You may be a successful entrepreneur looking to share your business wisdom. Or, you have a business degree and want to know how to start a business coaching business.
Business coaching can be a rewarding career. However, launching a business coaching company isn’t a guarantee that people will be knocking down your door right away.
As with any new business, your likelihood of success will increase if you do your homework first.
Just because you were successful in your previous endeavors, launching a coaching business has some challenges that you need to be aware of.
Questions You Need to Answer When Starting a Coaching Company
Want to know how to start a business coaching business? Before you put up your business coaching shingle, consider the following to be the best prepared for success:
1. Where Will You Get Your Clients?
You’ll often hear of people in the business coaching and life coaching world who had an apparent “instant success” of starting their business and having a full roster of clients right away.
And then you’ll read depressing statistics about how many coaches struggle to make a full-time living.
Here’s a secret: The people who had “instant success” didn’t really have instant success. Their success as coaches was built off their previous connections, clients, and contacts.
A wannabe executive coach who has more than 20 years of experience in the corporate world and a “rolodex” (contact list) filled with high-powered people who know and respect them has a great chance of hitting the ground running.
However, if you just got an MBA, are fresh out of school, and your network consists of surfing buddies who aren’t interested in being business people… well, you aren’t likely to have that same level of instant success.
For this reason, if you are starting from scratch you need to have a marketing plan as well as enough money to keep you going while you slowly and realistically build up your client base.
You can gain clients without a strong business network, but these days this means you’ll have to be up to speed on online marketing, social media networking, and more.
2. What Is Your Niche?
“Business coaching” is a broad term that could mean a lot of things. It could refer to small business coaching, corporate coaching, or coaching for start-ups.
Having a niche helps you reach the clients you can best serve. It also serves as your marketing hook.
You could focus your business coaching on, for example, work at home moms (WAHMs) who want to expand their businesses while maintaining home and family balance.
Or, you might focus your business coaching on technology startups.
Getting clear on your niche and the main message is critical before starting your business coaching business.
3. How Will You Structure Your Coaching?
Do you want to work with clients face to face, perhaps going to a business and spending a half or full-day there? Will you enjoy working via video conference or Skype? Or, do you prefer to work on the telephone without the distraction of video?
Traditionally, coaches would use the telephone because it would enable them to focus more on what the client was saying without distractions. But video coaching is more and more common these days.
Coaching can also be structured for weekly sessions or monthly follow-ups. Some coaches work only three out of four weeks each month, with one week off.
4. What is Your Pricing Structure?
To determine your pricing, look at what other similar business coaches are doing.
Take a look at websites by business coaches that work with the types of clients you would like to attract. Some will have their fees laid out on the website, so you can get an idea of what the market may potentially bear.
Don’t assume that just because you are new to business coaching that you should charge bottom of the barrel pricing.
Many people will not trust services that are priced too cheaply.
Find a middle ground when you are just getting started. Don’t charge too much or too little. As you start growing your client base, you will be able to charge more.
5. Do You Have Your Own Business Coach?
You can’t sell something as personal as coaching that you can’t genuinely endorse. In order to be a good business coach, you need to find a good business coach. This coach can help you with getting motivated, staying on track, and avoiding common pitfalls.
It will also show you how coaching works. You might even decide to try a few different business coaches to observe different approaches.
How to Start a Business Coaching Business: Just Do It
Notice we didn’t go into formal coaching training here. This can help, but don’t let it stop you.
Get your website up and start putting your message out there!