Business Plans for Sports Performance – Jim Kielbaso

Opening a business without a solid plan is a recipe for disaster.  It’s important that you have a thorough knowledge of your business and have thought about as many different options and scenarios as possible so that you’re prepared for the ups and downs of starting a business.  Before you start a business, take the time to think through everything involved in running a sports performance business, and use your business plan as a roadmap for success.business plan for sports performance

There are two kinds of business plans for sports performance businesses – a Traditional Plan and a Lean Startup Plan.  The Small Business Association has an excellent business planning resource that explains what goes into each plan.  The Traditional Plan is more geared toward approaching a bank or investor and is typically done in a standard format.  The Lean Startup Plan is more of a roadmap that outlines your resources and the key relationships you have to help you succeed.  I recently started Impact Sports Performance in Novi, MI and I chose to use the Lean Startup Plan because I didn’t need investors or a loan.  I have created Traditional Plans before, but I thought a Lean Startup Plan was more appropriate this time.  I also find this version more helpful in keeping your thoughts organized so you can take advantage of your opportunities.  Ultimately, you should probably do BOTH kinds of plans, but I personally feel it’s important to go through the Lean Startup Plan to help guide your course of action.

While the Traditional Plan includes more detailed financial projections, the Lean Startup Plan will force you to think about the resources and key relationships you have available.  For example, do you have relationships with coaches at a local high school or club sports organization?  Do you have access to equipment or space for training?  Do you already train athletes from a particular area that you believe will help spread your message?  Do you have people that can help with accounting, business structure creation, social media, website buildout, email promotion, construction/build-out, and more.  The Lean Startup Plan will help you focus on the nuts & bolts of your business, while the Traditional Plan will help you project into the future.

While the Traditional Plan typically has a standard format, the nice part of working on the Lean Startup Plan is that you can organize it in any way you choose.  This is more for you, so you can write it on paper, type it on a computer, jot down notes on your phone, or leave voice memos.  You just want to spend time thinking through all of your opportunities.

Even if you are already in business, I believe that the process of creating one of these business plans will produce plenty of value.  You will have to do a little research, think deeply about your position in the area, and organize your thoughts on how you will approach certain people or groups.

If you’re interested in opening a sports performance business, make sure you take advantage of the SBA resource above and take some time to create your business plan.  Ultimately, your business plan should help you take action.  No business has ever been successful without taking massive action, so use this process to guide the steps you’ll take as you embark on your new journey.


Jim Kielbaso IYCAJim Kielbaso is the President of the IYCA and Owner of Impact Sports Performance in Novi, MI.  He has authored multiple books, articles and training products and has spoken at events around the world.  He holds a BS in Exercise Science, an MS in Kinesiology and has gone through multiple certifications through the IYCA, NSCA, NASM and more.  Jim is a former college strength & conditioning coach and has trained thousands of athletes at every level of competition.  He runs a successful NFL Combine training program in Michigan and has been hired as a consultant for major sports programs like the University of Michigan Football Program and the University of Kentucky Basketball Program.


To learn more from Jim, check out the IYCA Certified Speed & Agility Specialist course.  The CSAS is the most comprehensive and scientifically sound speed certification in the athletic development profession.  It truly prepares you to teach and develop speed.  Click on the image below to learn more.

speed & agility certification

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