Starting a Coaching Business? Here are Some Things to Consider...May 30, 2021
A few years back, I started a coaching business.
And it was completely by accident, so let me tell you a bit of my story.
In the summer of 2012, I was bitten by the travel bug, took a 2-week trip to Egypt and really immersed myself in the country, culture and the experience.
Then, the next summer, I decided to take a trip that really changed my life. I went on a 6-country tour of Eastern Europe and that's when I absolutely fell in love with traveling.
Somewhere between Poland and Turkey on that trip, I decided that I wanted to travel more, if not full-time.
About 3 months after that trip, in December 2013, I decided to launch a boutique tour company.
And 3 months later, in March 2014, a small group and I were on our way to one of my favorite cities, Istanbul. We spent 7 days exploring the city, experiencing the culture and cuisine, and taking in all of its wonders.
Then, I later booked additional clients and explored some of my favorite places in Greece, including Athens, Delphi and of course, Santorini Islands.
During this time, I was putting out content on my blog where I wrote about everything from nursing, my new business, and lifestyle design.
While putting out this content, I caught the attention of many of my followers who were curious about how I quit my job at that time (I was a nurse and my followers were mainly nurses at the time), launched a blog while traveling, and then created a tour company.
So I started getting lots of emails on how they were wishing they “were there”, that they could do the same thing, or at least create something more fulfilling than the stress of working at the bedside in the hospital.
And then some asked for specific tips on how to start a blog, how to start a business, and how to travel on a budget, among other things.
At this time, I was already creating digital products-- mini video courses and eBooks-- on similar topics.
But, this time, I decided to create something new.
A coaching program… although I didn’t think that’s what I was doing at the time.
The purpose of my coaching program was to help nurses design their lifestyles around their passions and find enjoyment not only in their work, but outside of their careers as well.
That’s when I fell in love with coaching.
I remember working with my first clients and having spotty video calls with them as I spent two months in an out-of-the way villa in Bali.
So how did I do it, with no experience?
Well… I simply taught what I knew and I had been following a number of coaches online (from life coaches to money mindset coaches) and thought, “Hmm… it can’t be that hard, right?”
And it wasn’t really.
Sure it took time to create content, come up with topics and modules for my program, and the ability to figure out the tech stuff.
But, I did.
And I’m sure you can, too.
As a mindset and business mentor, I help new coaches get started in the right direction. Looking for a step-by-step guide, check out my New Coach Toolkit by clicking this link.
Below, I’ll give you the 6 things to consider when creating an online coaching business.
But before we get there, let's define coaching?
In its simplest form, coaching is helping others achieve their goals by inspiring, encouraging and supporting them in making their own decisions to achieve those goals.
Some of the most popular and most profitable coaching niches include career coaching, health coaching, life coaching, mindset coaching and financial coaching, to name a few.
So before you get started, what should you do?
6 Things to Consider Before Starting a Coaching Practice?
Key to creating a coaching business you’ll love and one that’s profitable is having a system that allows you to continuously gauge whether your business is moving in the right direction.
In periods of doubt and frustration, I check-in with myself to make sure the following 6 things are effortlessly in place.
These things can not only work if you’re just starting your coaching business, but if you’re looking to take a reset, get clear on your goals and grow from a solid foundation.
#1 - First, you’ll need the right mindset!
Now, this is probably the most challenging of all 6 considerations, but starting out and succeeding in business will flow from our mindset and what we think we can accomplish.
And negative mindsets can keep us stagnant and just wishing or daydreaming instead of ‘doing’ for a long time.
And, those negative mindsets may manifest as the following thoughts:
“I don’t have enough experience. I’m not an expert.”
For instance, maybe you’re interested in starting a part-time business as a career coach.
You’ve even also worked as a staffing recruiter for a large organization. You give great advice to family members and friends in terms of their career prospects. And you may even field questions on your social media channels or groups that you’re a part of. And,.
But, you begin to doubt yourself. You believe that you don’t have ‘enough’ experience. When in reality, you could actually earn money doing something you’ve already done for free.
This of course, is a mindset issue. Imposter syndrome. The belief that you’re a fraud and others will find out.
Years ago, I had a coach say (and now many others say it, too…), sometimes you just need to be a few steps ahead of the person you’re trying to teach.
And often that’s enough.
Of course there are many other mindset blocks, and you may even be familiar with some of them like:
- “There are other people who can do this better than I can.”
- “I don’t have enough money or time to start a coaching business.”
- “I don’t have any ideas on where to start.”
- “I don’t have a business degree.”
All of these thoughts are completely normal. And it’s okay to have them, as long as you make the commitment to not let those thoughts paralyze you into inaction. And those times when they do, you have to take action anyway.
#2 - The next thing you’ll need is the right idea or coaching niche!
So since we’re going to make a commitment to constantly work on the right mindset, the second most important thing for your coaching business is identifying the right idea, niche or specialty.
And when gauging your ideas, you’ll want to be realistic, gravitate towards a niche that rings true to you, and if you’re just starting out, preferably a field that you have knowledge or experience in and feel comfortable with that knowledge or experience.
You’ll also want to focus on your business ‘sweet spot.’
Your sweet spot is the intersection of:
- what you enjoy
- What you’re good at (or have researched)
- what people can pay your for or are willing to pay you for
In my example above with my tour company, although I was completely new to starting a tour company, I enjoyed travel and was able to do the research and just get started. I also thought, “Well if clients are paying for trips that I participate in, they’ll probably pay for my tours, too.”
Naivety worked out well for me, and for some reason during that time of getting started, I had no fear… except when it came to the marketing piece.
So what’s your sweet spot?
#3 – The right service or niche.
This step is all about finding the right coaching niche or services for your coaching business.
So, when you’re developing your ideas around this, you’ll want to make sure you choose a niche that not only showcases your skills, talents and experience, but is also something you’d truly enjoy guiding others on the right path to figure out.
You’ll also want to make sure that you will enjoy the highs and lows of owning your own coaching business even when you have to make difficult business decisions.
If you only choose a niche because you’re good at it and you don’t actually enjoy it or don’t want your hobby of photography to become work, you may become resentful.
And that may block your ability to actually make an income in the process.
#4 - Next up… the right client or customer.
So not only does starting a coaching practice involve having the right mindset and the right idea, moving to the next step requires you to really evaluate who your ideal clients or customers will be.
In the entrepreneurial space, we call this person your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA).
Your ICA is a fictional representation of the exact person your coaching program is for.
And one important note before discovering your ICA is something I’ve read over and over in my research after starting my current coaching practice:
When you try to sell to everyone, you’ll eventually sell to no one.
So it’s important to be really clear on who is your ideal client and be able to describe your ICA to a tee.
- Where do they work?
- Where do they live?
- What’s their income?
- Their marital status?
- Do they have children?
- What’s their education level?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their fears, challenges, and concerns?
- What services are they looking for that I can help them with?
This list can go on and on…
Also, getting really clear on who you’re selling to will save you tons of money when it’s time to market.
And when you know these things about your ideal customer, they’ll be excited to work with you or buy from you because you truly know who they are and what they need.
#5 - Are you implementing your coaching practice in the right way?
When launching your business, you have to have a plan that sets you and your clientele up for success.
So, you’ll need to have the right systems in place and right tools at your disposal to help your business run smoothly.
Once you do, your clients will be able to accomplish the goals that they’ve set out for themselves, with your help.
So the right implementation is:
- Putting together all of your products and services.
- Creating online content (e.g., blog or YouTube channel), digital content (e.g., ebooks or webinars) or online courses to supplement your coaching business.
- Finding the best tools to help you deliver those services (e.g., Zoom or Calendy, etc.).
- Offering them to your clients at the right price point.
- Launching your business to the world.
And so often I read (and have worked with) clients (even successful ones) that have had a hard time putting up the grand opening sign.
They were often afraid that their product wasn’t quite right, their website wasn’t perfect enough, or any of the other mindsets we express as coaches…
And I was there, too.
But the key is to just start. My mantra being:
Start before you’re ready… And you’ll figure it out along the way.
Want help figuring out the exact tools and systems you’ll need for your coaching practice? It’s all in my Toolkit, so grab it here.
#6 - Finding the right support.
The last thing on my list for you to consider is finding the right support.
Although finding the right support can mean many different things to different people, I recommend working with a supportive coach or community that inspires and encourages you to keep going… even when your business meets its challenges.
Oftentimes, when you’re stuck and imposter syndrome kicks in, kind and insightful words from an experienced coach and community may be all you need to keep going.
I know, because I have my own coaches.
What about you?
If you’re looking for a supportive guide to help you get your new coaching business off the ground, I’d love to help!
So let me know, what things are important to consider when starting your own coaching business? Do you feel I left something out? Let me know in the comments!
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