How to set up a coaching practice – stage 2
You have decided on your training path and you are undertaking your training on your way to becoming a coach. Whilst you are training, and in order to get started with clients as soon as possible you will be thinking about setting up your coaching practice.
One of the first things to think about is what services specifically are you going to offer? Before you decide on a name for your business, before you decide what legal structure you are going to opt for, you need to decide what services you are going to provide, and what areas of coaching you are going to focus on.
“Life Coaching” as a broad title can encompass coaching in many different areas of life. Here are just a few:
- Business Coaching
- Confidence/Self Belief
- Parent Coaching
- Personal Development
In addition to that there is Executive Coaching, Performance Coaching, Business Coaching and Mentoring…the list goes on.
In making a decision as to which direction you head with your coaching business I think that we need to think ahead a little bit. The beauty of coaching is that a coach does not necessarily need to have any knowledge of or skills in the area in which they are coaching.
The whole idea of coaching as we know is that the person being coached (the coachee) has all the skills and knowledge inside them already, or they are able to get them, in order to reach their potential, or solve their problem. The skill of the coach is to be able to facilitate the coachee in releasing, discovering that potential, in facilitating the coachee in looking inside themselves for the resources to solve their own problems.
Having said that it definitely helps from a credibility point of view with potential clients if you are able to provide some evidence of having skills in the specific area in which you are coaching.
For example I decided to offer an Executive Coaching service. The reason for that was because I have worked at a senior management level in business and so in the eyes of my clients, I am able to empathise from experience with many of their challenges, eg work/life balance, challenges in managing others (including your boss!).
So, for another example, you may be a mother, in which case offering Parent Coaching would make sense, as you have a perceived level of experience in that area.
Your NLP Training, should you decide to go ahead with that, will provide you with the skills to operate in all areas of life and business coaching, so it may be that you offer a full range of coaching services, but you specialise in one or two particular areas.
As well as the credibility aspect of specialising, it will also make your marketing easier, as you can target a specific market or a specific group of people, rather than marketing to the whole population. Marketing to specific groups of people is considerably less expensive as you have less competition.
Thinking ahead to your website, and thinking about acquiring clients using your website, it is much easier to get on the first page of google, for “Executive Coaching Sheffield” for example, than it is for “Life Coaching.”
The next stage of the process in setting up your coaching practice will be to investigate these “keywords” or key phrases on google, and I will explain how to go about that in another blog. Depending on the popularity or not of your keywords, you may need to change your mind over specifically what areas you are going to work in, you may need to expand your work areas if there are not sufficient potential customers or further specialise if your potential marketplace is too big and too competitive.
For now though, thinking about what skills you have and matching them up with specific coaching areas will be useful for you in taking your business planning forward.