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Starting a Life Coaching Business

By Liz Scott

Starting a life coaching business is the same as starting any business. It takes passion, guts and commitment.
Here are some tips to get you started on the road to success.
If you want your business to thrive then you need to be more than just life coaching skills. Any business needs planning, nurturing and drive to survive.

Don't become a life coach if…

If money is your main motivation think again. Don’t be lured into life coaching because it seems like an easy way to generate an income.

Life coaches may seem well paid by the hour. However a business is much more than just 'doing' the coaching. Remember networking, marketing, meetings and book-keeping don’t earn a penny. You’ll spend many more hours NOT coaching than coaching.

If money is your only motivation you'll be disappointed. Disliking your day job is not a good reason to be a life coach.

Why become a life coach?

There are as many answers to this as there are coaches. However, if you get a real buzz from people you'll love coaching. It's a great business to be in. Do you like to help people develop and grow? Do you love communicating with people? If the answer is 'yes' then this is the business for you.

Coaching is great for individuals, businesses and teams. It can quite literally be a transformative experience. As a coach there's nothing as rewarding than seeing a team or individual develop and grow.

What NOT to do

So you've decided you're cut out to be a life coach. What next?

When starting a life coaching business there is a huge temptation to spend money. Resist this temptation like the plague! Are you tempted to rush out and buy new computers, printers and office furniture? Maybe you plan buying a new car or renting an office. Just stop and put your wallet away.

There are very few start-up costs with coaching - so take full advantage of this.

Getting started

Have you got a computer, printer, telephone and a spare bedroom/office? If the answer is yes then you're pretty much kitted up to start.

Life coaching doesn't require a shop, separate office or fancy equipment. These kinds of things just aren't necessary.

However there are some things you will need to invest in.

What to buy.

There are three things to buy straight away
1. Life Coaching Course: a qualification and training is essential for any credible coach. Decide on the most appropriate life coaching training course for you. If you're serious about earning a living, then get proper training.

2. Insurance: Life coaching insurance is a must. All reputable coaches have insurance, so make sure you're signed up before you start coaching. Check the small print and make ensure it covers what you do.

3. Quality business cards: these are essential. This is an area well worth spending money. Avoid the free, cheap or home made varieties. The same goes for websites and stationery. Make sure you look professional from day one.

Start coaching

The most important next step is to start coaching. It sounds obvious doesn't it? Don't get caught up in the excitement of buying stuff. Don't deliberate for hours on a quirky name. Start coaching.

Developing your coaching style and skills is vital. Don't worry if you haven't got clients to practice on - there is an easy way to develop a client list from scratch.

Supervision

As soon as you start coaching invest in a good supervisor. A supervisor gives great advice on all aspects of coaching. Supervision is an important part of coaching. If at first you can't afford one why not swap skills as a mentor coach or meet with fellow coaches for joint supervision and co-coaching.

Find a niche

A common mistake is to claim coaching can help with all things and with all people.

Coaching may be great for confidence, careers, retirement, self esteem, leadership, teams, schools, doctors, dentists etc. However if you put all this on your business cards you’ll confuse clients. Develop your niche and stick to it.

Book-keeping and business stuff

When starting a life coaching company consider whether you will be a sole trader, partnership or limited company. Try places like Business Link for free information to help you decide.

Book-keeping is essential. Developing good basic book-keeping systems is not difficult. You don't need an accountant if you're a sole trader. Keep good records of invoices, receipts and expenses. It's a good idea to have a system in place to keep a check on invoices

Summary Do's and Don'ts

Don't
  • Rush off and buy loads of stuff


  • Do's
  • Go on a Life Coaching Course
  • Get insurance
  • Buy good quality business cards and stationery
  • Start coaching
  • Find a niche
  • Use a supervisor or start a co-coaching group
  • Be organised with your book keeping


  • about the author
    Liz Scott, a successful Leadership Coach started her business in 2005. She is currently coaching leaders in the police, council, education and private industry.

    more info
    Other articles of interest
    Become a Life Coach
    Supervision - An introduction to supervision.
    Life coaching training - A comparison of UK life coaching courses.
    www.lizscottcoaching.com
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