Ever heard of the saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’? That’s the biggest fear of any coach founding a practice with other coaches. So if you’re looking to start a multi-coach practice, you might be wondering “is it going to be more trouble than it’s worth?” Let’s do a deep dive into the common challenges you may face.
When professionals with different backgrounds, opinions, and work culture come together under a coaching company, challenges are commonplace. With coaching companies, it’s a double trouble—apart from the challenges of coaching itself, one has to deal with the challenges of the business. When you run a coaching company with multiple coaches, you work with coaches with different styles and approaches, and you’re also responsible for creating processes to run the business.
We have examined such challenges on two levels in this blog. There are specific challenges that a new multi-coach company faces, and then there are different issues that an established multi-coach company may deal with.
Challenges of a new multi-coach coaching company
When you form a coaching company, it’s assumed that there is a growing demand for your services. As the business grows, your work is increasingly more administrative and collaborative — planning for growth, handling marketing & sales, onboarding vendors for administrative work, and so on. With the business growing, would typically need fellow coaches handle a larger part of the coaching engagements.
Let’s talk about the 3 common challenges that a multi-coach start-up coaching company deals with:
1. Onboarding reliable coaches
As you acquire more clients and your business expands, you need to team up with reliable coaches. The most common challenge that you are likely to face if you want to build a multi-coach coaching company is to find reliable coaches. The best approach is to rope in peers with whom you have worked previously, whom you can rely upon and already have a relationship with.
Moreover, when you build a company, your personal reputation as a coach now gets extended as your company’s reputation. Your affiliated coaches will now be as much in charge of your company’s reputation as you are. The best way to deal with this potential challenge is to identify what your requirements are from any coach that represents your company. Make sure to address some of these questions at the very beginning:
- Do you need coaches to work for you full-time?
- Do you want to work with newly certified coaches whom you can train or you would you want experienced coaches with their own methods in place?
- Do you need the coaches to be in the same time zone as you?
- How often do you wish to communicate with your coaches and how involved will they be in the business?
- How equipped are your coaches in your coaching niche? Would you like to expand outside that niche?
It’s very important to consider all these questions before you onboard coaches.
2. Establishing a brand and sales pipeline
Many coaching practices have to deal with the problem of establishing a brand name when they start off their journey. This, in turn, affects getting a steady pipeline of clients. Some of the common brand-building challenges are:
a. Lack of brand story
Many coaching companies fail to communicate their message and what they do to their potential clients. This tends to happen because of a failure to share the brand story — the story behind the establishment of the coaching practice. It’s only when you share the narrative behind your company’s journey, your mission and what drives you, that you come across as a relatable and reliable coaching company and can draw in potential clients.
In today’s world, brand relevance is very important to have a steady flow of clients. A coaching company tends to lose potential clients if they aren’t updated with the latest industry trends and new technologies. The trick is to adapt to new changes and stay updated with the needs of your potential clients.
c. Lack of marketing know-how
Many coaching companies struggle to market their brand story and services. Having multiple coaches and hence stakeholders makes it an even more complex business operation to publicize without expert inputs. As a result, most companies tend to put marketing on the back foot and it becomes very difficult to acquire new clients from channels other than word of mouth or referrals.
To address this challenge, begin with small steps: setting up social media profiles is easy to get started with, and you can also create an email database from yours and your coaches’ contacts. With online coaching management platforms like Simply.Coach, you can also create a ‘showcase page’ akin to a website for yourself and each of your coaches, complete with meeting scheduling.
Social media marketing not your cup of tea?Check out our blog post ‘Social media strategy for coaches: 7 strategies to success’.
3. Day-to-day administrative work
When it comes to managing a multi-coach coaching company, a lot of your energy is directed towards managing the business part of it. This often takes your focus away from the primary job of coaching itself.
The only way to tackle the problem is to automate these manual admin tasks and free up time for yourself. While virtual assistants are one way to go, coaching management platforms make it possible to automate tasks and bring in efficiency without making as high an investment. Many online coaching management platforms take the edge off the daily manual chores associated with running a coaching business. For instance, with Simply.Coache’s automated ‘invoicing & payments’ feature, coaching companies can automatically generate and send out invoices, collect & track payments and even send reminders. Coaching management platforms also usually integrate with your existing software (email, calendars, video conferencing platforms, and so on).
Challenges faced by established multi-coach coaching companies
We have already talked about challenges faced by newly established multi-coach coaching companies. However, for companies that have been in business for a while, the challenges are different. If you run such a coaching company, you know that the hurdles usually have to do with orchestration of the managerial tasks. There is a constant look out for automation tools that would help streamline these monotonous and recurring but highly challenging activities, and behavior change is worth it only if the business scales.
Here are the two pressing challenges that an established multi-coach coaching company needs to overcome:
1. Streamlining invoicing and payment collection
With a growing number of subscribers, invoicing and payment can become a prickly affair. The most common billing challenges are:
a. Unmanageable billing framework
As the business grows, simple processes like accepting and tracking payments all become more complex and time-consuming. A company will need to have a robust in-house billing system to support all these nitty-gritties of billing, which isn’t an efficient investment of time or resources.
Hence, onboarding a billing platform to handle all the recurring billing processes will help streamline the invoicing & payments and fix revenue-related loopholes.
b. Complicated invoicing process
Coaching companies spend a lot of time streamlining invoices and pursuing clients for payments. If it’s a multi-coach coaching company, then the process becomes even more complicated.
The most obvious solution to this problem is automation of the invoicing process. Zero in on a tool that allows you to customize your invoices based on your requirements. Simply.Coach for example, offers subscribers an invoice builder that’s fully customizable. It also generates them and allows you to send them from the platform (automated if you’d like), and sends clients payment reminders.
c. Payment issues with the global market
When you foray into the international market, you have to deal with multiple payment modes, currencies, different tax rules, etc. This can be quite challenging for a lot of established coaching companies. Once you have to cater to global audiences, you have to take care of the global payment procedures and all the other related issues. One easy way to do this is with a flexible billing system that’s compliant to global regulations and can support both global and local payments.
2. Generating periodic reports
Relevant, precise, and timely information is the key to any business growth. However, creating reports on client progress can take a lot of time. For instance, the HR from one of your client companies may need status reports of 5 of their employees (who are working with 5 of your associate coaches) periodically – and the more the clients, the more the reports to create. It’s a long and tedious process to go back and reflect on the client’s attendance and progress, and chart that into a structured format to share every month, quarter, etc.
Generating a status report quickly is only possible if you have all the required information at your fingertips. With platforms like Simply.Coach, your clients’ progress is not only constantly tracked and available to view anytime, but easily downloadable in a visual report format that you can share from the platform.
One of the biggest challenges of coaching business leaders is scaling the company while still keeping the focus on coaching. As the business scales, coaching takes a backseat and the backend activities get prioritized. A coaching management platform helps coaching companies focus on their primary job of coaching while taking care of the rest.
Sources: Resources.workable, Radical-marketing, Trainingpeaks, Lovelyimpact, Latana, Businessnewsdaily, Universalclass.com, Chargebee.com, Phocassoftware
1. How to retain coaches for a long term in a coaching company?
Few of the strategies that help in keeping a coach involved and retained are building a solid relationship within the team, encouraging a work culture that requires working together as a team towards a greater goal, shunning micromanage, reduction of unnecessary workload, acknowledging their contribution and appreciating their effort.
2. What are the best practices in billing for a coaching company?
Some of the billing best practices are adopting billing automation that helps reduce manual errors, emphasizing on automated repetitive tasks, offering easy online payment methods, etc.
Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF 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.
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