The Art of Delegation
Running a successful tennis coaching business requires the joint forces of several different roles all the way from administration to marketing to program and staff management. Where the MOST important part is the coaching that happens on the court, a well organised business off the court is key to a successful reputation. The major mistake people make is that they try and do everything which results in higher stress, lower performance and an unsustainable business model.
As I originally learnt in the small business system bible, The E Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, creating systems is the only way to keep your sanity as well as your efficiency and performance as a business. Each of these roles needs to have daily/weekly/monthly/termly or yearly tasks assigned to them so that it can be easily learned and consistently executed.
So what should you as the business owner focus on?
Well this depends on your strengths and weaknesses. Where coaches of all different personalities can be impactful, your personality off the court can be your biggest help or hindrance, depending on the task. Are you a detail person who likes to focus on repetitive but predictable tasks? Or are you a creative person who would rather focus on content creation? Do you like numbers and enjoy keeping a close eye on your income, expenses and profit or do you find this overwhelming and tedious?
Ultimately though the business owner is normally the club coach or director of tennis and must be in charge of some of these roles. Relationships with the club committee and also with their coaching and administration team are a must. However the business owner can consider delegating some of these roles to their main coaches or to an outsider with a specific skillset. By delegating to your coaches you do add another element to their job and gives them more experience and insight into the other parts of a tennis business.
Now for me personally I have a creative, big picture mind and have a terrible lack of attention at times, especially on repetitive tasks. So I employ a permanent part time office manager to look after our scheduling, accounts and enrolments. I also outsource to an external bookeeper who keeps my ATO requirements in check and staff paid weekly and employ a junior coordinator to keep our junior club competitions side organised.
However I have a natural affinity for content creation and therefore stay in charge of social media and newsletter communication. I also have a passion for helping my coaching team and constantly reviewing and tweaking the programs we are running. So for me personally I focus on the areas I am naturally strong at and delegate in the areas that I am not so proficient.
Yes it costs money to delegate tasks to other people but if you free up time in one area, you can focus more time in another area. This may be more hours on the court or other brand and business building development (working ON not IN your business) which may not always bring in short term income but will help grow the business over time.
For some people delegating is nearly impossible for them. Control freaks! But for those control freaks they need to put their controlling energy into documenting the tasks and then meeting regularly to ensure all is smooth. For me personally, delegating some areas of a business is absolutely essential to my business and I would struggle to take on all the different roles, especially over the medium to long term.
So Club Coaches and Directors of Tennis, are you delegating enough? and if you are, are your systems working well enough?
Below is our coach relationships and the various roles within our business.
Director and Club Coach