How to Become a Business Coach

A Business Coaching Firm that Runs Without You

By on August 1, 2018

Over several years in the early aughts, I built my original business coaching firm and sold it for $1 Million. I went from being a solopreneur, with all the hands-on, time-intensive work that takes, to hiring multiple top-quality coaches who could do most of the heavy lifting for me, to finally selling the business to them for a significant payday.

In other words, I built a business coaching firm that could run without me.

But how?

It was a process that involved very specific steps and strategies. Over time, I came to conceptualize this success as a chain with seven “links”–one that anyone can achieve if they replicate the same process. But like a chain, if any of these links are severed, the whole thing falls apart.

If it helps, you might think of the links as “dependencies,” because the weight of each successive link hangs on the one before it.

If you want to build a hands-free business coaching firm of your own, here are the seven links that will get you there.

Link 7: Fantastic Profitability

Obviously, this is our goal. It’s been fascinating to observe the incredible variety of answers I get when I ask the following question of aspiring firm builders: “What do you believe is the single most important driver in firm profitability?”

No one ever gives the right answer–which is…

Link 6: Low Client Acquisition Cost

The fact is, it’s impossible to build a wonderfully profitable business coaching firm capable of delivering completely passive income if your client acquisition costs are out of control!

Making money as a firm-owner is all about driving down your marketing and sales costs. The most common (though not necessarily the easiest) ways to do this are as follows: getting the majority of your clients through referrals and strategic alliances, servicing ever-higher quality (which equals better paying!) clients, and keeping these clients longer and longer.

So, what does it take to achieve this?

Link 5: Raving Fans

Over the last couple of decades of business coaching firm-building, I’ve found that until you develop a robust reputation in your market as a genuinely great coach, who delivers substantially MORE value to your clients than your services cost, you’ll never be rewarded with an abundance of revenue that you invest almost no cash to produce.

Obviously, in the early stages of developing your business coaching firm, you’ll have to invest money in higher-cost marketing strategies, but this must be reduced over time if you hope to make great margins!

So how do you develop an army of raving fans?

Link 4: Effective Coaching

Business owners will give you about 3 months to prove the value of coaching. By then, they better have a fatter bank account or it’s game over. But how do you deliver effective coaching?

Link 3: High-Quality Coaches

No mystery here.

It takes a great coach to deliver great value to produce an army of raving fans. When you’re building a firm, you don’t have the time and cash flow to hire mediocre coaches and wait a couple years for them to become the kind of leaders they need to be to keep great clients. Building great companies is the result of the ability to attract and retain high-quality human capital. This is THE competitive edge in the increasingly knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

Given that, what’s the single most important requirement for on-boarding and retaining such top-shelf talent?

Building great companies is the result of the ability to attract and retain high-quality human capital. This is THE competitive edge in the increasingly knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

Link 2: Massive Cash Flow

Trying to recruit a top-gun business coach won’t be easy without cash. You need great cash-flow so you can afford to pay your coaches a compensation package that’s worth their time. AND, just as importantly, there needs to be a big upside. That’s why I’m a big believer in revenue percentage splits as a compensation model. It’s the only model that’s ever worked in building business coaching firms around the world. Great coaches never have to leave a firm if they can grow their income and eventually buy into the firm they helped build–or even multiply it over and over.

But how do you create this wonderful cash flow to build an amazing team? Well, again, it’s pretty simple, though not easy.

Link 1: Personal Coaching Success

I don’t believe you’ve really mastered this business to the level required to build a great firm until you’ve hit 6-figures and stayed there for a year or more. What must you do to be a 6-figure coach? You must consistently deliver high-value coaching services in your market until your market is willing to reward you with ever-more clients, who pay ever-more money, for ever-less effort on your part. And when this starts to happen, it’s magic!

Of course, you could do as I did and spend years and tens of thousands of dollars mastering what it takes to achieve personal coaching success. OR you could learn from my successes (and mistakes!) with the complete business coaching system I developed over the years. But don’t take my word for it–you can try it out with a FREE 30-day trial, and put yourself on track to creating a business coaching firm that runs without you!

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Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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