To set yourself up for success, you’ll be smart to have both coaching skills and entrepreneurial/business skills. If you are starting your own coaching business, you have completed training to develop your coaching skills. But, have you given the same attention to your business skills? If not, read on for strategies and tips to get the business side of things right.
BEFORE YOU OPEN FOR BUSINESS
There are several things you can do before opening for business that will maximize your chances for success.
Educate yourself in business/marketing
If you are planning to start your own coaching business, you’ve got the coaching skills, but do you have the necessary education and training in business and marketing? Like many new business owners, you might be in the category of you don’t know what you don’t know. A smart first step is to take a few business / marketing classes. You wouldn’t coach without having the skills so why would you start a business without knowing how to run one? There are many options for finding business/marketing classes. Check local colleges, business organizations, online courses, government organizations and more. Two excellent resources are the ICF Business Development Series and the Small Business Administration, offering online courses, local classes and other services in many locales. You will not only learn business skills but many of these give you an opportunity to develop your business owner/entrepreneur network.
Develop your business/marketing plan
A business/marketing plan is a great tool to help you plan the launch of your business and to keep you on track. You don’t have to make this too complicated or time consuming. What is important is that in the process of developing your plan you think through all the potential challenges and opportunities. Creating your plan will help you gain a clear picture of your goals, expected outcomes and the requirements to get there.
Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘my business is too small to need a plan’. Even if you will be a solopreneur working from your home, a business plan will be a valuable tool.
YOUR FIRST YEAR
Your first year is likely to be a whirlwind and a major learning experience. With so much going on it is easy to lose focus and lose sight of your priorities. Stay on track by following these steps;
- Implement your business/marketing plan
- Monitor results quarterly and modify based on what is working and what is not
- Make sure to allow time for marketing
- Hire help if you need it
AVOID COMMON PITFALLS
New business owners of all types run into common pitfalls. Make sure you don’t get tripped up by these common mistakes;
- Vague or unrealistic goals
- Trying to do it all /doing too much at once
- Lack of systems and procedures
- Getting stuck, not able to start or move forward
- Not charging enough
- Lack of a peer to peer support network
Tip: Consider launching your business while you are still employed. It may be challenging to juggle both but doing so can provide a safety net and a chance to learn what you don’t know before taking the plunge.
For more strategies and tips on getting started with your coaching business be sure to join us for our next webinar: The Business of Coaching: Strategies and Tips for Starting Your Coaching Business