A life coach plays a valuable role in the lives of their clients, helping them set goals and empowering them to achieve their dreams. This type of coaching can help with goals ranging from professional achievements to health and wellness aspirations. As a life coach, you'll help clients understand their life experiences and lead them down a path toward fulfillment.
If you want to help people reach their goals, here's what you need to know about building a successful coaching business.
What You Need to Know to Become a Life Coach
Unlike other industries, no governing body exists to regulate who can call themselves a life coach. Therefore, new coaches do not need to pursue a particular degree or certificate from a coaching program to start their own life coaching business. However, a number of different programs and certification options have popped up across the country as people have seen the benefits of this particular type of business and more people have entered the industry.
In response to the number of programs available, the International Coaching Federation evaluates different programs based on the quality of the program's certificate. This can help you assess the different programs available and find one that will provide you with the best possible education.
Although you do not have to have a particular degree from an accredited school to start your business, keep in mind that having a coaching certification can help you earn the trust of potential clients. As people evaluate their options, the ones who can advertise their certifications and coach training will stand out.
Aside from training to become a life coach, classes related to psychology, understanding the science behind motivation, and behavioral sciences can help you improve your coaching skills.
Getting Ready to Start Your Business
Once you have decided to start your own life coaching business, you will want to create a business plan so that you can make decisions about how you want to run and promote your company. Here are a few areas where you will want to focus your planning.
Choosing Your Services
First, carefully consider the types of services you want to offer. Life coaches can help clients with a variety of goals and choices, which can influence your client base and business model. Therefore, decide if you want to focus on helping a particular type of target audience. You might decide to focus on a coaching niche, including but limited to:
- A business coach helping professionals reach their work-related goals, such as earning promotions or achieving new sales milestones
- Guiding people through their personal and wellness goals, such as improving their health by adjusting their diet and exercise schedules
- Coaching people through major life events, such as a divorce or job loss
- Providing relationship coaching for those who want help with their romantic decisions
- Helping those who want to improve their leadership skills and feelings of empowerment
Determining the type of coach you want to be and your target market can help you plan the rest of your business.
Calculating Your Startup Costs
Once you know the type of business to focus on, the next step involves calculating your startup costs. Although you might not have to pursue a formal education program to get started, many coaches will choose to pursue a course or two to help them provide the best possible service for their clients. If you do so, that education will be your initial cost.
You also need to consider the costs associated with:
- Office space (if you plan to meet with clients)
- Any specialized equipment, including administrative tools like accounting software
- Insurance to cover your professional liability and also for people visiting your physical office
Setting Your Pricing Structure
Once you know how much you will need to get your business started, as well as the type of clients you want to focus on, the next step will be to set your prices. Determining accurate prices requires you to consider what people pay in your local area for similar services, as well as the costs you'll need to cover with the money you generate.
Thumbtack reports that many life coaches offer one price for single sessions or coaching packages of sessions at a slightly reduced cost. The average price falls between $90 and $100 per session, but this can vary by location and specialty.
Taking the Next Steps With Your Life Coaching Business
Armed with a business plan, you can now begin to take the necessary steps to form your business and start bringing in clients. Here's what you need to do.
Making Your Life Coaching Business Legal
Before you can make your business a legal entity, you need to determine what your business name will be. You will need to choose a unique name not already adopted by another business in your area. If you research your region, you should find a database of some type that allows you to search and determine if your desired business name has been taken by another entity.
Once you have your business name, you can prepare your documentation to create a legal business. To complete this step, you will generally need to submit formal documentation about how your business will be run. You can then submit this information to the governing authorities for approval.
As a business, you will also want to make sure that you have acquired all the insurance you need to operate safely. Consider the protection you need for people to come in and meet with you in your office, as well as professional liability insurance.
To legally form your business, you'll need to choose from a few business structures. For example, many small businesses elect to become either a limited liability company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship. However, you can also structure your business as a corporation or a partnership. Depending on the type of structure you choose, you might have to get a tax ID number from the federal government, also known as an employer identification number (EIN).
Most businesses also find it helpful to open a business bank account. This will help you track money coming in and out of the organization and will simplify your paperwork come tax time. If you need a business loan, credit card, or another financial benefit, having a bank account can help you secure these, as well.
Now that you have your business established, you will want to make sure you understand state and federal tax implications. If you do not have accounting experience, speaking with a trained accountant will likely benefit you. Using accounting software that specializes in helping small businesses effectively track their expenses, such as Skynova, can also make this process easier and more straightforward.
Promoting Yourself as a Life Coach
Now it is time to promote yourself as a life coach and let your ideal clients know how you can help them. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by building your online presence and using clear messaging.
Create a Recognizable Logo
Begin your new business by creating a logo that represents your business well. It should capture what you can do for your coaching clients and be simple enough for them to remember. If you do not feel confident in your graphic design abilities, you can work with independent contractors who have extensive experience creating logos on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Build a Website
Next, you want to create a website. There are several website builders you can employ, such as Wix and Weebly, which make it easy for you to select layouts and begin adding content. Create a website that has a domain name that matches your business name so clients can easily find you and remember your web address.
Those who have some experience with search engine optimization (SEO) and website creation might also elect to buy a domain through a registrar like GoDaddy.com and then create a website. Again, those who do not feel confident in building a website can work with freelancers from Fiverr or Upwork to create a professional website that captures their services.
As you begin to bring in clients as a successful coach, ask them for testimonials that you can put on the site. This validation can help attract more customers.
Create a Presence Across Different Online Channels
Finally, marketing calls for creating a presence across different channels to reach people as they search online. There are a few central platforms where you will want to focus your efforts as you begin to market yourself and your business. Here are the areas where you should begin:
- Claim your Google My Business page to increase your chances of appearing in local searches.
- Create a profile on Yelp and similar review sites where people look for local businesses.
- Create profiles across social media, including LinkedIn, so that you can actively engage with clients and promote your coaching services. You can create a Facebook group, run ads, and look for creative ways to engage clients.
Remember that entrepreneurship requires considerable hustle to build your company. Make sure your marketing plan can help you get your services in front of potential clients.
Administrative Tasks for Your Life Coaching Business
As you begin to bring in paying clients and watch your business grow, you will find that you need to dedicate some of your time to administrative tasks for your business. Although these jobs might not directly involve your clients and helping people, they comprise an essential part of building your business.
Billing and Purchases
For you to track your business's finances and keep your records ready for tax time, you will need to carefully track your receipts and the flow of money going in and out of your business accounts. Make sure you have a firm handle on your books from your very first client. To do this, you'll want accounting software that will help you track:
- Billing and payments
- Purchase orders
- Deposits and withdrawals
Fortunately, you can take care of many of these tasks with the accounting software offered by Skynova. Our software allows you to easily track your cash flow and expenses so that you are never taken by surprise.
Having a good handle on your business's finances can help you better understand how to manage your new small business. This will allow you to see when you have the finances needed to invest in growth, have a solid understanding of your income versus expenses, and know when your business practices or prices need to be adjusted.
Start Your Life Coaching Business Today
When it comes to building your life coaching business, having the support you need to manage your administrative tasks will free up time to focus on bringing in new clients and helping them with their goals.
Consider the advantages you can experience by using Skynova's software products and business templates. By simplifying the paperwork that comes with your business, you can focus more on helping your clients lead successful lives.