Starting a coaching business is a great way to empower others and use the skills and knowledge that you have already gained to help other success. Whether it’s business coaching, life coaching, or otherwise, there are some things to do at the outset to set your business up for success.
Depending on what type of coaching you would like to pursue, there is often either a requirement or option to get certified. Even if it’s optional, this can be a great way to prove your credibility to would be clients. There are many online programs to choose from. Research whether getting certified is required and whether or not it would be advantageous to pursue a certificate.
Create a Startup Business Plan
There are two different business plans that you can consider: a traditional business plan that encourages you to look at your business’ future and requires detailed planning of things like company descriptions, market analysis, and sales strategies; or a lean startup business plan that is a simplified version of a traditional business plan that focuses on the most crucial points in starting your business and how you intend to accomplish those goals. We think the lean startup plan makes the most sense for coaching businesses.
These plans should include categories like executive summary, company description, partnerships, customer relationships, market analysis, organization and management, marketing and sales, and legal and professional so that you have a good majority of your bases covered. What you are looking to do is be thoughtful in a general game plan for your business so that you can think through the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities.
Choose a Business Type
Rules vary from state-to-state on the types of businesses you can start up. It’s important that you do some research on the type of business you want to start up depending on where you are and if it is worth your time and resources.
Legal professionals recommend coaching businesses get an LLC because it provides liability protection to you if someone were to sue your business. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, but in the off chance that it does, they would be suing your LLC instead of you personally. Although a coaching business is not a high-risk business, it’s highly recommended that you get an LLC if you want to take your business seriously and you want it to grow.
Having an LLC would show your clients that you take your business seriously, and nothing else really replaces the protection that it provides. If you’re considering alternatives to an LLC, you can talk to an attorney and draft an agreement.
Find a Facility
Many coaches can work from home and use zoom or calls for meetings. Some people like to have a place to go. This is entirely personal and professional preference. When looking for a facility, you should consider if you rent out a space in a facility if the facility will provide any support. You also should consider if you will have an opportunity to meet new members in the facility and can solicit them or else find your own clients. It’s also important to see how the facility is managed in order to maintain professional relationships with your clients.
Those who want to start up a coaching business usually take three-to-six months to develop a consistent income from their clientele. Marketing and promoting your business is crucial so that you can create a client base without losing too much money.
You will need to develop a marketing strategy that will consistently promote your business. You can do this by creating advertisements that are for your intended audience. If you are looking for younger individuals, you should advertise across different social media platforms. You can advertise weight loss and muscle-sculpting to the younger crowds who would resonate with that message. If you are looking for different audiences, brainstorm what you think they would find appealing.
Structuring Your Client Contracts
If you want to get started on a contract right away, there are at least nine sections you should include: Introduction, Disclaimer, Payment, Refund Policy, Rescheduling Policy, Client Responsibility, Confidentiality, Termination, and Indemnity/Limitation of Liability.
Set the stage for the contract and let the reader know why you are here and what the purpose of the document is. It also makes the signer aware that the purpose of the document is so they understand and agree to all the terms in the contract before you start coaching.
It’s important to tell your clients what you can and can’t do for them. Make sure to state that you are a coach and ensure that you are helping them get results but that you are not a physician. Detail all the kinds of advice and help you are not in a position to provide so it is clear from the beginning. If you are so inclined, you can add an Earning Disclaimer that tells the trainee that they are the only ones who can control their earning potential.
You should include a variety of different payment methods like PayPal, Venmo, Square, and others so that you get paid for the work you put in. It is also recommended that you include clauses in your client contracts about fees and due dates to ensure you get paid. Make sure to clearly state how much is due, what payment covers, how the payment is structured, and when payments are due.
State a clear refund policy so you do not have to anticipate refunds on a case-by-case basis, like only giving refunds within 30 days of signing if they are unsatisfied with your coaching.
Make some expectations and ground rules when it comes to cancellations and what they need to do to reschedule. You can require that they reschedule their own appointments through your website instead of you both going back and forth. You can also add that if they cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice that they will not receive money back for the session.
This puts responsibility on the client to put forth effort in the program so that they get results. Their results do not rely solely on the coach, and the coach is only there to provide his trainees the tools they need to succeed on their own.
This policy protects both the client and the coach. You entrust that you will keep the client’s information and your sessions confidential, and the client entrusts that they will not share your materials and exercises with others. State that you can claim Copyright infringement if they share a worksheet you gave them so that they are disincentivized to share any of the material.
Adding a termination policy can save you some hassle if you have a bad client. You can state that you can limit, suspend, or terminate the Client’s participation without refund if they become disruptive to the company or participants, etc. Typically, this should only be used if the feeling is mutual to end the contract.
Indemnity/Limitation of Liability
You can protect yourself against legal liability in the event that something goes wrong by adding an indemnity or Limitation of Liability clause. Attorneys suggest you go over this clause with a legal professional so that it holds up in court in case an issue does arise.
Get Reviews from Happy Clients
Getting consistent and positive reviews ensures your clients that they made a great decision in hiring you as a coach and can serve as its own marketing tool. Make sure to get reviews monthly and keep them recent!
You got this!