8 | Build Your Coaching Business

This chapter  is designed to equip you with the basic tools and structure to build a sustainable, thriving coaching practice. It begins with being clear and confident about what you have to offer current and future clients. You will also gain some essential business skills and knowledge to navigate the process of establishing a LLC arrangement.


What's your plan for developing a sustainable  coaching business?

Preliminary Questions:
  • What’s your dream?
  • Who is your ideal client (avatar)?
  •  How much money do you have available to launch?
  •  What’s you target date to get your business up and running?
  •  How would you define “success”? What are you limiting beliefs?
  •  How comfortable are you with technology?

Defining Your Niche:
  •  What are you passionate about? (Get specific about who you are going after)
  •  What are the needs of the market?
  •  Research the competition.
  •  Determine what you will offer.
  •  Develop your 30-second and 1-minute elevator speech (be bold about what you offer). 

Business Formation Steps:
  • Determine business structure (Sole Proprietorship, LLC, S-Corporation).
  •  Choose a corporate name (even if you are a Sole Proprietorship entity).
  •  Get an Employer Identification Number through the IRS (free).
  •  Get a State Identification Number and Business License ($$$).
  •  Depending on the business structure, get liability insurance for you and/or business. (ICF offers a great option through the Hartford Insurance Company).
  •  Open a business bank account that comes with a VISA/Mastercard ATM card.
  •  Optional: Register business with Duns & Bradbury (DUNS) and NAV. (DUNS will provide you with
  • A  number that you can give other business you do business with in order to build business credit. NAV is the equivalent of EQUIFAX or other credit agencies, but for business).
  •  Start building credit for your business.

  • Determine what you will charge for your services.
  •  Create a logo (doesn’t need to be too sophisticated).
  •  Create a “tag line”.  For coaches to be effective to others, they must first be well-informed about their own values, needs, interests, abilities, personality type, sensitivities, and hot buttons. Coaches should be keenly aware of anything and everything about themselves that might affect how they come across to other people.
  •  Determine if you want business cards. (Today e-cards are more common, but having a business card doesn’t hurt. Follow the rules to create an effective business card).
  • Purchase a URL that comes with email accounts.
  •  Update or create a LinkedIn account. (Make sure to add logos received when completing certifications).
  • Create a website. The ability to be completely present in the moment is one of the most difficult competencies for coaches—as it is for us all. Coaches must be able to put aside their personal worries and to-do lists, and quiet their self-critical voices and all of the other “noise” that keep them from paying full attention to what’s happening with their clients. People being coached will know when the coach is distracted and won’t feel they are being well served. Follow the 8-second rule and add offer something for free to create your client funnel.
  • Create a lead-generating PDF. 
  •  Frequently track traffic on your website.
  • Create a blog/e-newsletter where provide free information targeted to your audience (post frequently).
  • Create a social media presence and post regularly.
  • Create an email signature.
  • Build your database/and email. How will you capture and cultivate leads? What will you send to existing clients? To those you've connected with in the past? Consider an email sales campaign.
  • Identify at least three “connectors” (people who have connection with large number of people) and network with them.
  •  Network with other coaches and business people (Chamber of Commerce; local civic groups)
  • Develop benchmarks for success.

Marketing Don’ts
  • Don’t make your website/business cards too busy, less is more (hire a professional if not sure)
  •  Don’t subscribe people to your blog/newsletter without their permission. (Don’t assume that having a business card is implied permission).
  • Don’t keep people on your marketing list if they asked you to be removed. Always offer the option. 

  • Create the habit of writing a contract every time you engage a new client even if pro-bono.
  •  Offer various options to the client e.g., platinum, gold, silver options.


1 | Can I share with other people what I do as a coach in 12 words or less?
  • I have powerful conversations with people that help them live their best lives.

2 |  Do I have a vision of my coaching ministry that includes my next steps?
  • Learning:
  • Coaching:
  • Marketing:

3 |  Am I practicing my coaching skills and taking advantage of continued education opportunities?
  • Schedule 3 30-minute complimentary sessions.
  • Try on a 1-2 hour coaching session to help a client envision a preferred future.

4 | How about to find my niche? Can I describe how my coaching ministry is different from other coaches?
  • Working with volunteer leadership teams
  • Working with large staff to improve communication and collaboration

5 | Do I have a virtual brand?  Can people easily identify my practice in my brand?
  •  Website: One liner, contact information, blog/resource, lead generator, services offered, testimonials/case studies
  • LinkedIn:
  • Social Media Sites:

6 | Do I do more than coaching? If I provide content, do I give away my intellectual property?
  • Training/teaching/workshops (Udemy)
  • Assessments and consultations
  • Writing/content creation

7 | How much am I investing in my business financially? What is my financial plan?
  • Budget:
  • Marketing costs:
8 | What is my plan for growing my list of potential leads, and for growing my current client base?

9 | How much time do I spend connecting and networking with other coaches? Do I wish to function as a lone ranger or be part of a team?
  • Independent: freedom and flexibility
  • Team: collaboration, shared learnings, greater wisdom, invoicing/payments taken care of for you.

10 | How much time do I spend daily building my coaching ministry? How much time do I spend building promoters?


Which Stage are You Seeking to Reach?

STAGE 1 |  Establish ($0 to $39,999)
  • Build your business foundation
  • Become an expert in finding clients
  • Create a big vision
  • Implement proven systems
  • Choose your niche
  • Create your marketing message
  • Open and use a business account
  • Find an accountant/tax preparer.
  • Create a budget to cover start up costs.
  • Maintain a coaching log (move toward PCC certification).
  • Establish a Client Management System.
STAGE 2 | Expand  (40,000- $69,999)
  • Expand your marketing.
  • Become comfortable with his ability.
  • Address your limiting beliefs.
  • Celebrate your successes and seek new clients.
  • Improve your message and whole niche.
  • Develop your signature talk.
  • Be bold about what you offer.
  • Hire a virtual assistant.
STAGE 3 | Leverage ($70,000 to $250,000)
  • Focus on systems at save you time and money.
  • Shift from being an operator to becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Maximize the use of webinars and live events.
  • Develop packages.

STAGE 4 | Leadership ($250,000 to $1,000,000)
  • Become an influential leader in your industry

STAGE  5 |  Legacy ($1,000,000 - $10,000,000)
  • Create a business that lives behind you and thrives without you

Checklist for Assessing the Value of Your Services

Will coaching  INCREASE:
  • Revenue
  • Profit
  • Growth
  • Value of Offerings M Retention
  • Return on Investment M Return on Assets
  • Efficiency
  • Visibility
  • Equity
  • Net Preference

Will coaching IMPROVE:
  • Productivity
  • Processes
  • Motivation
  • Capabilities
  • Service
  • Information
  • Reputation
  • Loyalty
  • Quality
Will coaching REDUCE:
  • Cost
  • Time
  • Effort
  • Complaints
  • Attrition
  • Risk
  • Conflict
  • Administrative Burden
  • Infrastructure

Will coaching CREATE:
  • Strategy
  • Alignment
  • Systems
  • Processes
  • Business
  • Products
  • Inspiration
  • Transformation
  • Recognition
  • Personal Awards and Rewards
  • Pride
  • Authority
  • Stature
  • Budget
  • Stress Reduction
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Discretionary Time
  • Personal Growth


Suggested Books, Blogs, Sites, and Videos

Marketing Books
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Blogs & Podcasts:
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Review of  Chapter Outcomes
  • To explore areas of ongoing growth related to the ongoing development of one's coaching capacities.
  • To identify a1-3 next steps for developing your coaching capacities.
  • To begin using the basic coaching agreement (the 5 questions) to guide coaching conversations.

Assignments to Submit


      Insights, Ideas and Applications from Past Participants

"I need to work on my script for sharing with people about my coaching process and services."

"I need to firm up what I plan to charge for my coaching services and how people will pay me."

"I 'd like to create social media content to positions me as a thought leader and a helpful guide for people"

"I created a wireframe of my coaching website that I will start creating it this month."