How do life coaches hold clients accountable

First things first: Coach is not a protected job title. In contrast to related and more classic consulting professions such as lawyer or tax consultant, no training is required for self-employment as a coach. The job as a coach can be carried out from an employee as well as from a partially self-employed or completely self-employed position. In addition to professional, personal skills are also important if you want to be a self-employed coach.

Acquire specialist knowledge - collect knowledge independently as a coach

If you want to work as a coach, you can choose from a wide range. This includes offers for support in various areas of life and business. The costs for coaching can vary extremely and can be between 300 euros and 10,000 euros. The working time when working independently as a coach is also measured individually in each case and can take 15 to 250 hours. Here are a few key topics that an independent coach can deal with:

  • Burnout prevention
  • Leadership skills
  • self reflection
  • Working methodology
  • Conversation training and negotiation skills
  • conflict management
  • Motivational coaching
  • Start-up advice
  • Character development

Training is not absolutely necessary in the respective specialist area - as mentioned - but can be considered a decisive sales argument. Above all, a professional appearance is very important to potential customers and professional references can give a particularly competent impression. Clients have to feel in good hands with you, trusting that you can help them as a professional in a private or professional way. Basically, the better you present yourself, the higher you can set your fee if you work independently as a coach.

Many larger companies prefer to hire coaches with many years of professional experience. It can therefore be advisable to work part-time as a coach for a while before going into full-time self-employment. In addition, most coaching associations require a minimum age of 25 to join. Membership in such an association is often seen as a sign of quality.

Personal characteristics of an independent coach

If you want to become self-employed as a coach, you should also be able to call some personal characteristics your own. When working directly with customers, social skills are an enormous advantage. It is important to leave a consistently positive impression at the first contact. You should appear professional as well as personable in order to make you want to work together. The chemistry has to be right if you work independently as a coach!

Regardless of whether your advice focuses on the private or professional context, the main task of a coach is usually to identify weak points and to correct them. This requires a lot of tact, because nobody likes to be confronted with harsh criticism. While some prefer to be confronted with problems openly and directly, with others you have to show empathy. Enjoying working with people is a very basic requirement.

In addition to a winning personality and a good dose of charisma, every self-employed person should also have a lot of perseverance and patience. Starting a career as an independent coach does not succeed in the twinkling of an eye, but demands a lot from you if you want to work as a coach. There must be a certain willingness to take risks as well as a pronounced sense of responsibility. It is important not to be demotivated by setbacks and to meet challenges with the necessary positive realism. Often a certain maturity has to be reached in order to acquire these characteristics, because the old motto is: "We can learn from mistakes."

Create a business plan - plan everything independently as a coach

No matter what profession it is - a meaningful business plan is always the first step towards independence. For you, too, well-thought-out planning is essential to set yourself up as a coach. One focus is on the location and market analysis, which reveals a lot about your chances of success. Assess the competitive situation in the area in order to find the right niche for your offer. You also need to identify a suitable target group with high potential demand for your services.

The financial basis

In the next step, you have to plan your finances and realistically estimate how much start-up capital you will need. Even if the hourly rate for a professional coach may seem more than generous, you have to calculate with certain expenses. Especially in the initial phase, you cannot expect a lot of income, as you first have to make a name for yourself and expand your customer base. That means investments, for example, for the creation of an individual website if you want to work as a coach. If necessary, also the rental of office space and the purchase of technical equipment. In addition, there are running costs such as fuel and insurance fees, telephone bills and the like. If you don't have enough equity, you can find out about various financial support options.

Create a business plan in 10 steps

Step 1: Idea, offer and the target group

In the first chapter you give a first impression of what the concept of your company should look like. What is your basic idea? How can you help others with your idea and what exactly is your goal? You should be able to determine and describe this very precisely. In addition, you should think carefully about who your target group is and also define this specifically. This will make it easier for you to prepare a market analysis in the following chapter.

Step 2: Market and Competition

The point here is to deal intensively with the market and the competition. How big is the market? Is it worth starting a business here? Make yourself aware of which competitors you have. So that you don't have to struggle a lot with these at the beginning of the market entry, you should think about what you can do better. Make the analysis as detailed as possible in order to be perfectly prepared for your start in business.

Step 3; Determine visions and goals

It is particularly important for you as an entrepreneur and for the rest of your team to define precisely goals and visions that you can work towards together. Only once you have set this goal with your team or your founders is it possible for you to define the measures that are coordinated with it. They give you a direction in which to build a strategy.

Step 4: your strategy

The strategy also needs to be very well thought out. After all, you need to use her to get to your goals. Above all, you have to consider what benefits your company will bring your customers. And how can you best implement this benefit? In any case, come up with a better strategy than your competitors and see what you can do better than them. Alternative strategies can also be useful, as it is never said that the first strategy works right away.

The strategy also needs to be very well thought out. After all, you need to use her to get to your goals. Above all, you have to consider what benefits your company will bring your customers. And how can you best implement this benefit? In any case, come up with a better strategy than your competitors and see what you can do better than them. Alternative strategies can also be useful, as it is never said that the first strategy works right away.

Step 6: legal form and taxes

A very unpopular, but still very important topic: the choice of the legal form and everything to do with taxes. Here you write down which legal form you have chosen, which permits you need for your company, what your company should be called and everything else that has to do with accounting.

Step 7: founding team and organization

In this chapter you indicate how you are organized as a company. Do you have a partner? Who is everything in your founding team? Here it must be clear who is responsible for what, which structures you still want to set up, who is already working in the company and who will join the company. The milestones that you want to achieve with your company are also entered here.

The finances form the main part of your business plan and must be calculated and checked very carefully. Here you shouldn't allow yourself to make any mistakes if possible. Where are you currently with your company, how much capital do you still need and when is the break-even point planned? - All of these are important questions to be considered in the finance section. Here at the latest it makes sense to have a suitable tool at hand with which everything can be calculated more easily.

After the whole numbers, the SWOT analysis follows. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. So here you list the strengths, weaknesses, strengths and risks of your company and explain them. In the next step, measures must then be taken to deal with the results so that the opportunities can be maximized and the risks minimized.

The last chapter is the executive summary, a meaningful summary of your business plan. Here the most important points of your business plan are summarized again in order to give investors and banks a good overview of your company. So here again mention the most important key statements of the business idea, your team, the market analysis, the opportunities and risks and the financing.

Establish specialization early on

In order to become self-employed as a coach, you absolutely have to commit yourself to a clear specialization. For this it is important to know your own strengths and weaknesses. What are your interests? In which area do you have the most experience? Of course, it helps if you have already taken part in some coaching yourself. The sheer knowledge of a topic alone does not guarantee communication skills if you work independently as a coach.

It is also not enough to simply state “burnout prevention” as a specialization, as there can be large deviations here depending on the occupation and the person affected. Specify, for example, “Burnout prevention for self-employed single parents in the craft sector”. It can be an advantage if you can identify yourself personally with your target group. In this way, you can draw on your private experiences and quickly develop a direct line to your customers.

Legal requirements for self-employed coaches

If you want to put your plan to become self-employed as a coach into practice, the first step is to go to the tax office. There you register your self-employed activity, receive your tax number and are classified as a freelancer or advertiser. As the former, you enjoy some tax advantages and are not required to register a business. Which category you fall into when working as a coach depends, among other things, on whether you also manufacture and / or sell your own products as part of your offer. Then you have to decide on a legal form that suits your company.

Successful Marketing

Correct marketing is about being present and putting your own skills in the foreground. Nowadays it is essential for every coach to be easy to find on the Internet. Most potential clients first inquire about various offers online. So position yourself well by creating or having a professional, search engine optimized website created. A rather outdated method is customer acquisition over the phone. In order to increase the likelihood that you will find open ears here, careful research is necessary in advance.

As a freelance coach, you also work in an industry where networking is worth its weight in gold. Once you've secured your first customers and won over them with your good work, that can open a lot of doors for you. In the B2B area in particular, potential customers are usually networked with one another and trust the recommendations of their colleagues. So get your own business cards and flyers so that the correct contact details can be passed on directly in the case of word of mouth.

One area that is currently growing rapidly is online coaching. You should definitely consider this option, because it can make your day-to-day work a lot easier and also pay off financially. So develop digital products such as special online workshops in the form of videos, presentations and / or e-books that interested parties can easily download. Among other things, this saves you long travel times and the often stressful appointment process if you want to work as a coach.