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Coaching Businesses: A Simple System for Identifying Which to Trust

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Businesses and Trust

Coaching companies can transform your life or business for the better, but like any profession, coaching has a few charlatans.

The wrong coach or coaching company can actually harm your life and business so you need to know how to identify who to work with. It's as easy as Stop, Wait, and Go.

I learned how to read red, yellow, and green traffic signal lights one day, long ago, as I sat on my tricycle in kindergarten. Probably I remember it because it was the only day I got to bring my trike to school but it was a valuable safety lesson that I have used everyday since. I hope this blog post will prove valuable for you and keep you safe in the world of business and coaching.

If you're a coach, you probably use positivity and intuition to make choices and that is awesome. But as readers of this blog know, using your whole being is even more awesome. Let intuition guide you but also explore your doubts, do your due diligence, bounce ideas off friendly skeptics. Be 90% positive but also explore the wisdom of waiting when it's warranted.

Avoid making big decisions with just half your brain.

To be clear, there are wonderful coaches and coaching companies that just aren't right for you, but that's not what this post is about. I'm talking about the small percentage of coaching companies that are probably not right for anyone. They can hurt you or your business. Even though they aren't the majority, you will encounter them.

Some coaching companies are well-meaning but just don't know what they are doing. A few are actual scams. They claim they will help you succeed by providing clients, or marketing training, or a back office, a website, or whatever. They over-promise, under-deliver, and then disappear. Coaches who do business with them lose their money and often feel shocked, embarrassed, and discouraged when they realize what happened. They may quit coaching as a result. Some have been financially ruined. Some lost friends who tried to warn them.

Below is a list of potential signals that indicate when to STOP because the signs spell trouble, WAIT until you learn more, or GO ahead and take the next step. They are based on actual experiences of real coaches.

Compare these signals to a company you're interested in. No one signal will be enough to decide whether to work with them so add up all the signs and then check in with your intuition, your emotions, your coach, trusted friends,  favorite skeptics, and most of all, dig deep into GOOGLE.

In the end, you're responsible for all your own choices, so choose with wisdom. Think of a company you've considered joining and grade them on each of the following with STOP, WAIT, or GO. Use your own grades to decide. Here goes...

How did you find out about this coaching company?

  • If you find a company on a job-listing website but the "job" turns out to be one where you pay the company rather than them paying you, be careful. This is known in retail as "bait and switch". You're initially offered one attractive option, but when you inquire about it, a salesperson talks you into something else. It may not break any laws but it is misleading and signals that the company isn't as honest as it should be. Trust is incredibly important in coaching because clients share their most cherished dreams with us. Think twice about doing business with a company that has already betrayed yours. Would you Stop, Wait, or Go with this?
  • If a trusted friend invites you to join a great new company they've joined, find out how long they've been with the company and what their own results are. If they just joined or haven't seen definitive results, hesitate. Don't rely on your friend's enthusiasm or the company's own promises to make up your mind. If your friend has been with the company long enough to see positive results, maybe this really is a good opportunity. How would you grade it?
  • If you receive a great-sounding offer in an email from a coaching company you never heard of, it's probably SPAM. No reputable company will ever SPAM you. How would you score SPAM?
  • Did you find the company through a profile on social media or in a directory? If so, is the profile complete and informative? If not, check for other complete profiles for them on the web. If you see a pattern of incomplete profiles, that says, "fly by night". What's your verdict?
  • Did you find the company through online reviews or ratings? If there are a lot of high ratings and reviews, that's great. If there are only a few good ratings or if the reviews sound like they were all written by the same person, the company may have hired someone to write good reviews for them. What's score would you give them?

What is the company's website like?

  • Can you easily find the name of the company and its physical address and telephone number on the website? In some countries this is required by law. Usually that information is located at the bottom of each page, or on pages titled, "About Us" or "Contact Us". Don't spend money with a company if you don't know exactly who and where they are. Stop, Wait, or Go?
  • Is the website only one page long or is the site unfinished? That says, "fly by night." Careful!
  • Does the site have visible trust marks such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or accreditation marks from reputable organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF)? These third-party organizations have requirements that the company must adhere to and may help you if the company fails to uphold them. If there are marks from fake organizations, that's a really bad sign. What score did your company earn here?
  • Does the company tell you what it will do with your personal information if you fill out a form? This is required by law in the European Union and most reputable companies worldwide honor it. The site should promise to keep your information private, not sell it to anyone, and explain what you will get in exchange for sharing it with them. What do you think?

What happens after you join?

  • Are they mainly interested in attracting more coaches/customers rather than in helping you succeed? Stop, Wait, or Go?
  • Do they expect you to do their marketing for them? Or worse, do they expect you to get your friends to do their marketing for them? This rarely works well and it's not what you paid for. How would you score it?
  • Do the tools and processes work as they should? If not, communicate with their support team. They should promptly make it right for you. How's your company doing?
  • If you complain, do they take responsibility, make excuses, or place the blame on you? You know the score.
  • Do they tell you to buy their more-expensive "next level" program where they'll tell you what you really need to know to succeed, even though they already promised that when you bought the program you have? Do they do this in a "coaching session"? Totally unethical in my book. How would you score this?
  • If you tell them you have no more money when they try to sell you more, do they reply that you're thinking too negatively and if you really wanted to succeed you'd open another credit card, take out a second mortgage, borrow from relatives, sell your valuables, or raid your child's tuition account? Some companies are shameless. You get to score them.
  • If you ask for a refund or stop paying your bill, do they ignore you or make an appointment for you with a "coach" who turns out to be a high-pressure bill collector? If you've joined an unethical company you're unlikely to ever get a refund. How would you score that?
  • Did your company dissolve before you got the services you thought you bought? You may have no legal recourse. What's the score?

 

If a company you're interested in scores a lot of STOPs, probably you should forget them.

 

If you want to learn more about how to attract coaching clients, register for this free eCourse based on Thomas Leonard's Principles of Attraction. If you want to understand small-business marketing in general, download this free Bootstrapper's Bible by Seth Godin. Mattison Grey can teach you the subtleties of marketing and sales with trust and integrity, and some coaches swear by C.J. Hayden.

 

Students at this school fill their practices with coaching clients based on Thomas Leonard's Coach 100 idea. It works.

 

Download Your Free Coach 100 eBook

Topics: Coaching Companies, Coach 100, ICF, marketing and sales, Thomas Leonard, Mattison Grey, Attraction Principles, coaching businesses

COACH: Step Away From That Webinar!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching webinarFree webinars (also tele-summits, teleclasses, teleseminars, teleconferences) are an incredible way to learn amazing new stuff from top-notch leaders.

Most new coaches and a lot of not-so-new coaches love to spend time on fantastic webinars. The reasons are 5-fold:

1. Webinars are a cheap, easy, and convenient way to connect with like-minded people from around the world to talk about stuff your family and neighbors may not give a hoot about.

2. As a new coach, you have a lot to learn. What better way to learn it than to listen to the experts tell you how they did it and how you should do it.

3. Practically everyday, another not-to-be-missed webinar series is launched that you simply must attend. Often, these webinars are free, so how can you say, 'No'?

4. You can sit in your bedroom, wear your underwear, pet the cat, drink coffee, and answer email; all while you learn from the world's greatest thought leaders!

5. (Biggest reason) As long as you're taking webinars, you're moving forward on your path to becoming a successful coach, because you're learning and growing, right?

If you're like thousands of other coaches, probably not.

Free webinars are the heroin of coach training: Cheap, available everywhere, trendy (for a while), and incredibly easy to get addicted to. That last point explains why they are so available: Because people get addicted to them, they make  perfect marketing vehicles.

The reason I say you are not moving forward with your business when you are watching webinars, is for one simple reason: You can't build your business that way. You just can't.

And if you're like many of the newbie coaches that I know, the real reason you spend so much time hanging out on webinars is that taking steps to build your coaching business is scary, uncertain, and you are afraid of making mistakes.

Webinars are the coach's favorite excuse for procrastination.

Sorry. The truth isn't always pretty. What can you do about your webinar addiction? Well, until they come with Surgeon General's Warnings or alarms, red flags and flashing lights, you need a plan. And you must stick to your plan. Here are a few points that might help:

  • Figure out how many client hours you want to be coaching each week.
  • Double that number and you have the number of hours each week you need to spend on building your coaching business.
  • Mark those hours off on your calendar and use them to actively build your business. Daily.
  • None of those business-building hours should be spent in webinars.
  • Consider time spent on webinars as entertainment time. Make that time a reward for genuine business-building.
  • Limit your hours in webinars, just as you would limit a child's time watching television.
  • Don't worry if you miss a webinar program. If one coach/guru/marketer is doing something cool this month, you can bet another will do it next month. You'll never miss a thing. Seriously.
Some webinars will benefit you more than others. Prioritize those that are part a progressive (usually paid) program that actively teaches you how to do something you need to know, gets you into action, and gives you feedback on how you're progressing. Also prioritize those programs that you lead, yourself, those that you actively participate in, and those that teach you something you need to know this week, because you are applying the lessons right away. 

Have a big vision for your coaching business and actively create it in reality.

Unless your big coaching vision is of you sitting in your bedroom, wearing your underwear, while you pet the cat, drink coffee, and answer email, step away from the webinars!

If you truly love to coach and have the courage to build a business, but need a plan that doesn't require endless webinars, consider Coach 100 Business Success. It comes with some webinars that will teach you how to fill your coaching business with clients, but you'll spend most of your time coaching and getting clients. 87% who complete the program have full coaching practices! Download the Coach 100 free eBook here.

Fill Your Coaching Business with Coach 100

 

Photo by jerine at flickr creative commons.

Topics: become a coach, Coach 100, coaching clients, make a living as a life coach, Free, Coach Training Programs, coach, teleclass, how to become a coach, coaching businesses

New Coaches: Which of These Entrepreneur Types Should You Be?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaches are often confused when first designing their businesses - and sometimes they feel guilty too! Maybe they think they're spending too little time with the kids, or bringing in too little money. Or maybe the house isn't as clean as it used to be, or key members of family aren't fully on board.

Relax: you're normal!

This infographic from My Corporation will help you see how you compare with other small business owners:

What Kind of Entrepreneur Should You Be?

 

New to the business of coaching, but want to attract clients quickly? Coach 100 has been helping coaches fill their coaching practices for a decade:

Download Your Free Coach 100 eBook

Topics: business coach, life coach, Coaching, become a coach, Coaches, Coach 100, coaching clients, coaching businesses, new coaches

Coaching Businesses Benefit from 2013 U.S. Business Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Written by Julia Stewart

MyCorporation just shared an excellent infographic based on research they did, along with Pepperdine University, that shows wonderful trends for coaching businesses. This was not a study of coaching businesses specifically, but of business, in general. 

Here are some highlights:

  1. 54% of businesses that grew in 2013, were "micro-sized". In other words, tiny businesses, such as coaching businesses, grew the most.
  2. One of the fastest growing sectors included "professional services". In other words, businesses such as coaching businesses.
  3. The "Khan Academy Effect" is driving a revolution in education, with tutoring expected to grow into a $100Billion business in 2014. As you may know, many tutors use coaching skills and many coaches do tutoring. In fact, Khan Academy doesn't call it tutoring; it calls it coaching.
  4. One of the few dark spots in this infographic is that apparently it was harder for businesses to get loans in 2013 than it was in 2012. Since coaching is one of the least expensive businesses to launch, that's not a problem for coaching businesses. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about becoming a successful coach.

MyCorporation - U.S.-Business-Trends Infographic

Want to learn more about becoming a coach and launching your own successful coaching business?

Save 10% on Coach Training Through Jan. 1, 2014

Topics: coaching business, coach training, become a coach, successful business, coaching businesses

Life Coach Salary: Why Every Coach Needs a Steady Paycheck

Posted by Julia Stewart

 

Life Coach Salary

Not long ago, one of my life coach students, who was transitioning from a regular job to owning her own life coach business, commented in class that she was going to miss getting a steady paycheck. I’ll bet! What life coach wouldn’t miss a guaranteed salary?

Well here’s a secret about life coach salary (or executive or business coach salary): Even if you work for yourself, you need a steady paycheck.

No, I didn’t say you need to get a steady job. Your coaching business needs to pay you a steady salary. You really can have the best of both worlds!

This is the first lesson in business finance. But unfortunately for me, I missed this lesson for several years. The result? a constant feast or famine condition that wreaked havoc in my checking account and my life.

This chaos created inordinate stress about money and made it nearly impossible for me to invest, save or even have fun with my money, because I was constantly uncertain how much would be coming in.

The answer? I started paying myself a salary. Stress canceled. Uncertainty eliminated. Balancing my checkbook? No problem!

Actually, the benefits of paying yourself a life coach salary are so numerous that I’m not going to even try to cover them all in this blog post. But before you take action, check with your accountant or attorney.

In my case, getting started with a life coach salary was as simple as transferring a set amount of money every Friday from my business account to my personal checking account. But even if you choose a formal payroll, which has some benefits, it can be simple and easy. Check with your bank or maybe check out Costco’s low-cost payroll service.

How can you start paying yourself a paycheck right away? Take a look at how much money your business brought in the last 3 to 6 months. Average it and subtract your business expenses. That’s your potential salary.

Then take a look at how much you think you need to live on (don’t forget to include estimated tax payments and savings of at least 10%). If what you ‘need’ is more than what your business can afford to pay you, start simplifying your life or get more creative. (For me, it’s a fun game to ask, ‘How could I get this for free or nearly free?’ For instance, I discovered that it’s much more fun and rewarding to check out movies from my library than it is to pay a bloated cable fee.) But if you really can't pay yourself enough, there's no shame in getting a part-time job, until you can.

The funny thing is, although what I initially paid myself seemed like too little, I nearly always had extra money left over at the end of the month - in addition to the money I intentionally saved.

Does this seem too limiting, or at least, not exciting enough? Well if you love excitement, go for the chaos. And if you’re really crazy (been there), try enforcing ‘wealth consciousness’ on yourself while you’re struggling to pay your bills.

Me? I find it much more exciting (in a good way) now that I’m free to plan my financial life based on some solid projections.

As for wealth consciousness, it’s fun watching my savings accounts grow.

And that small salary that I started out with?

One year after I started paying myself a life coach salary, I was able to double my pay.

Want to learn more about how life coaches really make money?

Get the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook

Topics: business coach, life coach, executive coach, Life Coaches, life coach salary, Life Coaching, coaching businesses

Starting a Career in Business Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Become a Business CoachGuest post by Joy Maiywa.

If you are thinking of becoming a business coach, it is most probably because you enjoy helping people establish and grow their businesses. You most likely have a natural ability to recognize things that need improvement and are quick to ask questions or suggest changes that can bring about great results.

Like any career, becoming an effective business coach will first require you to acquire the necessary training apart from having some of the natural traits that go with the job. Business coaching involves a great deal of communicating with others. As such, it helps if you are a good and clear public speaker to succeed in the job. You also need to be friendly, analytical, result-focused, thick-skinned and easy to talk to.

To become a business coach, you will need to familiarize yourself with all that is involved in the opening, running and establishing of a business. You will need to know about business planning, finance, employee management, accounting and even legal issues affecting businesses. The type of knowledge and training you specialize in will determine the kind of businesses you will be handling. You can either choose to coach on general business practice or specialize in a particular business industry.

You can also offer business coaching in segments. For instance, if you would like to become a finance business coach, then your work will involve hosting workshops and seminars to train entrepreneurs on different financial aspects related to their businesses. Some issues you will be handling include how to put together tax forms, correct budgeting, how to avoid losses and bankruptcy, and many more. You can also choose to specialize in business problems, where you can coach people about the different business problems they face and provide the solutions to their problems. The type of field you choose should match your passion and skills. This way, you will be able to effectively mentor others who are lacking in you area of specialization.


You do not have to own a business to start a career in business coaching. You simply need to have the passion for the job and the knowledge and skills that go with business coaching. Say you are an expert in accounting. You can choose general business coach training but coach on this field only. If you are good at marketing, you can also choose to impart your skills on people needing marketing skills.

To become a professional business coach, you need to acquire some level of training for the job. This way, you will be able to effectively help others by improving their lives and the businesses they are in. You will have the skills to successfully motivate others to adopt certain business strategies and techniques that will result in their success and the companies they work in. As you grow in your career, you will also be able to hold workshops and seminars to help others become successful businesspersons. If you are looking for a career change from the corporate life, consider becoming a business coach in your area of specialization.

Joy Maiywa is a professional freelance writer and blogger. She has worked with clients from different fields including technology, education, health, and business and entrepreneurship. She writes for Degree Jungle online rankings, a resource for college students.

Become a Business Coach Quickly

Topics: business coach, coaching business, coaching school, coach training, become a business coach, coaching clients, Business Coaches, certified business coach, coaching businesses, coaching career

Coaches: Do You Want to Be Like Toyota or GM?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach 100 Business SuccessIs a complimentary coaching session still a good way to get coaching clients?

*  How about the online coach directory?
*  What about the free teleclass?
*  And the online coaching newsletter, is it dead? 
If you've been coaching for a while, then you may know that the newsletter, complimentary session, coach directory and fre*e teleclass are old standbys when it comes to building a successful coaching business.
But if you're new to the business of coaching, you may not even need to learn what they are!
That's because business & marketing - including the business of marketing coaching - have changed drastically in the past year or so. And they're still changing faster than ever.
It's partly because of amazing improvements in technology and also because of the chaotic condition of our economy. In fact, the economy is speeding up trends that have been in place for years. If you're not paying attention, you may miss the most valuable opportunities to fill your coaching business this year.
Make no mistake. People still want coaching. But they're finding coaches in brand new ways. Are they finding you? Want them to find you more easily? 
If you interested in finding out more about the trends in coach marketing and how coaches really get clients, including what's new AND what's old that still works, listen to this free teleclass - yes it may be one of the last teleclasses I ever do... 
COACH 100: HOW COACHES REALLY GET CLIENTS
With Julia Stewart, IAC-CC, President of the School of Coaching Mastery
Wed, Jan 28, 4-5 PM ET
 
Register for this free recording here:http://tinyurl.com/COACH100
First we'll discuss how 23 real coaches got 538 referrals, 240 testimonials and 313 new clients and where those statistics are coming from. We'll also talk about the biggest trend in marketing and how it plays directly to coaches' strengths - if you know when and where to use those strengths.
We'll also talk about the all-new coaching success program:

COACH 100 BUSINESS SUCCESS

The good news is that in 2009 your skills as a coach are in more demand than ever. And now you can use those skills to market your business more effectively - but you do need to make some important shifts. 
ASK YOURSELF: Do you want to be the Toyota of Coaching or the GM?
Coaches who can stay ahead of the curve will be the big winners this year. By the end of this program, you'll have tangible tools for successful marketing in this new environment and a solid plan of action steps help your business succeed. And you'll go straight to the top of The GREAT (Coaching Business) PYRAMID. Most coaches who finish this program use it fill their coaching practices with it with one-to-one coaching clients and they get referrals and testimonials with it and even prepare for coach certification, in the process.
But you'll want to listen to this teleclass - even if it is an old dinosaur in the world of coaching - in order to find out more and to join this exclusive coach business success program.
Once again, here's listen to join the teleclass:
COACH 100: HOW COACHES REALLY GET CLIENTS
With Julia Stewart
Wed, Jan 28, 4-5 PM ET
Register for this free recorded class here: http://tinyurl.com/COACH100
See you there!
Julia Stewart, IAC-CC
 
COPYRIGHT, JULIA STEWART, 2009 

Topics: business coach, coaching business, make a living as a life coach, webinar, coaching success, Coach Certification, coaching businesses, coaching career

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