Coaching is popular right now, and the demand for professionally trained coaches is higher than ever. It has become increasingly popular to support personal development but also companies and organizations use coaching as a method to guide, instruct and train a person or team to achieve professional goals or develop specific skills.
Professional coaching is about focusing, setting goals, and identifying the obstacles and, above all, the strengths and opportunities that exist. The main purpose is to highlight the potential that exists in humans.
If you’re passionate about helping people to reach their career goals and full potential, professional coaching is something for you. Listed below are five steps to take in order to position yourself to be a great professional coach.
Find Your Niche
Before you become a professional coach, you might want to think about what niche you want to work in and build up your reputation from there. Most coaches focus on executive coaching while others work with middle management which is perhaps the most important but often overlooked department in many organizations. This is where managers are tasked with developing high-performing teams but when they need help themselves, they turn to a professional coach to help them maintain a high level of productivity and performance.
There’s no doubt that once you become a coach, you will touch on more than just one of these areas of clients’ professional lives. Once you identify your specialty and what you feel comfortable discussing with clients, you’ll put yourself in a better position to promote yourself and your coaching business accordingly.
Create a Business Plan
One of the very first things you need to do to succeed and establish a solid business is to write a good business plan which will help you focus on your goals and give potential investors assurance that you’re heading in the right direction. If you feel you need some help with creating a business plan, feel free to use a business plan template that will help you create your plan from scratch, and include everything from a brief overview of your business, and the services you’ll provide, to your financial and marketing strategy.
This document will also show your experience, qualifications, and unique skills in coaching along with other more specific details that you are planning to incorporate to make your coaching business successful. A business plan is considered one of the most vital components in promoting and growing your coaching business so put aside some time and effort into writing it.
Get a Coach Certification
Generally speaking, you don’t need to obtain a coach certification to launch your professional coaching business. It is not the same as becoming a doctor, which requires years of training before practicing.
However, most professional coaches decide to obtain training that’s accredited or approved by a recognized coaching organization, as it helps boost their credibility, especially if they’re just starting and don’t have many client testimonials yet.
You should make it your priority to educate yourself on how to lead coaching sessions as this will help you establish yourself as an authority within your specific field. Not only will you improve your skills, but it’s also a great way to attract more prospects and close more business deals.
If, for any reason, you choose not to get certified by an organization, look for other ways to show credibility to potential clients. A degree in organizational behavior, business, or psychology, for example, can lend credibility to your practice, as can extensive work experience as a consultant or HR expert in your field. Testimonials and references from friends or people you have advised can be an excellent way to prove your potential.
Set Up Your Business
As you become a coach, you are also becoming a small business owner which means you must do some due diligence and register your business. First, determine your business entity type, whether it will be a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation as the most popular options to choose from. Then you must officially register your business with your state unless you opt for sole proprietorship which doesn’t require registration.
You’ve probably already addressed your start-up costs in your business plan but go over them again so you’re sure you will have everything from the overhead costs associated with renting a physical space to the cost of the certification program covered.
Invest in Marketing
One thing you shouldn’t forget is a marketing strategy so people get to learn about your new coaching business. Your business will have a difficult time surviving If you don’t have a powerful online presence. So, focus on creating a professional, informative, and easy-to-navigate website initially. Then, create social media accounts and post useful and interesting content to help you grow your audience and promote your brand’s credibility.
The coaching industry is thriving right now. And if you’re thinking about venturing into this sector, take the above tips into account to help you start strong and give you a jumpstart on business planning.