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Group Coaching Versus One-on-One Coaching

Is there a difference between group coaching and one-on-one coaching?

Absolutely. I’m going to explain the main differences between the two, the benefits of business coaching, and how to choose the right option for your coaching business.

But first, let’s look at the impact successful coaching has. According to the Institute of Coaching:

  • 80% of people who went on a coaching program boosted their self-confidence
  • Over 70% improved their work performance, communication skills, and relationships
  • 86% of companies were encouraged to invest again in coaching.

Coaching changed my life. I’ve paid for both group programs and private one-on-one sessions.

I owe my success to the many life and business coaches who helped me focus my attention on my goals, rewire my mindset, and save me time and money. Their guidance and knowledge are the reason I was able to build several multimillion-dollar businesses.

So if you have the goal of becoming a successful business coach, here’s what you need to know.

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    What is One-on-One Coaching?

    Also known as individual coaching, it’s designed to help people create change in their lives. This can mean a lot of things but it’s typically improving a skill, building a system, or achieving personal goals.

    Individual coaching is popular and common practice among businesses and organizations, especially with executive and management roles.

    What are the Benefits of One-on-One or Individual Coaching?

    It’s Tailored to Individual Needs

    This is the biggest benefit of one-on-one coaching. You meet your clients’ individual needs. For example, in a private session, professionals are more comfortable sharing their challenges, problems, concerns, and questions. The more they open up, the easier it is to help them find the right answers and solutions.

    As a coach, you can follow a specific agenda or strategy depending on the nature of your coaching business, but you can adapt your content and solutions to meet specific needs. This strategy provides the greatest value to your clients. Trust me, they’ll love it.

    It Builds Stronger Relationships with Your Clients

    Business man explaining the benefits of one-on-one coaching
    Businessman helps colleague understand the benefits of 1:1 versus group coaching

    Coaching is much more effective with a solid working relationship.  And since you only have to work with one person at a time, you get to know your clients better. This means you have more time to listen and understand what they’re going through, empathize with them, and deliver the best service possible.

    In return, a client will slowly learn to trust you, feel more comfortable working with you, and be willing to collaborate to achieve their goals. In short, one-on-one coaching is more personal and creates stronger working relationships.

    It’s Easy to Hold People Accountable

    With one-on-one coaching, it’s easier to hold your clients accountable. While you can do the same training with a group, it’s more challenging. You’ll find there are those who rarely participate in group discussions or simply don’t attend sessions.

    Focusing on one client lets you put more energy into their training, address their setbacks more quickly, and hold them accountable.

    What are the Disadvantages of One-on-One or Individual Coaching?

    It Consumes More Time

    A coaching session can take anywhere from five minutes to three hours. I like to cap mine at one hour. But you do spend more time sharing knowledge, troubleshooting, and helping to drive that business forward.  Group training is certainly a less time-consuming process.

    You Have to Charge Higher Fees

    How To Differentiate Your Coaching Business
    Clever ways to position your business differently to the competition and get more leads

    Because individual coaching is more time-consuming, you have to charge more. This is the only way to make it cost-effective.

    Sure, you may attract high-value prospects, but it can also limit your target market to businesses and organizations that can afford your services. On the other hand, other business people will prefer group coaching since it’s more affordable. In an industry full of popular and competent coaches, you need to strategize and beat the competition.

    It Takes Longer to Upscale

    Coaching is business. So if you’re looking for a business model that’s faster and easier to upscale, individual coaching is not practical. It takes time to get more people to sign up for your coaching program. And this can affect your profit unless you can raise your pricing in a short period of time.

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    What is Group Coaching?

    Group coaching helps people understand and learn how to work with others.

    You, as the coach, serve as the facilitator of a session, while participants in a group work together to gain insights, support one another, and take action toward specific goals.

    In group coaching, you can coach different individuals working from various parts of a company. They don’t need to be connected or related in any way.

    This allows you to coach them in a variety of areas, whether it’s about managing conflicts, communicating with other people, or honing interpersonal skills.

    What are the Benefits of Group Coaching?

    You Meet and Learn from Other People

    For other people, working in groups is much more fun and effective. You get to meet other people who you resonate with, and this can be very powerful. Maybe you have similar backgrounds or you’re currently going through relatable life challenges.

    In my case, I help entrepreneurs and businesses achieve the success they want for themselves. And as someone who has built a business from the ground up, it feels more rewarding to work with a group who has had the same challenges as I’ve had. 

    Since this requires you to work with business people and professionals from different backgrounds, you can create a group coaching community where everyone can support one another.

    On a different note, this can expand your network too.

    You Spend Less Time and Earn More

    How To Rapidly Scale Your Coaching Business & Make More Money
    As a coach your time is precious. Group coaching lets you help more people

    With group coaching, you can maximize your time wisely. For example, you can coach twenty to a hundred business people in less than two hours. That’s just two to ten times higher than what you get from one-on-one coaching.

    Remember, time is money. Group coaching allows more room for more clients in a specific timeframe. And this results in a higher profit.

    It’s More Scalable

    A group coaching program is a one-to-many business model. Meaning, you can schedule multiple coaching sessions at a time, and track the number of participants in every coaching group. Do this constantly, make sure you have a steady stream of clients, and your coaching business will skyrocket sooner than you know. Simply put, group coaching is easier to scale than individual coaching.

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    What are the Disadvantages of Group Coaching?

    It Feels Less Personal

    There’s one thing that lacks in a group coaching program: personalization (more on why one-to-one personal experiences are important here).

    Considering that you have to coach between twenty to a hundred professionals in every session, you don’t have much time to talk to each of them. In return, you won’t always be able to get the full picture.

    Other coaches tend to deliver generic solutions that don’t really solve specific business problems. And you have to be more careful about this.

    It’s Challenging to Work with a Group

    Working with a group is a challenging process. Just think about coaching a bunch of people with different goals, perspectives, and personalities at the same time.

    It requires extra effort, patience, and a higher level of understanding. You might even ask for help from other coaches to make your program more valuable.

    You’ll meet some people who will try to take over the room, actively participate in the discussion, and outshine others who may be more reserved.

    Simply put, a group coaching client may get more value while others fade into the background without meeting their goals.

    So when coaching a group of people, it boils down to finding their common ground and making sure you help them overcome specific challenges.

    You Need to Target More Clients

    Business Coaching Strategizes A Marketing Plan with his Clients
    A good marketing coach will help your to strategize a plan for attracting leads

    Get as many as groups you can and your services will be more effective.

    Whether you like it or not, you need to have better numbers in a group coaching program.

    People are sheep. They tend to join coaching programs that have the highest number of participants. If you can’t sign up people, you’ll have a hard time filling an empty room.

    So just like what other coaches do, you need to create and implement a solid marketing strategy that will attract and win over more coaching clients.

    What's the Right Choice for You as a Business Coach?

    To recap, group and individual coaching have their own perks and disadvantages. Both can be done over the phone, online, or in person. And you might find that it pays to offer group and private 1:1 training sessions.

    No matter which service you choose, make sure you’re committed to greatly impacting other people’s lives.

    Are you ready to make this commitment to yourself and change your life?

    Let’s work together to achieve the success you’ve always dreamt of. Become a business coach, build your lifestyle business, and get the big ticket to financial freedom.

    Click here to learn more on how to start and build a coaching business from scratch.

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    • Pipedrive template for incoming leads
    • Onboarding questionnaire
    • 7-step coaching framework
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    • Lead email sequences
    • Coaching notes template
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