On January 21, 2021 Stacey and I had the privilege of presenting to a (virtual) Endurance Exchange. While we would have much preferred to be in person and collaborating together, USAT was able to pull together a lot of speakers and sessions that make the conference a success.
As far as presenting goes, this was my fifth or sixth time presenting at the conference (or its predecessor) and Stacey’s second. We had two hours to work through Business Fundamentals (you can still sign up to see the recorded session here). A topic we both hold near and dear to our hearts. In fact, its why we started our business mentorship program. We both strongly believe that there are lots of amazing coaches out there that have the coaching side down pat, but need some expert advice on the business side. As much as coaching is a labor of love, its also a business.
Our goals for the session were pretty simple. We wanted coaches to walk away with the basic tools to start a business from both a legal and financial perspective. This included knowing the right questions to ask and recognizing when to reach out for help from professionals. We also believe it is important to help each other out, we want to help coaches who want to succeed. It is important to work together for the growth of the sport.
We used specific examples and data from our nine years of business ownership with Sonic Endurance and tried to answer as many questions as possible (big shout out to Col. Yvonne Spencer for being a fabulous emcee). This is stuff Stacey and I could talk about all day. In fact, we do have lots of these conversations on almost a daily basis. Its how we get better. Its how we grow. As Stacey reminds me — Iron Sharpens Iron.
We gave coaches a checklist (see the slides above) and also made a tool kit available so coaches could see examples that we’ve used at Sonic. Both Stacey and I are of the belief that there are no secrets in the coaching business. The more we all share, the better we are going to be collectively.
In our presentation we broke down business basics into four parts:
- Legal Issues for Starting or Growing a Business
- Financial Issues and Decisions All Endurance Sports Businesses Face
- The Importance of the Athlete Relationship
- Preparing Your Business to Grow (Why Marketing Matters)
While we covered a lot, as we only had two hours there are lots of things we wished we could have gone into more depth about. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to take each topic and lay out our presentation in blog form. If you have questions, or thoughts, or comments, we’d love to hear them. We can all work to together to help professionalize the business side of coaching and endurance sports.