How to Become a Business Coach

What Business Coaches Can Learn from Blockbuster’s Recent Demise — Part Two

By on August 27, 2010

Last time, we talked about what you, as a business coach, can learn from Blockbuster’s recent demise — and how you can help your clients profit from Warren Buffet’s concept of an “economic moat.” One of your top priorities as a coach is to help your clients set themselves apart in the marketplace and stay on top of industry developments so they can react swiftly and innovatively no matter what comes their way.

Today, I want to continue the business coach training and bring the subject closer to home and discuss what this all means for the business coaching industry specifically.

For nearly a decade, 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. Google the term “business coaches who have left” and you’ll see what I mean.

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

So what does this mean for the industry?

It means that business coaching is on its way UP…while business coaching franchises are on their way OUT.

Consider the Blockbuster example: as an industry, movie entertainment is here to stay. But the Blockbuster model for providing that entertainment, physical video rental stores, is declining, thanks to the proliferation of advanced digital technologies.

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 (in addition to The Coaches’ Coach, there are a bunch of other quality players in the space, including businesscoach.com and pbca.biz).

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 recently in a completely unsolicited comment:

“Eric, where were you in 2004, 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 my 78-page review of the business coaching franchise industry, The Business Coaching Franchise Buyer’s Guide, for FREE. Just click here…

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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