Center for Coaching Certification

The Business of Executive Coaching

For those seeking to be an Executive Coach there is often a big decision to make: whether to start an independent business, join an existing firm, or to be employed as an internal coach in a large organization. Explore the pros and cons of each option.

Starting a Business

  • Pros:
    • Flexibility – as an independent business owner there is the greatest flexibility in terms of business model and services.
    • Decision-making control – an independent business owner makes all of their own decisions including work hours, who to take on as a client, and where to focus efforts.
    • Earning Potential – an independent business owner retains all profits.
  • Cons:
    • Financial Risk – the independent business owner is financially responsible for expenses and unsure of income.
    • Multiple Roles – the independent business owner is the sales team, the administrative team, customer service, etc. in addition to the actual service provider until the business grows enough to bring on others.The Business of Executive Coaching
    • Time to Focus on Specific Expertise – with the multiple roles involved and the demands for earning, a business owner is often facing time limitations for further developing expertise.

Joining a Coaching Firm

  • Pros:
    • Support Gaining Clients – when joining a firm, a coach has help getting clients.
    • Daily Interaction with Colleagues – working with others in a firm is often a motivator for being at work and the day-to-day conversation is typically supportive.
    • Help with Challenges – within a firm there is opportunity for getting advice and logistical assistance with challenges.
  • Cons:
    • Loss of Private Clients – often joining a firm means giving your contacts to the firm.
    • Shared Earnings – coaching fees are shared with the firm.
    • Directed Niche – firms typically direct the type of coaching offered.

Employment in a Large Organization

  • Pros:
    • Health and Vacation Benefits – large companies have great benefits.
    • Greatest Level of Security – large companies are more secure in terms of the job.
    • Built-in Clients – large companies have the full client base on hand.
  • Cons:
    • Restricted Work Focus – the type of coaching is job related only.
    • Corporate Culture and Politics – as an employee, navigating the culture is required.
    • Capped Earning Potential – large companies will have salary caps.

Whatever the decision, executive coaching is incredibly rewarding work.

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