Scalability is your ability to run your business more efficiently as the demand for your business grows. Because, as private coaches, we have a service-based business that is largely dependent on the amount of time we spend with clients, this can be difficult.
At first glance, the amount of time and effort is directly proportional to the amount of clients we work with on a given day. 5 coaching sessions = 5 hours of work and those 5 hours provide me with a fixed rate. However, there are a few things we can do that will help us increase the income earned per time spent coaching.
I list my rate for $60 for a one hour one-on-one session. I also live about 20 minutes away from my training location, so any single session I hold involves 40 minutes of total drive time. Add in the fact I like to get there 15 minutes early and have 5 minutes of small talk with the client or someone at the gym after the session and all of a sudden, I am putting in 2 hours of my time for one session.
This is why I almost exclusively plan my sessions so that I can stack one after another.
With adding one more session with a client either directly before, or directly afterwards I am now spending 50% more time (3 hours instead of 2) and increasing my revenue by 100% (2 sessions instead of 1).
As you can see, the more sessions you can schedule consecutively, the higher your effective earnings rate is.
Obviously, this is easier said than done. You will need to have multiple active clients, who are all willing to work at the same training location. In my experience, clients are generally understanding of this and willing to be flexible with their scheduling in order to help (within reason) to make this possible.
I think I learned more about baseball from talking to teammates in the dugout, locker room, and long bus rides to and from games than I did from coaches during my career. The point here is that while there is definitely a benefit to one-on-one attention, there are also things that clients can learn by working amongst each other during group sessions. They can also compete and motivate each other.
On the business side, each client can pay a little less, and you still make a little more for the same amount of time spent. Who knows, maybe the decrease in rate will open room in the athlete’s budget to work with you twice a week instead of once a week.
Instead of $60, maybe I charge $30 for an hour but get a group of 4 and have them meet twice a week, since the parents are still paying $60 per week. $30 X 4 athletes X twice a week = $240. If I do four one-on-one sessions with those same clients, I’m spending four coaching hours for the same revenue. It depends on the athletes in your network, but this is a more efficient way to monetize your time, and arguably a more efficient way to develop players as well.
This same logic can extend to larger group sessions, clinics and large group events/camps as well. Ultimately, your business will likely be a blend of all of these options, but you always want to keep an eye out for clients you think will be a good fit for each option as you go so that you can plan accordingly.
Adding a new client to your network adds more value than simply the possible training sessions you can have with that client - it also helps you operate and schedule your athletes more efficiently and scale your coaching business.
Mike Weisman is on the Coach Engagement Team at CoachUp and doubles as a part-time baseball coach on the CoachUp platform.