How did we beat the big guys?
Last night CrossFit Geo was recognized as being the Best Fitness Service Provider in the Ryde local area. We beat big name and well established gyms such as Fitness First, Next Generation, Vision Personal Training, Plus Fitness, and Anytime Fitness, to name a few.
How did a small-time, no frills “gym” beat the big budget franchises? Because whilst improving health and fitness is why people start at CrossFit Geo, the community is why people stay.
When I first came across CrossFit almost 6 years ago, I was fascinated by the training methodology, but what really drew me in was the sense of community. This was a philosophy of training that really emphasized the values of camaraderie – to help each other to be better; to celebrate achievements of individuals no matter how big or small; to offer a pat on the back and words of inspiration when things got tough; to build bonds with people you wouldn’t ordinarily hang out with based purely on the shared experience of completing a WOD. I wanted to be a part of this.
I am by nature an Introvert (believe it or not) so when I first decided to join a Box I was feeling very anxious and intimidated. This, despite being relatively fit and healthy (there’s a big difference between doing CrossFit on your own in a garage and doing it under the watchful eye of a coach and other Box members). My first CrossFit experience shook the foundations of what I believed was the norm – to be welcomed with open arms, to be encouraged, to be inspired. Instead I was ignored, not really given the time of day, and given very little reason to return (there’ll be no naming and shaming). This wasn’t what it was supposed to be like. Luckily I tried another Box and found what I was looking for. My faith was restored.
When I decided to open CrossFit Geo, I not only wanted to provide top notch coaching to members, I also wanted to build the Box upon a very strong foundation of community. I wanted to immediately put to rest any concerns newcomers may have had and make them feel welcome and comfortable. I wanted to stress the fact that they would not be thrown into the deep-end but taken care of and progressed at their own level. No person would be anonymous. I made it my mission to know the name of every member and to greet them each time they walked in. I did not want them to feel how I felt when I first visited a CrossFit Box.
I followed these principles and found that people were very appreciative of it. As the Box grew and I brought on coaches to help, I stressed the importance of community to them so that they could carry on this focus. There were some hits and misses along the way, but overall we were heading in the right direction. And I’m glad to say that last night’s award was validation that we were, and are, doing things right.
During the lead-up to the Awards night, some “mystery shoppers” were sent to each of the nominated gyms to experience a typical session/s. I had no idea who they were or when they were coming (and still don’t). For us it was business as usual and we would not be putting on a show just to win an award. Luckily “business as usual” for us means looking after everyone and giving them not only the attention they need, but the attention they expect. We obviously passed the test. I’m very pleased.
Whilst I lit the first match to get the “community fire” burning, you all (coaches and members) have continued fueling the flames through your inspiring efforts during the WODs, your support and encouragement of each other, the positive vibes you bring to the Box, your humbleness and concern for fellow members. I thank you all.
The award CrossFit Geo received last night is for each one of you. I congratulate you all and hope that the success continues and our community keeps growing. [Hi-5’s all round!]
It would be remiss of me not to make special mention of Johanna who has been very supportive of me right from the start when I first came to her with the idea of opening a CrossFit Box (a WHAT!), who took that first risky step with me, who has helped keep my feet on the ground but at the same time motivated me to shoot for the stars, and who plays a very active role behind the scenes looking after the less-glamourous stuff. Thanks babe. I couldn’t have done this without you.
Thank you CrossFit Geo! I’m glad I decided to change jobs.
How did we beat the big guys? Because we genuinely care about our members and treat them like friends, not just dollar signs.