Goal Setting For Your Coaching Business

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | By Stephen Hancock
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We all know the importance of setting goals, as an athlete, for the season. And, it is something coaches often have to pull out of their clients and remind them of throughout the year.

But, let me ask you; What are your goals for your business this coming year? Do you know? Have you set them up yet? Do you have any? Your business goals are just as important to your career as a coach, as your clients’ season goals are to them as athletes.

Last year, coach Adam Hodges of Alp Fitness wrote an excellent post for athletes about effective goal setting.

This year, let’s take Adam’s advice and flip it around to see how his 10 guidelines for effective goal-setting can work for your coaching business, too.

1. "Set long-term, intermediate, and short-term goals."

I see long-term goals as being “down the road”: two, five, or even 10 years. In that time frame, do you want to be coaching 100 clients, have five coaches working underneath you, and take some more time off than you have in the past? Set it and make it happen!

Intermediate and short-term goals are set to get us to our long-term goals. And, they help us keep the train on the tracks (short-term) and heading in the right direction (intermediate).

Evaluate what you need to do in order to make your long-term goal become realized. Set milestones that you can hit that will make you successful.

2. "Keep records and evaluate progress."

Okay, goals are set. Now what? Just like a workout - measure it and track it. How are you doing in your short-term goals? How is this affecting you hitting your intermediate and long-term goals?

It is no different than evaluating your client’s data in timely manner. Set your intervals to check in and assess and reassess where you are, how far you have come, and what corrections, if any, need to be made to keep you on track.

3. Set goals for both your business and yourself in your business.

Your personal growth in business comes in two ways: education and experience. You are getting the experience side but many people seem to let the education side slide. You can learn so much and grow personally in business by continuing to educate yourself.

Look back at what has made you successful. What has not worked out so well that you have tried in the past? Here is where the “experience” side of things comes into play. We have all done this with sports that we compete in. Bring this valuable tool over to your business and practice it here as well.

4. "Set goals that are difficult yet realistic."

Push yourself and push your business. Are you coaching so that you can support a hobby? Okay, nothing wrong with that. Or, are you trying to make this your “job”? Is this already your full-time job?

Set goals that are realistic to your ambitions as well as your capability.

Ambition: “This is my full time job” - then we probably won’t have the same goals as the coach that does this as a hobby.

Capability: “I do this as a hobby” - if so, wanting to coach 100 athletes by yourself is not realistic.

Lofty goals are good. But, they do need to be realistic.

5. "Devise goals that are specific."

If you want to grow your business by “x” number of coaches and “x” number of athletes by Year 5, how are you going to get there? What specifically do you need to do to make this happen? Think about your goals and set in motion the actions that you need to take to make them a reality.

6. "Devise goals that are measurable."

What constitutes meeting your goals? Measurable goals are definitely easier to track. Is it revenue, number of clients, year over year growth rate, or number of coaches working under you? When you make specific, measurable goals for your business, you can more easily track where you are and how you are doing along the way.

7. State goals in the positive.

“I don’t want to go out of business” or “I don’t want to lose all of my clients in the off-season” are not the ideal way to think about what you want to accomplish. Instead, “I want to grow my business this year by 25%” or “I want to maintain three to five clients over the off-season this year with five to eight the following year” are much more positive ways to set yourself up for success.

8. "Keep goals under your control."

I always raced “within my box”. Meaning, I had a plan and executed this plan within a “box”. The box can be 100 yards, until the next mile, or the next aid station. You race and execute your plan within your box and don't worry about extenuating factors or circumstances. An Ironman was a repetition of “here to there” a hundred times over for 140.6 miles. Kicked in the face and goggles are off in the swim, reset, new box. Start over again when I reach the next box.

Similarly, you can’t control everything when it comes to your business. You can’t control the economy, so don’t try to set goals that rely on the economy tripling in the next three years. Understand what you can control in your business and set your goals accordingly.

9. "Own your goals."

No different than the accountability your bring to your athletes. Bring that same accountability to yourself and your business.

10. "Involve a support system."

Mentors, friends in the business, friends outside the business, loved ones - you have a plethora of resources this day and age from other people to the Internet. None of us invented this business. So, none of us can say we did it on our own. This is where your continuing education comes into play. Help others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

With the help of this great goal-setting framework what I have learned along the way, I hope that it gets you thinking about your business and setting goals to improve.

Have the best 2014 ever! We appreciate being one of your resources, a part of your support system, and most importantly - we appreciate you for being one of our customers!

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