With the need for business coaching increasing year on year, the industry is being looked to as a highly rewarding career option. In fact, the market size of the business coaching industry in the US in 2022 is $ 14.2 billion with an expected increase of 2.6 %.
Naturally, with the popularity comes the crowd. So, how can you make space for yourself, stand out from the throng of other business coaches or even fulfil a bigger ambition of starting a business coaching business and succeed? Here are 6 valuable tips that can prove quite handy while deciding on how to start a business coaching business.
Why do business owners hire the services of a business coach?
Starting and then managing a company is a tough job. Not only is there a substantial financial investment to recover, the sheer uncertainty of whether the business will sink or swim can be stressful.
Business owners can always seek help from the plethora of self-help articles that flood the internet but there’s a drawback – all the information is standard knowledge that does not really address the unique challenges that a business faces. Hence, the need of the hour is customized guidance, and not generic advice, to realistically grow the business. In these instances, hiring the services of a business coach can prove invaluable.
A business coach is an industry expert, or an entrepreneur themselves, having the right qualifications, in-depth understanding of industry practices, knowledge and experience to provide insights, chart out a vision, craft strategies, navigate tough obstacles to achieve growth (in some cases even revive a floundering venture) and fulfil definitive business goals.
Valuable tips on launching a successful career in business coaching
With a lot of people choosing entrepreneurship over standard salaried jobs, the market is overflowing with companies looking to establish themselves and succeed in their endeavours. Effectively, more business owners are also on the lookout for guidance & support from credible, qualified sources who can help them handle various business-related tasks. In this backdrop, the business coaching industry is booming and the demand for impactful business coaching, that can deliver transformative changes to a business, is at an all-time high.
Here are some valuable tips on starting a business coaching business, the qualities required as well as selecting the right coaching niche & clientele.
1. Develop essential attributes
What distinguishes the best coaches in the world from the good ones is their mindset! Studying, learning and then honing all the coaching competencies can help you build your success story.
Some of the attributes that successful coaches have are the same ones that can set you apart from the competition, such as self-belief, readiness to keep learning, motivation to excel, courage to stick to your convictions, recognizing accountability as well as desire to help.
2. Define your mission & select your niche
Now that you know that you want to be a business coach, the first important step is to identify your purpose. Ask yourself pertinent questions and seek answers to help outline your coaching mission, define your goals and then execute specific steps to attain them.
‘Why do I want to be a business coach and what do I aim to achieve?’ – ‘I want to offer my services mainly towards small to medium businesses with the aim of helping them grow their business’
‘Am I looking at business coaching as a long-term career option?’ – ‘I see myself doing this at least for the next decade, which gives me time and experience to consolidate my position and scale my present assignments into a full-scale coaching business’
Next, select a specific business coaching niche so that you can pitch your services to the right clients and so that the right clients can pick you out from your competitors. Don’t just be a general business coach, state your specialty – growth, strategic management, technology entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour, leadership development, business finance, etc.
Some coaches don’t stick to a particular niche and keep themselves open to wider options. But that can end up causing confusion in the client’s mind about your exact areas of expertise. A paying client will choose you for your specific skillset and how those will help them overcome a particular business issue.
3. Choose your business model
Now focus on a workable business model that clarifies your pricing strategies and a model to follow for your coaching engagements. The most well-known models are the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Obstacles, and Way Forward) and the SMART model (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound).
In addition to pricing and coaching plans, as a business coach you also need to identify client acquisition techniques and prepare future growth projections for your coaching business.
Basing your business model on your coaching mission will give you the necessary clarity of thought and also the direction towards the path to choose for your coaching business.
4. Identify the right client
Client is King – the golden rule of any business. Your success (or failure), all depends on finding the right client. Only take on those clients that align with your skillsets, your stated niche.
Covering the basic demographics (age, profession, financial capacity) is not enough, instead go a little deeper to find the right client type. Ask yourself who will benefit from your business coaching niche, which profession segments will align with your services, what are desirable attributes you would like in a client, etc.
Ideally, work with clients who are really looking for a business turnaround, strategic guidance or productivity boost, they are most likely to benefit from your business coaching expertise.
5. Build a solid reputation
The foundation of coaching is trust between the coach and client. Your credibility is built on your coaching experience and your ability to help clients meet goals, and that is what will truly establish your name in the business coaching world.
Don’t fall into the trap of projecting a glitzy image – high pitched ads, marketing blitz, attractive coaching programs with lucrative discounts, fancy workplace etc. Instead, concentrate on projecting your credentials and the techniques & tools that help deliver the desired result.
People respond better to authentic and sincere communication, so be genuine, honest and transparent in your dealings.
6. Expand your reach, create scalable IP
Connecting with a wider client base should be one of the topmost priorities of any business coach. After all, the larger the reach, the more you grow your coaching business.
Social media helps you connect with a vast audience at a click. Facebook Livestream, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, are some of the major platforms through which you can grow an involved audience – and you can start marketing here for free.
Select the couple of platforms where your potential audience is more likely to be and create engaging content to reach them organically. Make sure you post regularly to keep your audience interested.
Branded websites, SEO, email marketing, paid advertising, affiliate marketing, are other mediums through which you can connect with your clients.
Another important avenue to concentrate on is to generate an off shoot from your business coaching career and invest in creating intellectual property (IP) that compliments your core coaching business. Books, curated coaching programs, webinars, speaking engagements, whitepapers, guidebooks, etc. are all long-term opportunities to keep a steady flow of income coming in apart from your coaching assignments.
Business coaching (or starting a business coaching business) is rewarding, but you have to put in a lot of hard work. There is no magic formula that promises instant success. Success lies in doing the small things well and the larger picture takes care of itself.
Pay attention to the details, absorb knowledge as much as you can, prepare a well thought out coaching strategy and connect with your clients in a genuine manner. Put your best foot forward to ensure that you help your clients navigate challenges, expand their business, boost productivity and achieve their intended targets. Use these valuable tips for starting a business coaching business and set your career on the road to success.
1. How can I be a good business coach?
Becoming a good business coach requires lot of dedication, patience, experience and of course hard work. It is a challenging profession but also one that can be quite fulfilling and lucrative. As a business coach you need to have a fair grasp of running a business, its workings and challenges, and a passion to help clients succeed in their business. As a coach you also need to possess strong listening, communication, resouce-management skills, the ability to build strong rapport with clients, self-confidence to coach top level corporate heads and business owners, willingness to self-improve, some coaching experience (although that is not mandatory), and the right qualifications (higher education, business degrees, and coaching certifications are not a must but are a definite value addition).