If you are attracted to life coaching you may have a bit of the optimist’s spirit in you – I know I have it. 🙂 When I first started my business I told myself to, “Jump and the net will follow!” Although that saying has its appeal, when you are starting a business, you need more than hope and optimism.
If you would like to run a reality check, I promise you that you’ll enjoy answering these questions.
Set your financial goals
Starting any business is about making money. If you are not interested in making money, then your life coaching should just be a hobby and there is no need to go through the hassle and expense of setting up a formal life coaching business. However, if you are serious about making money, take a few minutes to paint a clear picture for yourself about how much you really need to make by answering the questions below.
Consider the financial requirements for your business:
1. What is the start date of your new business?
2. What is your start up budget?
3. What are your anticipated expenses for each quarter?
4. What weekly income do you want to earn over the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters in your business?
5. For what purpose have you chosen this income?
6. What will it give you and why is that so important to you?
7. How long do you have to ramp up to your desired income?
8. What is your financial contingency plan if you do not meet your deadline?
Define a unique niche for your business
These days, life coaches are a dime a dozen. So, if you want to make a living from life coaching you need to stand out from the crowd and this is going to come from having great contacts and/or by being able to solve a clear and specific set of problems for your clients (AKA have a niche).
A your niche might be spiritual coaching (there is a gap in this market at the moment). I had a client who coaches medical people how to run a medical practice. Maybe you are a marketing coach. I specialize in vision planning and achievement. It does not matter what your niche is but the sooner you have one and the more focused it is the quicker you will be able to build a killer life coaching business that does just that. Remember, most life coaches are out there selling EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. You can do better!
Explore your niche:
1. List 10 problems that you could help an organization to solve right now if you had to.
2. List 10 problems that you could help an individual to solve right now if you had to.
3. Who do you know that is a decision maker in an organization who already trusts you as a person and as a professional?
4. What expertise do you have now that they might need?
5. What are 10 – 20 activities that you really enjoy doing…when you do them time just disappears?
Answer:TIP: This can be anything e.g. one-on-one conversations, training, creating, problem solving, cooking, exercising, etc.
6. When looking through your answers to the previous questions, what themes or niches stand out and feel the most exciting and easiest to do?
Draft a life coaching product and service list and do the math
Make a list of your coaching products and services.
Life coaching can be delivered in a range of different formats e.g. coaching individuals, working for a coaching company, conducting training, etc. What you want to think about is the formats that appeal to you – some life coaches love one-on-one coaching but hate standing in front of an audience, some are completely opposite! You should also consider the formats that are going to help you best meet your financial targets. You may charge $200 to coach an individual for an hour or you may charge $75 per person for 6 weeks for group coaching 15 people. Do some rough math on each of your products. It will help you decide what services you want to promote and also justify your high rates to yourself. 😉
Brainstorm your products and services:
1. Which of the following services can you offer in your niche and which are the most profitable use of your time?
Choose all that apply:
One-on-one coaching or mentoring of individuals
Subcontracting to other businesses offering your life coaching skills
Adhoc consulting projects where organizations bring you in to solve problems
Online products such as whitepapers, e-books and videos
2. List 3 products or services you can offer in your niche that you could sell today and make a profit.
3. List 3 products or services that you would feel super excites and inspired about bringing into this world.
So, should you start a life coaching business or not?
If you answered the questions and have no idea of your products, no clear niche and no idea of your financial targets – NO, unfortunately, I don’t think you should start a life coaching business. However, you may enjoy doing life coaching training as a part of your own personal development. Life coach training is an amazing journey!
If you answered the questions in this article and were able to come up with a set of life coaching products that fit a specific niche and will enable you to meet your financial targets – YES, you should absolutely become a life coach!!! You will love the experience of being a life coach and a real business owner.
Benay creates expert tools and systems for coaches wanting to supercharge their business. She runs her business totally online while traveling the world with her family (husband, toddler and 2 dogs). She's been coaching professionally since 2006, has a Diploma in Life Coaching, is an NLP Practitioner and has an extensive background in business analysis and high-end, IT system development.