Is Business Coaching Your Cup Of Tea?
My earlier blog (Can Anyone Be a Coach?) touches base on the coaching skill needed to be an effective coach. If you want to make a business out of it, it takes more than the mastery of coaching skill.
Anecdotes have indicated there are two broad reasons why individuals embark on the route of coaching. Coaching career seems to be the next best thing after one gets tired of pursuing a career in the corporate world. Furthermore, it is relatively attractive because it does not require a hefty sum of money to attend a coaching program and becoming a certified coach in a matter of weeks. The other reason is that equipped with vast work and life experiences, it would be compelling for the veterans to share their knowledge meaningfully back to society and coaching is one of the avenues. If we combine both reasons into one, it seems too good not to give it a shot. So let’s get started with some fundamentals to build the pathway to be a successful coach.
1. Do you have the right mindset?
It seems realistic and practical for anyone with rich work and life experiences to embark on a coaching career amid living the intrinsic of giving back to society. Whether you are doing it as a career or out of passion, the first question is “where are you going to get your client's. Either way, you must be prepared to get out there to sell your services. Do not assume a marketing mix would be a quick fit to draw your client to your doorstep without the need for poaching or selling. Depending on your social circle, it may not be sustainable as it may run dry sooner than you think. Furthermore, words-of-mouth has limitations in terms of speed and reaching out to the mass. You have to be prepared to engage in sales activities, which is a big part of your coaching practice, especially at the early stage, before you decide on pursuing coaching as a career.
2. Do you have the sales skill?
Your mind is all set to go out there and do the sales pitch but do you have sales skills? Do consider to attend some sales training programs preferably the ones that focus on consumers. Being trained in sales would give you some fundamental skills in engaging a prospect and techniques for sealing a deal. Practicing, experience and self-reflection would develop your sales skills over time. Until then, do manage expectations and cope with rejections amicably to go the longer distance.
3. Do you have the entrepreneurship?
Apart from being prepared to engage heavily in sales activities, you should also take stock of your entrepreneurship. Do you know where and how to start your coaching business? Here are some crucial questions to set you thinking a little further.
· How prepared are you to invest in building the business (e.g. web site development and networking membership)?
Do you have ideas for a sustainable way of creating quantitative prospects to keep day-to-day activities going?
How independent and reliable are you when it comes to organising administrative work (e.g. invoicing, keeping records and tracking sales)?
How determined are you to take on challenges as they come along the way?
Even if you have answers to the above questions, it does not give any indication of the success rate.
These questions are for you to make a self-check on your readiness to take on an entrepreneur role which is very much different from an employee’s perspective.
4. How to choose the right program to certify you as a coach?
The creditability and, content and delivery quality of the coaching course program should supersede the course fee when you put weight on the evaluation criteria. Hypothetically, there is little to gain from a course which does not have evidence of achieving a desirable outcome. Another evaluation criteria would be looking out for course centers that provide platform for participants to nurture and grow a career out of coaching and this should not be undermined. Just in case you did not know, there are centers that provide sales and marketing support for their coaching program sign-ups. You should evaluate deeper into the architecture of the platforms that provide supports to coaches to build their career or business out of coaching. Finally, do get insights on the possible pathways and milestones that allow you to plan and up-grade your coaching practice and skill respectively.
5. What is your current financial timeline?
The next thing is to scrutinise how long your monetary savings can sustain you after accounting for all current financial commitments. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. However, be realistic and do not be too bold or conservative when you are doing the math. By having a clear idea of how long you can last while pursuing and building your coaching career, you would have established an overall timeline needed for your coaching income to materialise. This feasibility study would indicate your financial tolerance to this business venture journey.
Samuel Teh is a career and communications coach who has successfully groomed his peers in improving career performance through his transformational leadership and internal alignment skills.