During its first year in business, CrossFit Elysium faced many challenges. Co-owners Leon Chang and Paul Estrada share what they’ve learned.
An oft-repeated statement in the affiliate community is “focus on being a great trainer. If you provide superior training to your clients, the business results will come.”
Sometimes this is summarized as “the cream will rise to the top,” referring to the implication or hope that being a great coach will inevitably yield success. These statements have increased in usage as the number of affiliates and concerns about the overall level of training and the effect on the CrossFit name have grown. Unfortunately, they might delude an owner/operator into thinking that all he or she has to focus on is training to make the affiliate or business successful. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As Coach Greg Glassman said when asked how to evaluate the quality of an affiliate, “How clean is your bathroom?” So much that goes into running a successful business and an affiliate has little or nothing to do with training. Life skills, people management, organization, good old-fashioned hard work and, to put it plainly, luck all play a decisive role in determining the fate of one’s business. The goal with this article is to give the reader some general insights discovered in the year CrossFit Elysium has been open. After the trials and tribulations we’ve been through, we hope to offer advice that hopefully any affiliate owner—but especially smaller affiliates—will find useful.