Extract Adapted From:
‘Sport Coaches’ Handbook’ by Dan Gould and Cliff Mallett
‘The Business of Personal Training’ by Mark A. Nutting
Managing a sports program or coaching business involves skills and knowledge that goes beyond teaching, tactical, and technical skills. Effective coaches apply various types of expertise, such as organizational and planning skills relevant to the specific context of their field. This work requires coaches to apply a wide set of skills that include both interpersonal and intrapersonal.
Creating a Business Plan and Structure
After deciding that you want to start a coaching business, you need to document what it’s going to take to make your business work. Writing down your overall objectives makes you much more likely to be prepared. Additionally, writing out a specific plan helps you consider multiple variables and how to take the next step effectively.
Your business plan plays an essential role by helping you know how to begin, and then serving as a guideline for the future. This stage includes key parts such as creating a business description, market analysis, management plan, financial plan (to see the capital required), and a marketing plan (including a competitor analysis).
Importance of Strategic Planning in the Beginning
A strategic plan lays out a long-term direction including major objectives, priorities, and strategies to enable a coach to achieve their vision. In sports settings, the plan may address facilities, recruitment, marketing, financing, or performance-related topics. A strategic plan provides a framework for the coach’s planning process. Strategic considerations also include commercial factors, such as budgets and funding, or marketing and advertising.
In creating a strategic plan, coaches must be keenly aware of the external environment in which their business operates. They must also be highly aware of the internal environment created by the business itself. In the context of sport, external environment factors include resources, and any legal issues such as constraints, qualifications, laws and other conditions associated with coaching. On the other side, internal environment factors relate to the organizational structure, staffing, and culture of the business.
Although most planning focuses on the program or business itself, or its internal environment, coaches also need to consider factors in the external environment—for instance, available resources, changes in coaching qualification requirements, or rule changes depending on the sport that they’re coaching.
Determining Your Staffing Needs
Hiring staff is not about filling standard roles. It’s about hiring for your needs. If you’re thinking about hiring someone, this means that you identified some required tasks that you either can’t do or don’t have time to do. Therefore, you need to find someone qualified to do them. What exactly are those tasks? What type of ability or expertise is needed to do them well? Add that information to your list and evaluate your current situation to see how much of it is feasible financially.
Getting the Right Insurance
If you own your own coaching or fitness business, you’ll need various types of insurance. Making the right decision requires you to become informed about the possible difficulties of owning a business when evaluating insurance options available to you.
Why is insurance important? Lawsuits can be brought against coaches, personal trainers, and fitness instructors by their clients. If you’d like to get a taste of the possibilities, a simple web search will provide you with many examples. Regardless of whether a given lawsuit is valid, it involves you in legal action rather than running your business properly. Even if you have never been involved in a legal action, it is crucial to think about insurance for your business.
Determining Your Offerings and Their Pricing
Most businesses provide a service or product that somebody wants or needs in exchange for some form of payment. A coaching business is fundamentally the same. Offerings of your business can be tangible or intangible. Tangible offerings can be equipment, t-shirts, and supplements; intangible offerings are things that cannot be touched, such as the services of a coach or personal trainer.
There are hybrid offerings, for example, club memberships. On one side, membership provides the tangibles of a contract, such as an ID card or a t-shirt / other branded merchandise. In the example of fitness clubs, membership is a type of rental agreement that allows an individual to use a facility or equipment for a given period of time.
What you decide to offer your target market can vary, and it may change over time. In the beginning, it is beneficial to start with basic programs like one-on-one personal training. With experience, future programs may build on this platform. It is important to create a clear pricing structure for these offerings. It provides you with a reference point to help you determine the pricing of other products in the future.
Marketing Your Services and Becoming Financially Profitable
In order to get the chance to sell your products or services, people have to know that you exist. That’s where marketing comes in. Marketing involves creating awareness of your expertise and business, which can be achieved with certain types of traditional or modern methods. These methods could involve utilizing social media as a promotional and brand awareness tool, paying for advertisements, or engaging your target audience with other communication tools. Ultimately, it’s all about engaging with the members of your target demographic to the point where they want to know more about you and hire or buy from you.
If you are in a business, then you must sell. That’s how you stay in business and make a living. Whether you’re running a large club or providing personal training in clients’ homes, you must understand the financial aspects of running a business and how to make that business profitable.
Communicating with Clients, Businesses and the Community
Communication is critical to the success of your clients and business. Therefore, any improvement you make in this area is well worth the time. People use various styles of communicating and learning. This variation can affect your efforts not only to acquire new members and clients but also to retain them.
Communication can be organized within emails using easy email management software, SMS, phone calls, and other suitable methods.
These styles also affect your interactions with co-workers and employees, businesses with whom you might partner, and the community in which you live and work. Therefore, as you strengthen your communication skills, you increase your opportunities to understand others and be understood by them. Greater understanding brings greater empathy, as well as the chance to develop deeper relationships as we build trust.