Book Review: The Affiliate Yearbook
In business there is no better ammunition for improvement than information. Being armed with good industry data can make or break a business. A deep understanding of where you are, where others are, and what it will take to get ahead is critical to success.
One company that understands business is CrossFit. Talk about a fitness success story. These guys have got it right. But at the local level we have the CrossFit affiliate. The special thing about an individual CrossFit affiliate is that it might be run by someone just like you or me, and we might not have quite the grasp on business strategies that a big business leader does. For that reason, we have The Affiliate Yearbook.
The Affiliate Yearbook was created by a group of small business owners, CrossFit enthusiasts, and one affiliate owner, who understand the trials and tribulations facing business owners. The fitness industry is a mature and heavily saturated field, which can be overwhelming for new gym owners. Both new and experienced affiliates need knowledge and experience to achieve success. Until now, the data most industries use to excel didn’t exist for CrossFit itself.
The Affiliate Yearbook is divided by gym type. For example, the book compares U.S. gyms to those abroad, new gyms to established ones, and big gyms to small ones, amongst other types. This makes it easy to find the type that suits you, the several types you might be considering opening, or to compare to what others are doing. Of course, there’s also overall data.
In each section of The Affiliate Yearbook you will find an overview and a plethora of information. The data includes but is not limited to demographic information, operations, facilities, and even an average income statement. As you can imagine, the ability to see where you stand currently, or what to expect when opening a new location, is invaluable.
It should be mentioned that there are ads sprinkled throughout the book. This is explained in the book’s introduction, but should be pointed out nevertheless. I suspect that for anyone who could really use the data contained in the book, the ads won’t dissuade you from seeing its value.
The information in the book is self-reported. While I’m sure it is largely accurate, it’s likely there are some minor inaccuracies as a result. For 2012, just over eleven percent of affiliates that were contacted with the survey responded, giving a good set of data. The website reports that 200 more gyms have already responded to the survey in 2013 than in 2012, which suggests the data will continue to become more reliable.
The price of the book is $199.99, but according to the website the book is provided for free to any affiliate that participates in the annual survey. Considering the value of this book to current gym owners, I’d say “free” (except for the cost of your time to fill out a survey) is a pretty good price. I think more affiliates should be taking advantage of this offer.
The bottom line for The Affiliate Yearbook is that it’s the only set of data of its kind for CrossFit. Any wise business owner will see the value in investing in this book. For those interested in starting a gym, I can understand money might be tight. If you have the cash to invest in the book, it’s a wise option. If not, you may wish to lean on the resources provided by CrossFit to start your gym and then work towards getting a copy. You’ll be glad you did.
The Affiliate Yearbook is available for $199.99 at TheAffiliateYearbook.com.