Starting a Coaching Business Checklist

There are a lot of online business coaching leaders out there telling people that ANYONE can start a coaching business. This simply is not true!

Please don’t fall for the idea that you can just coach people to coach people who coach people! This is a completely unethical way to build a business.

So before I even give you the starting a coaching business checklist I would recommend you come to the checklist with this very important realization:

A true and ethical business coach is someone with REAL value to teach. Someone with experience, who’s going to help guide their clients based on their own RESULTS and EFFORTS in a true business. A real online business coach does not sell coaching based on income claims because they know they can not promise these results. They sell their services and it’s entirely up to the client to get the results.

Now let’s get into the qualities of a good coach.

Qualities of a Good Coach

If you’ve passed the initial check and you feel that you do have high value to bring to a coaching client, amazing!

If you haven’t all is not lost! You can easily develop some great skills over the next 6-12 months that you can teach others and return the coaching format at that time.

Now if you have decided you’re good to go here are some qualities of a good coach:

  • Great listener – Not just for hearing the things your customers say but also the things they don’t. You’re listening for hidden issues or stopping blocks your clients may be experiencing.
  • Excellent communicator – If what you’re saying isn’t connecting you’re going to need to find another way.
  • Resourceful – You may have your own suite of digital products and tools you can refer your client to. You’ll want to be resourceful in how you refer them and what you offer, giving them the best options for their needs.
  • Empathy – Conflict will come up, people will have issues you need to understand so it’s important to be empathetic. I’ve never been drawn to a coach who can kick my butt. I want someone kind and understanding.
  • Motivating – Your clients look for you to be excited and to be a rock when they feel down and lacking the energy. Being the kind of person who can motivate and inspire is important in a coach!
picture of me braintorming ideas for starting a coaching business by the beach
Me brainstorming at the beach!

Starting a Coaching Business Checklist

Ok let’s get into it! Here are some of the steps to take when starting a coaching business. Use this checklist to move your business forward and start attracting your idea clients!

Get Business Licenses and Registrations

Blah this is not a fun part but do check with your state (or province) and town regulations and rules about opening a business.

This will depend if you run as a sole proprietorship, an LLC or if you run from your home or from an office. Government and local business support groups (Chamber of Commerce, etc) are great places to start looking up information on what you need to know.

Decide on Your Coaching Business Model

What kind of coaching business are you opening? HOW will you coach?

Outline your coaching business model so that you can them move forward to pull all the pieces into place to make it happen.

My favorite model is Coaching Without Calls. For many years I HATED offering coaching as part of my online business model and then I realized I just hated booking my calendar up with calls. Also calls waste time in my opinion. I’d rather use that time to do the work! I’ve created a full out course on how to do coaching without calls here: Coaching Without Calls Business Coach Course

Set up Your Coaching Business Website & Email List

Maybe you are adding coaching to an existing business. Like I’ve done here at Living Lifestyle Freedom.

If that’s the case you don’t need to create an entirely new website. I have a coaching information page here you can check out as an example.

If you are making your coaching business your sole business offering then you will likely want a whole new website.

I’ve also decided to create a website for my coaching offerings of business coaching for women at my site. This allows me to diversify my business and traffic. Giving me opportunities to pivot should the need ever arise, or if I ever want to sell I still have another site running (this would be in many, many years as I love the growth my site is experiencing).

If you have no idea how to setup your business website and email list I offer training on this through my Make Websites from Scratch course. You can see that training here.

Create a Salespage for Your Coaching Offer

Now that you’ve got a website you’ll want to create a specific and direct coaching offer page.

See my coaching for women in business offer here as an example.

I use ThriveCart for my salespages. You can create a salespage in ThriveCart or you can create an order form that you can embed on your salespage. Learn more about ThriveCart through this post.

As of this writing I am working on moving all my salespages into WordPress using the Elementor page builder because I want the pages to be found and searchable through the search engines and on my website.

Create a Client Intake Process

When your clients first sign up with you they are the most excited they’ll ever be.

Make sure you’re ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome them properly!

Create a client intake process. This is going to be specific to your business as it will depend on whether you do calls or not, how often you meet with your client, what you specifically work with them on, etc.

Here is my client intake process (I do coaching without calls – meaning there are no live calls beyond the initial call):

  • Client is welcomed personally with an email.
  • Send client the Coaching Client Questionnaire.
  • Add client to my Coaching Customer are in ThriveCart (this is where they can access resources).
  • Add client to my project management system which facilitates emails back and forth for coaching.

If you’d like to model this method I give you access to use my questionnaire inside of Coaching Without Calls.

Sell Your Coaching

One of the scariest parts for many coaches and business owners is the selling.

This does not need to be scary!

For this final step of the starting a coaching business checklist you’re going to need to realize that this is very much an ongoing process. Day after day, month after month and year after year you’re going to build up a community of people who love and admire you, who want to learn from you and who are happy to pay you to coach them when the time is right.

Marketing Your Coaching Business

There are so many ways you can market your business, meet new people and let them know about your offer.

My favorite way is to treat people like people. Make friends and true connections and gently let them know what you have to offer!

I get the most coaching clients from one to one outreach. And NO we are not talking about pretending to be interested in someone you don’t know on Instagram until you find a way to bring up your coaching offer – yuck!

Personal Marketing Outreach

I reach out to people who know me and my work. They’re usually people who’ve bought many products from me already and are a fan. They’re people I think would be my ideal client and are likely to say HELL YES! Those are the people I gently reach out to. I often literally write “no pressure” because I absolutely AM NOT interested in pressuring them.

Time and again I’ve proven that you can simply match the right people with the right offers and they will buy. No pressure tactics, no manipulation, nothing that doesn’t feel GOOD to do. We are in the business of helping people, not making them buy something they don’t want.

Oh and by the way you might notice I didn’t mention Discovery Calls. Another “yuck” in my books. I never do Discovery Calls yet I sell multiple thousand dollar coaching programs without a single call. These methods work and you don’t need a high pressure call to sell high end coaching.

That wraps up your “Starting a Coaching Business Checklist”.

I hope this helps you as you launch your coaching business!

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