How to Become a Business Coach

How Long Will It Take Me to Become a Business Coach and Build My Book of Clients?

By on November 1, 2019

So you want to become a business coach? Great decision!

If you’re like most, you probably have this question that we hear from beginning business coaches around the world:

“How long will it take me to become a business coach and build up my book of coaching clients?”

Obviously, this depends entirely on you, in a sense. But there are rules of thumb. Let’s begin by establishing what it means to earn a decent living as a business coach. To most people, that means a six-figure income as a full-time business coach, AFTER your business expenses. That means your business pays you more than $100,000 as payroll and you live on what’s left after taxes are deducted. With this rule of thumb in mind, let’s look at a realistic timetable.

Time Required to Become a Business Coach Earning Six Figures 

  • Some people can become six-figure business coaches in as little as six to 12 months, depending on how many of the Six Critical Skills they already possess (see below).
  • Most people need 18 to 24 months to become a business coach earning six figures because they have significant gaps in the first four Critical Skills.
  • A smaller group never hit the six-figure mark and end up quitting the business and going back into full-time employment. This happens to the vast majority of business coaching franchise buyers who end up with very little working capital after paying exorbitant sums to franchisors.

Must-Have’s for Starting a Business Coaching Business

To achieve the goal of setting up a coaching business within a reasonable amount of time, you need a really great business coaching system that includes the following:

  • Tools: Armed with checklists, how-to guides, financial calculators and other coaching tools, your process of setting up a coaching business becomes much easier.
  • Templates: There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to marketing campaigns, printed materials, sales letters and all of the other collateral needed to successfully market yourself when you’re starting a coaching business. Proven and customizable templates can give you a jumpstart and save you lots of money and frustration.
  • Training: Both video training programs and one-on-one mentoring to learn all the facets of building your business coaching business are critical.

Of course, while setting up a coaching business from scratch may be right for some people, most aspiring business coaches opt to invest in a business coaching system to fast-track the process.

The Six Critical Skills Required to Become a Business Coach

There are 6 critical skills required to become a business coach and build a sustainable business over time. Any good business coaching franchise or business coaching system will have well-documented systems for learning and executing each of these skills:

  1. Generating Leads: how to build a low-cost lead generation machine with an “unlimited marketing budget” (proficiency with lead-gen strategies that pay for themselves predictably.)
  2. Booking Appointments: how to book appointments with business coaching prospects without undue anxiety or stress.
  3. Leading Seminars: how to lead both live and virtual seminars that convert your prospects into paying clients or, at a minimum, move them further along in your sales process.
  4. Winning Clients: how to win new clients by demonstrating the overwhelming value of business coaching.
  5. Onboarding Clients: how to skillfully onboard new clients to maximize the longevity of your coaching engagements.
  6. Coaching Clients: how to coach your clients and transform their businesses into profit-making, lifestyle-enhancing investments.

An optional seventh skill is Building a Firm–learning how to transform your business coaching practice into a professional firm by building a world-class team of associate coaches that can run the firm without you so you can exit the business when you’re ready to do so.

Mastering each of these critical skills is required to become a successful business coach and build a sustainable business. When you consider this list of skills, the learning curve may seem a bit formidable for some. That’s why it’s critically important that you’ve got sufficient funding to outlast the learning curve involved in building a business coaching business.

Budgeting for Becoming a Business Coach

I highly recommend that you begin your venture with a war chest of funds to get you through the learning curve described above.

If you are going to become a business coach full-time right away, it’s highly likely that you’ll be burning through your war chest just to put food on the table. In that case, I suggest that you begin with 12 to 18 months of working capital including living expenses. If you plan on starting a coaching business on a part-time basis or if you have other sources of income, you may need just 6 to 12 months of working capital. But for a full-time endeavor, give yourself at least a year or more to make your coaching business profitable enough to yield a six-figure income. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying too hard to sell you something.

Accelerating the Path to Becoming a Business Coach

An important step to radically accelerate the process of becoming a successful business coach–as with anything in life–is to begin working with a seasoned, veteran mentor. We recommend that you connect with an experienced business coach who knows how to generate $100,000 to $200,000 per year as a full-time business coach. Working with a coaches’ coach will help you avoid the hidden land mines that can easily destroy your attempts to build your coaching practice.

In summary, plan on needing 6 to 18 months when setting up a coaching business. Be sure you have at least 12 to 18 months of working capital in reserve. If you want to learn how to become a business coach quickly and efficiently without tripping over the land mines, check out our FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.

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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