Sports Instructor Business: Are you making those 3 mistakes?

Whether you’ve just started your sports instructor business, or whether you’ve been coaching or guiding sports clients for years, there are 3 mistakes that you might be making when it comes to growing your business.

1 Counting too much on organic word-of-mouth

“Do good work > expect client to recommend you to his friends.” Sounds great, right? Word-of-mouth often looks like the easiest and cheapest way to get new clients. For a small number of sports instructors, it does indeed work wonder – especially if they’ve just started*. (*If that’s you, don’t change a thing!)

However, do not overestimate your clients’ willingness to recommend your services. After all, although they like working with you, how sure can they be that their friend will feel the same? Also, once you’re established and have exhausted your circle of initial clients, referrals might start drying out.

So don’t be afraid to incentivise your clients to refer you to a friend:

  • Why not offer a free lesson as soon as their friend has booked their first lesson?
  • Or you could offer a 3-for-1 free lesson, whereby a client can get a free session if they invite 2 friends to join in. This might help break the barriers with their friends, who might be unsure if your sessions are right for them.

2 Not doing enough social media

As a sports instructor business owner, we’re hoping that either 1) you are already on social media or 2) you aren’t on social media but know you should be. Social media has simply become too crucial to small businesses like yours to ignore. It is one of the cheapest ways to generate awareness and credibility, and it can be done on-the-go, for example while you’re waiting for your next client.

So if you’re not on it, pick one channel and get started. We’d suggest Facebook page for business, Twitter or Instagram as easy platforms to start with. Do not attempt to master too many channels at once, as each has got its own personality and style, so focus on one. Get started with those tips.

Sports Instructor business management tool finances bookings3 Avoiding the admin of your sports instructor business

Paperwork, he? I’m sure you didn’t sign up for that. As a small business owner myself, I know how unexciting it can be to manage your admin. However, smart sports instructor business owners who are aiming high know the drill: if you want to grow, you have to keep it organised. So make sure you:

  • Keep your clients informed at all times. Ask them what their favourite way of contact is (email, text message, phone call, phone calendar invitation, whatsapp…) and use their preferred channel to confirm sessions, track progresses and acknowledge payments.
  • Have a grand plan. Dream of doubling your client base within 3 months? Write it down in big letters. Make a simple note on your phone, or on your fridge, and keep updating it as you progress towards your goal. After all, “People do not fail in life because they aim too high and miss. They fail in life because they aim too low and hit.” –Author unknown
  • Keep tabs on your finances. All it requires is a simple pen/paper or electronic spreadsheet with your income and your spending in 2 columns. Stick to the easiest way for you to keep track on-the-go, so there’s no excuses to fall behind.

Those are just a few tips to help you grow your sports instructors business. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author Hugo Elliott

Hugo's an endurance and adventure sports nut who's completed the Swiss KIM, London Marathon and Ironman Switzerland. When he's not in the 'office' he can be found out cycling or ski touring. He co-founded OffPeaks.

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