Love Running? Another Take on How to Start Your Own Running Business with Runners Connect Founder Jeff Gaudette

Start a running business? Jeff Gaudette talks about another type

Last week we had guests Misa Dugally, Jeff Stokes, and Katie Ownbey talk about starting their running business, STRIDE which is a franchise type of business, geared to runners. Our focus during the talk was to introduce you, as running lovers, to some of the business options out there that cater to runners if you are considering this line of work. 

Today we have our very own Runners Connect Founder Jeff Gaudette to share his story. Jeff takes us through his business evolution of working with runners, culminating in what we now know and have come to love as RunnersConnect.

Business entities, employees, and the joys of being a business owner

In addition to the inspiration behind RC, Jeff also shares with us his methodology for his business and has great insight for those considering starting a running related business of their own. He talks about business entities, employees, and the joys (and even the downsides, of being a business owner. 

We think you’ll enjoy this inside look into Jeff’s business and hope it helps you if you’re looking to start your own.


Questions Jeff is asked:

2:22 What is your running background and what was the turning point to start a running business?

3:32 When did you decide that massage was only going to be a part of what you were doing and you became a full-fledged running business?

4:32 What did you consider that would make your running business unique?

6:08 How important was it to leverage science and research with RunnersConnect?

7:37 How integral was the internet for starting your business?

10:26 What kind of legal business entity is RunnersConnect?

10:59 What was the reason for creating a separate entity vs. continuing as a sole-proprietor?

13:00 How important is it that entrepreneurs determine the appropriate business and tax structure?

14:04 How have you handled adding employees to the business?

17:29 What’s an example of something you tried with RunnersConnect that didn’t work out?

19:40 How important is it to stay focused on your core strategy and not get diluted?

20:58 How much time per week do you spend working on the business?

23:19 What are some of RunnersConnect’s defining successes?

25:09 How many athletes does your coaching team work with?

25:42 What are some downsides to owning your own business?

28:01 How much time do you have for your own running?

30:44 What upcoming events or exciting news do you have for listeners?

31:40 How can people find out about scheduled events?

32:53 What advice do you have for people wanting to start a running business?

35:29 Any final thoughts?

38:00 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource? 
  3. What does Runners Connect offer, both free and premium content, and how can listeners learn more?


“I have flexible hours, in that I can take a day off if I want here or there, but there are also times where I’m waking up at 11:00 at night and realizing that something needs to get done or waking up early in the morning and realizing there’s a customer service issue that needs to get taken care of. Those are the hardest things.”

“(As a business owner), you have to make decisions every single day without having all of the data.”

“One of the issues that I’ve always had, I work from home for the most part, and issues most people have with working from home is that it’s very difficult to ‘turn off’ because there’s very little separation between your work environment and your home environment.”

“When you’re first starting out (with a new running business), focus on a niche. I see a lot of running businesses or running coaches try to be a coach for everyone. But, I think you’re going to turn off potential athletes.”

“When you read those race reports or get those emails where people talk about how much you’ve helped, it’s just an amazing feeling.”

“I really wanted to be able to provide opportunities for athletes that were training at the professional level and needed some kind of outside job support in order to allow them to continue to train.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast: 

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

UCAN Homepage

Hansons Running Team

RunnersConnect Running Retreats

RunnersConnect Homepage

Torrey Pines State Reserve Loop

Book: Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling

Podcast: Startups For the Rest of Us

Follow Jeff on:

email Jeff


We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top. 

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