As a self-employed business owner, a triathlon coach has several hats to juggle. Managing schedules and answering emails and texts is part of the constant cycle of a normal day for most coaches. Include marketing, meeting and speaking with new athletes, and implementing new business ideas, and you have a full week of tasks. Without a daily, weekly, and monthly plan you’ll run into a lack of business growth, burnout, and might even eventually find yourself out of business as a triathlon coach.
One of the most important factors for running an efficient business is to utilize a few easy skills that allow you to keep things in focus. Organization isn’t a talent, it’s a skill—so is punctuality, and budgeting (time and money).
Anyone can learn to do these three things, and together they will lead to running a better, more efficient business. Here are a few suggestions for organizing your week (I suggest doing on a weekly basis) so you create a routine and are aware of your current situation at all times.
Coaching Business Tip 1
Know your budget on a monthly basis. This is indicative of an invested and intelligent business owner.
Balance your checkbook (bank account) on a weekly basis. Knowing how much money you have on hand to pay your taxes and your bills, or to spend on a new marketing idea, is as important as anything else you’ll do.
Coaching Business Tip 2
As the old adage goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
On a monthly basis, review your current month against the same month from the prior two years, as well as the current year to date against the year to date from the prior two years. Seeing growth (or not seeing growth) will allow you to focus on what you need to do, or need to keep doing.
Coaching Business Tip 3
When your athletes know you care (and I mean actually care), they’ll stay with you for a long time.
If you have a regular meeting with your athlete(s), stick to it! In my case, I schedule phone calls with my athletes each week at the same time and on the same day. I have a few athletes who I’ve been talking with at this cadence for many years.
It’s just part of my normal week, and staying in touch with my athletes makes keeping up with their training and what’s going on in their lives easy.
Coaching Business Tip 4
Athletes like to be recognized.
Look through your athletes’ TrainingPeaks files on a daily basis. Know what your athletes have completed that day and leave them a comment. Tell them ‘good job’ or ‘we’ll talk about this on our next phone call.’
Sit down for a stretch of time and go through all your TrainingPeaks emails and give your athletes a shot of encouragement.
Coaching Business Tip 5
Be the coach who is organized and delivers training schedules several days ahead of when they should start.
If you have a dozen athletes, keeping track of their schedules takes a serious level of organization. I’ve learned that by creating a spreadsheet (I rotate four athlete schedules each week) I am better able to be authentic with their training plans and able to deliver them on time. With a system like this, you don’t have to create 12 schedules every week or do them on different days of the week. Remember the “routine” we talked about?
Pick a day and time where you shut off your internet and email, and only write your training plans for about a third of your athletes. The next week, write a schedule for the next third, and so on. With this plan, you’ll get a week off from writing plans each month.
This keeps it fresh and you’ll actually enjoy writing training schedules. We can all agree that it’s no fun to pull out your computer on Sunday night at 10 pm (and we’ve all done it!) and stare at 15 athletes who need a schedule by the next morning.
Once you design a routine to support your athletes, stick with it and make it happen week after week. It’s no different than an athlete’s training schedule, except this one is about your livelihood and perhaps a wee bit more important to you personally.