Ever thought, Could I do business coaching?
So what’s holding you back?
If you’ve built a successful business, you’ve got a wealth of knowledge, skills, and advice to share. You may need to hone your leadership skills, but there are plenty of struggling business owners who’d happily pay for a professional to coach them on their journey to profitability and freedom.
Business coaching has been around for decades. Even the most popular entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs work with coaches to level up their services and businesses.
And as a coach, it’s rewarding to see so many talented business owners transition to coaching.
So if you have the personal goal of becoming a business coach, this guide will help you on your journey.
What qualifications do you need to be a coach?
The business coaching industry is unregulated. You can search for coaches on the web, and you’ll see endless options. Likewise, anyone can pretty much call themselves a coach.
This is when you start assessing yourself. Do you have what it takes to be a business coach? Here are three questions to ask yourself:
Do I really want to help other people reach their goals?
When you think about it, qualifications are more than your skill set or expertise. Start with your personal attributes. You need to be emotionally and mentally prepared to help others. In a nutshell, you have to:
- Explore, clarify, and align with what someone wants to pursue
- Promote self-discovery
- Support in implementing tailored solutions and strategies
- Hold a client responsible and accountable
Do I possess coaching skills and knowledge?
If you’ve built a business you can transition to coaching. But if you want to be successful you need to know how to set up your coaching business, identify your niche, market yourself, develop relationships, create successful programs, and implement strategies to grow a potential client’s business.
Is there anything else I can do aside from coaching?
Sure, you might see yourself spending one to two hours a day coaching a small business owner, but this business is more than that. According to ICF, coaching is just a single revenue stream that produces 13% of your profit. So whether you like it or not, your business growth and profitability will rely on these areas:
- Public Speaking
- Media mentions
Do you need a degree to be a business coach?
This is probably one of the most common questions I get when it comes to business coaching.
Frankly, no. You don’t need a degree to become a business coach.
But, if you want to boost your credibility, earning coaching credentials from an accredited organization like the International Coaching Federation is a huge help. Based on ICF’s study, 83% of clients agree that accredited credentials are vital. And this drives 77% of coaches to get certified.
So, you can get ICF-certified, but many successful coaches chose a different path and still became very successful. You can work with a certified coach for coach training and mentoring. Also, you can take up leadership courses and programs to develop your skills and build a world-class coaching career.
How do I become a life and business coach?
As I said, coaching is business. It’s not a nine-to-five job or a corporate profession. So aside from your passion and skill set for coaching, it’s important that you also know how to start, run, and manage your business. Here are my tips on how to become a successful business coach.
Set Up Your Coaching Business
Before anything else, you have to choose an entity type for your business coaching practice. Here are your two options:
- Sole proprietorship: This allows you to own an unincorporated business.
- Limited liability company (LLC): This requires you to register your business with limited liability for all members.
Now what should you choose between the two? Here are a few things that you should consider:
- Costs: An LLC will need you to spend higher upfront costs because you have to register your business. You’ll also have to pay for initial registration and annual maintenance fees. On the other hand, a sole proprietorship has low initial costs.
- Regulations: An LLC is more regulated than a sole proprietorship. If you’re choosing the former, you may also need an operating agreement depending on where you live.
- Taxes: As a sole proprietor, you’re taxed as self-employed, while an LLC will have you follow corporate tax structures.
- Liability: As a sole proprietor, you own all the responsibility for the debts and liabilities of your coaching business. Meanwhile, an LLC holds the responsibility for the business’s debts and liabilities. If you also combine your personal funds with LLC funds, you can lose your limited liability protection.
Keep in mind your business goals and where you want to go. Don’t be scared of asking for advice or help from seasoned professionals.
As a business coach, choosing the right type of business entity is important. Where sole proprietorship offers freedom and low costs, an LLC provides benefits and protection that are worth considering. The decision is up to you.
Work with a Business Coach
Let me give you a quick background on how I started. I was a college dropout who tried to pursue a career in IT. It worked well for a year. Then, I left my corporate job and plunged into starting my very first company.
I soon realized that I’d traded an 8-hour workday for a 16-hour workday with less money and hours of sleep. It was frustrating, and this drove me to work with a business coach.
So for you to become a business coach, you also need to get a business coach of your own. You need someone who already knows the ins and outs of the industry. Otherwise, you’re shooting from the hip.
Build Your Business Coaching Plan and Set Your Prices
- Per session (every hour)
- Per month
- Per coaching package (The calculation can vary: e.g., $x/3 months or $x/6 months)
But if you’ve just started becoming a business coach, it’s highly advisable to charge per package. This helps you calculate the number of months that your clients signed up for, so you can also identify your income and manage your expenses.
The catch is, you can attract more committed and high-paying clients. These are businesses that want to take coaching to the next level and seek your help in the long haul. Coaching packages also generate more sessions, which means you can have a bigger impact on their lives, and you can charge higher.
Here are some factors to help you settle on the right price:
- Your credentials
- Your experience
- Your coaching-skill level
- Your target market
- Your profitability goals
Create and Follow a Marketing Plan
In my first business, a business coach advised me to become a really good marketer if I wanted to win more customers and upscale my business.
I’ve learned this the hard way, spending a lot of money on ads without getting returns. I don’t want this to happen to you, so here’s what you need to remember. You can’t hack marketing. You can’t simply do a little marketing and expect a massive return.
You need a marketing plan if you want to become a successful business coach. It doesn’t matter how amazing you are at coaching people if you can’t get clients in the first place.
Your marketing plan can help you target the right people and do whatever it takes to entice them to sign up for your coaching program.
Build Your Online Presence
Now that you have a marketing plan, let’s focus on how you can be visible to your target market. Business coaches have an online presence, so you should build one for yourself too.
The truth is, you don’t have to spend a fortune doing this. You can come up with an effective business coaching strategy that’s cost-efficient, produces tangible results, and doesn’t take over your life!
As a starting business coach, you can focus first on:
- Building your own website
- Getting on social media
For your website, you need:
- Information about your coaching program, pricing, and other services you offer
- Your story: How did you begin? What pushed you into business coaching?
- Your credentials and qualifications
- Visuals: Include photos of yourself, promotional videos, and even podcast snippets that introduce what you do as a business coach
- A landing page, contact form, or online scheduling tool (like Calendly)
- Testimonials (if you have any)
For social media, take time to answer these questions:
- What social media platforms would you like to use?
- What platforms do most business coaches use?
- What platforms does your target market use?
Expand Your Network
Networking is a surefire way to extend your opportunities and resources. You can’t always rely on marketing tactics to win new clients. As you move forward, extend your reach and people will come to you.
There are a lot of platforms that can upscale your coaching business, but again, I highly recommend for you to sign up on social media. For a start, you can set up business accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
You can use LinkedIn to connect with CEOs and other executive clients. But if you’d prefer to work with small businesses rather than large corporations, be more active on Facebook and Instagram.
Here are a few business coaching tips to expand your network:
- Whatever platform you’re using, optimize your business coach profile. Add your photo, credentials, and information about your coaching program.
- Participate in conversations. Share your knowledge and expertise. You need to build your image as an expert and authority.
- Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Engage with entrepreneurs, professionals, and everyone in the coaching community.
- Connect with other business coaches too! You might just get clients from referrals and by word-of-mouth. And asking for a referral doesn’t have to be scary. Try these referral top tips.
- Build a content strategy. The key here is to post content that’s attractive and valuable to your target audience. If possible, you can also share content from other business coaches.
Business Coaching 101
So that’s how to become a business coach. While it might sound exciting, I need to warn you that it takes work, time, and effort to establish yourself as an accredited authority in your industry.
You need to be willing to go through coach training and you have to develop a business plan for your company. Identify how you will find new business and what methods you’ll use to develop and nurture coaching relationships? What knowledge, skills, and tools will bring a positive impact on their lives.
More importantly, you must want to help business owners overcome challenges, devise strategies for success, build a team, and achieve their goals.
If this all sounds good to you, I’d say to dive in.
Take the Next Step to Becoming a Business Coach
Are you up for the challenge?
Forget about qualifications. I’ve been mentoring business owners around the world for the past six years. I don’t have an MBA. I never completed my degree. I simply identified a gap in the market and used my knowledge and skills to fill it.
And I learned early on that a client only wants results, so I deliver. So let me ask you this:
- Do you want to develop your coaching practice?
- Have you always wanted coach training?
- Would you like access to my 7-step coaching process, the tools my team uses to market Successwise and acquire new business?
- Do you need help identifying your niche, overcoming common business challenges, and building a business plan you can depend on to advance your coaching career?