How much does it really cost to start and run a coaching business?
A coaching practice is one of the least expensive businesses to start. But, there are still a number of expenses with getting started and loads of costs associated with the ongoing running of your business.
Once you sign up for training, you think “That’s it! Once I’m done I’ll be a coach!”
The shock comes when you find out there is more to do to create a coaching practice than just getting trained.
I know it can come as a surprise so, better you know now what you need to be prepared for. To help you out I’ve also pulled together a checklist you can download to keep track of these potential costs.
I know I would have really appreciated it when I was starting out, so I hope it will help you too.
In addition to your coach training, you should allow between $5,000 and $15,000 for the remainder of your business set up and first year of activity.
Here are items you should consider as you plan to launch your business:
Your basic coach training. The variety of programs is amazing. There are coach training programs associated with university’s, there are programs that offer over 200 hours of training and then there are schools that charge a small fee and send you to a digital download.
Since coaching is not regulated and anyone can call themselves a coach it’s up to you to do your homework and decide what training program fits your needs best.
If you plan on being a part time or full time professional, select your training wisely.
Refer to the ICF (International Coaches Federation) website to find out what questions you should be asking and getting answers for before you sign up.
Costs to obtain a credential
Many of the schools offer some form of certification training. This is layered on after you take your basic coach training. It includes in depth practice, fine tuning of skills and mentor coaching.
Not everyone feels the need to have a credential, but many professional coaches do choose to go down this path.
Hire your own coach
As you learn to coach it is also important for you to be coached by your own coach.
You’re helping people to grow and develop, that means you also need to be on your own development path. If you want to be successful you have to “walk your talk.”
Memberships and dues
Coaching is an unregulated industry.
This means that anyone can say they are a coach. There is no requirement for extensive training, skill development or supervision.
However, the majority of coaches understand that it adds credibility to their business and allows them to charge higher rates when they are aligned with an international body. The International Coaches Federation is the most common, but not the only, organizational body.
Register your business
The cost to register your business with your local, provincial and statewide branches of government.
In some areas, you will need to register your business name and you may even need a business licence depending on your municipality or city.
There are a few types of insurance, that you may need to consider, depending on your location:
- Since you will probably be running a primarily home-based business may need to upgrade your contents or homeowner insurance.
- Speak to your insurance company to find out whether your auto insurance needs to be upgraded, if you use your vehicle for business.
- The third consideration is business insurance, liability coverage, including cyber risk and data breach concerns, and errors and omissions. Talk to your insurance broker to determine what protection you need.
As a professional coach it is important that you have great sound quality when speaking with your clients. You may find it’s time to upgrade your hardware.
Separate business line
Depending on the size of business you plan on building you may choose to have a separate phone for your business.
Headsets, ear phones, ear buds
There is a lot of variety in quality and price range. Find something that is comfortable, and that provides good quality sound, so your clients can easily hear you throughout your sessions.
Hint: Keep a spare on hand, just in case.
Lockable filing cabinet
If you plan to keep paper copies of coaching agreements and client paperwork. Keep all records stored in a locked filing cabinet to maintain client confidentiality.
You will also need a place to store your receipts, tax records and other business paperwork.
Laptop / tablet
A good quality laptop or computer is all you need. One word of warning, don’t use your employer’s laptop for your coaching business.
I don’t use my printer a lot, but when I need it, it’s important.
I recommend you have a small reliable printer. If you need any large-scale printing done, go to one of the local office supply stores or print shops.
A coaching space
A private area where you can give full focus to your clients. Your clients deserve 100% of your attention during their session.
Allocate a space where you will be able to minimize distraction and eliminate any interruptions. You may need to buy some furniture to fit out your new office.
It will take you time to decide on your most effective coaching method. You can choose to coach by phone, skype or video conference. There are many good options for inexpensive video conferencing platforms. All of these platforms require fast, reliable internet. Consider whether you might need to budget for the upgraded package.
Skype, Zoom or another video conferencing
These programs can take a bit of time to get comfortable using. Practice with a friend first to make sure you’ve worked out all the speedbumps of learning an new platform.
A personal brand includes your logo, message, colours, textures and typography.
Whether you DIY or you engage a designer, find your style and stay consistent across all in-person and online platforms.
Your personal brand will be reflected on business cards, in your headshots, on your website as well as social media.
An attractive, professional website that showcases you and the services you offer is a must for every business.
You can easily pay up to $10,000 for a professional website. However, it’s not necessary to spend so much money when you’re just starting out. I offer a 4- week small group live masterclass, where I walk you step by step through everything you need to build your own polished looking website. To find out more send me a message on this website.
Most of my business development is done online, but I still make sure I have a good supply of business cards on hand for use, they really come in handy.
Headshots / Lifestyle Photos
Coaching is a business centered on people and relationships. People who see a photo of you on your website, or social media channels will make a snap decision.
In an instant, they will decide whether you are professional, trustworthy, fun, boring, stilted or likable.
Your headshot is their first impression of you online and people who look more polished make more money.
Ask for referrals from people that have headshots which you admire to find out who took their photos. Do your research and find a photographer that resonates with your style.
A good photographer will put you at ease, and bring out your unique style.
Training and Mentorship in how to set up your business and market your services
Yes, you can figure it all out on your own, but it will be more frustrating, overwhelming, will take much longer, and you’ll make many costly mistakes along the way.
One of the key areas you need to learn is how to, get clients and market your business. You can be the best coach in the world but if you don’t market yourself you will have an empty calendar.
Find a mentor and program that will help you navigate this new territory. You will be more successful, more quickly and you’ll have support along the way. Check out my exclusive Coaching Success Inner Circle it’s a supportive group where you receive top notch training and personal attention as you create your business.
I’ve created a handy printable worksheet that you can use to help you track your start up costs. It’s designed to make your life a little easier. You can grab your copy here >>>>>> Checklist To Track Your Business Start Up Costs