Creating a Business Plan
After you've done all the background for your business coaching service, you need to compile a business plan. A business plan is a document that serves as a blueprint for your business and lays out all the details for the first few years of your operation. 2 Basically, you're taking all of the research and preparation you did and are putting it down on paper. You can use it as a reference once you get started of what to do and can be especially helpful if this is the first time you are starting and operating your own business by yourself.
You're going to want to make sure that your business plan fits with what you need for your business coaching service. Clients that run their own business are going to have a business plan for themselves, and you will probably need to be familiar with the concept for your coaching. Most business owners and operators will have their goals for their business in their plan, so it will definitely come up at some point during a session.
While your business plan will be specified for your business coaching service, you should still follow the standard outline used by others. It is typically broken up into seven parts, all covering elements of the business and the desires you as the owner have for it. 3 Much of what you will include in your business plan is covered by the information in the rest of this article.. You are able to use a template for your business plan-many do for the sake of time and convenience-from the internet or through your word processing program. If you have Microsoft Word, you can search "business plan" when you open a new document and it will present you with the basic formatting for a business plan. However you should include sections that cover the following:
Structuring Your Business
As part of the planning stage of your business coaching career and service, you need to decide how the business itself will be structured. This is one of the most important aspects of starting your coaching service as it will shape your daily business routine. Most of what you include in your business structure will be permanent, like your service's name. Spending a little extra time and care with your business structure is always a good idea, and will be well worth it in the long run.
You want to make sure that the name you choose is going to not only be something you like-you will be stuck with it for some time, even if you change it-and is appropriate for business coaching. You may also want to make sure that it will not cause any confusion for potential clients, especially if it is similar to the name of another business or company.
Your standard operations should not be a strict schedule for each business day, but rather a basic outline that can be added to and adjusted when necessary. If you are going to be available to clients five days a week, then which days will it be and for how long during each day? If there are certain things you want to accomplish weekly, what are they and when will they need to be done by? Determining what your standard operations will be is going to keep you on track while you work; they will eventually become a part of your business routine.
Some business coaches set the policies for their coaching service to keep themselves in line. They may have a policies about client relations, such as how many clients they will allow themselves to work with at any given time or the maximum amount of time that they can dedicate to a single client. Such a set of policies can be vital to keeping yourself from taking on too much at once or from falling behind on your work.
You may include policies for employees, especially if you plan to grow your business coaching service. This could include policies governing human resources aspects such as hiring and terminating staff, roles and responsibilities, and how to handle complaints against staff members from clientele.
What Do You Plan to Offer?
As part of getting started with your business coaching career and creating your coaching service, you will need to think about what it is you plan to offer. Simply saying that you will offer business coaching services is too vague and will not provide enough information for your clients. That information is going to be useful in multiple different aspects of your coaching career, so it is incredibly important for you to figure it out.
You will not be able to operate as a business coach if you do not have all the requirements to run your own service. After you have become certified as a business coach and begun the process of starting your own coaching service, you will need to work towards meeting all of the correct requirements and supplies to operate.
This article will discuss the different requirements you may have to meet in order to start working with clients as a business coach. Aspects such as licensing, tax information, supplies, and legal issues are included below. However, the following includes information for a general business coaching service only. It does not cover any additional requirements you may have for any specializations you choose to offer or those set forth through local laws.
Licensing & Permits
Business operation license requirements will also be determined by the type of business. Coaching services do not need a specific license, but they will fall into certain legal categories. This will be determined by your business structure. 3 As a business coach, you will most likely be operating alone and will qualify as a sole proprietor. Depending on the requirements of the state you are operating in, you may count as a limited liability company (LLC) or some other classification.
A landlord for a rented commercial space will often require you to show proof that you are fully licensed. They should have all the correct paperwork filed and up-to-date for their property to be used for business purposes, including all permits and zoning requirements as determined by the state and local government. This should include things like safety requirements for things like fire codes, structural safety, and so on. Be sure to check for this information before you sign any leasing agreement. Likewise, if you purchase rather than rent a space for your business coaching service, make sure that you have all of the necessary permits filed before opening it for business.
Tax information is another aspect of your business requirements that you will need to prepare for your business coaching service and career. The taxes for your business coaching service will be affected by things such as the service's legal classification and your role in the service. Things such as whether or not you have a partner involved in your business, if you are part of a coaching firm, or if you operate as an independent contractor will determine tax information like the types of forms you fill out and how you are taxed.
All tax information-forms, returns, quarterly payments, etc.-are your responsibility as the business owner. Depending on how you operate your business coaching service, you may be eligible for certain deductions or be required to pay certain taxes. If you are a sole proprietor or independent contractor, you will most likely have to keep your business and personal tax filings separate.
If you have employees under your care at any time in your business coaching career, you will need to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes. All businesses, regardless of the number of employees under their care, must apply for an EIN. Your employees will need to know your EIN for their own tax purposes, so it is best to get it set up as soon as possible.
Equipment and Supplies
For business coaching, there really isn't any required equipment or supplies that you must have to operate your coaching service. Your main product is your coaching skills and abilities, which isn't something you can get from the store or from a supplier. However, you may need certain pieces of equipment and supply items based on how you have your service set-up.
It is entirely your decision if you want to have any additional equipment or supplies as part of your business coaching career. Many coaches are fine using their own abilities and nothing more, but there are options if you are not comfortable with that or if your service expands to the point where that is no longer possible. The following are simply suggestions that you can do with what you will.
If you work out of a home office, you will mainly need basic office equipment. Electronic items like a computer, printer, fax, and phone are common and can be customized to your needs. Items like writing utensils, stationary, and other office tools are fairly easy to come by and can simply be acquired at any local store that carries business or office supplies.
If you plan on attending conferences and conventions, you will need travel supplies for them. Often, this includes travel-ready containers for any other supplies that you want to bring-especially if you have marketing or informational materials to distribute. You will obviously need personal supplies for the duration of the conference or convention, which will be entirely up to you.
As stated above, you will then need something to put them in to safely move them from location to location. You will also need equipment for storing those items when they are not in use, even if it's just shelving or a covered storage container. You will want to make sure that the equipment you are using to store any of your coaching materials is going to be sturdy and can withstand some degree of damage being inflicted upon it.
For marketing, it depends on if you do your own marketing and what strategies you use. If all of your marketing is online, then the only equipment you'll really need is a computer and a reliable internet connection. Any software programs that you need to make marketing materials, if you are not hiring someone else to make them for you, will also be necessary equipment. Printed marketing materials like business cards, signs, and flyers will need the correct equipment to make-again, unless you are using an outside source to make them-and store them in between usage.
Whatever equipment and supplies you deem necessary for your business coaching, you should make sure that they are in good condition and come from reputable sources. You should not need to go through a supplier for any of your equipment. However, any supplies that you go through quickly-basic office supplies like printer paper, for example-may be best bought in bulk. Some retailers, like Amazon and Costco, offer rewards programs where you can get your necessary supplies in bulk or get regular access to discounts and deals on orders.
You may find that there are no licensing or certification requirements specific to business coaching. While there are coaches who operate without certification or who suggest that it is not necessary, coaching without some level of certification is not recommended. 5 Certification legitimizes you as a professional who knows what they are doing. Without certification, you may be potentially putting yourself at risk for legal issues with your clients, like liability.
Liability is the degree to which you are responsible for something by law. Many professionals, as added protection, seek liability insurance for their businesses and themselves regardless of profession or industry. The insurance serves to cover businesses and business owners in the event that they are sued for liability and provide some cushion from the legal fallout of a lawsuit. It can be applied for anyone associated with your business, including-but not limited to-clients and employees.
For your business coaching, you will most likely have some type of contract between you and the client that certifies that you will provide a service to the client in exchange for payment. From a legal standpoint, the contract holds you and the client liable for your respective responsibilities in your business arrangement. If you fail to uphold your end of the contract, you will be seen as in violation of the law and your client may then act upon it through legal action. As such, it is highly recommended that you look into any legal protection, like liability, for your business coaching career and treat it as a necessity. It's like having a fire extinguisher or first aid kit in your home; you may never need to use it, but you still want to have it there just in case.