If you’ve followed along with our planning process you’ve already done a ton of the pre-planning work for your competition. You’ve figured out: Who you are targeting How you will differentiate When and where it will be What your pricing and budget will be Who will be on your planning team That leaves one critical step – should you continue? “Wait, what? I’ve done all of this work and now you are saying I should quit?” Maybe. You owe it to yourself to have very frank assessment of what you found out in the pre-planning process. For example, you might have the best idea in the world, plenty enough time to pull it off, but lack the resources. If so, put it off until you do. Maybe you have the team, idea, amazing location, and time to pull it off, but the margins are too thin. Delay until you’ve solved the margin problem. The combinations are endless, but the point is the same—if there are warning signs this early in the process—move no further untilContinue reading »

    I’ll never forget where I was the night before I threw our very first competition—on a blow up mattress next to my wife on the floor in my gym. Was it because of procrastination? Nope. Poor planning? Negative. Nerves? A little, but not really. The cause was simple—I didn’t build the right team. It was my gym’s first comp. I was a project manager and marketer for a Fortune 50 company and I knew how to run events. It was my vision. My baby. And thus, mine alone to conquer. Terrible idea… The competition actually went quite well, but it succeeded in spite of my major team building mistake. It took me way longer than it should have and even worse it took my attention away from my core business – my gym! The Consequence of Building the Wrong Team Now in my case, my mistake was not building a team at all but it also applies to assembling the wrong team. Think about it, if you build the wrong team (or none at all)Continue reading »

      Location can make or break your competition and it really comes down to two questions: 1) Do it in house or at an alternate location? 2) Do it inside or outside? We’ve made this decision process pretty simple for you in the chart below. In-House vs. Alternate Location Logistically speaking, in-house is always easier, carries less risk, and is the cheapest option. It’s your home turf that you are in every single day. Your equipment is there and you are familiar with calling logistical audibles on a daily basis. On the other hand, there are two very good reasons to look elsewhere – you need more space or you found an amazing location that will take your comp to the next level! While alternate locations are sometimes necessary, they add logistical and financial complications.  Shuttling equipment to and from, paying rent for the space, and many times incurring extra insurance charges are just the tip of the iceberg. We have a two rules of thumb you should use. If it’s yourContinue reading »

        If there is anything we can learn from history, it’s that timing is everything. There’s the brilliant invention that was before it’s time. The girl you were “destined” to be with but the timing never quite worked out. The dream job you applied for a day too late. The examples go on and we probably have more examples than we’d care for in our own lives.  The good news is we will help you prevent at least one of them – “the great competition at the wrong time.” The good news is finding great timing isn’t rocket science.  It comes down to four elements. CrossFit Headquarters (CFHQ) competition schedule Bandwidth of you/your staff Weather Holidays   1 – CFHQ Schedule CFHQ’s comp schedule is fairly predictable and should act as the backbone for your own. Avoid scheduling your competition during the open or immediately after it; Athletes are consumed by The Open and are pretty tired of competition atmosphere immediately following. It goes without saying, but I’d avoid the GamesContinue reading »

          I don’t remember much from 1989, but I do remember sitting at the edge of my seat as I watched Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) slowly walk through the cornfields of Iowa. He was in a white shirt, the stalks of corn up to his ears and all of the sudden he halted as a voice said, “If you build it, they will come.” Then came along James Earl Jones with his booming voice and moving speech that people from all over the world would come to Iowa for reasons they couldn’t explain just to see what happens at Ray’s field. I’m talking Field of Dreams of course. Ray ultimately risks his entire farm, knocks down half of his crops, and makes a baseball field…in the middle of Iowa. He had passion, but no plan, no marketing, and no help. Normally a recipe for disaster, it was anything but for Ray.  Athletes literally rose from the dead to play at his field. People from all over the country flocked to hisContinue reading »

            There are a ton of elements that go in to running a successful competition, but perhaps the most important is knowing exactly who you want to serve. Let’s turn to pumpkin competitions as an example. In the book Pumpkin Plan, author Mike Michalowicz tells the story of pumpkin farmers that grow competition pumpkins that are 10x the size of you and I! They start by purchasing the best of the best pumpkin seeds – think the spartans of pumpkin seeds.  As the pumpkins grow, they quickly prune off any that won’t be award-winning. This allows all the nutrients and their time to go to the potential award winners. They continue to nurture the select few until they have a pumpkin they are proud to submit for competition. Mike uses these pumpkin farmers to make a counterintuitive, yet spot on point about business—to grow your business you often need to cut your client list. The first step he advises is to identify your seed clients. You know those clients. The onesContinue reading »

              I’m not going to lie—competitions can be a ton of work. They can exhaust your staff and members, distract you from your core business, and drain your bank account if not done right. So why in the world would you do it? There are several reasons, but I was reminded of the most powerful one at our most recent competition. As with all competitions there were some amazing moments, but the one that brought me back to the real reason why we do these things involved one of our own members who we will call Bob. Bob is a young man in his mid 20s. He is quiet, polite, and nice, but struggles with mental development issues that impact his social skills. Bob walked through the doors on competition day with a nervous, but happy smile.  His father was in tow and I knew Bob was excited to show off his new athletic abilities to his dad…or so I thought. In the first event, Bob was scheduled for heat 3Continue reading »

                The Typical Process: For most competition hosts, the budgeting and pricing process looks a little like this: Look at the pricing for similar competitions in the area and match or beat the price. Quickly come up with an estimate of costs by considering the cost of t-shirts, prizes, and your software system. Estimate your profits by multiplying the price by your best guess at total attendance,which we will call 150 people. Subtract your costs from your revenues and you’ll generate a nice healthy profit in the neighborhood of $6k-$10k. The Issues with the Typical Process While you might be able to get away with this approach, there are some major flaws that are unnecessarily adding risk and reducing profit. Issue 1 – Pricing before budgeting. Budget should drive the pricing, NOT the other way around. For example, if you are renting a stadium, bringing in extra equipment, and giving away healthy cash prizes, your budget will be much higher than if you are using your own gym, equipment, and giving awayContinue reading »

                  As the CrossFit industry has matured, thankfully so to has the supporting software industry. This includes competition software which has improved in both number and quality of solution versus a couple of years ago. While it’s a blessing to have more options, it can be a curse because there are so many. You want your competition to be perfect and it starts with the software that is perfect for you. Choosing the right software can seem like a daunting task, but rest assured there is a simple process. Luckily, one of our team members was a systems analyst for years at a Fortune 50 company and has shared his process below to make it as easy for you. STEP 1 – IDENTIFY WATCH OUTS AND ELIMINATE Every time we made software choices, we made a list of watch outs that led to immediate elimination. Think of these as signals that things won’t go well. In the world of competition software we’d recommend at least 3 watch outs for your list: TheContinue reading »

                    So you’ve decided to or at least are thinking about throwing your first competition – that’s awesome! Now what? Competitions are an amazing way to extend your brand, build a larger community, have fun, and even make some money. Admittedly, they can also be a ton of work, expensive, and harmful to your brand if not done right. Fear not—we are here to make sure the latter doesn’t happen to you. It’s tempting to announce your competition to the world immediately, but check these 9 things off your list first and you will be in a great position to throw an amazing competition! ASK FOR HELP Think back to your first WOD ever. Even if you came in as a great athlete, that 1st WOD undoubtedly kicked your butt, taught you some things, but also had you smiling afterwards.What happened next time you did that same WOD? You crushed it!Why? Experience and a lot of coaching along the way.Competitions are no different. You may be an expert competition host oneContinue reading »