Should You Cap Your Membership Base?

Should you cap your membership?In a recent conversation I had with an Affiliate, the subject of growth was brought up, both in terms of facility and membership. My questions were centered around whether CrossFit gyms should consider capping their membership number?

While I believe for the greater fitness club industry this creates some sort of exclusivity to the gym, I think it could have greater rewards for CrossFit gym owners.

You might be thinking, “But if we cap our enrollment then we could be potentially losing income.” However, I’d contend that a quality business owner knows and understands the lifestyle and income needed to maintain that lifestyle. Therefore, if you have the desire to have a personal income of $60,000 a year, you’d know exactly how many members you’d need to have to pay your overhead and leave you with your personal income.

In the event that you’re continually striving to grow, you may end up getting yourself in a bad place. In the interview, it was suggested that you might purchase a larger facility, but what if the membership numbers you believed would accompany your growth weren’t existent? You could have essentially created more overhead than you could cover with memberships.

This is why capping your membership could be highly beneficial to your company. Not only do you have a secure number of members, but you also know exactly what you need to reach certain goals. It also places you and your team in a great place to capitalize on a loyal customer base.

Knowing you have a certain number of members that love your gym can open doors you never thought were there. You can generate pro shops and additional programming that your members will purchase.

Consider this: your members trust you and love your gym. They are more apt to purchase items from your facility that you and your Coaches trust than they are to go elsewhere. They will also trust your supplemented programming from your Coaches as opposed to going elsewhere.

You’ll truly be able to know what will work and what won’t because you’ll have a stronger relationship with each member. As opposed to having a ton of members you don’t know, you’ll know each of these members very closely. This will allow you to survey them on programs and services they may want.

For example, you may believe that yoga is a fantastic supplementary program for CrossFit. It helps members become more flexible and increases mobility, as well as it’s an active rest day. However, if you don’t know what your members really want you’re just taking blind guesses. But, if you have a close relationship with your membership base, you’ll be able to survey those members and get honest responses as to what they desire from your gym.

Capping your membership may not be the best idea for every Box out there. However, for many it could help establish a little more control and certainty, as well as removing yourself from the worry and rat race that is membership sales.

Tyler Montgomery
Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.