How to Scale your Coaching Business so you can grow financially beyond the constraints of hours per week and personal energy per day.
This we know to be true. There are only a certain number of hours in a day and a certain amount of energy an individual has with which they are able to function productively and at their best. The hours per day via the clock are the same for everyone. The energy varies from person to person, but there is a common average spread after subtracting sleep and time for activities other than work. So how do you scale your coaching business beyond those two parameters?
Within the coaching industry (life coaching, business coaching, etc….) the prevailing winds have pointed to automated and group coaching programs. These programs enable coaches to teach and impact exponentially more people per hour and energy unit than can be done through one-on-one coaching. By creating video based education often combined with live group conference calls or webinars for questions and insight, a coach can work hard on the front end and reap ongoing rewards for years to come. She can enroll hundreds if not thousands of people into her programs and thus step outside of the confines of hours per week and energy per day.
The paradigm works. There is no question that stepping outside of the box of one-on-one coaching – modeled on the the 50 minute psychotherapy hour – expands the reach, impact and income of life coaches, business coaches, marketing coaches, etc…
A problem arises when one dives more deeply into the art of coaching itself and the actual manner in which change happens and people grow. A reader of mine commented on my previous blog post,
“In my daily interactions I have seen the power of crucial conversations in a coaching/mentoring relationship and I believe that through these conversations self discovery and learning takes place and through self discovery and learning comes sustainable growth and development…”
Much can be taught through video based education and group learning experiences. I fully support those formats when presented and utilized for the right reasons with an understanding of their power and challenges. You can teach so many things this way, as evidenced by the stellar success of websites ranging from Kahn Academy, to Udemy. In many ways online and group coaching programs mimic a classroom experience, complete with lectures, group discussion and the opportunity for questions directed to the professor.
Coaching for deeper level change is a completely different animal from teaching. Coaching done well in many ways is more akin to psychotherapy than it is to education or training. Coaching teaches and trains, but before it does it meets a client in the exact place where that clients is stuck or confused or frustrated, and teases out the underlying stories and blocks to facilitate true shift and forward movement.
In a previous article I share the story of two clients, both immensely skilled in their craft and both for whom, ” The work had to be done through dialogue – through questions and answers – through intimate, facilitated exploration of THEIR STORY and THEIR STUMBLING BLOCKS. Without that type of discovery and even challenge, there would have been surface changes but not the uncovering and recreating that was necessary to bring them and their business to the next level.”
What is a life coach or business coach then to do in order to scale your coaching business beyond the confines we discussed earlier? The answer lies within the realm of both value based fee structure and creativity. Just last week a client of mine shared how she was pricing her services. Within her industry (Corporate Executive Presentation Coaching) she was quite low and she knew it. As we explored the END VALUE of the services she provides to her clients, she had a light bulb moment. The coaching that she does leads consistently to increased sales and job satisfaction within the hundred plus employee organizations for which she works. The end value is something that can be measured years into the future! With that knowledge, putting a vastly higher price tag on her services made perfect sense, and with that new fee structure she automatically scaled her business into a far greater yearly income for herself with FEWER HOURS of work.
Smart organization of your coaching services in another way to scale your coaching business while still providing change oriented one-on-one coaching. There are times to offer your services by the hour, but those times are rare. In my years of work in the industry I have found it far better to create holistic individualized programs based on the particular needs of your client and include value added components. People like to see what they are getting for their money and they are more apt to pay for coaching wherein their particular goals and the objective steps to the goal are laid out beforehand. It is easier to justify spending money when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I bring my perspective clients through an intensive interview process and present them with an in depth outline of the work prior to their final decision to hire me. In this manner I am able to easily charge a higher fee commensurate with the END VALUE they will receive.
For coaches who specializes in the type of shift and change that occurs through dialogue and in depth exploration, there are many creative options for scaling your business beyond your one-on-one client contact time. A few examples include:
- Mastermind groups for existing clients
- Retreat weekends for existing clients or as a launch pad for ongoing work
- Public Speaking
- Authoring Books
- Online “how to” courses for specific educational curriculum
- Follow up groups on specific training topics
- Intro courses
The list is virtually endless, limited only by your own creativity. In the world of sales – which is nothing more than the presentation of a good solution to a customer’s problem – the ideal is to create a flow of movement through your business offerings. By developing a menu of options to connect with your knowledge and expertise, you can bring clients into your coaching business in a variety of ways and naturally lead them through your offerings in a manner relevant to their particular needs. It is this practice of defining and then creating your overall coaching business structure, that is often the work I do with my own clients. The goal is to provide enduring value to customers in clients in a manner that is financially sustainable and give your joy in the process.
You can now see how simple it is to Scale your Coaching Business so you can grow financially beyond the constraints of hours per week and personal energy per day, without compromising on the inherent power of one-on-one conversation and personalized change oriented dialogue.