7 Common Pain Points & Struggles Coaches Face When Starting Their Business

August 4, 2022
7 Common Pain Points & Struggles Coaches Face When Starting Their Business

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Coaching is one of the most sought-after careers, with the coaching industry being estimated to be worth $2.85 billion globally in 2022. Naturally, thousands of people are choosing to become professional coaches with the intent of leaving a mark in the field and carving out a successful coaching career. 

Almost all of them get into coaching with the right intent – that of helping people overcome their troubles and achieving their goals. Still, many coaches struggle to not just succeed, but in some cases, even stay put in the coaching industry. Why do some coaches make it while others battle to gain a basic foothold? What are the common coaching pain points or persistent obstacles that prevent them from prospering? Why do coaches struggle to get a regular stream of clients (the backbone of any successful venture)? 

The dictionary defines pain points as recurring problems that frequently cause inconvenience to the customers/clients and prove to be roadblocks to personal or professional success. But just as clients have their pain points so do coaches.

We’ve highlighted some of the well-known coach pain points that will help coaches rethink their strategies, help them fulfil their own potential, provide transformational results to their clients and achieve their goal of becoming successful coaches. 

7 Common Pain Points of Coaches That Hinders Growth

1. Wrong approach & mindset 

The fact that your coaching business is not performing as per your expectations can leave deep marks on your psyche and cloud your thinking as well as your decision-making ability. Not having the desired volume of clients can create doubts in your own ability and skills. 

A negative mindset can queer your approach in terms of truly understanding your prospective client’s problems. These mental blocks could well be the reason why your coaching programs are not finding favour with clients as they don’t address the real problems that the client needs addressing. 

In such cases, it is necessary to clear your head of doubts, discover the correct focus, find out how you can tweak your own approach to understand the prospective client’s mindset & pain points, get a deeper insight into what it is that the client is looking for from their coach and then devise coaching programs that align with the client’s requirements. 

2. Not designing your coaching programs around the client’s pain points 

This is one of the most common pain points that coaches face – lack of real understanding of the client’s needs, not getting a handle on their frustrations, pains, and final goals. Only when you truly understand the client’s problems can you design your coaching programs to help address their issues and requirements – ones that will appeal to them and thus, improve your chances of acquiring more clients. 

If you don’t comprehend the question in the first place, your answer will invariably miss the mark. The client is looking to you as a coach to help them solve their problems, how you propose to do that is the deal maker (or breaker).

Highlight the areas of your coaching services that will appeal to the client, present your skills and coaching experiences so that the client understands your professional capacity for solving their persistent issues, and emphasize the suitability of your coaching programs that align with client requirements. 

In essence, design your coaching packages not on speculations but on real examination of what your clients truly need and how those coaching packages can help solve their pain points.   

3. Communication problems 

The very foundation of good coaching is clear, relevant, and precise communication. As while it may seem unlikely, some coaches do struggle to relate well with their clients. 

Building a good rapport with the client goes a long way in instilling a sense of trustworthiness and comfort, and acts as a key ice-breaker, creates a stress-free & friendly environment where the client feels secure in opening up about their challenges & ambitions. 

Two-way, open communication makes the job of the coach easier in terms of gaining insights into the client’s needs and devising strategies that can help them overcome their problems and achieve their goals.  

As a coach, presenting a warm, friendly image, possessing good oratory skills, and using the right vocabulary, tone and voice modulations are essential to putting the client at ease in order to set the stage for a good coach-client relationship.

Did you know, building a good coach-client relationship takes conscious effort?

We dive deep into the essential components that can help you cultivate a strong one. Click here.

4. Lack of self confidence 

As a coach, if you don’t have the belief that your skillsets, knowledge, and experience are good enough to help people overcome their problems and bring about a positive transformation to their personal or professional lives, then you are in trouble. Clients can sense it if you lack faith in your own abilities. This will naturally result in them questioning your standing as a coach – if you don’t have conviction in your own capacity, how can you help someone else solve their problems? 

Also, putting on a mask or trying to be someone you are not is also a wrong strategy to adopt while trying to build your coaching business. The temptation to imitate a successful rival is always there, but it’s better to resist it and try to project your strengths instead focusing on what the competition is doing. There are pitfalls to blindly copying someone; if you succeed, the original will still be better, and if you fail you will undermine your strengths and lose out on opportunities that could have come your way as well. 

Pretence doesn’t last long and neither does it deliver long term results. All it will do is put a serious question mark on your credibility as a professional coach, which in turn will hurt your practice in the long run. 

5. Lack of business acumen & growth plan 

Just because you have the right credentials (the education, the training, the experience), it doesn’t automatically make you an expert in building your coaching business. Being a competent coach is not enough to become a successful businessman. 

Some people just don’t have the business acumen required to stand firm in a competitive world and make a name for themselves. In some cases, the business acumen may be there but botched up execution can be the undoing of a potentially sound idea. 

Coaches should never underestimate the importance of having a detailed business plan if they wish to scale their coaching business. Only a well-planned business strategy will help you guide your clients from where they are presently to where they want to be in the near future. 

Your business strategy should be designed in such a way that your coaching programs help deliver real positive outcomes for the client to start with and also give you sustained income and growth in return in the long run.

6. Undefined marketing & promotional strategy 

You have a great product, but it will only bring returns when people know of its existence. Similarly, you may be a very good coach who’s offering coaching packages with attractive pricing and bonuses. But your coaching business will only succeed when potential clients know of its existence. 

Many coaches make the mistake of not investing enough in marketing and promoting their coaching services, thinking that it might strain their budget or file it under something to be addressed at a later stage. But you will get settled only when your coaching business brings in a steady stream of clients & revenue and that can happen only when more and more prospective clients are aware of your services. 

There are many channels available to coaches to promote their coaching business – from social media platforms (FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube), SEO (which is free but requires dedicated effort), affiliate marketing, paid (advertisements on FB, Google ads etc.) and organic marketing (blogs, articles, webinars, podcasts, community networking etc.), email marketing, and more. 

Have a dedicated sales funnel that targets the right clients, make them aware of your offerings, establish a continued connect with interested clients via messaging, calls, and emails, and finally take the client through the onboarding process. 

Remember that marketing your coaching service is the very first step which needs to start right at the outset – even before you gain your first client. Missing out on promoting your coaching business can mean loss of multiple opportunities in gaining those precious clients and can disrupt your fledgling business, thus putting your business in danger of shutting down. 

7. Not delegating or investing in automated platforms

Even the best CEOs in the world don’t do all the work themselves – they employ smart professionals who are experts in their own fields and trust them to deliver the expected results or utilize technology and make it work for them. 

As a coach your main job is to coach your client, but running a coaching business, no matter how small, will require your time, energy and resources to be stretched in different directions. Managing administrative, financial, logistic, scheduling, and marketing responsibilities will not only overwhelm you and leave you exhausted but will also divert your attention from your primary role of being a coach and helping clients to the best of your abilities. Your clients haven’t paid for a distracted coach but one who is all present and attentive during the coaching session.  

Learn to delegate and bring in people who have the necessary expertise in various domains (accounting, admin, content creation, financial planning, etc.). 

And on top of that, consider investing in a comprehensive coaching management software that offers specially designed features, such as client, business & content management, sales & marketing utility, payment collection, invoicing, and more – all under a single platform. It will make your life easier and improve the prospects of your coaching business by helping run an efficient coaching venture. This will only help you deliver quantifiable & visible results for your clients and grow your business by harnessing the power of technology.

Focus on coaching, let us do the rest

Simply.Coach is the partner you need to scale your coaching business to new heights!

Building a coaching business or making a name for yourself as one of the premier coaches in the industry is not an easy task. All experience coach pain points, but the ones who succeed are those who learn from their setbacks, recalibrate their current strategies, and mold their coaching packages that align with their clients’ needs and address their pain points. It is not possible to fully escape coaching pain points, it comes with the territory, but having prior knowledge of what to expect can help coaches better prepare themselves for the obstacles that they may encounter in their journey and give themselves a fair chance of succeeding in their coaching venture. 


1. What are some examples of common coaching pain points?

All coaches experience pain points or persistent problems while building their coaching business. Some of the common pain points that coaches often struggle to deal with include not selecting their specialization or coaching niche based on their area of skills, interest, and experience, taking on all and every client (even those that are complete misfits for their coaching services), not having a dedicated and well thought out marketing and advertising strategy, not getting a grasp on the client’s true pain points and therefore not designing coaching packages that focus on addressing those issues, lack of a detailed business plan that hinders scaling the venture and also lack of self-belief in one’s own abilities.

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

About the author

An avid reader with love for books on history, sci-fi and popular fiction, Pallavi is a gifted content writer. She is also a keen listener of Indian semi & classical music. Currently, she juggles her duties of being a full-time mom with part-time content writing.

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