At Forever Endurance, co-owners Cody Moore and Grant Holicky have coaches lean into the services that an MBA and education program can provide. Grant explains the benefits of these business services with Joe Friel.
You have reached the end of The Craft of Coaching Module 5 // Managing Athletes & Service Providers. Next up is Module 6 // Managing Athlete Performance.
Joe Friel 00:06
Today I want to talk with you about how to provide services for your company. We’ve talked in the past, a lot of times about how to improve the services you provide to your athletes. Let’s talk today about what service you can provide your assistant coaches. How can you go about making your business a stronger business?
Joe Friel 00:23
To help me with that today is Grant Holicky. Grant, thanks for coming on board to give me some assistance with this issue.
Grant Holicky 00:29
Great to be here, Joe.
Joe Friel 00:31
You’ve got a lot of things going on in your company. You’ve gotten all your clients and you’ve also got these all these experts who are outside of your company who are all providing services to your clients. It sounds like you’ve got the makings of a business that can grow quite a bit.
Offering business services to support coaches
Grant Holicky 00:47
We’re able to provide as a coaching group, the support, the behind the scenes. We used to call it and swim in the dry side of swimming. The billing, the accounting, the taxes, all those pieces that a lot of coaches don’t necessarily want to do, and it gets harder, it gets overwhelming. We can do that for the coach, and we can also provide an in house education system.
Grant Holicky 01:14
My title is Director of Coaching. As many calls as I’m getting (probably not quite as many), but many calls that I’m getting from fellow coaches in the company going, “Hey, I’m having this problem with this athlete, what’s your two cents?” or sitting down and saying, “Hey, we’re gonna do a monthly meeting, and we’re all going to bring something up from our world of expertise.” I may bring something up from the world of mental strength. Cody may bring something up from the scientific article that he read on lactate or something along those lines. So we’re providing not just a home, but an opportunity for growth as well. I really want this whole idea still, if you’re hiring Forever Endurance coach, you’re getting all that Forever Endurance.
Benefits from business services, backend work
Joe Friel 02:03
You touched on a point we haven’t talked about at all, which is the business side of coaching. That’s one of the areas that always concerns coaches, especially new coaches, because they come into this perhaps with a sports science background. Yet, now they’re trying to run a business. That a lot different than sports science. How do you go about dealing with the business side of your coaching company?
Grant Holicky 02:28
Again, like I said, I my co-owner as an MBA, pretty lucky guy. Cody founded the company originally when he was in college. The company’s been around for a long, long time. We were both working with Neil Henderson. I learned a lot from Neil through the years. Then, as Neil started the transition to Oahu, and some of these things we moved out on our own.
Grant Holicky 02:53
Cody has always had an interest in the business side of the company, and he’s always the one looking out, “Well, is there a better billing platform? Is there a better way to do this? Is there a better way to do that?” That’s a luxury that I have that I think a lot of coaches don’t have. That was something that I actually actively looked for in a partner. I didn’t want to go out and do this on my own, and feel like this is something that I’m not great at. It’s probably I’m not great at because I’m not that interested in, but Cody is so, we’ve really benefited from that. But I personally think that a lot of coaches could use that business support. It’s a place that they end up feeling like they don’t want to spend their money on that because there’s so many other things going on. But the streamline the the efficiency that you gain, and probably the money you’re ultimately going to save, is going to be worth it.
Joe Friel 03:48
Is there somebody on staff besides Cody, who handles things like billing, or the details of running a business?
Grant Holicky 03:55
He does most of it because he only coaches one or two athletes. So he’s doing almost all that backend work. Then we’re left to just coach and do the things that we love to do, which is again, really, really nice.
Billing and audit responsibilities
Joe Friel 04:10
I understand. I was on the other side of that when I had my coaching company, every coach had to do their own billing, which became somewhat of a nuisance because they weren’t always good at it.
Grant Holicky 04:21
What you end up having to do is go and double check everything or audit everything, and I remember this when I was running a swim program. I had all my lessons with people, and they would turn in their private lessons. I was like, “Great, you turned it in. I have to go through every single one of these charges and make sure it’s right.” So that same idea, ultimately now, we’re expecting the coaches to audit their payroll every month. They have access to the billing software, they can go through and make sure that everything happened. We explained that very clearly up front. This is your responsibility, so if you have an app that their auto pay stopped for some reason or their cards not working, that’s on you to make sure that you’re noticing that. If you go for months without getting paid, I’m not necessarily turning around back to your athlete and going, “Hey, I’m gonna bill you 1,200 bucks right here.” That’s on the individual coaches, but that’s a minor ask. At the end of the month, they can sit down, they can go through that, [meanwhile] we’re handling the credit card information, we’re handling those pieces of the puzzle.
Joe Friel 05:25
Great, that’s glad to hear. There’s a lot of stuff going on with your company. This is very interesting for me, because I’ve seen coaching go from one-on-one, just one coach, and a handful of athletes to something which is becoming more like what I would call a business today. It was obviously a business when it was one-on-one, but it wasn’t as big a business as it is now. There weren’t as many details that take care of, so in the new world of coaching, there’s just a tremendous number of details. What I like is you figured out ways to cover the bases, so that your clients get services, you get services, your company gets services, and everybody comes out there a winner. Lots of things going on there.
Investing in coaching and their careers
Grant Holicky 06:06
Yeah, and that’s the hope. One of the things that I’ve always struggled with, like I said, I’ve been in this profession for 30 years, and I got into it the way so many coaches got into it, I was an athlete, and here was an opportunity provided to me. I can’t tell you how many swim coaches I know that graduated, they were a division one swimmer, they were a stud and they didn’t know what else to do. The coach said, “Hey, you can have a GA position,” and they took it.
Grant Holicky 06:31
What coaching is locked through the years is the details of a true profession. How do we explain it to our family and our friends and our peers of what it is that we do. When you cover the bases like this and you turn it into a true profession, you’re giving coaches an opportunity to make a career out of it. You’re giving them an opportunity to save money, giving them an opportunity, like we want to offer (and we’d have with some of our coaches), an opportunity at an ownership stake. That’s how we’re going to keep them. Otherwise we’re going to give them all their skills, and this is okay. I’m okay with the college basketball method of coaching where you educate an assistant coach and they go off and take their own job, I’m actually okay with that. But if I can create a way that they can stay with me for an awful long time, maybe I’m not getting as much out of them from a financial point of view. But I still have their knowledge. I still have their companionship and I still have their support within the company, and that’s what we’re looking for.
Joe Friel 07:25
Excellent stuff, Grant thanks so much. Those are some really good ideas, some things that I know coaches can benefit from that can really grow their companies. I really appreciate your time and your expertise.
Grant Holicky 07:39
Joe Friel 07:40
Bringing in people to help out with your business is really a good thing to be thinking about. What can you do to be a better businessman? This is not what we’re typically cut out to do as coaches. We don’t think in terms of the business side of things, probably enough. So now I would suggest that as you watch what Grant has been telling us about how he runs his company, these are things for you to take off and start giving some thought to yourself. How can I improve my company?