Starting a life coaching business as an independent coach can be quite a challenge. Use this guide to help you create an efficient and pleasant work environment, some basic operating and marketing systems .
Let's look at the basic things you need to put in place if you
want to work independently as a life or business coach rather than
employed by a company in-house.
To some extent, how you set things up will depend on whether you prefer face to face, phone or online meetings such as Skype, or a mixture of all.
Whether you are going to work from home or hire a room for your coaching, you will need the same basic furniture and equipment.
But you also have to think about how, if you are doing face to face coaching, you can make your coaching office into a space that is comfortable for you and private and welcoming for your clients. Many coaches do a combination of face-to-face and online coaching and you can read about the pros and cons of both here.
My information about setting up a life coaching office for coaches working from home has some useful information about what you need to get started.
As with any business your coaching practice needs some systems to keep track of referrals, coaching session times, payments, expenses and so on.
You also have to decide whether you are going to set yourself up as a sole trade or a limited liability company or whatever structures are available in your country. Your accountant may be the best persona to advise you on this.
There are several software program systems specifically written for coaches but they can be pricey and their format may not suit the particular records you want to keep. Many offer a free trial period so you can try before you buy.
Do you need insurance
Some providers of coaching services want you to have insurance to protect themselves against anything you might do in their name. which is quite reasonable.
But for coaches working on their own behalf and sticking to the rules, personally I don't think it is necessary if you have a good disclaimer.
It's not like therapy or alternative medicine where advice is given. I've asked the question on coaching forums many times - has any life coach ever had to use their insurance when a client has sued them - and to date never got a yes. So whilst taking our insurance may give you peace of mind you have to work out whether you really need it.
Starting and Running a Coaching Business by Aryanne Oade is written for UK coaches, but has plenty of general information that will help you clarify what will work for you and how to set your coaching business up.
Get out there and get known. And if like many coaches you are starting off on a tight budget don't despair.
And if you are uncertain about how to tell people about your coaching, I recommend you visit Marketing from Within, where my colleague Cindy Schulson has some great free templates to help with this.
Marketing your coaching need not be expensive and there are many strategies including networking, clever business cards, writing articles and giving presentations as well as social media that can raise your profile with prospective clients.
You'll find how to effectively use these strategies in Marketing for a coach.
Maybe you are confident about what you can charge. Maybe not! There are more words written and seminars presented about setting fees that almost any other aspect of starting a coaching business.
But it is vital to get it right if you are going to attract your ideal coaching client, whether it be a niche in life, executive or corporate coaching.
find some useful pointers to in Life Coaching Fees.
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