Walking into Crossfit District 6 you expect it to be intimidating with the general gym ruckus. But instead what you find is a group of exceptionally kind and welcoming individuals. Crossfit District 6 was founded by three personal trainers – Lushwill, Tyron and Wilhelmina – who decided to start their own business and create something special. We spoke to Tyron to get more insight into the story behind the business. Here’s what he had to say.
How did Crossfit District 6 get started and what was the inspiration behind it?
When I started working after varsity, I was a Science teacher at an all boys school. I loved teaching but found it difficult to build a life for myself.
I got the opportunity to move to Cape Town and try my hand at being a personal trainer. This gave me the best of both worlds as I was able to explore my passion of fitness whilst still teaching and helping others. Lush, Will and I were all trainers at different branches of a large gym chain and somehow we came together. From there we pretty much reached the point where we wanted to have something of our own. To be honest we just grew tired of working for other people.
What has been the biggest challenge starting a business?
Coming from a structured environment as a personal trainer at a big gym, everything gets done for you. It’s been a transition from just getting money from clients to now worrying about stock, whether the bathrooms are clean – all the things that you don’t really have to worry about when you’re not doing everything yourself. It’s the late nights mopping the floor so that it’s ready for the next day because if you don’t do it, nobody else will.
We’ve invested all that we have into this business, so it has to work. There’s no fall back option.
We’ve poured our hearts into it for the last two years and we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. You go through those patches where you think “is this really worth it?” – the answer is always YES but it’s sometimes clouded by having to deal with other things. But the business always comes first when you’re trying to grow an empire.
What makes your gym different?
When you work for an established company, there are already structures in place that work, so it is easy to get customers through the door. So for us getting people in was initially a bit of a challenge. I’d like to think that we’ve established a certain brand and way of doing things that helps attract people. The vibe here is quite a big pulling card for us – because we don’t have tons of resources to invest in marketing, we push ourselves to invest more in our people.
Everyone knows everyone’s name and I think that’s quite important.
We try to keep a close relationship with all clients, and take time to learn about them and get insight into their lives. In terms of numbers we can never compete with the big gyms, but in terms of the human, relationship aspect, there’s no way they can touch us.
As a new business, why Yoco?
When we first opened up, we thought we really needed a card machine. After doing some research at banks we found out just how expensive it is – it’s actually a joke. We completely wrote off ever getting one because it was never going to be in our budget. For a long time the only form of payment we took was cash and EFT.
Ronald (a Yoco team member) took classes here for a couple of months and introduced us to Yoco. He told us about the product and we thought it was fantastic, but were skeptical for a while because we thought there must be a catch. Eventually we signed up and found that there is no catch – that’s the cool thing about it. We couldn’t understand how it could be so cheap compared to the banks!
Yoco allows us to accept payments wherever we are, keep track of customers and stock, and really helps with the admin side of things.