Last updated on February 13th, 2023
In modern highly competitive markets, the only way to survive and grow is to prove your worth in what you do. Therefore, you must be well equipped with the latest set of skills to do a job professionally. That is a prerequisite to building a fruitful career. No surprise that coaching institutes and individual coaches have mushroomed everywhere. You may also be planning to start your coaching business based on your experience and skills. This guide will help in your endeavor.
Coaching is all about giving out learning lessons on any topic. It could be related to science, art, humanities, life skills, swimming, any sports, gardening, and even otherwise ignored activities of life. There is no dearth of topics to coach and people to subscribe to what you want to teach.
If you want to share your skills and experience, there is always a ready audience to learn. Moreover, people’s ambitions and aspirations also drive them to learn new skills to deal with new challenges.
These days, the competition to make a name and place for oneself and seek high-paying jobs has gone up to new levels. So, almost every aspiring candidate is today looking for coaches who can teach from experience in the field. This has been giving rise to the number of coaching institutes as well as individual coaches.
Now, coaching is a roaring business worldwide. This is evident from some of the industry stats. According to reports, the market value of the global coaching industry is estimated to reach $20 billion from $15 billion in 2019. That is an encouraging and tempting figure to encourage you to take coaching as a serious business.
But before you take the plunge, know what is the one basic thing that you must have as an unwritten rule to enter the world of the coaching business.
Well, you should have a good amount of experience related to the topic of your coaching business. That is important since you will be coaching based on what you have learned from experience.
For instance, to teach your audience how to scale your business, you must first have scaled your own business. So, involve yourself in some life experiences, and then sharing those experiences becomes your coaching business.
But you do not have to be an expert in the field. You are not supposed to be a perfect coach, which no one is. Just first have real-world experience of what you want to teach. All you will do then is share your experience with your audience.
Why should you start your coaching business?
Coaching is a profitable business. But, here are some of the key reasons why you should start it:
- Increasing Demand – There is an ever-increasing demand for coaches in whichever niche you choose depending on your experience and skills.
- Low Starting Costs – The cost of starting this business is within the limits of an individual, which means that there is no need to acquire additional funds. Just some basic requirements such as a computer, tools, and software, a website is enough to get started.
- No Entry Barriers – You do not have to go through different hurdles as happens in the case of other businesses. A coaching business gets started just on your coaching website or on your social media channels. Just use these channels to find potential clients and start coaching them.
- Be Your Own Boss – You have complete control over how you run your coaching business. So, you are free to pick your clients and decide your coaching schedule at your convenience.
- It is The Work Of Your Choice – You are no more sitting in a cubicle of a company, though hating your daily routine. But with your coaching business, you are sharing your experiences and skills, which is an interesting and exciting activity.
Pick The Right Coaching Niche
There is a lot to learn about different aspects of life. So, there are as many coaching fields as there are people’s requirements to learn skills. But people want to learn more in select fields for employment and other reasons, giving rise to some profitable coaching options. These include coaching in health or wellness, finance, performance, relationship, social media, skills, photography, and even spiritual areas.
But know that the categorization as mentioned above of coaching jobs is broad. There are already hundreds of coaching institutions operating in each such category. To escape from the harsh competition, you should narrow down your topic. Finally, come down to a niche that other institutions have not covered much.
A useful tip for finding your profitable niche is knowing what issues people face today and giving them your solutions. For instance, college graduates search for their first job. You can coach them on how to get a job after graduation effectively. That could be your coaching niche.
Similarly, businesses are always looking for ways to scale, which can also be a profitable niche. Or, you can coach stay-at-home moms on how to earn side income. You can start an online coaching class on building a side hustle for them.
Once you have zeroed in on your niche, it means you have found an audience that you need to target. You will then prepare your coaching material for that set of people and will create your promotional materials, such as your coaching business logo and website.
Get Professional Training
When people learn that you are a well-trained coach, it boosts their confidence in what you teach. They become your loyal subscribers of the courses, though getting yourself professionally trained is not a requisite for becoming an online coach. The certification training will also fill you with confidence in guiding people.
If you intend to take up coaching certification training, choose the program that matches your USP.
Consider These Aspects:
- Read online reviews of the coaching certification program
- Study blog posts of the program owner
- Take a look at the learning environment to know if it is online or personal
- Check its accreditation and subscribe if it is well known
- Know about its commitment level and whether or not it suits your work schedule
If you do not take a certification program for coaches, get yourself well informed and updated by reading books on coaching in your niche.
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Choose A Coaching Business Name
Next, give an excellent name to your coaching business. Pick a name that reflects your niche and target students. But make sure that the name sounds different from your many other coaching businesses in your niche.
Also, your business name should be short so that your students and potential clients can spell it out easily. They can remember and search for the name on the web.
Another thing to consider while choosing the name is that it should be appropriate for your future website URL.
Determine Your Coaching Business Structure
You have to register your coaching business under one of the categories of business structures. Know the difference between those structures and which one suits your business. Remember that you will submit applications to your state and federal government based on the structure.
Also, how much personal liability for running your business and your tax liability will depend a lot on your business structure. So, it would be good to seek expert advice on this matter.
But, Here Are The Business Structures Defined by The Small Business Administration [US]:
- S-Corporation: This corporation, known as S-Corp, is eligible for avoiding double taxation.
- Partnership: It is a single business with two or more ownerships and each partner shares profits and losses.
- Limited Liability Company: This structure combines the limited features of a corporation and a partnership. The owners of the LLC are referred to as members.
- C-Corporation: It is an independent entity owned by shareholders, but they are not liable for debts that a business incurs. The liability lies with the corporation. Therefore, this structure is generally recommended for larger companies.
- Sole Proprietorship: It is the most common and simplest business structure where one individual runs the business. You as the owner are entitled to all profits, losses, debts, and liabilities.
Know Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition is what you can do for our students or clients that they do not get elsewhere from other coaching professionals. So, with keeping your niche in mind, come out with something new that provides value to the students or clients of your online courses. That will be why they subscribe to your classes over others.
When telling them what you can provide that others are not offering, your goal should be to give a unique learning experience. Take a look at what your competitors are offering and how you can stand out.
Once you determine your USP, promote it everywhere. Find out how to work the USP into your marketing and sales copies. Put that in your social media accounts in clear language.
Tell them that you will help them from your own experience of the field. You went through the same problems and resolved them, and now you want to share the experience with them.
For instance, your online courses provide help regarding nutrition and exercise, and your target audience is newly engaged brides. Then write down and promote your USP by saying that you help newly engaged brides track their nutritional and exercise-related issues with your health and wellness courses. Tell also that you had gone through it all when you were engaged and designed the course from your own experience.
Set Your Coaching Fees
How much do you want to charge for coaching your students or clients? Well, that is not an easy question to answer. But the best strategy is to start it with the lowest possible price. This will help in attracting students since many of them can’t afford the high fees of established coaches. So, if teenagers are your customers of a coaching business, set your fees that they can quickly pay using debit card for teens.
The first step to deciding your coaching fees is to take a look at the fees scenario in your business niche. Find out how much the established coaching individuals or institutions are charging and then compare them with the newer ones in your business niche. That will give you a broader picture of the prices.
But set your prices competitively as compared to other new coaching businesses to drive potential students’ attention. You can also use online calculators that especially are designed for the prices per session.
Create A Unique But Impressive Logo
A crucial step toward setting up your online coaching business is to have an impressive logo for it as its identity. People will recognize your business when and where they see your logo. The logo will gradually become your brand identity and a visual to build trust.
While planning to create an excellent coaching business logo design, consider the following advice:
- Design your logo for your target audience
- Pick colors that can evoke a desired emotional response from viewers
- Incorporate fonts that can give a personality to your logo
- Create a coaching logo that is unique and simple
- So, avoid the use of multiple colors and fonts
- Compare your logo with your competitors’ logo and ensure that yours stands out
- The logo must be a versatile design that looks good on all social media platforms, your website, and blog sites
- It should look great in black and white as well
- It should also be scalable to look great on billboards and small promotional items alike
And do not worry if you lack sufficient funds to design your logo initially when starting your coaching business. You can design a logo all by yourself using an online logo generator. It is a DIY software tool with many colors, fonts, and other design elements. Just drag your choice of elements and drop them in a design template.
Then, the AI-generated tool will take care of the rest of the design process. You can customize your logo design as many times as you want until you find it just perfect for reflecting your brand personality.
Have An Impressive Website For Your Coaching Business
Whoever wishes to subscribe to your coaching business will first go to your website to have details of what you offer. An absence of the website will create doubts in their mind that will lead to mistrust. So, have a dedicated website for your coaching courses.
When creating your website design, consider your coaching niche and its target students or clients.
Keep These Tips In Mind:
- Consider your target audience
- Design your website keeping their problems in mind and the solutions they look for
- What motivates them?
- Why should they be investing in your coaching program?
- How would they feel confident in your business
- What are the questions that you must answer?
- What design elements of colors, fonts, etc., should go in designing your website?
- Make sure that your website has crucial pages that describe your online courses.
- Have pages such as Home, About Us, and Contact Us.
- Do not forget to add a testimonial video to your testimonial page of the website so that visitors can see the real people praising your services.
Have Essential Tools and Software
Since you will be mostly running your coaching business online, it will require a host of tools and software to run its daily operations seamlessly.
Here Are Some Of The Tools You Will Need:
- CRM [Client Relationship Management] Tools – You will need to collect client reviews, testimonials, and results. Such tools are also helpful in automating your online coaching business. Dubsado, Honeybook, and Satori are amongst the most-used CRM tools.
- Scheduling Tools – As your clientele grows, scheduling your online classes and business efficiency will become increasingly difficult and hectic. Tools like Calendly, You Can Book Me, Acuity, and Assistant are some popular scheduling tools that coaching businesses rely on.
- Video Recording Software – You should also require free video recording software to send your clients short clippings of your cloud-based recordings in between your coaching sessions. Loom and Zoom are such software.
- Contract Agreement Tool – Make sure you sign agreements with your clients while offering your coaching services. So, have a trusted contract agreement tool to make the contract look professional. Think of subscribing to free contract management tools such as PandaDoc, Accelo, DealHub, ContractSafe, etc.
- Tools To Make Notes – You may want to quickly write down notes that you can later develop for online coaching. Tools such as Evernote come in handy to deal with jotting down your thoughts immediately and keep them safe.
- Payment Processing Tool – As your business grows, you will find it difficult to manually keep track of who paid and who didn’t you. So, tools such as Paperbill and many other payment processing tools help. Such a tool will also send your invoice to the clients for payment.
- Tax Compliance Software – A growing business means growing tax obligations as well. You can use tax compliance software that automatically adds the correct tax (sales tax, VAT, or GST) to each sale or subscription invoice. These tools connect directly with your payment processor so you don’t have to lift a finger.
Consider Your Skills
While choosing the above-mentioned tools, consider the set of skills required to run a coaching business smoothly. Make a list of the essential skills and pick the software to accomplish them. So, find out what skills you need.
Here Are Some Points To Consider:
- List out the skills that help in conducting your coaching business
- Know which skills you lack presently as a coach
Think over your skills and identify which ones you need immediately to start your business. Then, get software or tools for free or buy them so that you can use them to run the business despite not having the skills personally.
Pitch Your Services
Now that you have prepared every aspect of your coaching business, it is about time that you start pitching your services. But this is not an easy job. Instead, you need to proceed carefully to make each of your sales pitches attention-grabbing, informative, enticing, and impactful.
But pitching your coaching services is not just about writing it out to the clients. More than that, it involves a lot of other things, such as posting about your services on different social channels. It also includes sharing your case studies. You need to also talk about the services in person on the sideline of an event.
You will learn about making a perfect pitch with practice and time.
Here Are Some Of The Points To Consider While Pitching Your Coaching Services
- Try to write down an elevator pitch that quickly summarizes your experience and background. When making your pitch in a video, take only 15-30 seconds.
- Look into your client’s eyes and tell them about your services
- Show your enthusiasm, energy, and excitement while pitching your services
- Highlight whatever experience you have, and do not downplay that
- Do not get offended if someone says no. They may have their own issues.
- Include your USP in your sales pitch wherever it is possible
- Just take it lightly and surely not too seriously
Set Up Your Financial Accounts
Ensure that you have opened a separate business banking account for your coaching business. In this way, you will separate your personal funds from business funds. You can then keep your business liabilities separate. So, if someone sues your company, your personal funds are still safe. This is especially the case if you run a coaching business with your partner.
You can open your business account with financial institutions such as Credit Unions, Smaller Community Banks, Online Banks, and Institutional Banks.
Other than opening your financial account, you should also sign up to enable online payment processing for online payments and credit cards.
Know Your Potential Expenses Beforehand
You should have a rough estimate at least of how much you will be spending on running your coaching business. That will help you take measures to manage your finances. A clear picture of the expenses will be useful also in knowing which expenses are urgent and which can be deferred.
Note that in the US, the authority can write off some startup expenses that you incur before starting your coaching business. So, consult an accountant to find out which of your expenses are deductible. Make sure that you keep a record of your expenses and receipts right from the start.
As far as the expenses are concerned, there is a long list to prepare.
Here is The List:
- Equipment– You will be spending on equipment such as a computer, printer, work vehicle, extra monitor, and others.
- Buying an Office Space– You may run your coaching classes from home or even from a coffee shop or bookstore. These are not expensive. But if you need a day office, you will be spending on getting the space on rent or buying it. It can also be a co-working space. Many companies offer office space that you can rent.
- Insurance– Most businesses are supposed to have General Liability Insurance. Think of buying one such insurance policy. You can also go for Errors and Omissions Insurance that covers the claims that you suffered due to inadequate work.
- License and Permit Fees– Another expense you will make toward is fees to obtain a license and permit. But find out if your coaching business needs a license or permit to start.
- Contracts With Professionals– During your business, you will create websites, logos, other marketing visuals, etc. So, you will be contracting a website developer, virtual assistants, marketing service providers, logo designer, and other professionals. Know in advance how much you will spend on such expenses.
But you can create a logo for your coaching business using a logo maker, which is a DIY tool. This AI-based software automatically creates your logo once you provide your choice of colors, fonts, etc elements from its vast library.
Track and Maintain Cash Flow
For successfully running your coaching business, ensure that you keep a tab on your cash flows, both incoming and outgoing. You may receive cash from various clients throughout the month but so are the expenses. So, watching how much cash is remaining with you at any given time will help in meeting some unexpected expenses.
You can consider buying some software for tracking your payments and cash flows. It will also help you manage your expenses.
Enhance Your Social Media Presence
Another step to take at the onset of your coaching business is to take it to social media. Ensure that your coaching endeavor has an overwhelming presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other channels. Post your marketing content on these media regularly to increase visibility and engagement.
But write those posts in an interacting and engaging style with a mix of text and visual content. Make sure that each such post targets your niche’s audience. You can also learn more about these strategies by following the site, YourTimes.
Also, go to their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages and comment to praise their efforts. You can join people on Facebook LIves by being part of Facebook groups. Even when you cannot professionally promote on social media, regular posting of your content will help.
With these measures, you will connect with potential clients, and many of them will subscribe to your coaching business. So, the key is to use social media to inform about your new business and reach out to them in big numbers and build relationships.
So, these are the considerations you should make while starting your coaching business. The success lies in details. Pay attention to each minute aspect of your new business and take a look at how your competitors are conducting their coaching classes. Learn as much as you can from others’ experiences.
In the initial phase of your coaching business and when it grows further, you will need marketing visuals such as brochures, business cards, flyers, and many more, besides a logo and website. You can get various graphic designs from Designhill, a leading creative marketplace.
Launch your design contest at this site and you can get unique design ideas from talented designs from the world over at your set price. This is also the platform to hire professional designers.
The coaching business is highly rewarding if you can run it successfully and establish it over the years. But when starting it, you should pick a competitive niche that you are interested in and have working experience in it. You should then acquire skills sets, tools, software, a logo, a website, and most importantly students through marketing. Track your cash flows also.