I’m going to share my goals for 2015 here. I know this is going to be a big year for us as business owners. My goals are a designed to make sure FTP Coaching grows in reputation, which will lead to growth financially for our household.
Communicate with every athlete on a regular basis (depending on the athlete, this can be every 1-3 weeks) about their workouts, their goals, their various issues that need to be addressed, whatever. No longer leaving this up to the athlete to initiate.
To help me with this, I created a more personal Athlete Information Form this year that has helped me identify a couple key ways to offer more value to each athlete:
1. how often and in what way they would like to communicate
2. what having a coach means to them
These answers get put in a file either as a hidden workout on Training Peaks or on that athlete’s spreadsheet (I’m experimenting with both ways until one sticks). Each week I then see this information and am reminded if it’s time to contact that athlete to check in and what kind of feedback they prefer.
This one feels really personal to me since it’s more about how I present myself to the public. My #1 weakness as a coach is not always speaking the truth as I know it for fear of criticism. This year, my goal is to put myself out there more honestly and personally as a coach and to not let fear of conflict and criticism hold me back. My athletes deserve this. If I don’t have critics, it means I am not a coach of influence and that isn’t ok with me anymore.
This is a primary, MUST DO area of improvement for me this year. Here is the problem: I blog and I write a newsletter. These things all go out to the general population or our subscribers. But we don’t have content just for our team members. We should! They are our most important audience.
To help me with this, I’m using my Athlete Information Form again. One of the questions is “What do you want to learn more about this year?” Again, answers go into a hidden workout on Training Peaks and that athlete’s spreadsheet. There are some common areas of interest: nutrition, racing strategy, gear, etc. So now as I find interesting articles on the web or think about content for our blog and newsletter, I can direct that information directly to the athlete needing it.
There are two kinds of triathlon coaches: the data obsessed and the people obsessed. I’m more the latter, my husband is more the former. It’s not an either-or thing, it’s just that some coaches are way more into the technical side of things and some are way more into the soft, artistic side of coaching. I’m clearly more interested in the soft side, so it’s a goal of mine to focus more on my weakness this year. More specifically, my goal for 2015 is to watch, read, or participate in one tutorial or information session about a technical aspect of coaching every week. This could include reading (or re-reading) a book, watching a webinar, reading an article, taking a course, etc.
There are two prongs to this. One is to create a new platform for athletes to be coached by FTP Coaching. The other is to use a new platform to reach and educate current clients and the general population.
We had a GRAND plan for a new coaching platform that we recently decided to throw out after many hours of hard work and preparation on Andrew’s part. I’ll talk more about that in another post. For now, it’s enough to say that we have decided to focus our energy on piloting a lower-cost coaching option that is in-between static plans and fully integrated online coaching.
Our new platform to reach both our own athletes and the general population will take the form of at least TWO new activities for us this year: a training camp that is open to the public and some kind of interactive online event like a webinar or Google Hangout.
I really, really, REALLY struggle with a few aspects of my work and getting things working for me. I make mistakes in Training Peaks a lot and I am always trying to figure out ways to eliminate these with checklists. Just today I got an email from an athlete that I had forgotten to put their strength training class on their schedule. That is the kind of mistake I make a lot and I am determined to create a system that eliminates mistakes and is easy to use. Additionally, if I want to grow the number of athletes I have I need to be be able to do more work in less time. To facilitate that, some of my/our goals are:
1. Re-build our Training Peaks workout library (Andrew is doing this and so far it’s been awesome!)
2. Create more email templates for frequently asked questions ( I have one for coaching inquiries but that’s it)
3. Create more scheduled automatic emails for weekly feedback and new athlete orientation (considering Boomerang for this)
4. Create training plans and/or an emailed weekly education series that focus on the extra stuff that sometimes gets ignored. For example, I have a training plan that I apply to all my athletes that has a goal setting reminder for the week on Monday, motivation quote on Tuesday, Gratitude prompt on Thursday, and Feedback form link on Sunday. I would like to develop others that are specific to my athlete’s learning goals, like nutrition, race strategy, and recovery principles.
5. Switch to a better accounting system. I think we are going to switch to Quick Books. It’s an important step in being able to effectively handle our anticipated growth this year and will put everything in one place.
Now I would love to hear YOUR goals for business in 2015. I would also love to hear any advice you have for any of the goals I’ve discussed here.
Photo courtesy of Angle Torres