How To Start A Coaching Business

Last Updated: 

April 24, 2024

Have you recently had a great experience with your coach and thought that you could start coaching yourself? Or maybe it’s the fact that some of your peers are sharing their expertise and knowledge as coaches that have sparked your interest in this business.

No matter the case, if you want to learn how to start a coaching business, then you have come to the right place!

Key Takeaways on Starting a Coaching Business

  1. Coaching Basics: Coaching involves teaching skills in your area of expertise and guiding clients to overcome challenges, offering real-life tips and encouragement throughout their journey.
  2. Benefits for Coaches: Starting a coaching business offers independence, income diversification, and recognition for your expertise, providing emotional fulfilment from helping others while earning a living.
  3. Client Perspective: Clients hire coaches for two main reasons: to gain knowledge or experience in a specific area and to boost their confidence and self-esteem, overcoming obstacles and achieving their goals.
  4. Readiness Assessment: Before starting a coaching business, assess your readiness by considering if you have a marketable skill, if you can dedicate sufficient time and effort, if you can simplify complex ideas, and if you can effectively motivate and encourage clients.
  5. Starting Steps: Identify your target audience, list the services you can offer, create a game plan, set pricing packages, consider certification, build a personal website, identify marketing channels, run marketing campaigns, and continually test and iterate on strategies.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Embrace a learning mindset and use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and improve your business performance over time, adapting strategies based on data and feedback.
  7. Fulfilment in Coaching: Coaching is a fulfilling and rewarding business, offering the opportunity to witness clients overcome challenges and achieve their goals, making a positive impact on their lives.
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What is Coaching About And What Are The Benefits Of A Coaching Business?

Coaching is the process of you (the coach) teaching someone skills in your area of expertise and being the guide for them to overcome the challenge they are facing. Unlike regular teaching, coaches are involved in the actual processes of their clients and give them real-life tips and encouragement throughout their journey.

Coaching is a highly rewarding activity for both the client and the coach. As you see your client reach their goals, you are getting a strong sense of fulfilment. But, apart from this, becoming a coach comes with other benefits too. Here are a couple of them:

  • Independence: You’re essentially your own boss and you have the freedom to choose your workload, working hours, and clients to collaborate with.
  • Income diversification: Coaching is a great way of creating an additional income stream that can help you improve your financial independence.
  • Recognition: Another side effect of helping people achieve their goals is getting recognised for your knowledge and expertise both among your target audience and your peers.

To sum up, coaching is a great choice for any professional who seeks to get emotional fulfilment from helping others and earn by doing so. But it’s not only the coaches who get to enjoy the benefits. So, let’s look at the client’s perspective too.

Why Do People Hire Coaches?

There are two main reasons why people ask for a coach's help.

The first one is the lack of knowledge or experience in a particular area. Imagine that you want to improve the way you run your business. Although you do have some experience in managing people and processes, you might understand that the way you handle it is not good enough.

This is when you ask a management coach to help you with your goal. Coaches are distinguished experts in their industries. So, apart from sharing their knowledge with you, they will also help you set up new processes in your company and start running your business in a more effective way.

Sometimes, however, it is not the lack of experience or knowledge that is stopping you from achieving your goals, but the lack of faith in your abilities.

It is very common for people to have low self-esteem in terms of achieving a specific goal (both a professional one, and a personal one). There’s even a term for it in psychology - the imposter syndrome. It is the emotional state when a person does not believe that they deserve the job, relationship, or anything else because they are not qualified for it.

The job of the coach in such cases is to improve the self-esteem of their client and make sure that they believe in themselves.

As we can see, coaching is a win-win activity for both the client and the coach. So, hoping that we have sparked your interest in starting a coaching business of your own, let’s start guiding you through that process.

Are You Ready To Start Your Coaching Business?

Unlike many other types of businesses, coaching is not that hard to start and run. However, whether you succeed as a coach or not will directly depend on your readiness to start such a business.

There are several key questions that you need to ask yourself before embarking on this journey. Here are four of the most important ones.

Do You Have a Skill That Sells?

As we have already mentioned, clients seek either knowledge in a particular subject or encouragement (or both). While you can be great at encouraging people to do their best, you will most likely fail to get a sustainable influx of clients if you cannot teach them a skill or knowledge that they are interested in.

If you do have extensive knowledge in a particular area, then you should ask yourself the second part of this question - does it sell?

Not all skills are created equal. If you’re really good at the bottle flip challenge, you might impress a lot of people at a house party. But I don’t believe anyone will hire you to teach them that skill.

The skills that will most likely sell, on the other hand, include business operations, leadership, project management, marketing, and similar ones.

Can You Dedicate Enough Time And Effort?

Coaching might seem like a side gig at first glance. This is true, you might have 1-2 hours of coaching sessions per day or even per week. However, keep in mind that you will still spend a significant amount of time on the initial preparation of your sessions for each customer.

You should also be able to dedicate time to marketing your business, nurturing leads, and building relationships.

Are You Good At Explaining Complex Ideas In A Simple Way?

Let’s look at the teaching side of coaching. Most of the time, you will need to educate your clients on topics that are quite complex. So, you will need to learn one of the most crucial skills in teaching - the simplification of complex ideas.

You can test this skill quite easily. Try to explain a relatively complex aspect of your profession to a 13-year-old in a way that they will understand the key idea behind it. If you manage to do it, congrats, coaching will be a piece of cake for you.

Can You Motivate And Encourage Your Clients To Improve Themselves?

And here’s the motivational side of our profession. You might think that encouraging others is a simple task. But, in reality, it is much harder than you can imagine. There’s a reason very few people end up becoming generals, big corporation CEOs, and, of course, coaches. All of them need to be great at motivating their team or clients.

Now, if you look at these questions and understand that you are ready to start coaching, then you’re ready to start setting up your business.

Steps To Starting Your Coaching Business

As we already noted, starting a coaching business is quite easy. Since you will start as a solopreneur, there aren’t too many phases that you need to go through.

Here are the 9 main steps to take to successfully start your coaching business.

#1. Identify Your Target Audience

First and foremost, your business is about your customers. Before you begin setting anything up, you should first understand who is your target audience.

You can conduct a series of interviews where you ask relevant people what their needs are, how often they face the issues you try to solve, and how much they are willing to pay for it.

The result of these interviews is a document called the user persona that describes the demographics, needs, and motivations of your target audience.

You will then use the information in this persona document to create a personalised website that they will love browsing, as well as pricing plans, marketing campaigns, and more.

#2. List The Value Added Services That You Can Offer

As you have identified the needs of your customers, it is time to match them with the skills that you can offer to them.

Imagine that you’re a management coach and you have noticed that many people in your audience have problems with their corporate finances and management workflows. In this case, you can offer them two types of services - financial optimisation and process streamlining. 

#3. Build Your Game Plan

Every business starts with a solid plan. It does not necessarily have to be a proper business plan. But you do need to document a couple of important aspects of your business before starting to build it.

The aspects in question are your financial projections (to make sure your operations are profitable), client acquisition strategy, competitive analysis, as well as your user persona description. Here’s a simple version of what it would look like.

a sample business plan for a coaching business

As you can see, we managed to fit the entire business plan into a single page. Despite its size, it contains all the necessary information for us to use when starting our coaching business.

#4. Set Up Pricing Packages

Up next, you will need to understand how you price your services.

The easiest way would be to look at your competition and set a price that can compete with them while keeping your business profitable.

Regarding the pricing model, the most common one is hourly payment. However, I can also suggest you consider a model that is mainly popular among SaaS businesses but can definitely work for coaching too - subscriptions. Here’s what it looks like:

sample monthly subscription plans for coaching businesses
Credit: Healthy Harmony

The example here is from a life coaching company that offers a monthly subscription instead of charging per hour.

#5. Get Certified

If you want to increase your target audience’s trust in your skills and knowledge, you can also consider getting a certification.

The exact type of certification you need will depend on the niche you are operating in. Project Managers, for instance, have the PMP certification to showcase their skills. Just do a simple Google search to find the common certificates in your niche and start working on obtaining one.

#6. Build A Personal Website

Personal websites are one of the best investments when it comes to marketing your services. They serve as the platform where you showcase your expertise, share case studies from your work with previous clients, as well as ask some of them to write testimonials that you can publish on your site.

Here’s what a personal website looks like for a coach.'s home page

Here, you have your case studies, service descriptions, useful resources, as well as CTAs for prospects to reach out to you.

#7. Identify Your Marketing Channels

One of the great benefits of building a personal website is getting access to a wide variety of digital marketing channels. At this phase, you need to understand which marketing channels are the best fit for you.

As a pro tip, you can begin by learning how your target audience is looking for services. If they prefer Googling for a coaching service, then your best channel to reach them is SEO and search ads. If they prefer social media, then you can consider investing in social media marketing.

Another interesting channel that you can consider are podcasts. They have become an increasingly popular resource for helpful content for wide audiences. This is a great opportunity for coaches who can share interesting and useful content related to their industry and get noticed by their target audience. So, you can consider hosting a podcast yourself or getting invited into one.

#8. Run Marketing Campaigns

As soon as you have identified your main marketing channels, it is time to start creating content and publishing them on your channels.

The type of content you create will depend on the channel. SEO usually requires blog articles. SMM, on the other hand, needs you to make short and compelling social posts. If you consider running ads, then you will need to create ad copy.

Finally, for hosting a podcast, you would need to write a script, invite guests, and interview them based on your script.

#9. Test And Iterate On Different Strategies

Once you have written your business plan, developed your marketing strategy, and launched your business, you will most likely start getting disappointing results. Your prices might not be set right. You might end up running marketing campaigns that result in no client acquisition.

Does it mean you failed? Of course not. Let me tell you a secret. No business plan, pricing strategy, or marketing campaign is perfect. The companies that achieve perfection almost always fail a couple of times at first.

So, instead of thinking that you failed, consider it as an opportunity to learn and adapt. After a couple of cycles of run-learn-adapt, your business will start running the way you intended.

A pro tip that I want to share with you is about the phase of learning. One of the best ways to learn from your mistakes is by setting up a proper KPI measurement mechanism and taking advantage of big data. As soon as you have KPIs, you will then be able to check which aspect of your business is inefficient and how you can fix it.


Coaching is among the most pleasurable and fulfilling businesses that you can run. It’s just incredible to see your clients overcome their challenges.

So, if you think you have what it takes to become the next great coach, go ahead and build your business based on our guide and enjoy the fulfilment you get from this business.

Apart from this guide, we have many more compelling articles on business management, coaching, and more. So, make sure to check out our blog.

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