Coaching and related business consulting fields have proliferated in recent years as increasing numbers of people become self-employed, markets turn more volatile, and the barriers to business entry lower. However, just because there’s plenty of demand for coaches, this doesn’t mean starting your own venture will be all smooth sailing.
Like anyone launching a business, you must give yourself the best chance of success by being strategic, engaging in plenty of planning and preparation, and learning about some of the areas you’ll need knowledge and skills in before launch.
It’s not enough to just complete coaching training and then open your doors, expecting clients and money to start pouring in. First, educate yourself on many areas, particularly the following three.
The financial side of running a business is one of the top things you need to get clear on. Many people use a financial advisor, planner, or accountant, and other specialists, to help them manage money matters. However, even if you follow suit, you still have to know the fundamentals to handle things correctly on a day-to-day basis.
It’s dangerous handing off all decisions and management of financial factors to third parties, as you can end up being taken advantage of. You might also end up in hot water if someone gets something majorly wrong and you don’t pick up on it, such as submitting the wrong tax or payroll data. You’re responsible for your business’s finances, and while you can get help with this, you must continue keeping an eye on all elements no matter how busy you get.
Set up effective treasury management systems to help you track and manage data. You want to be able to see at a glance what your venture’s cash flow is like and how long funding will last if issues arise. Software programs can provide you with real-time visibility and transparency and make it simpler to deal with multiple accounts, currencies, and contracts.
Ensure you know how to set and adhere to budgets, so you don’t find yourself in the position of not being able to pay bills. Plus, learn about profit and loss statements, balance sheets, sales and profit projections, expense reports, and documentation and deadlines related to tax and other annual financial obligations. Educate yourself on cost-cutting, maximizing profits, and handling international transactions if you have clients spread around the world.
The more you understand all these different financial matters, the easier you’ll find it to make sensible decisions in your organization and keep your business afloat for years to come.
With so many coaches offering services these days, you must know how to brand yourself and your venture if you want to succeed in the industry. It’s vital to attract potential customers with a credible, trusted, relevant, consistent, relatable, and engaging brand. You want to create an emotional impact and draw people in with a brand that connects with who they are and what they want to achieve.
To do this, understand who you’re targeting and what these people are like. What problems do they have that you could solve, or how could you bring benefits to their lives? What’s important to them, what hobbies do they have, where do they live, what do they earn, and what types of jobs do they do? Once you know these details, it should be more evident how you can create a brand that resonates.
Focus on what you do differently from other coaches. What is your specific niche, and how do you offer something fresh in the market? Look for ways to clarify why people should choose you as their coach and not someone else. Be personable and approachable, so people feel safe to divulge sensitive information to you and feel supported rather than judged.
Sales is the other area you must practice. As a coach, you need to sell potential clients on you and your services and sell current customers on the need to keep using your services over time. You also need excellent sales skills to help you land investors or business partners if you want to expand and lenders if you ever need to get a business loan.
Plus, it pays to have sales skills you can utilize when dealing with journalists and trying to convince them to feature you and your business in their publications. If you have plans to expand your venture and have multiple other coaches working for and with you, you can also use honed sales skills to attract the best people.
While coaching others is all about assisting them to become the best versions of themselves and achieve the best results possible, you have to work on yourself, too. Focusing on these three topics will help you succeed as a coach and entrepreneur.