Every day I get emails or IG messages asking me for business tips. I might sound rude, but I explain to the Coach that step 1 is to become a GREAT researcher. I have HUNDREDS of articles, videos and podcasts on the business of strength & conditioning / running a warehouse gym on my podcast. Just use the search bar and type in the word "business".
Step 1 - Don't ask for the answers. Do your own research first. Demonstrate that you are self starter and self learner.
I feel many Coaches lack this work ethic nowadays. They are soft. They only want to learn from a free video on YouTube or Instagram. And then, if that video is longer than 60 seconds, forget it, they're off.
Step 2 - Skin in the game. Invest in business AND training knowledge. Know your weakness here as well. For example, some coaches think they are great coaches, but when I see them coaching, they are not. They can train themselves but have NO clue how to communicate with different personalities.
If you feel awkward and scared in a gym, then you need to immerse yourself into coaching. Coach many different people; athletes of all ages, adults, people post injury, kids who are scared of the world and everyone in between.
I look back at the investments I made to better myself as a Coach and a business owner. My monthly business investment was $500 - $1k a month. I joined mastermind groups that were $8-12 k / year. Attended seminars that were $2K - $10k per weekend. YES, I said $10K for a weekend.
I paid Gary Vee $3K for a 1 hour consult which we did inside a Taco Bell. I think that was 2008. I KNEW that by investing in myself, I had skin in the game. In turn, I would challenge myself to make a 10X ROI within 30 days of every investment.
With FREE information, you do NOTHING.
For example, when I attended a seminar for $10K, as soon as I signed up, I created my own mastermind group for Strength Coaches and it was $500 / month or $4K for the year. I had almost 20 coaches in that group.
I then offered a holiday special for athletes who would sign up for a year in full and in turn, I multiplied my income 10 fold and then some.
But if all I did was free this and free that, I'd probably not have taken action.
The Ultimate Gym Business Audio Series HERE (Myself, Joe DeFranco & Elliott Hulse)
Step 3 - Figure out who you really are and what you really want to do.
Some coaches think they want to run their own business until they realize there is a TON of behind the scenes work to be done from pay roll, taxes, marketing via the internet, marketing in person, communication skills, etc.
There's a lot of work to be done coaching, but even more to be done behind the scenes. If you want to run a successful business, don't treat this like a hobby. Get your learn on with business and training.
If you don't like the business aspect, then maybe you are best suited to work for another organization or company. There is Nothing wrong with that. Just know this, the only guarantee in strength and conditioning is there are NO guarantees.
I discuss this with Bill Gillespie in our podcast together, which was heartbreaking as he was told he would never have to worry about job security again. He was lied to. Listen HERE.
Even if you work for a school or company or another gym, you should still be your own CEO. Ron McKeefery has a book called 'Strength Coach CEO'. He's seen how college strength coaches get let go while never have done anything wrong. New sport coach comes in or perhaps the college wants to pay someone less, you are OUT!
Always be ready to be your own Boss, even if you don't want to.
I was doing business consulting with a group of coaches and one coach was a family man with a wife and 2 kids. His studio was struggling but he refused to take action to grow his business. He always had an excuse and in turn his gym went out of business.
Even with his family on the line, he chickened out of doing the work!
I was told long ago by a business mentor, "The marketing machine can never be turned off."
Step 4 - You're NOT that great of a Coach where you can stop learning.
Training athletes has gotten more complex compared to 10 & 20 years ago. You need more knowledge in training, speed, coaching multiple personalities, working around injuries and everything in between.
I always tell Coaches who think they don't need to learn training that they are WRONG. Nothing is worse than being a bad coach. If you can't produce life changing results then people will leave.
I started hearing this when I started my Underground Strength Coach Cert. Guys would show up and tell me, "I'm just here to learn the business stuff". I would always do a 90-120 minute business QnA at the end and I was always shocked at how so many coaches thought they were good enough.
As I always say, Good enough is the death of Greatness.
This is the beginning of the end. It's how I see gym owners dig their ow grave.
I frequently get parents reaching out to me because their son or daughter is going to this massive, fancy facility but their kid is NOT getting better. "I'm just not seeing results" they tell me.
Why don't they see results? Because a mediocre coach pays NO attention to detail. They allow push ups with the head down, a sagging back and half reps. They allow half rep squats. They allow a kid to 500 half way down and then high five him and tell him, "Yea, you're a BEAST!".
A GREAT Coach is not only paying attention to technique but also to the attitude of the athlete. This is what we call "Beyond Sets and Reps." Do you connect with people on a deeper level than just the surface stuff?
Step 5 - My mentor Alwyn Cosgrove once said to me, "What's everybody's favorite radio station? WIIFM. What's In it for Me!?"
You must understand what people want. The way to get there is by listening. The way to get better is by keeping your boots on the ground, having your pulse connected to the people who are part of your business.
It's hard to succeed when you refuse to listen and open your ears and mind.
I run my business by genuinely caring about our members. This is why many athletes start with us in middle school and then stay with us until they leave for college. They return every Summer during college. When people trust you so much with their own kids, you better take care of them!
Unlike the college setting, they don't really care about you. You are replaceable and someone will take your job for $40K / year while working 12 hour days, 6 days a week (with a Master's Degree)!
Step 6 - Build Your Assets.
I'll be discussing this in depth when Joe DeFranco and I do our business seminar together. Can you sell your business down the road or does the business own you aka you have another job?
What can you rent every month or sell down the road? Do you have property / real estate to rent? Do you have a business that brings in monthly recurring revenue? Or, do you ONLY get paid doing the worst thing; trading time for dollars.
You must be able to leverage your skills and assets to ultimately give you a better life.
I'm sure I've got countless more info on the business side of being a strength coach, and you can search for them on my website by using the search bar. You have to do research. If you want it all handed to you, then you will lose!
Live The Code 365