It’s easy to get caught up in competition with Affiliates in your area. You are essentially competing for who can get the clients in the area, who can have better programming or who can host a more successful event.
However, Eryn Goldberg, owner of CrossFit JuiceBox in Moorseville, North Carolina, said their local community of CrossFit Affiliates is more of a family consistently trying to build each other up rather than steal clients.
Goldberg visited Mike and Kristin Ratnofsky, owners of CrossFit Cornelius, a local CrossFit gym, for their annual Barbell for Boobs event and a relationship transpired that no one saw coming.
“At the end of the day, when it comes down to fitness, I would rather someone choose my CrossFit gym, or Mike’s CrossFit gym, or the CrossFit gym down the street and be involved in CrossFit than to be going to some of the other CrossFit model fitness facilities that are continuously popping up.”
To encourage their members to see the benefits that can come from being involved in a community of CrossFit, the two boxes have started teaming up to host events. They host Wine and WOD nights, where the ladies of the two Boxes come together. Kegs Not Kilos is another event hosted for the men of the Boxes.
“This just allows people to not only see the community within their gym, but to realize that this community expands beyond the walls of the gym, it’s all around us in these micro-communities,” said Goldberg. “I have always encouraged my athletes, when they are out and about, or even at a local competition, to meet the other people that are there and get to know who else does this because it’s all relatable in one way or another.”
Another benefit that can come along by forging relationships with local Affiliates is the opportunity to bounce business ideas off of one another. Also, without the constant feeling of competition, CrossFit JuiceBox and CrossFit Cornelius have made the transfers of athletes into a much easier process.
“I think Mike and I talk a lot just about the day-in and day-out aspect of it all,” said Goldberg. “It’s nice to have a person to chat with, or discuss a difficult situation. There have been instances where we have members go to each other’s gyms, and we have been comfortable making that transfer. There is never any bad blood, which is something I always hate to see in the CrossFit community. I don’t think CrossFit gyms should be against each other, we should all be trying to bring more people in to CrossFit.”
Goldberg said her advice to other Affiliates is to get out in the community and be open to what others have to offer. By bringing Boxes together you are creating connections between members that may lead to other opportunities.
“I would encourage other gym owners to just get out there and meet the other gym owners that are in your neighborhood to see if there are ways to work together,” said Goldberg. “It benefits more than just your immediate community. You put people in touch with each other and you never know what kind of connections are going to be forged through those relationships. It’s a cool thing to be a part of and to see.”