How to Become a Business Coach

Don’t Be Like Blockbuster…and Other Lessons for Business Coaching Franchises

By on March 1, 2019

From its inception, the business coaching industry has been dominated by business coaching franchises. That’s because business coaching is usually a “solo” enterprise, and it can be difficult to keep yourself properly trained and motivated without solid support and a proven system. In the early part of the ’00s, as demand for business coaches grew among entrepreneurs and business owners of all stripes, business coaching franchises sprouted up as a way to fill the training and support gap for aspiring coaches.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, the franchisors simply didn’t deliver–and franchisee fail rates across the industry grew at an alarming pace.

This all came to a head in October 2008, when the global economy crashed…and suddenly, the tens or even HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars required to buy a business coaching franchise all but destroyed these franchises as a viable option for most aspiring coaches.

At the same time, business coaching franchisees began failing in droves because of crippling franchise fees and unproven systems in the midst of all the panic. 

Through it all, demand for business coaching actually INCREASED, as more and more entrepreneurs came to understand that if they want to survive in troubling economic times, they need help.

So what does this mean for the industry in a time when economists are predicting the next bear market within a couple of years?

Demand for business coaching will continue to increase…while demand for business coaching franchises will continue to decrease.

Demand for business coaching will continue to increase...while demand for business coaching franchises will continue to decrease.

Remember Blockbuster?

As an industry, movie entertainment is here to stay. But the Blockbuster model for providing that entertainment, physical video rental stores, is dead, thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

In business coaching, it is now possible for coaches to acquire both the ongoing support and proven system they need to succeed, WITHOUT the high costs of business coaching franchises. Thanks to the same types of advancement in digital technology that impacted Blockbuster, business coaches can now tune into thriving virtual communities (such as on LinkedIn), as well as choose subscription-based training and coaching system delivery models that have been proven in the field — for a fraction of the cost of business coaching franchises (such as the Coaches’ Coach).

With monthly business coaching franchise royalties ranging from $1000 to $1800 per month, business coaching franchises have become the “bricks and mortar” dinosaur of the business coaching industry.

As one frustrated former franchisee wrote me a while back in a completely unsolicited comment:

“Eric, where were you BEFORE I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on my [coaching] franchise. Today, with the non-franchise resources that are available, it really makes no sense to buy a franchise…”

For more insight on all this, you can download our resource on the state of the business coaching franchise industry, The Business Coaching Franchise Buyer’s Guide.

Maybe you disagree with me? If you think I’m all wet, tell me so. Use the comments section below to share with me all your opinions on where the business coaching industry is heading!

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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