Our Wodify Guest Blog Series is part of our growing initiative to open our doors to the fitness community around the world that uses Wodify, so they may share their experience, news, and advice.
Guest author Darren Ellis has an MSc in Exercise and is the owner of CrossFit NZ, the first affiliate in New Zealand and one of the first few hundred in the world.
If you know you’re a good box owner and coach, you shouldn’t short change yourself or the value of what you provide just to get people in the door. A discount gym attracts uncommitted members looking for a deal, not a lifestyle change. You’re providing fitness expertise and you deserve to be compensated fairly. Aim high, deliver on what you promise, and charge what you’re worth.
To give you an idea, CrossFit NZ started as an outdoor bootcamp in 2006. I had four medicine balls, a couple of kettlebells, and some old strips of carpet to protect people’s knees from burpees on the concrete. I wasn't paying a lease, a power bill, a staff, or affiliate fees, (or even taxes for that matter...)
I charged $200 for four weeks.
We’re now twelve years worth of inflation past that point. So why are some gym owners charging less TODAY than I was THEN???
When you add up all the expenses that come with running your business out of a real building - a proper (and likely expensive) lease, $50-100k of equipment, wage costs, electricity, taxes (!) etc. - you need to do a lot of work to bring in the revenue needed to balance that out, let alone turn a profit.
A class at a Yoga studio costs around $15-25 and is often performed with dozens of people and minimal coaching. Pilates classes cost more, and those facilities that provide a semi-private setting charge even MORE! But I'm guessing their rates don’t include extra help with nutrition, absolute strength, athletic performance or lifestyle design...you know, the stuff you normally do as a coach.
We've raised our prices four times over ten years and added in a more expensive, private introduction process. This is partly because we’re now in a facility ten times larger and we offer a much better service than we used to. Our experience and reputation allows us to attract a more committed and coachable clientele. We’re now in a position where we can more effectively serve our members if we have less of them paying more money.
But mostly, the reason we’ve raised prices is because the price of EVERYTHING else related to running the business has gone up. And you should too!
“It can be easy to let your passion for helping
others get in the way of running your business
like a business.”
I hear the excuses all the time. It can be easy to let your passion for helping others get in the way of running your business like a business. Or to let ‘imposter syndrome’ convince you that your lack of experience, or your dusty warehouse gym is not worth the kind of money ‘other people’ are asking. Don’t think that way! Your members are coming to you for a reason.
How about this? Find out what memberships at the three most expensive gyms in your area cost, and then charge the average. Or perhaps just start with the third most expensive, because you can always build from there.
Of course you have to make sure you’re worth it. But if you are changing people’s lives today, the way I was with a piece of carpet in a park back in 2006, then you most certainly are.
In addition to being an affiliate owner, Darren coaches everyone from grandparents to Games athletes, lectures regularly on real food nutrition, and writes programming for gyms with normal people who want to live long and prosper. Connect with him at: