Dan Kroeger, owner of CrossFit Human Clay, faces a problem experienced by many small business owners. Since opening his gym in 2014, Kroeger has seen a steady flow of new clients coming through his doors. But after his membership numbers plateaued, he began to wonder if something was wrong with this business model.
“We capped out at about 120 members,” Kroeger explained. “When we looked at the numbers, we realized we were always getting new clients, but constantly losing older clients through attrition.”
That’s when Kroeger decided to hire business and marketing consultant Diane Schreiber. Schreiber, who specializes in helping small businesses in the fitness industry grow and retain client base, did a careful analysis of Kroeger’s business model, class experience, and customer satisfaction. The results of her investigation pointed to one critical weakness in Kroeger’s business: Terrible music.
“I suspected a music-related problem from the moment I walked into the box,” Schreiber explained. “The stereo was blasting ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ by Saliva. I had to excuse myself to the restroom, which was surprisingly clean and accommodating, and spent the next few minutes dry-heaving over the toilet.”
Schreiber says that after collecting herself, she returned to her investigation, quickly discovering that all of Kroeger’s music choices were distasteful and dated. Schreiber made her formal recommendations the following day. Her official report states that at one point during the warm-up, Kroeger instructed members to use foam rollers, and then intentionally skipped his playlist to the song “Rollin’,” By Limp Bizkit. The report also includes eyewitness testimony claiming that Kroeger will play Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness,” if a new member vomits after a workout.
“I explained to him that literally anything would be better than his current music selection,” Schreiber recalled. “Normally we would suggest a business avoid artists like Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, but in this case even they would be an improvement.”
The 40-year-old Kroeger, wearing a “Forged” band T-shirt and long board shorts, acknowledged that his music taste is a little dated, but disagreed with Schreiber’s conclusions.
“When I first started doing CrossFit back in 06′, we always threw down to Korn’s “Freak on a Leash,” Kroeger explained. “If it was good enough for us then, it’s good enough for our clients in 2018.”
But not all of CrossFit Human Clay’s clients seem to agree with Kroeger. One athlete told us he is fed up with the song selection, and is already looking into joining a different CrossFit affiliate nearby.
“If I hear ‘Bodies’ by Drowning Pool one more time, I’ll make sure someone’s body literally hits the floor.”