The Beginner’s Guide to Business Coaching

Think you need all the answers before becoming a business coach and building a successful coaching business?

Maybe you believe you need multiple business coaching programs or get a business coach certification or that you have to be on a first-name basis with “industry insiders” to get ahead?

If any or all of the above apply to you, let me bust these myths and say that none of these are true!

So many people dream of becoming world-class business coaches.

They imagine what it would be like to serve countless clients and have a positive impact on the world…

They imagine how their lives would change when they start creating a great income doing what they love.

But here’s the problem…

Most people stop there.

They don’t actually go out into the world and try to make that awesome dream a reality.

And while some of them may take a shot at it, sooner or later - sometimes in just a few weeks – they give up.

This isn’t because they’re not motivated enough or disciplined enough…

And it’s not because they’re not smart enough or skilled enough.

It’s because they have the wrong ideas and beliefs about what it actually takes to become a truly great business coach with a sustainable, successful business.

I’ve worked with thousands of coaches from around the world and here’s the no-holds-barred truth of the situation…

The secret to becoming a business coach is about understanding your skills, gifts, and talents. It's about tuning into your speciality or niche, working from your zone of genius and serving the right audience - the people who need your expertise.

It’s about having the right mindset to coach these clients and serve them, even if you think they are more successful than you.

It's about having the right tools, techniques, and strategies to create consistent results, build your credibility, and grow your audience.

And that’s what this guidebook is all about.

This guidebook is designed to kickstart your journey to becoming a phenomenally successful business coach, even if you’re just getting started.

Who Is a Business Coach?

Business coaches help organizations build a solid foundation, allowing them to make decisions that are in line with their value structure and what is most valuable. Coaching can help bring clarity and direction to any organization, whether it's a short-term or long-term goal.

As more and more people choose to become entrepreneurs, the demand for business coaches who are ready to support the tremendous flood of smart, driven, creative people who are ready to build successful businesses increases at a fast rate.

What exactly can a business coach bring with them? Let's see.

What Does a Business Coach Do?

A study by Metrix Global LLC, as quoted on Brian Tracy International, shows that the ROI on business coaching is nothing short of remarkable…

Here are some of the results you can expect from business coaching:

1. Business Coaches Assist Employees

Usually, executives or managers seek advice or feedback from their coach if they don't know how to deal with a particular situation. Help may be sought before the difficult situation hits a critical status. Business coaches can help improve management skills and employee self-esteem.

2. Business Coaches Help Managers Develop Solutions

Managers usually know how to act and what to do. The coach's job is to get answers from the manager so that he can develop his own solution. Coaches can offer options, make recommendations, and even provide feedback, but ultimately the manager must have the answer.

3. Business Coaches Provide Tools and Methods

As an external coach, you teach your clients, and not do the work for them. Be it for managers, executives, or business owners, your purpose is to make them self-sufficient. The role of the coach is to provide the tools needed to succeed in the role within the business organization.

The role of the coach must be clear. Coaches are important to companies, management, and employees, but they are outsiders, and it is very important to set clear and concise guidelines from the beginning so that they do not cross boundaries.

What Can a Business Coach Help With?

Running your own business can make you always feel like you are being pulled in multiple directions. When every day is busy, it's hard to know if you're taking the right approach to achieve your goals. You can get the support you need from your business coach.

Whether your business is facing a challenge or just wants to take it to the next level, business coaches support your goals and provide a blueprint for success. They can help you gain the tactics, skills, and insights you need to achieve professional, financial, and personal growth.

1. Accountability

Business coaches allow you to see the potential for using your talents and skills, but they make you accountable. All of us progress faster when we have someone to answer to. When you begin to go off-track, a good trainer will ensure that you follow the right path. They also make you accountable and motivate you while tracking your progress.

2. Achievable Goals

Your coach will work with you, step by step, to define what you want and how to achieve it so that you can lay out the groundwork to achieve your goals. A business coach makes sure your goals are intelligent and realistic and helps you develop a goal-setting plan to reach them. Whether it's scheduling schedules, prioritizing tasks, or helping you manage your time more efficiently, your coach will work with you to help you achieve more of your business and personal goals.

3. Organization

As a business owner, you might tend to be overwhelmed by your daily work. Business coaches provide the structure and organization needed to run a business smoothly. Coaches can help implement and maintain systems and structures for success. Not only do they provide you with an effective time management plan, but they also provide tips and strategies for improving your performance based on your work style and personality.

4. Business Plan

Experienced coaches can guide you in creating the perfect business plan and help you implement and maintain a successful system wherever you are in your organization. From clear and concrete goals to strategic action steps, you'll know all about the key elements of a successful business plan.

5. Marketing Ideas

Whether you don't have the time to make a marketing plan or don't know how to make one, your business coach can help you create a personalized, easy-to-implement marketing strategy. This will help you learn how to acquire new leads while increasing the value of your current customer relationships.

6. Unbiased and Constructive Advice

Business coaches give unbiased and constructive criticism. Your colleagues, friends, or family may be biased in their opinions, but when you hire a business coach, they give you insights that others around you may not be able to. They can often discover solutions that may be overlooked by you or those working closely with your business.

7. Confidence

As you work toward your goals, you may feel that you are not where you want to be. Business coaches help you take stock of how far you have come and what you have achieved. They provide support and encouragement to help you ultimately lead with confidence and learn to overcome challenges. They also remind you to celebrate your small victories.

8. Fresh Perspective

If you get too absorbed in your business, it's easy to overlook the obvious. A fresh perspective from a business coach can help you find unexpected problems and solutions. They increase your self-confidence and reveal your blind spots so that you can do your best.

9. Growth

Maybe your income remains the same each year, or you may be struggling to increase the quantity or quality of your leads. A good business coach can take your business to the next level by helping you create strategic and business-enabled plans. These help you sort and qualify your database, so you can clearly determine the best way to generate lead types that drive significant growth.

10. Balance

A good business coach will teach you how to balance your work and personal life. As an entrepreneur, you are often accustomed to spending all your time and energy on your work.

They can help you strike a balance between both. After all, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy…

Who Needs a Business Coach?

You might need a business coach if you are:

A successful leader seeking a fresh perspective on how to move their business forward.

An entrepreneur who wants to set new directions and measurable goals for their business.

An entrepreneur who wants to empower their teams and take responsibility for their actions.

An executive who wants a better work-life balance.

7 Mindset Traits Of A Successful Business Coach

Before we get into the practices and strategies that will set you up for success as a business coach, let’s tackle the most important element that influences your future.

This is the ONE thing that will decide your destiny - your mindset.

The bad news is, most new – and even experienced - coaches have no clue they’re “thinking” their way to failure.

The good news is you have 100% control over your mindset - the thoughts and beliefs that impact your inner world.

You might have heard of a popular quote by one of the world’s most successful coaches – Tony Robbins who said “Success leaves clues.”

But there’s actually a lot more to it than that. Tony’s full quote…

If you want to become a phenomenally successful business coach, it makes sense to “copy” the mindset of phenomenally successful business coaches.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of coaching and personally partnering with some of the best business coaches in the world and I’ve collected a comprehensive list of their attitude and approach to their work – their mindset.

Here’s a look inside the mind of a successful business coach.

Top 7 Mindset Traits of a Successful

Business Coach

01 Self-Belief
They believe in their coaching skills, products, and services. They have 100% belief and confidence in themselves and their ability to help and create results for others.

02 Lifelong Learner
They never stop learning. They’re always looking for ways to improve their personal and professional growth, and they’re happy to invest in themselves. The best coaches are always on the lookout for seminars, trainings, online courses, and in-person workshops that will boost their skills.

03 Purposeful
They’re dedicated to creating a great income with their business but they have a bigger “why,” a bigger purpose that motivates them like “helping single moms find financial freedom,” or “showing 9-to-5ers how to make the switch to entrepreneurship for more freedom and joy.”

04 Accountable
They hold themselves accountable for the results they create in their lives. They’re extremely focused on their goals and dreams, and they don’t get distracted.

05 Driven
They are driven to becoming the best possible business coach they can be. They’re ambitious and motivated to keep going until they get what they want. They’re not afraid of hard work and willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top.

06 Brave
They don’t seek praise and approval – especially not from clients. All of their attention and energy is on helping clients hit their goals. The best business coaches are brave enough to tell their clients what they need to hear not what they want to hear.

07 Service-Oriented
They want to help as many people as they can with the work they do. They enjoy contributing and being of service to others and they love that business coaching gives them the chance to do that.

How To Become a Business Coach

There are three main requirements to become a professional business coach.

  1. 1
    Completing Coaching Training – You must complete 125 hours of coaching training. It can be attended as live classroom training, online face-to-face training, or both.
  2. 2
    Mentoring – You must receive 10 hours of mentoring according to ICF requirements.
  3. 3
    Business Training - If you don't have prior business experience, it's important you choose a certification that includes business training or go through a business consulting training that will give you the tools and methodology needed to help businesses.

ICF Credentials, the only professional coaching designation globally recognized, shows that coaches have met rigorous training and experience requirements and demonstrate a commitment to coaching excellence.

And you can achieve that by participating in our Certified Business Coach Certification Program!

Whether you want to be a demanding business coach, build a successful career in your organization, or take your business to new heights, this program will help you.

This is a four-month hands-on, detailed training course taught by the best talent in the professional business coaching industry. For more information on the program, you can head over to this page!

How To Find Your Business Coaching Niche

Let me ask you a question…

Now that you know you want to be a business coach, are you clear on the topic or area you want to specialize in?

In other words, do you know your coaching niche?

It’s going to be a long, rocky road ahead if you don’t pick a specific and clear coaching niche as a business coach.

Some coaches resist doing it because they want to “spread the net” wide and "help everyone."

They want to have options to help clients work on all aspects of their business.

This may sound like a great idea, but there are many reasons why it’s not.

The ugly truth is, helping everyone is helping no one.

For one thing, when you don’t have a niche, you’ll jump from one topic to another in your marketing material and copy.

You’ll confuse potential clients and end up losing them.

You’ll also lose clients to other business coaches who took the time and trouble to pick a niche.

Think about it…

If a business owner wants to work on boosting their closing rates in sales conversations, which option would they choose?

Option 1: A “general” business coach.

Option 2: A business coach specializing in sales conversations.

No-brainer, right?

And the benefits don’t stop there.

The coaching industry is growing at an exponential rate.

Every single day, more and more coaches enter the market and, while this indicates excellent growth for the industry, it also means a lot more competition for you.

When you don’t specialize in a specific niche or area of business, you end up lost in a sea of other business coaches and your chances for success drops dramatically.

Niching lets you stand out in a crowded marketplace, for all the right reasons.

Some popular niches in business coaching include small business coaching, high-performance coaching for entrepreneurs, executive business coaching, business mindset coaching, productivity coaching for business owners…

The list is endless.

Here’s what I mean…
Good: You work with millennials looking to start a business.
Better: You work with millennials looking to start a service-based business.
Best: You work with millennials looking to start a service-based, copywriting business.

When you niche down to the details, you’re sending a clear signal to a very specific group of potential clients.

You'll also be able to communicate your message powerfully and effectively, so your potential clients will know exactly what you do, how you can help them, and what they can get as a result of working with you.

They’ll read that signal and instantly understand that you are the right coach for them.

A specific niche is the best way to get their attention and motivate them to work with you and not one of the thousands of “general” business coaches in the industry.

6 Questions To Identify Your Ideal Business Clients

Successful business coaches have a clear idea of who they serve because they understand something so many business coaches don’t…

Everything you do is connected to who you want to work with as a business coach.

From designing your client sessions and coaching offers to designing your website, you must have your ideal clients – sometimes known as your “target audience” – at the top of your mind.

If you don’t, you could wind up with a failed business.

Something else to keep in mind…

Identifying your ideal clients isn’t about basic demographics.

If you end up with a list like “20 to 35-year-old female, lives in the United States, has 2 kids…” you’re not on the right track.

Think about this…

Other than a spouse, family members, and close friends, the coaching client relationship is one of the deepest, most intimate relationships you can create and nurture. Which is why, simply narrowing doing your ideal client by their “gender and age” doesn’t quite cut it.

This is about going deep and finding out who you’ll actually enjoy working with, because if you don’t, you’re in for a world of trouble.

Coaches who don’t define their ideal clients end up working with anyone who hires them.

You could get a client who keeps trying for a discount or a freebie.

You could get a client who is too outspoken or maybe someone who is too quiet.

You could get a client who doesn’t respect your boundaries and contacts you at any time of day, at any day, expecting a quick reply.

You could get a client who constantly challenges you and your ideas in all the wrong ways.

Identifying your ideal client early in the game can prevent all these issues and more.

It's about finding the type of client you look forward to working with, that is doing meaningful work in the world, and who can create more impact with your help as their coach.

Plus, knowing your ideal clients and understanding their needs will help you create irresistible coaching packages and products that are a perfect fit.

By understanding exactly what your ideal clients are looking for, you can craft and offer coaching packages that directly address their wants and needs, making it easy for them to say "yes!" and enroll.

It’s why a successful business coach always has a long waitlist of clients and it’s the secret behind their sellout group coaching programs and offers.

If we think about it like a 'starting a coaching business checklist,' this is definitely #1.

Trying to build a successful coaching business without knowing who your ideal clients are is like trying to build a house without knowing if you want a mansion, a villa or a country cottage…

You’ll end up in a home you don’t want to live in.

Define your ideal clients

Reflect on the following 6 questions to start thinking about your ideal business client. You can write your answers down on a journal or create an audio recording:

  1. 1
    Who inspires you?
  2. 2
    Who would you spend time with even if you weren’t getting paid?
  3. 3
    Who brings out the best in you? What kind of conversations are the most interesting for you?
  4. 4
    Who would you enjoy helping? What fields of work are you passionate about?
  5. 5
    Who would you dislike working with? Note: knowing who you don’t want to work with can help clarify who you do want to work with.
  6. 6
    Who would benefit from your niche? What kind of results or outcomes can you create for your ideal clients?

Building Your Credibility As A Business Coach

Lots of business coaches dive into the “deep end of the pool” the second they start their business.

They jump into creating programs and offers, running expensive ads, and even raising their prices without thinking about the one thing that could make or break their business…


Credibility is about trust.

When you build credibility…

When you build a solid reputation as a business coach…

You're building trust with your audience.

In coaching, trust is about results.

From the first day you start business coaching, you need to focus on creating results for your clients.

Results speak for you. Results create your reputation.

Results inspire word-of-mouth referrals.

If you’ve never worked with a client, think about other ways you can include credibility in your marketing and copy.

Do you have a business degree or certification? Have you worked in a corporation or 9-to-5 environment in your niche or specialty? Are you a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record?

Dig into your past. Think about all that you’ve achieved…

Then include anything and everything that supports you as a credible, trustworthy business coach.

Money can’t buy you a great reputation…

But authentic messaging, building genuine relationships with your audience and clients, and being open to continuously and consistently improving your skills as a business coach will definitely add to your credibility.

A big pitfall to look out for…

Don’t ever sacrifice your credibility for profits or personal gain.

So many shining stars who start business coaching end up falling to the ground because they choose money over reputation.

Whether you’re making a decision to partner with someone, price your coaching services and products, or write copy for a sales page ask yourself…

Will this hurt or help my credibility?

I’ve used this question to make decisions in all areas of my coaching business and it has never let me down. 

Credibility boosting ideas

This list of credibility boosting ideas will help you start business coaching with a rock-solid reputation in your niche.

  1. 1
    Create your own, unique coaching methodology that you want to be known for. (check out my Ultimate Guide to Creating a Powerful Coaching Methodology to learn how to do this)
  2. 2
    Consider getting credentials or in a specific technique related to your niche. This doesn’t have to be a complicated thing. A simple certification course or workshop will go a long way.
  3. 3
    Collect testimonials from happy clients. (Note: Written testimonials are great, but video testimonials rock! Aim to collect as many video testimonials as you can.)
  4. 4
    Volunteer your services for a good cause or non-profit organization. This is a powerful way to give back and demonstrate your commitment and dedication as a business coach at the same time.
  5. 5
    Become more visible on social media and online. Share your transformational thoughts, ideas and insights on video, blog posts, and social media posts.
  6. 6
    Connect with a reputable acclaimed coach or coaching organization and ask if you can contribute or partner with them in any way.

Coaching Questions To Ask New Business Clients

Today, there are hundreds of millions of businesses around the world. Factors that impede the growth of one business can be factors that help another thrive – it varies from one business to the next.

Therefore, as a business coach, if you want to be aware of your client's needs and succeed in running your company, it is imperative that you be able to provide insights in the form of coaching that is tailored to your client's needs.

And the first step? It’s asking them the right questions.

Here are a few to get you started:

  1. 1
    What is the name of the company?
  2. 2
    Please provide a brief description of what product(s)/service(s) your company offers.
  3. 3
    What is your role within the company?
  4. 4
    What does your ideal client look like?
  5. 5
    How do you generate leads?
  6. 6
    What helps you stick out from your competitors?
  7. 7
    What are your biggest struggles within the business?
  8. 8
    Where do you see yourself and the company in ten years' time?
  9. 9
    What is your marketing strategy?
  10. 10
    What is the market like for your company, domestically and internationally?

Enroll Your First Business Client

Business coaching is a career that has the potential to send you flying to great heights. It’s a fulfilling, demanding career that’s perfect for people who think on their feet and are always on the lookout for the next big challenge!

Discover how to craft a proposal template for your business and executive prospects.

Land Your First Or Next Executive Coaching Client

Free coaching proposal template allows you to approach and land executive and corporate coaching clients with ease and confidence.