Can You Become a Coach or Consultant?
If you want to start your own business and have a unique background of knowledge that can help others solve problems, you might be able to forge a career as a coach or consultant.
Can you start your own coaching or consulting business?
If you want to start your own business and have a unique background of knowledge that can help others solve problems, you might be able to forge a career as a coach or consultant. Coaches, unlike counselors or therapists, take an active role in guiding their clients to accomplishing their goals. As such, consulting is one of the fastest growing career fields in the country, and is expected to continue experiencing growth in industries like marketing, technology, and health in the next decade.
Examples of coaching and consulting fields also include:
Social media consulting
Athletic or exercising coaching
Acting or modeling coaching
Small business consulting
Motivational or life coaching
Video game coaching
Mental health coaching
Fashion or style consulting
In addition to having experience in a field where coaches are needed, entrepreneurs who want to become successful coaches need a variety of skills, including:
Interpersonal communication - Communicating ideas and motivating is the central job of a coach. If you’re not completely confident in your ability to talk with others or speaking to groups of people, consider enrolling in a public speaking or interpersonal communication course at your local community college.
Customer service - Coaches have to work with all types of people often in situations with elevated levels of stress. Moreover, many clients are already struggling with something to begin with––that’s why they need a coach! Being able to deliver top-notch customer service while staying cool under pressure is a must.
Organization - Maintaining a schedule, client files, and invoices require coaches to be highly organized individuals.
Business operations - Becoming a coach is also becoming a small business owner. You’ll need to know how to run a business (including all required certifications and licenses) to be viewed as a legally-operating entity by the government.
Marketing and sales - Without growth, your business as a coach dies. Be prepared to adopt several new avenues for marketing your services and gaining new clients. If you don’t like sales, coaching may be a hard career to pursue.
Steps to Becoming a Self-Employed Coach or Consultant
In order to kick off your business as a coach, there are a few decisive steps you need to take first.
1. Find Your Field - Decide what type of coach you’ll be. You’ll need to answer questions like: What kind of problems can I help clients solve? and What is my unique value as a coach?
2. Expand Your Expertise - No one enters a new career field knowing everything all at once. To become a more well-rounded coach and businessperson, consider taking courses in your industry, becoming certified, or studying under another consultant in your field.
3. Construct Your Company - Depending on your state and the type of business you’ll run, you may need to file paperwork with the state (such as when setting up an LLC). Also, decide where you’ll do business (whether wholly online or will you meet with clients in-person), if you need office space, and if you’ll need employees. The final step in structuring your business will involve setting up your rates and designing packages of your services that target clients’ needs.
4. Start Marketing Your Merchandise - Your guidance as a coach is your product and you will need to find multiple ways to sell it. This may include Facebook and Google ads, flyers, networking at industry events, and more. The average customer needs to interact with your brand at least seven times before they consider making a purchase, so gaining visibility for your business is a must!
To become a coach, it takes an incredible amount of drive and hustle, a dedication to helping others improve, and a desire to constantly reinvest in yourself. If you think you have what it takes, don’t waste another second and start your consulting business today.
“How to Become a Consultant: 9 Steps to Doing it Right” by Meg Prater. Updated March 6, 2019. Accessed September 15, 2019, via https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/how-to-become-a-consultant
“How to Become a Life Coach in 7 Steps” by Caroline Goldstein. Published September 3, 2019. Accessed September 15, 2019, via https://www.fundera.com/blog/becoming-a-life-coach