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How To Start a Coaching Business: 5 Simple Steps

Coaching is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world of work. Many coaches are able to building incredibly profitable coaching businesses that produce a six or seven figure income each year. That means now is an excellent time to start a coaching business.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to start a coaching business. Whether you’re just considering starting a coaching business, or have already taken your first few steps, this guide walk you through every step you need to to in order to set your coaching business up for success.


What Is Coaching?

A coach is someone who helps clients to identify their goals and create the plans they need to succeed. Coaching is a relationship that involves a coach, a coachee, and an accountability process.

Coaching relationships are generally short-term, with a specific beginning (deciding to work with a coach) and end (completing the coaching process and achieving the desired results).


The Benefits of Starting an Online Coaching Business

Working from home

One of the best benefits of starting a coaching business is that you can work from home. The flexibility and freedom of a work-from-home job is unbeatable, making it the best choice for people with busy family and work schedules.

You can choose to set up your coaching business online and offer coaching services to people across the globe. If you have a coaching business and offer your services at home, you can set your own schedule and choose the hours that work best for you and for your clients.


Grow and develop your skill set

As a coach, you will be working with people from all walks of life, experiencing different issues, and working towards different goals. This is a great opportunity to hone and develop your communication, problem-solving, and management skills.

Being a coach also requires you to develop a positive attitude towards life and a compassionate heart to help your clients overcome their issues and achieve their goals. If you are looking for a career that will help you develop your skills and excel in your life, coaching is the right path for you.


Help people improve their lives and the world around them

Another great benefit of starting a coaching business is that you get to help people improve their lives and the world around them. Every coaching session is an opportunity for you to help others live healthier and happier lives.

You can help people overcome issues related to health, relationships, money, and career. You can also help people lead a more positive and productive life, and feel confident and happy about themselves.


Step One: Starting a successful coaching business 

Before starting a coaching business, it is important you understand the requirements of being a business owner, and having a business.

This video covers everything you need to know about what is required to build a successful online coaching business, including:

  • The 5 requirements of a successful coaching business
  • What many coaches struggle when they are starting a coaching business
  • What it takes to build a 7 figure online coaching business

This video is value packed and is extremely useful for anyone looking to start a coaching business!


1. Sacrifice

Achieving something new requires sacrificing something old. You can just add, you need to subtract. The bigger the goal, the bigger the sacrifice. What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal?

2. Effort

Average begets average – you can’t do average and expect great. Don’t do what everyone else is doing, if you want more, be prepared to do more.

3. Capacity

Often coaches think something isn’t working, simply because we’re not doing enough. You can make anything in your coaching business work if you give it enough time and effort.

4. Focus

There are potentially 1,000 decisions between where you are now and where you want to be. Many of those decisions will be the wrong decision but that only becomes a problem if it stops you from continuing to make decisions to reach to your goal.

5. Risk

As a business owner, you must understand risk. Everything you do has risk, nothing is guaranteed. Employees look for opportunities that mitigate risk, business owners make decisions every day in spite of risk. Are you making decisions like an employee, or like a business owner?


Step Two: Becoming a coach

A coach’s license is the fastest, most reliable way to get started in the field. Coaching is a field that welcomes people from all walks of life. You don’t have to be a licensed psychologist to coach—you don’t even have to hold a college degree.

But you do need to be trained in the skills and best practices of the field. A coach’s license is the standard qualification in coaching, and it’s what all clients look for.


Types of coaching businesses

There are a number of coaching businesses you can set up and grow. Some of these are:

  • Business coaching: A business coach helps you navigate your business by providing mentoring, training, and guidance to build a successful business.
  • Health Coaching: A health coach helps people change their diet and exercise habits to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.
  • Professional Coaching: A professional coach is ideal for people working in a specific profession, such as managers, executives, and professionals.
  • Life Coaching: A life coach can help clients take charge of your life and break free from negative habits and patterns.
  • Career Coaching: A career coach is someone who can help you choose the right career and make the most of your skills and passions.
  • Relationship coaching: A relationship coach can help clients with all aspects of their relationships, from attracting new romantic relationship to improving existing relationships


Step Three: How to start a coaching business from scratch

3 Main Types Of Coaching Businesses

Before starting an online coaching business, you should consider how your online coaching will be delivered to potential clients. Choosing your coaching business model is crucial to your success as a coach. In general, there are three main coaching business models.


One-on-one coaching business:

Firstly, there is the one-to-one coaching business model. These days, this model is probably the most popular.

One-on-one coaching involves meeting with one client at a time, either in person or online. Since one-on-one coaching requires a high level of time commitment, you can only work with a certain number of clients at any given time.

The benefit is that it is the fastest way to develop your skills as a coach as it allows you to get real-time feedback from clients.


Group Coaching package:

Secondly, there is the group coaching model. In this model, multiple clients meet together in a group setting rather than individually.

Coaches who work in groups can take on more clients, allowing them to increase their client base. The trade is less personalised support for each client.


Online coaching program:

Thirdly, there is the online course model. This model does not require you to meet your clients in person. Rather, clients move through a self-paced automated online coaching program.  This model creates the greatest capacity for coaching clients, however offers the lowest level of support, accountability and feedback from clients.


Where To Start?

In the beginning, it is always recommended to start with one-on-one coaching to help get your first few paying clients, develop your skills and generate client testimonials, before considering to move on to an alternative method.


Step Four: Building your coaching offer

Identifying Your Target Market

The first step to building your coaching offer is choosing your target audience or niche. 

Who is the ideal person who will benefit the most from your coaching offer? What are their goals and what are their biggest challenges? Do they have specific areas of expertise and/or needs?

Keep in mind that there are many factors that affect your ability to attract potential clients, like their location, work schedule and income. While you can’t always change these factors, you can adjust your marketing efforts to make your offer more appealing to the right people.

As a general rule, aim to serve clients who are at an intermediate to advanced level of expertise. You don’t want to start with beginners because it will be too frustrating for both parties. On the other hand, experts already know most of what you have to offer, so it’s not as exciting for them.


Building Your Messaging

Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, you need to figure out what their main challenges and goals are. This will help you determine what value you provide for your target audience.

As you conduct your research, you will notice that many people have been struggling with similar challenges for quite some time. As such, you can use these common challenges as the basis for your marketing message.

What are some of the most common challenges that your target audience faces? How can you help them overcome these challenges more efficiently? What will they gain from your coaching sessions?

You may want to consider asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Who do you want to work with? Who is your target audience?
  • What do your ideal coaching clients want?
  • How much money do you need to make each month?
  • What services do you want to offer?
  • How much would my target audience be willing to pay?
  • What type of clients are you aiming for?
  • What geographic region do you want to serve?
  • How do you plan to attract clients to you?


Pricing Your Coaching Program

You also need to choose a payment model. You can charge per session, set up a retainer, or have a hybrid model.

There are three main pricing models you can choose from:

Pay per session. In this model, clients pay for each coaching session. The advantage of this is that you can charge more per session as you gain more experience. It also provides more flexibility in your scheduling.

However, this is a model best suited for seasoned coaches. Newbies may find it difficult to get clients to pay for each session when they are just starting out.

Monthly subscription. This is the most common pricing model among coaching services. With this model, clients pay a fixed amount every month for a certain period, such as 3 months, 6 months or a year. A monthly subscription model works well for most coaching services since it provides more flexibility in scheduling.

One-time fee. A one-time fee is the simplest form of payment for coaching. This model works best for short-term solutions, such as solving a problem with a product or providing advice on a specific issue.

Whatever you choose, you should have a clear plan for your pricing model early on.


Step Five: Setting Your goals

Once you’ve planned your pricing model, you can see how it fits with your business goals. How much income do you want your business to generate each month?

Once you have your goal, you can see how many clients you will need to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to make $10,000 each month, and your price point is $2,000 per client, you will need 5 clients each month to reach your goal.

From there you can see how many coaching sessions you will need to offer each month to service that number of clients.

This is where you can start to consider the balance between life and business, to see if the amount of time you will need to be spending in your business is something that works for you.


Final Words

If you want to start a coaching business, you’re in the right place. The industry is growing, and there are plenty of people who can benefit from your services. Make sure to find your niche and get some experience before diving in, and you’ll be on the right path to success.

Now that you know what coaching is and how to get started, you’re ready to start building your business!

Starting a coaching business is not an easy task, but it does come with a lot of rewards. You can choose any one of the coaching methods above and start a business for a flexible and rewarding career. If you are ready to invest some time and effort, starting a coaching business is the best way to go.

Now that you know How To Start a Coaching Business, you can learn How To Get Coaching Clients here. Get Clients on Instagram here, or learn how to Start Marketing your Business here.

You can click here to watch out our free online course for coaches, Genesis.


Start A Coaching Business


How To Start a Coaching Business Video Transcribe

Hey, it’s Connor Marriott here. In this module, module two, we’re going to be talking about the expectations and requirements of having a successful business.

So a lot of people want a successful business, but very often, you’ll hear things like, “It’s easy and you can do it with 30 minutes a day.” In this video and in this module, I’m going to set the actual requirements and expectations of what is required and also the five pitfalls that you may fall into and how to avoid them because if you do fall into them, they will keep you stuck in business.

And so, this is not going to be some sugar-coated, fancy, “It’s easy,” kind of thing. This is going to be the real requirements.

To get what most people don’t have, you need to be prepared to do what most people won’t do. Having a successful business is not easy, despite what people online may tell you. You can’t click a button and make money.

You can’t do it in 10 minutes a day with zero effort. It’s impossible without effort, time, and sacrifice. But in saying that, it is 100% worth it. So when you start your business, if you are just starting out, you need to have the expectation that nothing good is going to happen in your business for the next two to three years.

Once you have that expectation, you still want to do it anyway. A lot of the people, they start a business because they think, “If I work hard for two weeks, I’ll be a millionaire.” And very rarely does that happen if ever.

And so, if you are expecting that to happen or something similar and it doesn’t happen, you will be discouraged and you’ll quit.

If you have the expectation that nothing good is going to happen for two years and you still want the outcome and having the outcome is worth going through that for two, three years, then you have the right expectation. Now, will it take two, three years?

Hopefully not. But if that is your expectation, you won’t be disappointed.

And so, if achieving your goal is not worth going through that, then don’t start. If, as I said, that you thought, “Two years? That’s a long time to have a successful business and live life the way I want to live it,” not worth it. If that’s what you thought, don’t start because you won’t get there because there will be challenges.

There will be roadblocks. If your expectation is, “It’s going to be easy and I’ll get there by tomorrow,” you’re setting yourself up for failure.

What is a successful business? Well, first of all, why do people buy things? People won’t just buy anything. People have choice.

They have lots of choice and people will only choose to buy something if they believe it is good. So, what is good? Well, good is not an objective measure. It is only determined by contrast, right?

There’s no good business or bad business on its own. You can only determine that by looking at the alternatives and something can only be good when compared to the alternatives. As the alternative changes, meaning, as other businesses improve, the measure of good changes with it, right?

You might have a business that’s good. 10 years from now, if everyone else keeps improving and you don’t, no longer good. And so, something is only good if it is better and the only way to make something better is with time and effort.

You can’t have a good business if you’re not doing those things because good is not good. Good is not objective. It’s compared to everyone else. If everyone else is putting in effort to make it better and you are not, you will lose.

And so, aiming for the best. The vast majority of money in any market will go to the business that is the best. And so if you want money, if you want a successful business, it’s not a question of, “Should I try to make this the best?” It’s the requirement.

And so, understand that. If you’re looking at, “How can I do this in two minutes a day?” Then you’re not going to make it the best and therefore, you will not receive compensation in the form of money.

And so, why passive income is bull. It’s a lie. If people are telling you, you can make money online, passive income, it doesn’t exist because like I said, people will buy things that are good.

The only way to make something good is with effort. Even if you had something that was good, even if you had a business that was somehow making money, if you stop improving it, within about seven minutes, someone else is going to make it better.

And then, the customers are going to go to that thing. And so, you can’t be the best if you’re not willing to do the things that actually make you the best. The reason is the people you’re competing against, your competition, they are willing to do those things and that is what people will buy.

The best. Not the worst, not average, only the best. This is hard. Well, understand that everything is hard in life. Everything has problems. Every path you go down, there’ll be suffering. There’ll be problems. There’ll be hardship.

So the question is not, “Do I want to do this thing that sounds hard?” The question is, “What version of hard do I want?” Because no matter what you do, it will be hard. Whether you put in the work to have a successful business, or you don’t do that and do nothing, there’s going to be hard.

Different types of hard, but both hard. So the question is not, “Do I want the thing that’s hard?” The question is, “What hard am I prepared for?” And so as a business owner, the number one requirement of being a business owner is that you are willing and prepared to constantly learn new skills, constantly make yourself better.

The best business owners understand every single area of their business: marketing, sales, fulfillment, delivery, retention, technology, accounting, all of it. The myth of the CEO who doesn’t know anything and just sits back in the chair smoking cigars, that also doesn’t exist.

And so, a big problem that a lot of businesses or business owners have, especially in the early stages, is they don’t want to learn things. They don’t want to do things outside of their scope. For example, if you’re a coach, you might just want to do coaching.

I just want to coach people. I don’t want to worry about marketing, or ads, or funnels, or sales, or accounting, or anything else. I just want to coach people. And if that’s the case, get a job as a coach. Don’t have a business, because a business owner needs to know these things.

If you’re not sure why, well, let me give you an example. Let’s say, there’s two business owners. Business owner one understands 10 areas of their business. So marketing, sales, fulfillment, technology, retention, lifetime value, all those different things. Business owner number two understands one area. Let’s say, it’s coaching.

Again, understand that everyone has a choice in business. And so, if your customers want to buy a product, who do you think they would rather buy from? The business owner that knows 10 things, or the business owner that knows one thing?

Probably, the one that knows 10, right? Who do you think is going to be able to create a better product? The person that knows 10 things, or the person that knows one? The person that knows 10. Who do you think is going to get better client results?

The person that knows 10 things, or the person that knows one thing? And so, the reason you need to learn new skills and constantly be doing that is because you are competing against other people and that’s what they are doing.

And so if you’re not willing to do that, you won’t beat them. You won’t even come close and therefore, customers wouldn’t want to work with you. And if you’re thinking, “Well, I’ll just hire someone else to do it for me. I don’t want to learn marketing.

I can hire someone,” or, “I don’t want to learn sales. I can hire someone,” well, understand, employees, they have choice too.

And so, who do you think a talented employee would rather work with? The business owner that knows one thing, or the business owner that knows 10 things? They’re going to want to work with the business owner that knows 10 every single day.

And so, you won’t be able to hire people to do this for you because they can get jobs with someone who does know this stuff. And so, that is the requirements of a business owner.

Now, let’s talk about the five pitfalls that you want to avoid. There’s number one, sacrifice; number two, effort; number three, capacity; number four, focus; and number five, risk.

So number one, sacrifice. Achieving something new requires sacrificing something old. You can’t just add more. You need to subtract. The size of your goal will determine the size of sacrifice. And so let’s say, this is your life now.

You’ve got these different areas. Maybe, this is going to parties, hanging out with people on the weekends, drinking beers, whatever those different areas are. And then let’s say, this is your goal, to have a successful business. Well, right now, this doesn’t fit.

There’s no space for it. So, it won’t be achieved because there’s no place it can go. And so, what we need to do is sacrifice some of these things to create space for the goal.

The bigger the goal, the greater the sacrifice, right? If you have a smaller goal, you may not need to sacrifice that much. Bigger goal? Maybe, a bit more. If you have a big goal?

Probably going to have to sacrifice a lot. And so, understand that. You can’t keep everything the same and hope to achieve something great. People don’t want change.

They want everything to stay the same, yet somehow get better. That doesn’t really exist. So understand, depending on your goal, that will determine what you need to sacrifice and how much, the level of your sacrifice.

That might change over time. You might start here and decide you want to take it to the next level, or maybe you get to this level and decide you want to dial it back. It doesn’t need to be set in stone, but understand there will need to be some level of sacrifice depending on what it is you want to achieve.

Number two is effort. So, average begets average. You can’t do average and expect great. You can expect average, because that’s what average gets. And so when it comes to effort, you can’t do what everyone else is doing and expect to get a better result.

You need to look at what everyone else is doing and do 10 times more. There’s a story that I tell quite frequently and this is basically how I learned this. It was when I was in high school, I played guitar.

I played guitar, I learned guitar, I had guitar lessons for about four years up until this point and I was no better than everyone else in my year, everyone else in my grade.

We were all about the same school level. There was this one student who was two years older than me and he was insanely good. He was on a whole other level. It turns out my guitar teacher was his guitar teacher as well.

And so I asked my guitar teacher, “What does this guy do? What are you teaching him that you’re not teaching me? Why am I not that good?” And my guitar teacher said, “I don’t teach Nick,” Nick was his name, “anything different.

The thing about Nick is that when I give him homework to learn the intro of a song, he won’t just learn the intro. He’ll learn the intro, the verses, the chorus, the solo, and three other songs by that same artist. And he’ll do that every single week.” That’s when I realized you can’t do what’s expected of you.

Up until that point, I was doing what was asked. I was doing the homework every week. I was practicing at the exact level I was told to practice that and I wasn’t very good. There was this other guy who was doing 20 times more than that and he was very good.

And so from that point, I started putting in more effort and work and doing more than what was asked of me, more than what was required, more than average. All of a sudden, I got quite good at the guitar.

And so, I’ve applied this to everything I do moving forward and this is hopefully what you can apply to your business. I read that the average CEO reads 50 books a year. And so, do I want to be average?

No. So I started reading a book a day, which is 365 a year, and I did that for about three years. I remember when I first started in business, I started sending emails to businesses to get clients.

On my first day, I sent about 30 emails and I didn’t get any replies and I thought, “Well, I guess, sending emails doesn’t work.”

A few years later, we retried the strategy, except we were sending about 200,000 emails out and it started to work surprisingly. And so, often we think something’s not working just because we’re not doing enough of it.

Another example, I remember when I saw this in contrast to a different business owner. At this time, I was doing about a hundred cold calls a day and I was booking meetings. I spoke to this other business owner and he’s like, “Oh, I’m doing cold calls and it’s not really working.” I said, “How many are you doing?” And he said, “About 10 a week.” I was doing a hundred a day and seeing a result.

And so, the amount of effort you put into something determines the result you get. If you want an average result, do your average, do what everyone else is doing. If you want a great result, you need to do more.

Number three is capacity. And so, often we think something isn’t working simply because we’re not doing enough. There’s this threshold of effort and work that’s required to actually see if something’s working.

So, let’s give you an example. If we look at an archer shooting a bow at a target, and let’s say, he’s shooting once a week. If he’s got a 1% accuracy, well, he’s not going to hit it.

He’ll say something like, “I tried it for a week and it didn’t work obviously.” And then let’s say, he moved onto a different strategy and this strategy had a 30% accuracy. If he’s just shooting one time a week, he’s still going to say, “I tried it for a week and it didn’t work.”

And so, he’s going to move on to another strategy and let’s say, this one’s a 20% accuracy.

And again, “I tried it for a week. It didn’t work.” It’s not because the strategy didn’t work. It’s because he wasn’t shooting often enough. He’s basically going to give up and say, “Nothing works.”

This is what most business owners do. They’ll try a lot of different things not at the capacity required to actually achieve a result and they’ll say, “It doesn’t work,” and they’ll do something else. “It doesn’t work.” So, they didn’t do anything enough.

On the other hand, if we have someone who’s shooting a hundred times a day at a 1% accuracy, he’s going to see, “Okay, this is hitting the target 20 times a month.” He then moves on to a different strategy and let’s say, this is 20% accuracy.

Now, he’s going to say, “Okay, I tried this for a month and I got 400. This is better than the other one. I can actually see the result.”

And then, he tries a new strategy that is 50% accuracy and he can say, “I tried this for a month. I got a thousand. This is the best strategy.” He can only see that because he’s doing the work required.

The first example, same strategies, didn’t get the result because the effort, the capacity was not reached. And so if we look at the strategy, there’s the effectiveness of the strategy and then there’re the efforts put into the strategy.

And so let’s say, you’re using one method right now to get clients and it’s getting you one client a month. Well, you might say, “This isn’t working,” but if you actually ramp that up and did more of it, it might be able to get you five clients a month.

And then let’s say, there’s a different strategy over here, strategy number two, and let’s say that’s capable of getting you 20 clients a month.

So it is a better strategy, but again, if you are only doing very low effort, it’s going to get you the same result as the first one.

And so, the way you want to look at growing a business is not, “What strategy is best?” “What strategy can I change?” “This isn’t working. Let me do that.” Instead, look at, “What am I doing now? How can I increase the capacity of what I’m doing to actually see if this is effective?”

Only once you’ve reached the capacity, then move to the next one, so you can see the difference. You can see if it’s actually working. If you shoot the arrow once a week, no strategy is going to work. If you shoot it a hundred times a day, you’re going to see the result very quickly.

Pitfall number four is a lack of focus. And so question, how many books do you need to read on a topic to become an expert on that topic? One book? 10 books? A hundred books?

Let’s say, it’s a hundred. If it takes a hundred books to become an expert on a topic and you read two books, does it mean those books didn’t work? Would you say, “This isn’t working. I give up. I’m going to try something else?”

Or would you understand that those two books are a part of the hundred that’s required to achieve the goal? And so, this is how strategies work.

This is how business works. How many attempts does it take to make a business work? One? 10? A hundred? A thousand? And so, if you try one thing once and you don’t get the result, does it mean it was the wrong thing?

Does it mean it didn’t work? Would you stop and move onto something else, or would you understand that it takes reps to achieve anything?

And so the question is not, will this work? The question is I’m going to make it work… Well, it’s not even a question. The decision is, I’m going to make it work because everything can work. Anything can work.

Door to door can work. Cold calls can work. Ads can work. Newsletter marketing can work. Everything can work. The question is, are you going to make it work, or are you going to look at something, try it, say it didn’t work, and then move on something else and continue changing thing to thing and never see the result?

There are a thousand decisions between you and your goal and if you make the wrong decision or you feel like you made the wrong decision, the worst thing you can do is stop making decisions. You can’t make decision number 1000, if you never make decision number two.

And so, when you try something that doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean quit. It doesn’t mean stop. Just keep trying. It takes several books to become an expert. Don’t just read one and say, “I give up.”

Finally, pitfall number five is risk. So as a business owner, you need to understand how risk works because everything you do has a risk. There’s risk in everything. Nothing is guaranteed. We speak to a lot of business owners about, “Well, how do I know ads are going to work? Do you have a guarantee it’s going to work?”

And as a business owner, everything you do has risk, right? You might hire and train an employee for three months, and then they leave. There’s a risk there. You might launch a new product and buy all the inventory, launch it, and it flops. That’s a risk. Everything you do has a risk.

On the other hand, employees tend to look for options that are risk-free and the employee will look for the job with good salary, nice benefits. They’re trying to minimize risk. A business owner knows that everything has risk in business and they don’t look for the risk-free options.

They compare the risk and they make decisions despite of the risk.

And so if you’re looking for things like a guarantee or, “I’m only going to start this if I know it’s going to work 100%,” then you’re thinking like an employee, not a business owner.

You need to start comparing the risk, understanding, not being foolish, and choosing the options with very high risk and low potential return. But there is going to be risk. And so, the strength of a business owner is not to find the risk-free options because they don’t exist.

The strength of a business owner is being able to compare the risk and make decisions in spite of risk, knowing the risk, understanding the risk, and choosing to take action anyway.

Just to recap this Expectations module, hopefully, this doesn’t scare you off business too much. I want to set the expectations, so you understand what’s actually required rather than telling you, “It’s easy and it’s clicks and buttons and all of a sudden, you’re a millionaire.” That doesn’t exist.

Anyone telling you that is probably lying to you. So to get something most people don’t have, you need to be willing to do things most people won’t do and that is impossible without effort, time, and sacrifice.

The five pitfalls to avoid: lack of sacrifice; lack of effort; lack of capacity, increasing your capacity; lack of focus; and trying to avoid risk. That’s it for this Expectations module. If you enjoyed this, you can watch the rest of the Genesis online course here, or share it with a friend who might find it useful!.

Connect with Connor on Instagram here. 


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