrueCoach and assigned them to the Coach they typically had class with.
“From there we did a hybrid of daily programming with a daily professionally edited and shot video, individual design based around equipment and space availability and Zoom classes including specialty ones,” said Couden. “With Mike’s help, the virtual training was successful to the point where we are starting another business under our current umbrella offering — a virtual at-home program and remote individual design services.”
Since reopening on May 26, the Box has seen promising return rates.
“We were down about 25 to 30%, but it’s coming back fast,” said Couden. “What I thought would be a four to six month rebuild is looking more like 40 to 60 days. Our COVID protocols of sanitizing hands, socially distanced boxes, no sharing equipment, pre-registration for classes and extra cleaning precautions have all gone smoothly so far.”
However, CrossFit Grandview has faced some challenges, one of those being constantly reinforcing new protocols. Couden explained people want to slip back into the old way of doing things. To combat this, every week the Box has staff meetings and reinforcing the COVID protocols is always at the top of the list of talking points.
Some challenges however are non-COVID related.
“Another issue we have encountered is navigating tension from social unrest along with CrossFit HQ turmoil,” said Couden. “This started almost immediately after being reopened. Members and the community have a lot of heightened emotions right now. Having tough conversations with members, making hard decisions and taking a stance on these matters has become a new part of my job.”
Both the coronavirus pandemic and the current social climate have proved that as Box owners, you can no longer stick to the status quo, but rather must go beyond and do more.
“Constant contact, tailoring training, and producing daily video and photo content held us together,” explained Couden. “Hopefully it never comes again, but if this situation comes back up, be prepared to deliver a virtual service that blows away the one from the first shutdown. It’ll be harder the second time around to hold it together.”