You’ve qualified as a coach, so now what? You have decided to set up your coaching business – great! You’re working the 9-5 and want to give it all up, but you know that there are things you need to do first. So what do you need to do and when and how can you actually give up your day job and set up your coaching business?Many of my clients find it takes time to set up their coaching business. They qualify as a coach then quickly realise that setting up and running a coaching business doesn’t happen overnight. It can be a shock to the system, but it is more about the business than being a great coach – that wasn’t in the script was it? There is more to learn, more to do as well as getting clients! So let me make it easy for you by sharing 7 of my top tips to give you a flavour of the steps you need to take.1. Get startedLuckily for you, that although you are setting up an enterprise, a coaching business doesn’t need huge overheads. Although you may decide to get business premises in time, all you ultimately need at the beginning is a telephone, a computer and a private place to work. But you may have other things on your list too which will make your life easier, like a headset, stationery and Skype, so why don’t you make a start by writing out a list of what you need?
2. Sort out your processesAs you are very likely to be working for yourself or in partnership with another, you also won’t need to worry about your processes too much at the beginning. You won’t need to take time to create your manuals, procedures or communicate these with your staff. But what you will need to do is have a plan, as many mistakes are made when you don’t think past day one and where you want your business to be in a few years time. Get your vision right and make sure that everything you do is aligned to your future business strategy.3. Manage the legal stuffYou will need to think about the legal side of things in your business. You’ll need to be set up with the Inland Revenue, obtain insurance, and register with the data protection commission. You’ll also need to think about whether you want to be a sole trader, a partnership or limited company and the impact it will have on you. Advice is key here – get it from the experts who can make sure you are legally covered and ready to serve your clients.4. Get financially savvyAlthough I’ve said that systems and processes may not be so important right now, you’ll need to get your accounts in order. Sort out your business bank account and your invoicing and receipts system. Many banks offer a free business service when you set up your account with them. If you don’t like figures or are ready to outsource that kind of thing, get a good book-keeper or accountant, save for your tax and make sure you pay your national insurance (even if you are employed as well). 5. Know what you doOk, so you’ve done all the boring stuff right? So now it’s time to get to your business. What do you do? Don’t make the mistake of being a generalist life coach. This is the stage to consider your specialism and niche and the results you will get with your clients. I’m sure you will have had practice clients during your training, so what were your highlights? What do you enjoy? How can you bring in your knowledge, qualifications and expertise into your business?6. Get the right brandWhen you think of branding, what do you think of – your logo or more than that? At this stage it is about thinking of the image of your business, how you want to be perceived, your style, and more, so this is your branding time. You’ll want to be recognised for what you do and although your logo is just part of your image, there is more to it than that. It’s also time to consider your website, your marketing copy, your list, your message, and what you want to provide to your clients. On top of that, how will you package your services and how will you reach your clients?
7. Tell people what you doThe last point in this article is to start telling people what you do. Get networking, which is more than going to networking meetings by the way. When you do tell people about you, people don’t want to know what you do but the results you get with your clients. Ensure you choose the right networking events to go to, the people you would like to meet and think about social networking too. But whatever you do, have a strategy for success and measure your progress.These top 7 tips have given you some of the next steps you need to take. When you put these steps into place it will make your business development so much easier and you’ll be able to give up your day job when you have got the right clients to support your business.