The decision to start a business comes to many entrepeneurs at a certain point in their careers. Often, with their experience and skills, they are well suited to starting a businesses as consultants or coaches. Perhaps you’re considering joining them? If so, you’re on the right track to finding a work life balance that works for you. In order to get started, it’s crucial that you cover all the basics, so here are 10 steps to help you get started with owning your own coaching business.
#1 Do you plan on going it alone as a coach?
First, decide if you want to start your own coaching business, or whether you wish to find a business partner to work with. The other option is to join a business coaching franchise, like The Alternative Board.
Using a franchise, you can start your own coaching business with the support of an established and a robust proven business model and the support of the franchise community ie be in business for yourself but not by yourself. Whether you go alone or with a group, just make sure it’s the right fit for you.
# 2 What is your area of expertise?
The coaching industry is crowded – so what makes you stand out? Business basics should not be forgotten.
Get a clear picture of your ideal client. A market of just “business owners” can be too broad.
Do they own family businesses? Are they young and looking to grow their business or older and looking to sell? Do they have aspirations to grow?
Consider what your skills and experience are to help you define your niche
#3 How are you going to generate revenue?
The most important question is how will your coaching business generate income?
What services will you provide? How much will it cost? Are there different ‘service packages’ at different rates? To start a successful coaching business, you must have a clear idea of your business model.
#4 Do you plan to start an online coaching business?
In the digital age, this is the most important question for anyone starting a coaching business. Online, virtual businesses have boomed since the pandemic.
Consider your lifestyle and personality; would your business work better if most of your services were delivered online? Consider working it into your business model in a way that won’t deprive your clients of value. Working with people face-to-face may be more fulfilling for you.
#5 What qualifications do you need?
It is not necessary for every business coach to have qualifications.
However, if you’re working alone, and are looking to enhance your credibility, a coaching accreditation may be worth considering.
#6 Branding is important
After you’ve established your business model and niche, you can begin developing your branding. Once again, basic marketing and business principles apply
Keep your audience in mind at all times.
Consider your target audience when designing your logo and brand name. Do they resonate with certain colours, words, and messages? Do they engage with any other brands? You can even create your own buyer personas to ensure your branding reaches the right audience. A freelancer or marketing agency can also assist you in your marketing and branding efforts.
#7 Market your Business
Now that you have your branding ready, it’s time to market! Consider whether a website is necessary yet or if you will receive all of your clients via LinkedIn or other platform.
For each channel you wish to use, you will need a marketing plan including objectives, goals, KPIs, and activities.
LinkedIn, for example, requires you to create a great profile. Remember: your profile is about you, but you shouldn’t just talk about yourself. Potential clients of your new coaching business should find your profile enticing and engaging.
What makes you the best person to contact? How will you solve their problems? What content are you engaging with and sharing?
As soon as you have your marketing plan in place, begin the activity and continuously monitor the results to find out what works.
#8 Monitor your Finances
Keep track of your cash flow at all times. Make sure you have a good payment system in place and do a cash flow forecast. What’s your plan for dealing with non-paying clients? Is it a good idea to ask them to pay upfront? All of these questions must be answered to keep your business’ bottom line healthy.
#9 Referrals and Review from others are helpful
Do not underestimate the value of referrals and reviews as your business grows.
#10 Keep Learning
One of our main values at The Alternative Board is Lifelong Learning.
Be careful not to assume that you know it all when starting a coaching business.
So there you have it, a brief