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Put Me In Coach! The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Growing a Coaching Business

Are you thinking of starting a coaching business?

If yes, you might want to sit down for this. In a recent International Coach Federation survey, 70 percent of respondents said business coaching is very valuable to them and 50 percent said they confide in their life coach as much as their spouse, therapist or best friend.

Clearly, many people value the importance of coaching, be it in business, career or life in general. As an entrepreneur, there couldn’t be a better time to start a coaching business.

Keep reading to learn what it takes to build a profitable business from scratch.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Any savvy entrepreneur can start a coaching business. However, not everyone is cut out to be a coach.

You might be good at developing business strategies, but if you don’t have a passion for helping other people, it’s not likely that you will succeed as a coach.

You also need strong interpersonal skills. Coaching involves lots of interactions, so you must be able to easily build rapport with clients from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

A competent coach is an empathetic person. Over the course of your practice, you’ll come across people facing various challenges. You must be able to show sensitivity toward their situation.

Do you possess these qualities? Awesome! You’re good to proceed.

Identify Your Niche

Coaching is a broad field. You could offer:

  • Business coaching
  • Executive coaching
  • Wellness coaching
  • Life coaching
  • Spiritual coaching
  • Career coaching
  • Financial coaching

Even within these niches, you could still pick out a specialty.

For instance, you could become a business coach who only coaches small business owners. Or you could become a life coach who focuses on interpersonal relationships. If you fancy wellness coaching, you could focus on nutrition or drug and substance cessation.

The question is how do you find your niche?

The biggest factor to consider is your professional background. If you’re a human resources professional, for example, your most natural fit is career coaching. If you’ve worked as a business consultant before, you will excel as a business coach.

The gist of this is your professional expertise dictates your choice of niche, and for good reason. People hire coaches because they have demonstrable expertise in a certain field. If you want to offer financial coaching and you’ve no financial management experience, nobody is going to trust you.

Is it possible to pick two niches?

The short answer is yes, but it’s crucial to ensure those niches are complimentary. A good example is career coaching and executive coaching. Life coaching and wellness or spiritual coaching can also go together. 

Obtain Professional Coaching Certification

Professional experience alone isn’t enough to make you a competent coach. Professional certification is what will really prove to potential clients that you deserve to be their coach.

In every coaching niche, there are a couple of professional organizations offering certifications or credentials. You just need to find one that offers the best program.

If your goal is to start an executive coaching business, for example, the Center for Executive Coaching offers a certification program that might interest you. If you’re focused on becoming a career coach, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has got you covered.

Write a Business Plan

Now let’s focus on the entrepreneurial side of becoming a coach.

A common mistake most beginner coaches make is starting to practice without a business plan, and it’s easy to see why.

As a coach, you’re your business. In most cases, all you need to do is rent some office space, obtain the relevant business permits, and start hunting for your first client. In fact, you could even start a home-based business.

Due to this simplicity, may beginners wrongly assume they don’t need a business plan.

Well, we’re here to tell you a business plan is vital to the success of any company, large or small. Your plan doesn’t have to be overly formal, but it at least needs to have the following details:

  • Name of the business
  • Physical location
  • Your mission and vision
  • Type of coaching services offered
  • Startup capital requirements
  • Target market and marketing strategy.

Armed with a business plan, proceed to the next step.

Secure Your Startup Capital

Most people use their own money to start up coaching business.

If you’re digging into your pockets too, well and good; but, what if your money isn’t enough?

Although you might be tempted to open the business and resolve to sort out any additional financial needs as they arise, don’t do it. You see, it can take at least a couple of months before your business breaks even and starts turning a profit. If you start out and run out of cash sooner than expected, you might have no other choice other than to fold the business.

As such, be sure to secure adequate capital before formally opening your business. Consider taking out a business loan or crowdfunding to raise the rest of the capital.

Set Up Your Workspace

A substantial amount of your startup capital will go into workspace design and purchasing office furniture, equipment, and other supplies.

You want your office to reflect the nature of the coaching services you offer. If you are a spiritual coach, for instance, your office environment should make you and your clients feel content, relaxed and calm. Consider hiring an office designer to help you set it up.

You may also want to hire an office assistant to take care of client scheduling.

Market, Market, Market

The hardest part of starting a coaching business is getting that elusive first client.

To make your hunt easier, deploy an effective marketing strategy. Begin by building a professional website and then promote your services on the right social media platform. If you’re a career or an executive coach, for example, LinkedIn is your ideal marketing platform.

As your business grows, you can hire a marketing agency to handle your marketing efforts. This will give you the best chance of scaling your business into six figures.

Go Build a Thriving Coaching Business

As more people and businesses continue to embrace the benefits of coaching, the demand for coaches is only going to rise. Starting a coaching business is a smart move that will help you to cash in on the trend and, importantly, do what you do best – helping other people.

And with this guide, you have all the information you need to build a profitable business. What’s more, you can keep reading our blog for more business tips.