When Michael Heafner got a call from his friend down the street, he probably didn’t imagine what it would lead to.
As co-owner of the first CrossFit Box in Gastonia, North Carolina, CrossFit Gastonia, Heafner explained how eventually some of his members left and opened up No Quit CrossFit, the new Box located within a five-mile radius of the gym. After two and a half years however, No Quit’s original owners left and one of Heafner’s friends took over.
At the beginning of 2015, Heafner got a call from his friend and owner of No Quit, Bill Woods. “He called me and said he was going to be closing the doors and he wanted to know if we wanted to purchase equipment from him,” said Heafner.
Talking with his business partners, the owners of CrossFit Gastonia came up with another proposal: merge the two Boxes together.
Come mid-April, Heafner said they saw that idea come to fruition. CrossFit Gastonia moved into No Quit CrossFit’s larger space, doubling their room, membership and amount of equipment. Woods came on as a partner and took on the role of scheduling the trainers each week.
In fact, Heafner explained combining the two Boxes has been advantageous “It’s taken so many headaches off of so many different people,” he said. “The benefits by us merging have been unbelievable to the point where we’re sitting around saying why didn’t we do this sooner.”
For example, Heafner now only teaches once a week, allowing him to put more time and increase quality in programming. Plus, he also has time to simply meet and build relationships with members in the evenings. “I can actually talk to people; I can get to know them, I can ask them more in-depth about their struggles and what they want to improve on,” said Heafner.
One tip Heafner did give in the merging process was to set up values from the start of the process by asking yourself certain questions: What’s important to you when it comes to your Box? What type of CrossFit is going to be taught at the gym? By determining your values, all partners, new and old, are on the same page moving forward.
Merging created additional tasks like having to transfer members from one software system to another, but it has overall been worth it to Heafner. “If you can create a great team around you, delegate a lot of these responsibilities, you can have a great, successful business that’s a lot easier,” he said. “You have more fun doing it.”
Photo by Michael Heafner