How to Start a Running Coach Business: Actionable Steps to Take
Do you enjoy running? Have you run marathons, maybe even professionally? Do you have a passion for helping others to perform at their best?
If you answered yes to at least one of those questions, you might have what it takes to start a running coach business. The best way to take your passion for running and turn it into something lucrative is to become a certified running coach. Whether you want to start a marathon coach business, become a 5K coach, or simply help people drop a few pounds; you need to take the right steps to make your dream a reality.
There are a few actionable steps in this article that will help you move closer to your dream.
Mapping it Out
I like to think that your first step to becoming anything is to have a plan. You need to have a strategy, so you know what kind of running coach you want to be. You should have a philosophy first before anything else.
Take a look at yourself when you’re trying to figure out your coaching style. Are you a marathon runner yourself? Maybe you’re more of a teacher than a runner, let all of these factors influence your training philosophy.
The most important thing to remember is that you are coaching the individual, and you need to cater to each person uniquely.
Once you have your fitness business plan mapped out, it’s time to think about the serious stuff. You don’t need to get a certification, but it helps when you’re trying to get business. People will take you more seriously if you are certified.
The hardest part of any business is getting started so to start a running coach business I recommend you get one of these two certifications:
- RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) – This is a two day, 16-hour course that covers areas like running form, sports nutrition, injury prevention, and coaching. Once you finish the course, you’ll have to take a 100-question test and get your First Aid and CPR certifications.
- USA Track and Field – This coaching education is for individuals looking to coach at the high school or collegiate levels. There are many different courses available from this platform, and you have to work your way up from the bottom if you have no experience. In addition to running, you’ll also get trained in throwing and jumping events that are a major part of track and field.
You’ll want to take a run through both of these course platforms to see which one makes the most sense for you.
Once you have your coaching business plan all planned out and you’ve decided on what certification you’re going to get, you need to think about insurance. It’s incredibly important that your business is legally protected from a lawsuit. If you don’t have protection, anyone could sue you, and that could quickly impact your personal life outside of the business.
You can get your insurance through USA Track and Field and the RRCA. The only way to do that is by getting certified by one of those organizations. As you can see, all of these steps go hand in hand, so it’s important not to skip anything.
There are other fitness liability insurance providers out there as well so make sure you conduct plenty of research, so you understand your options.
Forming Your Business
Part of getting legal protection is separating your business from your personal life. If you don’t form an LLC or an S corp, everything to do with your business is intertwined with your assets. If you are starting this business later in life (like many people do) you might already have a family, a house, cars, and plenty of other assets; you need to protect these things.
If someone sustains an injury under your coaching, they could sue and cause you to lose some of your property. Forming an LLC is the best way to protect your personal life even if your business takes a turn for the worse. If you have an LLC, someone looking to sue, you can only take from your business assets.
Running Coach: Getting the Word Out
Now that we have all the boring and serious stuff out of the way, it’s time to get some business. Where do you start?
Building your website
The first step towards getting some business is to build an authority website. You want to make sure the website looks professional, and it works well on both phones and desktop computers. Use a reputable hosting provider such as Blue Host who will provide you with the ability to create WordPress or WooCommerce based websites quickly and easily. You should get your fitness business a Google My Business listing so local clients can find you.
Another great way for people to find your locally and nationally is to list your coaching business on a site like TheRunnersHub.com. Here, people looking specifically for running coaches can easily find you, and there is a free package to get started.
Building your reputation
The problem when you are starting is, you don’t have a reputation. When no one knows you, you have no experience, and you have no results; it’s difficult to get off the ground. You want to make sure you are building a strong network on social media, and you should write blog posts regularly.
Consider pitching blog ideas to running websites with a higher readership. If you can get an article on a blog with a lot of traffic, you can quickly position yourself as an expert in this industry. You might also find someone on there who wants to hire you.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Staying consistent and not getting frustrated when things go wrong is the most important thing I could tell you. Things will not always go right, and you’re going to encounter a lot of problems on your journey, but just like with running, you need to stay consistent. You need to get up every day and take small steps that will get you closer to your goals.
Keep working at it and enjoy the ride!