Building a Community Around Fitness
Paul McBride and Hannah Swim seem to have a magnetic quality that attracts people to fitness. While the two were working out with Hannah’s parents in a garage, people would stop by and ask what they were doing. Interest turned to action and these curious people became clients and began recruiting more clients. It wasn’t long before there were more than a dozen people crammed into the garage.
A core client offered a barn, but the group quickly outgrew that facility. Paul and Hannah started to consider making an even greater impact on the wellness of their friends and neighbors. Paul already had experience starting a gym in the Fishers area and wanted to combine his love for CrossFit with his knowledge of gym ownership. Hannah, who met Paul while working as a personal trainer, wanted to pursue her fitness career while caring for her two young boys.
“Our passion is to get people healthy,” Paul noted.
This passion is what attracted so many people to join their makeshift gym, but Paul and Hannah knew they needed to find a dedicated space to build a business that could serve more people.
Paul approached Corey Murphy of the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, who referred Paul to Scott Underwood of the East Central ISBDC. Scott helped write a business plan and to locate funding so that Paul and Hannah could expand CrossFit NC to a location on State Road 3 in New Castle.
“Scott was key in making sure I went down the right path,” Paul said. “I knew how to create a business plan, but Scott knew the specifics of what the board who approved our loan would want to see. I felt confident in how it would turn out.”
CrossFit NC continues to experience growth, offering a class-based training system focused on strength and metabolic conditioning. New members begin with an on-ramp program and meet three times a week to learn nine core movements.
“We encourage those who are interested to come and see a class,” Hannah mentioned. “Anyone can do this. It’s scaled for where they are.”
During prime hours, the facility is at maximum capacity. Paul and Hannah hope to continue growing the business and the number of members they serve.
“It’s become a community,” Hannah expressed. “Everyone checks in on everyone else, and new clients are blended right in.”