September 27, 2009
CrossFit Central is a great success story, with membership over 500 and revenue approaching $100,000 per month. Jeremy Thiel explains how he was able to use passion, commitment and great service to create a profitable business—and a community.
I founded CrossFit Central along with my sister, Carey Kepler, back in 2006. We were the 150th affiliate, and we were starting from scratch—no clients, no box and no credibility. But we had a mission: to build a fit community and affect people’s lives.
Since affiliating in 2006, CrossFit Central has grown from zero paying clients to over 500. We are profitable and remain debt-free in a time when our economy is failing. We have 22 coaches and a staff of four people earning incomes ranging from $35,000 to $85,000. On average, 20-30 new people sign up each month, and we are changing lives daily.
Is it hard starting an affiliate? Yes, it’s tough. But CrossFit.com gives us a vehicle to promote what we do, and without it I wouldn’t have as much credibility as I do now. Greg and Lauren Glassman gave me the confidence to take people to the trough. I put my belief in the community as opposed to me being the go-to expert. CrossFit.com is the expert, and I lead my clients there.
I don’t believe there’s only one right way to run and operate a CrossFit affiliate, and that’s the beauty of this business. The systems we’ve developed work and are the best for us and our clients. That said, our route to success might help you find your own.