In the years I’ve watched and coached new Christian coaches as they establish their business or ministries, I’ve seen several common ways they get stuck.
The starting place is professional coach training from an excellent program. During that training you will be required to coach and you will be challenged to create coaching relationships. From there you will need to set a foundation for success which involves a lot of wisdom and work. But when focusing on setting that business foundation, sometimes new coaches get entirely focused on startup business activities and coaching gets set aside. And all too commonly a new coach can get stuck at these startup points, taking on heavy, unproductive thinking such as…
I can’t coach until I have a website. And a blog.
I can’t coach without a freebie and a funnel.
I can’t coach until I’ve nailed my branding and I’m completely confident in my niche.
I can’t coach until I take more classes. And get credentialed.
These efforts are important and can be foundational to long-term success. Yes, please begin with excellent professional coach training. Develop a basic website and consider it a work in progress. Create blog posts and freebies. Set goals and identify next steps for classes and credentials. But don’t get stuck in any of these areas. Don’t stop actually coaching!
I’m totally into building a strong foundation for success. I’m a proponent of creating business vision and using it to inform a strategic plan. “Ready-set-now-go” is pretty much how I operate. But you’ll hear this approach challenged. Something about building the plane in the air while flying. Which points out that you really can get stuck building the plane on the ground and never get anywhere. Or you can run in circles attempting to create a perfect and complete shiny new coaching business and not actually be coaching.
With a coaching business, it’s important to build a strong foundation while concurrently, actively coaching. Whatever time you can dedicate to creating your business, in the beginning you’ll spend a significant portion of it in startup activities. But it’s also important to take a portion of that time to actively coach, as you hone your skills and grow your community of promoters and endorsers.
Ask yourself the following questions. Incorporate your answers as part of your startup strategy.
- How many times per week or per month will you coach while you’re setting a solid foundation for your business? This doesn’t have to be a big number – whatever is right for you. But what will keep you engaged and moving forward? If you are in a position to sell your services at a great full rate, by all means do that. Or, perhaps combine buddy coaching, pro bono coaching and selling your newly minted services at a “friends and family” or “practicum” rate. The point is to keep actively coaching on a regular basis during your startup phase.
- How many potential coaching clients will you need to talk with per day or per week in order to meet this goal? You’ll need to communicate directly with people, let them know what you do, offer your services and enroll them as clients. Your direct communication can be by personal email, phone conversations and in person meetings.
- Where can you identify leads? What can you do to increase leads? When you start out, if you don’t have a big list of prospects, building your coaching experience can involve reaching out to friends, co-workers, church mates and their referrals. It starts with brainstorming a list of who you know and then engaging those on your list in authentic, service-oriented conversations. Ask for referrals.
Actively coaching as you are concurrently checking off business startup tasks can keep you energized and moving forward. Additional benefits include:
- Getting to know more about yourself as a coach, which informs your brand
- Getting to know more about your target market, which informs all of your marketing efforts, including website, freebies and funnels
- Gaining greater coaching skills and coaching hours for your credentials
- Growing your community of support and establishing your expertise
- Generating more leads and more marketing opportunities
What is your next step toward scheduling your next coaching conversation? Who do you need to call or email right now?
For help with establishing a successful foundation for your business, my new eCourse The Business of Coaching: Starting the Journey is available for an introductory price of only $47. Check it out here.