You have decided to start a business as a coach and you are in the process of setting up your coaching practice. You are in the process of completing your training to gain your qualifications, wisely you have been combining your time training with the jobs involved with planning and setting up your business.
You have decided what type of coaching services that you are going to offer, you have done your Keyword research in preparation for naming your company and getting your website and you have decided on the legal structure for your business. The next steps are to name and register your business, produce the stationery, get an accountant, and get a website.
Considerations in naming your coaching business
Some things to think about when naming your business. Does it tell potential customers what you do? Is the website address for that name available? Is someone else using that business name?
If you are planning on just keeping your business simple, then you may just opt for YOUR NAME COACHING, or YOUR NAME LIFE COACHING. It is important to have the “coaching” or “life coaching” part to your title for a couple of reasons, firstly it tells customers what you do and secondly it is beneficial in terms of getting noticed by Search Engines like Google.
If you are wanting to keep your options open for future development of the business into different business areas, or employ other people then you may choose a different approach. I chose the name Excellence Assured for several reasons:
- I knew that I wanted to specialise in NLP and NLP is the study of “excellence.”
- “Excellence” is vague enough as a word for it to work in terms of business training, coaching and personal development.
- I knew that I would not be the only person in the business and that I may need to employ or contract other coaches, trainers and administrators to fulfill the objectives of the business.
The name Excellence Assured has worked out well for me but it does mean that I have to do more work in terms of website presence than I would have done if I had called the business NLP Training Excellence for example.
How to set up your own coaching practice - Free Book
Your business name and the internet
If you think in terms of what people on the internet are searching for, people are not going to perform a search on “excellence” or “assured” if they want some life coaching, are they? They are going to search for “life coaching” of course, aren’t they? Google and the other search engines want to return search results to people based on what they are interested in finding out about, so if someone types in “life coaching” the Google robots will try to find the websites with the biggest presence in terms of life coaching to present in the search results. One of the things that the robots take notice of is the title of the website, so the websites with the words “life coaching” in the titles are likely to be favourite to appear in the search results.
Another thing that search engines look at is the location of the business if it is stated in the website name and they will match that with the location of the person performing the search. Yes, they know where you are! So, for example a website titled Executive Coaching Bristol is likely to appear in the search results for people searching for “executive coaching” in Bristol. It is unlikely that it will appear in the search results for someone in Glasgow searching on “executive coaching.”
So, think about what you want to appear in the internet search results for in terms of your business name. You can of course call your business Fred Blogs Ltd and have a website address of relationshipcoachinglondon.co.uk. In fact if you really want to you can have Relationship Coaching London as a division of Fred Blogs Ltd as long as other people are not using the name.
I would recommend making the name of the company match your website address as much as possible as I think that it looks best in terms of gaining and maintaining trust with people.
With this in mind have you got a name that you would like to go ahead with for your business?
Is the name available?
If you have got the name in mind then the next step is to make sure that the name is not taken. If you have decided to set up as a limited company and you are in the UK all limited companies must register with Companies House. You can check your proposed business name with their register here.
If you are going down the sole trader route then you should still check to make sure that there is nobody else out there who is using your proposed name, you would do this by:
- Checking your local phone books, business directories and the internet.
- Making sure that your proposed name - or something similar - hasn't been registered by a company.
- Making sure that the name isn't too similar to a word or expression that has been registered as a trade mark.
Once you have your name, then you will need to register that name.
Registering your coaching business
If you are setting up as a self-employed sole trader there isn't much paperwork to do and there are no registration fees to pay, but you must register with HM Revenue & Customs for tax and National Insurance purposes.
If you are setting up as a limited company, then as I said you must register the company with Companies House. There are a few ways of doing this but the best two ways are to do it using Business Link or you can use a formation agent such as Companies Made Simple. Using a formation agent is really easy and they do the registration for you. They generally have several incorporation packages that you can choose from depending on what you want and their basic packages are normally fine for a simple company registration. They will also put you in touch with an accountant and other professionals if required.
The next step is to buy your Website domain name, and we will cover that in the next article.