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Episode 114 – Baltimore Crew
Think about the other affiliates in your city. Do you know the owners? Do you know their their spouses or even their kids?
Back in the day, we all had this rosy picture of CrossFit Gyms working together in their community, throwing fun competitions, having picnics together on the weekend. However, in reality, CrossFit gyms can be fierce competitors and regularly accuse each other of cutting prices and stealing members.
However, there is one beacon of hope within the city of Baltimore. These gym owners get together every month to talk about what is working and collaborate to improve their gyms. They send members to each other’s gyms. If this sounds like it can’t be possible, then listen in! Today I talk to seven gym owners and learn where they came from and how this culture of helping each other came about. This is a shining example of where I hope CrossFit will be going forward.
The Baltimore Crew meets up about once a month near downtown Baltimore. At the meeting the crew talks about what went well and what people need help with over the past month. They do this by going around the table and then collaborating to deal with issues and problems. Occasionally a member will get “beat up” when they do something wrong or are avoiding a problem at their gym. But this is always constructive in nature, and it is meant to challenge a member and be sure they are growing as a business and gym owner. After meeting as a group, the members of the crew can take the ideas and actions back to their gym to work on it with their team.. ‘
One way in which the Baltimore Crew has helped one another is by recommending new clients to other gyms. Many times a client will be moving to the other side of town and it just makes more sense to try a gym that is closer to their residence or work. By referring clients to people you know and trust you can ensure that they receive a good experience. The Baltimore crew knows that if they can make CrossFit popular and successful in the entire city than it will help everyone involved.
Want to build a stronger community of gym owners in your city? This episode has tips to get started. These owners are a living example of collaborative competition.
2:46 – The Baltimore Crew Introduction
5:00 – Meet the Baltimore Crew
6:10 – What brought CrossFit to Baltimore and how did the Baltimore Crew get started?
8:14 – Reacting to an employee leaving your gym to start their own
11:41 – Providing a holding spot for a fellow CrossFit Gym owner
14:39 – How Butch got started in the CrossFit World
16:26 – What it is like to leave a high paying job to start a CrossFit Gym
19:45 – Catering to individuals with a new take on the CrossFit Box model
23:50 – How rare is it to have box owners working together?
32:20 – What it was like to join Two-Brain after being a longtime box owner
33:58 – How to be vulnerable amongst your fellow gym owners
35:29 – What is the first step to forming a box owner group?
40:09 – What happens if there is a dispute amongst gym owners within the group?
42:00 – Here is what to do when you encounter a difficult client
44:26 – What does it take to be a part of the Baltimore Crew or to be kicked out?
In the Baltimore group:
Butch Santucci, WreckRoom CrossFit
Ardyth Hall, Push511 A CrossFit Life
Geo Rockwell, CrossFit Federal Hill
Matt Ropke, Clipper City CrossFit
Bronson Dant, CrossFit PCR
Kevin Lynch, Nevermore CrossFit
Rob Connors, Signum CrossFit