Let me go back in time a bit…
When we first opened up we initially started with a membership pricing structure that was tiered based on rate of frequency. You paid for the exact amount of classes you attended (2,3,4x/week). These were all contracts of 3 months or more. That worked great in the beginning to help maintain a consistent revenue stream but as more competition came into the market many of the local CF gyms had moved to a much cheaper single unlimited membership price.
When we did the research our prices were almost 60% higher than other gyms. The move to the unlimited class-no contract membership was a recent decision to continue to compete with local CF gyms and other “watered down versions” of CrossFit in the area. We chose a price that was somewhere the middle. This quickly removed the conversation from a prospect who liked our program but never signed up because we were too “expensive”.
Around the same time we implemented the reservation system.
For two reasons:
1) When we moved over to the new membership pricing we knew many current members would switch over as it was cheaper than what they were already paying for a 3x/week membership. For some of our veteran members they didn’t see the value in the RSVP system. They saw it as an “extra” thing they had to do. We lost about 5 people who complained reserving for class was difficult. For new members they saw it as a great value and grateful that we were offering this new policy. It’s never been barrier to entry for newer members or anyone else who has signed up since.
2) Our classes were getting way too big 15-25 people at one point. It was impossible to coach that many people and add the value we prided ourselves on. Any gym operating without knowing how many people are going to attend prior to arriving is only asking for something bad to happen. The magic group class ratio we have seen of coach to athlete is 1:10. No value is being delivered with a ratio any bigger. The coach becomes a safety referee not an actual coach.
The indirect effect is that the individual that signs up with us are a perfect match for our community. The mentality of the reservation system requires much more discipline and accountability from our membership base. You must be disciplined to plan your classes in advance. The accountability is built in by publically adding yourself for everyone to see.
In fitness discipline and accountability are a requirement not a option.
I couldn’t be happier with this decision. Our membership base and the mentality of the reservation system is something I wish I would have done a long time ago.