The Craft of Coaching with Joe Friel logo

4 // The Business of Coaching

Endurance coach Philip Hatzis speaks with other coaches at an endurance sports coaching conference.
Courtesy Philip Hatzis/Tri Training Harder

This module of The Craft of Coaching delves into the business of coaching. Joe Friel has lined up master coaches who successfully built up coaching businesses with staying power. Find out how they navigated the challenges of establishing their business, becoming profitable, marketing for growth, and building up a team of coaches.

Coach Philip Hatzis coaching an athlete

Different Business Models for Coaching

Joe Friel explores the pros and cons of different options available to coaches, both online or face-to-face. Consider the quality of the service you deliver, the time investment, what it’s worth, and the level of expertise required.
Coach Philip Hatzis reviews a plan with another Tri Training Harder Coach

Build a Solid Platform for Growth

Coach Philip Hatzis is in the business of positioning coaches for growth, both professionally and financially. He describes the mindset that every coach needs to embrace before they can effectively grow their business.

In a conversation with Joe Friel, Gordo Byrn describes how training for his first ironman-distance triathlon put his life on a new trajectory. The ultra-distance world champion and pro triathlete was an open book from start to finish, sharing his training and racing with athletes every step of the way. His impressive results earned him a coaching business that saw steady growth. His advice to new coaches is a bold order: “Expect to make money from Day 1.”

Title card for Making Money as a Coach

Making Money as a Coach

Gordo Byrn used his racing career to build a coaching business. It started as a side gig to cover his racing habit, but, like many coaches, eventually he had to figure out how to turn a profit . . . and fast. Coming from the world of finance, Gordo brings a unique perspective to the business of coaching.

Both Gordo Byrn and Philip Hatzis emphasize the need to think about how you spend your time as a coach. If you aren’t intentional, your bottom line will suffer. Once you have a realistic picture of the costs of your business, you can follow Gordo’s lead to carve out the time you want to invest in the business, and how to value that time.

Coach Gordo Byrn on a trail in the Grand Canyon

Finding the Value of Your Time

Your billable rate is a key metric that will inform nearly every decision that you need to make in running a business. Gordo Byrn applied the same approach he took with his financial consulting business to his coaching business.

FasCat Coaching has tapped the power of digital marketing in its effort to make athletes fast. Owner Frank Overton shares what he has learned since he built his first website, which he paid for with pizza and beer, only to have no one show up. Find out how to use content marketing to attract athletes to your site and grow your business in the most cost-effective way.

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Marketing Your Coaching Business

Frank Overton of FasCat Coaching streamlines a strategy for cost-effective marketing that can be scaled to fit any business. Couple a simple website with smart content marketing and you can get real traction that leads to growth.

See how marketing works for two coaching businesses. They explain how content is handled across their respective websites, social channels, and email newsletters. The best part is, much of that content spins out of the questions athletes bring to their coaches.

FasCat Coaches riding on a gravel road

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Marketing

Frank Overton and Mike Ricci share more detail about their marketing strategies, both of which place a strong emphasis on attracting athletes with solid training advice.

Growth means different things at different stages of your coaching career. When you are ready to hire additional coaches, whether as contractors or employees, there are many factors to consider. Mike Ricci describes the high-stakes game of managing a coaching team.

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Managing a Coaching Team

Mike Ricci of D3 Multisport started out with a goal of getting to 100 athletes. He quickly realized he was going to need to hire more coaches. He describes the mistakes he made early in his career and how he manages his business now.

Draw from the lessons Mike Ricci learned as he grew D3 Multisport from a solo venture with 50+ athletes to a coaching business of 5-6 coaches and over 100 athletes. 

Coaching business non-negotiables

5 Non-Negotiables to Include in a Contract

A good contract positions your coaching business for growth by creating opportunity and defending against unforeseen threats. Use your contracts to clearly define expectations for members of your coaching team.

You might choose to bring on coaches as contractors or employees. Our master coaches describe each of those scenarios and what they value most in a coach.

Coach Mike Ricci training athletes

How to Hire Coaching Staff

Frank Overton and Mike Ricci describe how they go about hiring coaches to join their team. With hindsight on their side, these coaches explain why people and process factor heavily into their hiring decisions.

The Craft of Coaching series frequently includes profiles on legendary coaches in endurance sport, including Franz Stampfl, Doc Counsilman, and Arthur Lydiard. The business of coaching has changed dramatically in recent years, so Joe Friel turns his attention to a contemporary coach. In her first bike race, a straight-away sprint against a field of men, she discovered her love for the sport.

Coach Kendra Wenzel consulting with her athlete at Cyclocross world championships

Modern Profiles in the Craft of Coaching: Kendra Wenzel

Wenzel Coaching is a Portland-based business co-founded by former pro cyclist Kendra Wenzel. Today she coaches athletes at the highest level of the sport and equips her team of coaches to work with a wide range of clients. Find out more about her winning formula and her commitment to growing the sport of cycling.