How to build a sustainable coaching business

Do you aspire to build a sustainable coaching business and establish yourself as a trusted endurance coach in your niche? If you answered yes, then, this article is for you!

10+1 ways to build a sustainable coaching business

Wanting to make a name for yourself, increase athlete retention, bring more athletes on board, and, ultimately, make your coaching business sustainable and scalable are all healthy pursuits for an endurance coach. But, practically speaking, how can you get there without having to read entire volumes on marketing and entrepreneurship? 

Well, here are some tips that should put you right on track:

1. Keep learning

The best coaches out there — in fact, the best professionals from any industry — have something in common: An insatiable thirst for knowledge. That said, as a coach, you shouldn’t sit back and become complacent. Instead, you should regularly attend courses, and workshops; and, basically, never stop learning. Every chance you get for knowledge, grab it! 

Yet, you don’t only learn from courses and workshops, that’s for sure. You can always take something new away from sports events; like races that you or your athletes participate in. Keeping your eyes and ears open — and, remaining a committed note-taker — can help you become a better endurance coach. This is important for building a sustainable coaching business, as your athletes will greatly benefit from your newly-acquired knowledge, as well. 

2. Build the best service you can

To build the best possible service, first, you need to make sure that you’re up-to-date on the latest endurance coaching methods and cutting-edge technology. That’s how your services will stand the test of time; and that’s how you build a sustainable coaching business.

3. Let people know why you’re into coaching 

There are many coaches, right now, that are offering services similar to yours. If you are to make your coaching business successful and sustainable, you need to stand out from your competition. How? Ask yourself: ‘What are the elements that can make my services unique?’. 

Search beyond your education — or the service packages you offer — to find the answer. For instance, you may want to search into your experiences, the challenges you’ve faced, and the joys you’ve shared with your athletes. 

Tell your story to your clients, and potential clients; let them know how it all started, and why you’ve become a coach, in the first place. In other words, weave your vision, your mission, and your values into your storytelling, and you’ve got a killer recipe for success!

4. Live the life you teach your athletes to 

When it comes down to your mindset, building a sustainable coaching business is more about practicing what you coach. And, how do you do that? By showing your athletes how to do it, instead of telling them how to do it. This way, you will inspire trust and loyalty in them; which, suffice to say, is critical in retaining your clients, and creating a good name for yourself in your niche market.

Promote your coaching philosophy

Having a well-defined approach to your coaching practice is a fundamental part of establishing a sustainable coaching business. Indeed, it’s your coaching philosophy that creates a framework to operate and collaborate. Without it, you can’t set expectations; not only for your clients but yourself, too.

Produce social proof for it

Wouldn’t you feel comfortable buying a product or a service from a business that has many positive reviews and thousands of engaged social media followers? You probably would; because all these great reviews and enthusiastic followers provide an element of trust. That’s the power of social proof; and your coaching business has a lot to gain, if you take advantage of this phenomenon. 

5. Give quality advice and knowledge away, for free 

At first glance, giving away your professional advice, for free, might seem crazy. However, this is a smart tactic to grow your client base and build a sustainable coaching business. We’re not saying to freely share your coaching methods; just some helpful tips, from time to time, that athletes can easily implement. Doing so, will convince your prospective clients that you are a thought leader and that you know what you’re talking about. 

6. Take a step back and look at the big picture

Every once in a while, it’s good to take a step back to look at the big picture. Just to make sure that your business is on the right path — that is, toward becoming sustainable and scalable. We’re highlighting this because it’s easy for coaches to lose focus, when they juggle with so many tasks every day. On one hand, this will also help you to keep your focus on your business goals — and, whether you need to change your plan of action to align with them, or not.

7. Develop your target market

To be effective in creating a sustainable coaching business, you have to create a crystal clear picture of your target audience, first. You need to ask yourself: “Who are the people you want to coach? What are they doing with their lives? Where do they live?”
Be as specific as possible, and take it from there to develop your target market.

Understand what your athletes want from you

Every athlete is unique; as are their needs and goals. As an endurance coach, you need to be able to study each athlete individually; and understand what they seek to gain from your collaboration. 

How many athletes do you need to meet your bottom line?

This is another important question to answer, in order to secure a healthy financial footing for your business. You simply can’t scale your business without it.

8. Then, diversify your revenues 

Offering the same services as your competition won’t get your business very far. That’s why you should constantly be looking for smart ways to diversify your revenues. For instance, you might want to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and market, as it may offer insights that could help you improve on — and, differentiate — your services.

Go niche, then go adjacent verticals

Being a one-size-fits-all coach will cause more harm to your business than good. To avoid that, find a coaching niche that ‘feels right’, and try to establish yourself in that market. Once you achieve that, you can test the waters with adjacent markets to look for opportunities for extra revenue streams that will increase the chances of building a sustainable coaching business.

9. Offer great customer service

Good customer service is central to the success of any business. Let alone a coaching business that greatly depends on it for its viability and sustainability. Now, to provide great customer service, first, you need to lay the foundations of good communication with your athletes. But, above all, everything you do, as a coach, should revolve around your athletes. Your athletes are not just at the heart of your business, they are the heart of your business. 

Care for your athletes and get their feedback 

Simply put, you can’t possibly offer great customer service if you don’t care about your clients. Great coaches always have their athlete’s best interests at heart, and they strive to develop meaningful relationships with them. And, feedback gets in the picture, as a tool to: 

  • improve your athletes’ performance
  • build their confidence
  • monitor their motivation, and their emotional and psychological state

10. Want to build a sustainable coaching business? Be confident!

You can’t expect to build your athletes’ confidence — and, build a sustainable coaching business — if you, yourself, aren’t confident! You need to believe in your abilities as a coach, and the value you can provide, in order to help your athletes achieve their goals.

Don’t sell yourself short

Another important reason why you need to be confident, is to avoid falling into the trap of selling yourself short. Because, to be honest, that’s what will potentially happen If you don’t know your worth. Low self-confidence will probably lead to financial difficulties for your coaching business. Your business will not grow in this way; on the contrary, its viability may even get compromised.

11. BONUS: Develop a process that works

If you want to build a sustainable coaching business, first, make sure that all of its aspects are under control. That’s why it’s important to develop a process that will ensure that you have everything running as it should. One that:

  • Nurtures your prospective clients, especially if they’re seasonal — To keep them coming back
  • Simplifies and automates things for your clients — To make it easy for them to take advantage of your service
  • Helps keep an eye on your financials — To know whether your business is on steady revenue growth, or not.

Building a sustainable coaching business, one step at a time

Truth be told, it takes time, patience, and strategy to help your coaching business grow. Indeed, your practice might require some push to get started; but, you’ve got to be patient and remain focused on your goals. Most of all, you need to have faith in your ability to build a sustainable coaching business and make it happen, one step at a time!

How to build a sustainable coaching business was last modified: October 10th, 2022 by Eleni Konstantinidou