How to Earn Money as a Business Coach

Four Parts:Learning to Be a Business CoachFinding Work as a Business CoachProving Your WorthUpping Your Earnings

To earn money as a business coach, a combination of personal qualities, professional experiences and business-related skills are necessary. Business coaches are employed by large and small companies, entrepreneurs, government organizations, non-profit organizations and universities. The role of a business coach includes assisting individuals and business teams with identifying long-term goals, improving business processes, resolving interpersonal conflicts and developing skills development plans. Here are some strategies for earning money as a business coach.

Part 1
Learning to Be a Business Coach

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    Evaluate your ability to assist others. Business coaches must listen to clients, retain objectivity about issues and offer advice. An ability to see the larger vision is important for guiding others. A talent for organization, strategic thinking and plan development is also important for helping clients develop their skills and business plans. Reflect on your own strengths, weaknesses, and skills. Try asking yourself the following questions:
    • Why do I want to enter this line of work?
    • What aspects of business am I qualified to teach about?
    • Am I a good teacher?[1]
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    Gain experience in the business world. Work in the business world either as an entrepreneur or for an established company. Learn as much as possible about all aspects of business operations and management. The more information you gain about every facet of the business environment, the more knowledge and expertise you can offer to your clients. Clients like to see that a business coach has experience in their industry or as a business owner.[2]
    • Shoot for a minimum of five years of experience in business. Realize, however, that having more experience will increase your reputability.[3]
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    Attend a university or coaching institute. Business coaches, also known as executive coaches, come to the profession with diverse educational backgrounds. University programs that offer degrees in executive coaching are one option. Private institutes that offer coaching certificates are another option. A degree or formal coaching program is not a requirement for working in this field. You also may study coaching techniques with a mentor or develop coaching strategies on your own.
    • The International Coach Federation (ICF) offers certifications in business coaching. While these certifications are not necessary to working as a business coach, having one could increase appeal to clients.[4]
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    Identify your niche. Determine which industries you prefer. Think about your ideal client. Decide if you enjoy group work or one-on-one interaction. You may enjoy helping entrepreneurs define and develop their visions. Or your preference may be to work with executives and teams in large companies. Assisting individuals to manage the stresses of the workplace may be an area of interest. Or your preference may be the implementation and streamlining of business processes.
    • Businesses coaches can also focus on areas requiring specific qualifications, like legal or insurance advising. Be sure to obtain the required licenses or certifications if you intend to work in these areas.[5]

Part 2
Finding Work as a Business Coach

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    Join an executive coaching firm. Apply to consulting firms that hire business coaches. These firms market your services for you, allowing you to focus exclusively on coaching activities. Established firms are an effective entry point for gaining coaching experience. Try working for a ranked or well-established firm. This will give your resume a measure of legitimacy that will put you above the other people claiming to be businesses coaches.[6]
    • Once you gain experience and a solid professional network, you can always leave work as a self-employed coach.
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    Become a self-employed business coach. Create a plan for marketing your services. Develop a website for your coaching business that describes your expertise and specialty. Advertise your services through online sites and business magazines. Network with business contacts, friends and family members who may know people in need of coaching. Jobs will be very hard to get at first, so expect a lot of ignored calls and messages. In time, you will get clients and build experience, which will let your coaching skills and successes speak for themselves.
    • To preserve your financial security, try starting your business coaching career as a part-time job while keeping your current job.[7]
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    Sell books and videos. Earn money as a business coach by writing and selling books that highlight your coaching strategies. Create motivational videos that can be sold on your website for market price. Focus on creating broadly-applicable coaching videos at first, rather than focusing on one-on-one coaching. This will allow you to more easily build a base of users and will not cost you as much time.[8]
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    Contact businesses directly. Develop an elevator pitch for your services that you can use when in contact with companies. Refine it until it gets your point across as succinctly as possible. Whenever you get a chance, ask a contact if they are aware of human resource directors in your chosen industry who are in need of a business coach. You can also probe them indirectly by asking whether the HR directors have a budget for executive development. Then, reach out to the HR directors personally and pitch your services.[9]

Part 3
Proving Your Worth

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    Create a coaching process. While all clients will require a different process, you should seek to create an overall strategy for working through each project. The typical coaching process will go through several stages designed to assess the client's problem and then teach them to work through. For example, there might be a first stage, in which the business coach is giving the client the answers they need to improve. Then, the business coach will step back, allowing the client to use what they've learned while the coach observes.
    • Another, final stage might consist of the business coach helping the client design a direction for their business or future goals.[10]
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    Guide the client to success. A good business coach will work with the client to teach them and then support them as they apply what they've learned to their work. Start by clarifying and explaining the skills that the client needs to learn. Explain why these skills are important to the proper functioning of their business. Work with them to apply the concepts to their organization. Watch and evaluate their work, providing input and support along the way. Keep the executive accountable for their successes and failures along the way.[11]
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    Motivate and support the client. A business coach's role is more than providing executives with the advice and tools they need to improve their business. You'll also need to support them along their path to success. Work on building a strong working relationship with the client, making trust and mutual respect your priorities. Inspire the client to do their best work and set high but attainable performance expectations for them.
    • Make sure to set aside enough time to meet with the client multiple times per week or more, especially in the beginning.[12]
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    Incorporate feedback to improve your process. As you finish your work with clients, have them fill out a survey that assesses your performance. The goal is to identify what you do best or, in other words, your unique advantage over other business coaches. You can then use this information to market yourself and pitch your services. If you're just starting out, you can also get feedback from people you've worked with in the past, not necessarily just people you've coached. Try asking them:
    • Would you recommend me to others? If so, why?
    • What did I do to help you be successful?
    • What, in your mind, separates me from other business coaches?[13]

Part 4
Upping Your Earnings

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    Study other top earners. Look for businesses coaches who are the most recognizable and can demand the highest fees for their services. Study their strategy and path to the top. Look at what clients say about them, how they improve businesses they work with, and how they market themselves. Work to emulate them by applying their methods to your own work.[14]
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    Increase your prices. The easiest way to increase your pay as a business coach is to up your prices. However, doing so requires two things. First, you'll need to have the reputation to charge a higher price than other, comparable business coaches. What makes you better (more valuable) than anyone else? Second, you'll need to prove to the client that the benefit to their business will still be higher than your fees.
    • Show them how much you've increased revenues or saved money for past clients to prove your worth.[15]
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    Negotiate success fees. You can also raise your prices by including a provision for success fees in your contract. These are fees charged when and if the client's business reaches a certain performance milestones during or after your time working with them. This gives you the motivation to work to reach the goals and reassures the client that their money will be saved if you fail to perform.[16]
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    Share in your clients' success. Another way to potentially increase your earnings is to make your pay dependent on the client's success. For example, you might set your pay as a percentage of the increased revenue experienced by a client as a result of your coaching. The way this is set up in your contract is negotiable and up to you and your client, but the earning potential from this type of arrangement can be quite large.[17]

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