July 11, 2022

How to Start a Coaching Business

By Lexie Smith

Want to start a coaching business? Here are 6 Steps to consider to get you started!

Is this you?

  • Your friends always come to you for advice.
  • You love to learn and are incredibly passionate about at least one topic of area (from wellness to photography to business and beyond).
  • Your day job doesn’t feel right OR you’re still left feeling unfulfilled.
  • You love connecting with and helping people – impact lights you UP.

If you relate to two or more of the above statement, you, my friend, just might be destined to be a coach.

Now imagine this for a moment:

Deciding to spend a month in palm springs to work remotely, because you can.

Deciding to stop working at 2 to make a Home Goods run, because you can.

Waking up on a day off with a new 5-figures entering your bank account.

Getting to work with only who you WANT to work with – and changing their lives.

All of the above reasons (and so much more) are why more and more individuals are running to start a coaching business. Add in the mass exodus from the corporate world in 2020, plus the coaching industry market expecting to surpass 20+ Billion in revenue in 2022, and it’s an opportunity that checks many of those “dream life & career” boxes.

So, once you’ve bought in, how do you even begin to know how to start a coaching business? Good news, you’re on the right blog post! We’re going to cover 6 steps that go into creating a profitable coaching business that supports your lifestyle.

Step 1: Identify your passion

Think back to when you were a little kid. Did you have hobbies that you were good at? Did you ever start a business (hello lemonade stands)? Did you love soccer? Did you kick booty at your school fundraisers selling wrapping paper? Did you volunteer with the elderly? Were Easter egg hunts the highlight of your year because you ALWAYS won?

Once you’ve identified a thing – or multiple things – you loved when you were little or wanted to be, start to reflect back on WHY you might have liked that activity or why those were your aspirations. What emotions were attached to that action or goal? For example, did you love the spotlight and theater gave you a stage to express yourself? Did you want to be a fireman because you wanted to help people?

Start to reflect, is your WHY alive in what you are doing today as an adult? If so, how? If not, why not?

Starting a coaching business is an opportunity for you to reconnect back to that little version of you. It’s a chance to make money, have an impact, and feel lit up each and every day. There are truly no limits to what you can coach on. Feeling connected to a greater WHY – which often is grounded by passion – is absolutely imperative to starting a successful coaching business because ultimately YOU are your product, and how you feel and show up every day will be evident to future or potential buyers.

Step 2: Identify your problem

Once you know what you’re passionate about, think about a problem that you might be able to solve in connection to that passion. Here are some examples.

  • Passion: Equal Pay // Problem to Solve: Helping women make more money
  • Passion: Crochet // Problem to Solve: Helping people learn how to crochet
  • Passion: PR // Problem to Solve: Helping entrepreneurs learn to do their own PR
  • Passion: Holistic Health // Problem to Solve: Helping people get healthy holistically

In the coaching business, you are ultimately selling the solution to a problem. Thus, it’s important that you are crystal clear on the problem that you are able to solve. One critical difference between coaching and consulting is that in coaching you are teaching people how to do something, whereas in consulting you are generally doing it for them. An example we like to use is a coach teaches someone how to fish so they can be self-sufficient, where a consultant fishes for them.

Step 3: Identify your ideal business model

What lifestyle do you want to live? Here are some questions to consider:

  • When do you want to work? (Think in both hours, days, and seasons)
  • How often do you want to work? (Again, think in both hours, days, and seasons)
  • Do you want to be virtual or IRL? (AKA do you want to work in an office, from home, or be able to travel and work from anywhere?)
  • Do you want a team? (And the responsibility that goes along with a team)
  • Do you want to work 1:1 with clients or with Groups?

The answer to these questions will help you begin to craft what type of coaching business model you want to build. For example, let’s say you identify that you only want to work weekends and you want to work 1:1 with clients in real life. Well then, your offerings will only be available on weekends to a limited number of individuals and they must be close by or willing to travel. Furthermore, because you are only working 2 out of 7 days of the week, your pricing and offering suite will have to account for the condensed timeline when you look at total revenue goals.

We have a mini e-book available on the 5 numbers you need to know to start a coaching business. Take a quick pause and download the book as this will help you go extra deep and outline the specifics.

Step 4: Identify your people

Ideal Client, Ideal Client Avatar, Dream Client, Target Audience… you can call this concept a lot of different things but it all boils down to the question of “who do you want to work with?” Here are some demographics and psychographics to consider. Do you want to work with…

  • A specific gender?
  • An age group?
  • A life stage?
  • A knowledge level (beginner vs advanced)?
  • A certain level of income?
  • A person who has a specific type of job?
  • Someone who is spiritual?
  • People who are married or have kids?
  • …the list continues

It’s very important to identify “your people” because it will help you market to them efficiently. It will also help you to figure out “where they hang out” which leads us into Step 5.

Step 5: Identify how you will reach your people

After you know your who, your what, and your why (Steps 1-4), it’s important to identify HOW you are going to reach these people. Because in order for this to be a profitable coaching business, you need to have actual paying clients right?

When thinking about how you will reach your ideal clients, this is when it becomes especially important to understand the demographics of your audience back in Step 4. For example, if you are trying to reach them on social media and your ideal client is 60+, you probably won’t be reaching them on TikTok. If you’re servicing new mothers, perhaps it’s worth checking out mom groups or mom blogs. Identifying where to show up and how to reach your people, will lead towards where you need to market.

Step 6: Identify your authority

In Step 5 we identified how we’re going to reach our people. Now let’s review how we going to get them to buy in. Sales psychology tells us that in order for people to buy, they need to “know, like, and trust” a person or product. Thus (and overly simplified), we need potential clients to think we’re legit! In order for them to believe in us, we first need to believe in ourselves. If you don’t immediately have a list of credentials that come to mind, whip out that journal and start brainstorming. Here are some examples of what can qualify.

Problem Solved: Teaching people how to eat healthier (Health Coach) // Credibility: Do you have a degree? Or do you have a personal transformation story backed by hundreds of hours of research? Both work!

Problem Solved: Help people land new jobs (Career Coach) // Credibility: Have you worked in HR for 5 years? Or did you go through a successful job search process of your own that has been shared with and successfully executed by all of your friends? Both work!

While discussing authority we’d be remiss not to discuss the authority of a Coaching Certification. To date, the coaching industry is unregulated meaning you do not have to be certified in order to be a coach. While certifications can be amazing, you can still coach without one. Ultimately the buyer has the choice of who they feel comfortable hiring. As long as you’re being transparent, then there is absolutely no reason you can’t build a successful coaching business backed by life experiences – if that’s the route you take, your experience is exactly what you’ll leverage as your credibility.

The Knitty Gritty

The above 6 steps will provide you with a really great roadmap on how to get started in building a coaching business. Beyond this outline, you will also need to get the following components in order.

Get your legal ducks in a row. This includes officially registering your business, getting contracts in place, trademarks, etc. Our best piece of advice here is to consult with a lawyer and accountant. One lawyer we recommend for female business owners specifically is Colynn O’Brien of Iluma Law Firm.

Software & Systems

Basic systems you should have in place include (but are not limited to); Accounting software (or a really organized excel sheet); Payment processing software; Client communication systems (example, email, Zoom, and Slack); Contract collection system.

Marketing Platforms

We would advise selecting an email marketing software (such as Mailchimp or Flodesk) and getting a basic website set up on Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. You’ll also want to at the very least “claim your name” across a variety of social media accounts should you wish to activate.


You’ll want to have a basic understanding of what you’re coaching on to sell. If you’re just starting out, you can create a basic outline with associated materials (depending on how structured you want your coaching to be). You can also work with a beta client to co-create more in-depth versions of your offerings. Know that these will likely continue to evolve over time.

Where to go from here

While the coaching life is depicted as being glamorous and built on your terms, the reality can often look a whole lot different. Rather than living on an island sipping spicy margaritas in between coaching calls or “effortlessly” signing 10K months, you find yourself spending countless hours searching for your ideal clients, doing all the free trainings, and working tirelessly as you attempt to differentiate yourself in a saturated market — only to be chasing people to even book a free call and wondering when the clock’s going to strike midnight forcing you to return to your dreaded day job. The struggle is, well, very real, for not just some – but most. If you find yourself dreaming and thinking what if…

…the “magic formula” to building a profitable and sustainable coaching business didn’t have to be so complicated?

…attaining your version of a dream life didn’t have to remain on your far away someday list?

…someone took the time to sift through all the CRAP that’s out there and finally created a program built specifically and ONLY for well-intentioned and qualified coaches and coaches-to-be just. like. YOU?

Then you’re in luck! That is exactly what Ready Set Coach is here to deliver. A turnkey program that teaches coaches how to build a profitable coaching business to support their dream lifestyle.

If you’re ready to finally build a profitable business so you can live the life you’ve always dreamed of, learn more about the program here.

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