The economy may be in rough shape, but Zach Even-Esh still thinks now is a good time to open a gym. The key is to create a critical mass of clients before taking the big plunge, then assemble gear like Johnny Cash in One Piece at a Time.
You can build up a client base by any means necessary if you’re willing to get a bit dirty. Evan-Esh himself trained clients out of sketchy parks frequented by unsavory characters. He had people lifting random rocks and doing pull-ups on swing sets, and it enabled him to build momentum before he put up a shingle.
When he started his rugged gym, Underground Strength Coach/CrossFit Underground, he looked for a small, affordable space and then got creative with equipment.
“Don’t buy anything new,” Even-Esh says. “I know a lot of people are like, ‘You need to get a great Olympic bar.’ No. That’s bullshit. Not in the beginning you don’t.”
Collect random equipment, keep building momentum, add in a little guerrilla marketing and Even-Esh is certain you’ll have a badass gym full of clients in no time.
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: Beyond the Garage Gym: Starting or Expanding a CrossFit Affiliate by Pat Sherwood, published Nov. 1, 2007.