A shareholders’ agreement can prevent problems, but few gyms have one. How can they help CrossFit affiliate owners?
New CrossFit affiliate owners sometimes consider taking a partner at startup. The burden of labor and risk can be lightened when spread across several broad shoulders, and pooling funds means avoiding the moneylender.
But sometimes the coach’s vision doesn’t match that of the investor, or circumstances change quickly. Other times, deals are struck with friends, and more than money is lost if the partnership breaks up.
When Derrick Sims partnered with his longtime friend to open ECFF CrossFit in Pensacola, Florida, he believed his relationship was stronger than any legal agreement could be. A year later, he’s been through a bitter battle for his gym, and he’s facing the future alone.
Good coaches want to coach for a living, and many see partnership with an investor or friend as a shortcut to the entrepreneurial dream. And partnerships can work out for everyone involved if they’re set up well. But if proper care isn’t taken at the beginning of the relationship, even the best coach could find himself unhappy.
A solid partnership agreement can save money, lawyers and friendships, and creating one isn’t difficult or expensive.