Starting a Mountain Bike Coaching Business: Steps to Success
Starting a Mountain Bike Coaching Business
You have invested in yourself and have done all the hard work, you have completed your Level 1 and Level 2 certifications, built a solid foundation of skills, and are considering starting your own Mountain Bike Coaching business. Before you begin here are some key things to consider.
1. Is there a need for mountain bike coaching in your community?
Do your homework, are you part of the community and actively involved with your local club or trail association? What can you offer and how can it be different and competitive in your community? Competition is good, it will allow you to do your homework and see where you can bring some fresh new ideas to life.
2. What is your niche?
Once you have done your research now you need to decide what your business is going to be. How do you see your business? Are you going to focus on guided rides or skills sessions? Are you going to focus on kids’ programs? Or Adults? Do you have the skill set or will you need to hire employees? These are the questions you will answer when you write your business plan. Your business plan will help you answer the tough questions and map out your ideas.
3. Money, money, money
Unfortunately, in most cases, you need it to make it. The initials costs can add up in the beginning and you need to be prepared for unexpected expenses of running your own business.
Things to consider are: Do you need a lawyer, web designer, insurance, employees?
4. Location is everything.
We have heard this time and time again and it is true. Be sure to consider this as well, do you plan to coach at a public park or a local trailhead? Do you need permits?
5. What type of business structure is right for your business?
There are many different business structures to consider. The decision you make has long-lasting tax implications, Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a traditional Corporation (C-Corp), S-Corporation, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). The best advice is to visit the IRS website or talk to a local accountant before you decide what is right for your business. Check out the U.S. Small Business Association website – it’s a great resource to help you get started!
6. What is Your Brand?
Create your business name. Your name and logo are the start of your brand identity and will help your customer understand who you are and what you have to offer. Your brand identity should be aligned with your brand message. What you provide your customers, including the level of service you offer will help shape and define your brand.
7. Make it legal
It is time to make it legal. Do you use a lawyer and accountant to help with the process? Depending on the business structure you choose you might need to have a lawyer draft a partnership agreement. You need to register your business, file for state and federal tax ID numbers, business permits, business licenses, banking, and accounting procedures. This is the one place to seek professional advice from lawyers, accountants, and insurance.
The biggest thing to remember is if you have a passion for and believe in your business, the hard work will be worth it!
Co-owner of March Northwest Inc
A local mountain bike skills coaching and guiding business in Bellingham, WA.