Disclaimer: WodSites is not in any way affiliated with the CrossFit brand.
Wodify, Mindbody, Zenplanner, Sugarwod, Wodhopper, Glowfox… there are hundreds of different software options when it comes to running or starting a CrossFit gym. So how do you know which one is the best solution for my gym? This is a really difficult question to answer because although all CrossFit gyms are similar, none are the same. Every gym has their own flavour when it comes to systemising and managing the business and there are a lot of variables that can come into play when choosing the right software for you. With this in mind, I am writing this article not to tell you what YOU should use for your specific gym but rather what I would use if I was starting a CrossFit gym of my own. Since focusing full time on working with CrossFit Athletes and CrossFit Affiliates 8 months ago we have built over 70 websites and helped hundreds of affiliates to improve the way that they do business. And although I have tried to avoid this question to a degree, I am asked on a weekly basis,
“Kody, if you were starting a CrossFit gym what software would you use?”
So here it is… this is exactly how I would set up the software and admin systems if I were to open a CrossFit Affiliate.
PS: You should know a couple of things about me, before we start.
Number one: When it comes to choosing software for any business I would rather use separate apps that are the best at doing what they are suppose to do rather than using one app that does everything but nothing well. It might seem scary to ‘non-tech-savvy’ folks to use several apps to run a business but if you were to use the model I am about to highlight to you it would crush the systems 99% of boxes use to manage their businesses.
And, Number Two: I don’t consider doing something because ‘everyone else does it’ a good idea. So proceed to this list with caution – it’s probably not the way most gyms do things and it by no means accounts for your personal preference or experiences with business.
Use ONLY the Best Online Platforms and Softwares when Starting a CrossFit Gym Website
I would use WordPress to build my website… I would jump on our website and buy a WodSite. No surprises here… we build WordPress websites and, along with the rest of the world, we’re huge fans. Over 25% of the internet is on WordPress and it’s for good reason. It is, without a shadow of doubt, THE best platform to build your website on. It is a super stable platform to build on, it gets great load speeds, ranks well in search engines and links with all the third party apps that you will need to run your entire gym. My website would be the centre piece of my business that I would use to link all the other systems together. In a nutshell, my WodSite would allow me to:
- Attract my target audience through blog, video and testimonial content.
- Have a central hub where all my traffic comes together including social media, yelp reviews, Google etc.
- Rank highly on the search engines and be found by people searching for ‘CrossFit’ in my area.
- Drive all my traffic to a Complimentary Taster Class where people could book their trial class and sign their waiver.
- Build my database of potential clients by linking all my contact forms to my Client Relation Management system, also known as a CRM.
- Further build my database by having Opt In’s and Lead Magnet’s through my site, specifically in the blog content.
- Take membership signups including payment through a form on the site.
- Take registrations and payments for events.
- Sell my merchandise through an online store.
- Manage all the inventory for my onsite pro shop and serve as a point-of-sale system which could be run from a laptop or iPad in the gym.
COST: Starts at US$300 setup and $99/month
Stripe is an online merchant that allows you to take payments via credit/debit cards. This application would be the main tool that I would use to manage the membership subscriptions and payment processing for my members. Setting this up when starting a crossfit gym affiliate website is really necessary. This would allow me to:
- Instantly setup memberships when clients sign up through my website.
- Automatically receive my clients monthly, fortnightly or weekly payments.
- Manage all membership cancellations, refunds and holds.
- Automatically provide clients with an invoice upon purchases via email.
- Automatically notify my team and our customers of card payment failures.
- Resubmit failed payments automatically.
- Transfer funds directly into my bank account from Stripe daily.
- Create invoices automatically in my Xero Account (we’ll get to this shortly)
- Store all my customers credit card details securely so that we can bill clients for off the cuff expenses such as seminars, events, PT Sessions or other once off expenses.
COST: 1.75% of charges (can be negotiated if you are taking a lot of money through it)
Active Campaign is my favourite Client Relation Management System (CRM) and marketing automation tool. Above all of the other CRMs you could choose from, (such as Infusionsoft, Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor to name a few) Active Campaign is, in my opinion, the best value for money when starting a crossfit gym system that would allow me to:
- Run automated email marketing campaigns to prospective clients.
- Create autoresponders to deliver lead magnets (such as video courses or eBooks) to customers who opt in.
- Send autoresponders when people complete forms on my website. I would use this to automate things like membership holds and cancellations and many other things.
- Set up automated email sequences to help with retention such as a new member automation that would onboard new clients into the culture of our community.
- Send email campaigns out to existing members (think email newsletter on steroids)
- Link Active Campaign to my online store so that my customers purchase history from the pro-shop would be logged against their contact.
Teamwork Project Management
Teamwork is an online project and task management software. I have been using this software to run all my businesses for the last 3 years and it has by far saved me more time than any other application. Every business needs a system to keep track of who is doing what and to hold people accountable to deadlines. That’s what teamwork would do for my gym. Essentially it would allow me to:
- Assign tasks to my staff and have staff assign tasks to each other.
- Allow us to communicate with each other directly on tasks so that we can get things done quicker.
- Track the progress of tasks and projects.
- Set Up recurring tasks for everything from cleaning and maintenance to blogging and bank reconciliations.
- Manage deadlines for projects and tasks.
- Have an online To Do List.
- Automatically email all the members in my team each morning with their task list for the day and upcoming milestones and due dates.
- Essentially, allow me to get all the daily tasks out of my head and into a system.
Teamwork Desk is an email ticketing system that links directly with Teamwork task management. What it will do is replace the normal way of responding to emails by forwarding all email correspondence through to the desk. In this way the desk will allow us to:
- Massively increase the speed of which we can respond to email tickets by having ‘Canned Responses’ that can be sent with only a few clicks.
- Allow all my staff team to view and interact with threads known as tickets so that it’s easy to collaborate with the entire team about a particular conversation.
- Turn emails into tasks with the ability to create tasks directly in the ticket thread so that someone can perform an action based on a conversation with a client.
- Have all email and phone conversation trackable so we can review staff performance and never lose a conversation again.
- Easily hire a Virtual Staff member to assist us with filtering and responding to emails.
- Tag tickets so they can be easily sorted
- Add notes to conversations so that you never forget the details of a conversation and so other team members can see easily where a conversation is up to.
Starting a CrossFit Gym will definitely be on a totally different level with this system. COST: Free up to 150 tickets
Xero is an online accounting application and it makes doing book work a piece of cake. You can link bank accounts, stripe, paypal and more into Xero and it will automatically sync your bank statements across into the system. From there, uploading pictures of receipts and then matching these expenses is so simple. In fact, Xero learns what different expenses are over time and begins reconciling them for you automatically. Then all you need to do is simply go through and accept each match. It will literally save you days worth of book keeping every month. If I started a gym this is exactly how Xero would work for us:
- Setup my bank feeds to sync with Xero automatically.
- Link my Stripe account so that when a client’s payment goes through Stripe (such as the monthly membership fees) it will automatically create an invoice for that customer in my Xero account.
- Store all our receipts to be reconciled (they have a handy mobile app to simply take photos of receipts and upload them).
- Run financial reports to track performance.
- Reconcile bank accounts.
- Complete tax requirements.
When starting a crossfit gym site, Xero for me is an absolute necessity. COST: $50/month
Everyone needs emails right? Google apps is what I would use for that. It’s not a only a big plus when starting a crossfit gym plan, it does a heck of a lot more. Having Google Apps would allow us to:
- Create an email for me (private) and a second one for general business that would forward to the ticketing desk. 2 emails to run the whole business at only $10/month.
- Access our emails from anywhere in the world and from any computer.
- Store all our company files securely and be able to access them from anywhere in the world and from any computer.
- Collaborate live with my staff on documents, spreadsheets, forms, slideshows and more.
- Access hundreds of other apps that are endlessly helpful.
- Link with Calendly to run appointment scheduling.
COST: Free to setup and $5/month per user to Google. And along with the plan on starting a crossfit gym, if you need assistance setting up Google Apps we charge $99 for up to 10 accounts up.