Starting a coaching business can be simplified with action steps so you get coaching sooner! After you complete your initial training, use the process outline below for ideas to create your own plan and move forward.
- Name your business. Using your personal name can work well when you have a large network and great reputation. Choosing a business name is an opportunity for something meaningful – do include exactly what you do in the name. A business name may also create the impression of a larger business.
- Create your coaching agreement. There are five examples on the coach login page plus ICF offers one. It is important to do this early on so you are ready to start!
- Update your social media profiles to indicate your certification or credential. Let your network know you are available to coach. If you want, make an offer stating a normal rate and a super discounted rate for a limited number in exchange for using a specific process and writing a testimonial. Get started coaching!
- Be sure to continue your coach training. Decide if you want to move toward the ACC or the PCC credential with ICF. As you continue your journey to become a coach, continue setting up your business too.
- Create your calendar. Include time for Business Tasks, Phone Calls, Emails, Letters, Distributing Flyers or Brochures, Online Networking, Local Networking, Blogs and Articles, Seminars and Workshops, Speeches, etc.
- Define your niche. Without a niche it is hard to target your efforts for gaining clients. Additionally, when you are vague it creates an impression versus when you are specific it lends credibility. As an example, if you want to do executive coaching, be specific – is your niche leadership, transitions, communication, or what? If you want to do life coaching, be specific – is your niche dating, parenting, retiring, ADHD, balance, or what? Choose up to three specific niche areas and be sure they make sense together.
- Describe your ideal client. The more specific you are the better. In addition to demographics, describe the challenges they face and can work on in coaching.
- Write your mission and vision statements. There is a handout for graduates on the coach login page or there is a previous blog explaining the steps.
- Decide how you will share your Code of Ethics and Core Values. Ensure you provide access to them on your website.
- Decide what type of legal ownership you want and follow the required steps. Consider a business license, LLC, S, or C Corporation, or d.b.a. (In the US incorporating is easily done online.)
- Decide on insurance for your business, obtain three quotes, select one, and sign up.
- Set-up and organize your office. Be sure you are working in a functional, comfortable, and private space. Ensure that your coaching notes are only accessible by you and that you can easily access documents you use.
- Create your business and marketing plans. An outline is provided on the coach login page and will be reviewed in an upcoming blog.
- Choose the colors, theme, and look you want for your logo, business cards, website, and brochures.
- Design your logo or engage someone to do it for you based on your input.
- Refine your marketing message to fit with your niche and your design, then Create your Website.
- a. Choose a web hosting service and buy your domain name. It is smart to also own your name as a domain.
b. Choose whether you will use a template or hire a web designer.
c. Write content for a home page, a page for each type of service offered, an about page, and a can contact page.
d. Create an initial draft version of your website.
e. Get feedback and make changes.
f. Set a completion date and publish your website.
- Design and print your business cards. Be sure they are readable and include your name, business name if different, phone, email, and website.
- Set goals for the number of clients and what you want to earn. Focus on engaging new clients.
- Extras to expand your reach include social media, brochures and/or flyers, a blog, articles, a podcast, publishing, and presenting. Choose one at a time and create your content.
- Develop a contact database to keep track of your network and people you meet through events or giving presentations.
- Choose online and in-person networking groups and join.
Make changes to this list to fit your circumstances and objectives. What counts is that you get started!