James and I got the keys to our first warehouse (the "old" or south side) on July 1, 2014. We did the Bear Complex to celebrate. We only had 2 barbells and a few weights! We spent two weeks getting the gym ready and opened our doors on Monday, July 14, 2014.
All this month we celebrate 5 years of sweat, tears, blood, anger, happiness, sadness, stress, joy, and the pleasure of watching all of you get fitter, stronger, healthier and happier.
5 years is a HUGE milestone for small business like ours. Two-thirds of all small business fail in the first 2 years and 50% fail at the 5 year mark. HERE WE ARE! I can tell you we are not going anywhere (except forward!) and we are fully motivated and positioned to join the 1/3 of small business that make it to 10 years.
Owning this business has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding endeavors of my life. It's challenging because when we started I had no idea what I didn't know (duh:-) and I had do idea what I needed to know. I knew how to be a great coach. When I opened TSCF I had been coaching CrossFit for 3 years and had over 20 years in the fitness industry. But, I didn't know anything about being a business owner.
I learned in graduate school how to think, how to ask questions, how to collect data, how to measure trends and most importantly I learned the value of asking experts for help and mentorship.
I attribute our first 2 years of success to the business education I received from Prospera and the Montana Women's Business Center. I took every class I could and did everything the business mentors told me to do. Learning from them paid off as I was nominated for Start up of the Year in 2016 from the Montana Women's Business Center. I developed a rock solid operations plan that helped us cruise past the first milestone during which 2/3 of all start-ups fail.
Last year I recognized that I needed additional business help and I was awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation via Bunker Labs (a business mentoring group for Veterans) that I used to enroll in Two Brain Business. Two Brain Business is a mentoring program for CrossFit gyms and it is AMAZING. Not only have I tightened up my operations and systems, my Two Brain Business mentor has also helped me navigate staff changes, facilities challenges, and keeps me on task every month with the non-sexy stuff like financial reports, member metrics and all the rest of the numbers. I have also learned new digital marketing techniques. Social media marketing could be the subject of a MBA on its own, and I'm grateful for Two Brain Business to help me navigate a constantly changing digital environment.
As I help steer this business into the next 5 years I am confident that I have developed a set of tools, systems, operations, and most importantly a TEAM of FANTASTIC staff who are aligned with our mission of creating a space that is safe, fun, effective and inclusive.
I'm so grateful for James, Heidi, Dover, and Audy. They share the gym values and are committed to continuing education and personal development. We are the only gym in Montana with all Level 2 CrossFit coaches. You can be confident that your Coach is highly trained, motivated and committed to helping you become the best version of yourself.
Thank you so much for trusting us with your physical health care. I know there are many choices in our valley and I'm so grateful you choose us. Thanks, and I look forward to celebrating our 10 year anniversary with you!
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