So why would coaches need coaching? Well just like any other sort of coaching, business coaching entails a client and coach working together to set goals, make plans and take actions to meet a desired business outcome. For many, setting up your coaching practice will be your first solo venture, your first experience not only of starting a business but being fully autonomous in your working life, totally and solely responsible for making big decisions, getting clients, keeping records, managing the financials, taking risks.......and so on.
For many it is a step into completely unknown territory, moving from employee to entrepreneur, totally in charge and all alone. No matter how good your coaching skills, it is unlikely that you will have developed the full complement of business skills and fully formed mindset that you need to set up and run a new business. (But don't worry no one could be expected to!).
So using a business coach can be invaluable in filling these skill gaps and for this reason a mix of directional and non-directional coaching is often appropriate. A business coach can raise your awareness of potential pitfalls, sharing their own experience so you don't reinvent the wheel. This of course brings very real savings in terms of time and money, not to mention worry and stress. As you would expect, your business coach will help you to identify and overcome obstacles which are holding you back, and be your confidante, providing a safe environment to share you deepest fears. And of course, in your business coach, you will have someone who is there for you, sharing your aspirations, brainstorming alongside you, praising and acknowledging you but motivating and holding you accountable too. All in a totally confidential, non-judgemental environment.
For instance, a business coach can help you to:
- Design your Coaching Business Strategy; Your vision, philosophy, mission statement, figure out where you are now and how you are going to get to where you want to be
- Find a business model that works for you, aligned to your personal values and stakeholder needs
- Write your Business Plan
- Set SMART business goals with well defined business outcomes
- Manage your business development as a project, setting timelines, using critical path analysis, making yourself accountable
- Decide on legal structure; self employed, partnership or limited company
- The numbers game: your personal survival budget, forecasting costs, setting your fee levels, profit and cash flow forecasting
- How to value your time: the return in investment of your time spent in business development activities
- When to use experts: marketing, accounting, web design
- SWOT analysis: your strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats, identify your skills gap, develop your Continuous Professional Development programme
- Your Unique Selling Point, what will distinguish you from all the other coaches
- Researching your market, developing your niche
- Administrative infrastructure: invoicing, receiving payment, VAT registration, record keeping
- Using the internet to develop the business
- Developing your product and service offering. Additional income streams. Passive income
- Work Life Balance, time management, challenges of working from home
- Next steps, growing the business, taking on staff, joint ventures, strategic alliances