10 Tips on Starting a Coaching or Consulting Business
In order to be a coach or consultant, you need knowledge and a passion for imparting that knowledge to others. It's not hard to become a consultant as long as you have knowledge and experience in some area that businesses can use.
Here are 10 tips for running a successful coaching or consulting business from your own home.
1. Get Your Own Site
It's good to sign up with consulting third-party services such as Clarity or Zintro, but also have your own website. While third-party services can help to connect you with knowledge seekers, your consulting site is your "home on the web" and you have total control over how you design and use it.
2. Charge What You're Worth
If you look at consulting services, you'll see that they typically charge quite high fees. It's not uncommon for an hour of coaching to cost a minimum of $70 per hour or more.
Since this is the going rate, it's good to charge around this amount for an hour of coaching. If you don't feel confident charging this much, sharpen your skills until you do. If no one signs up, boost your marketing efforts.
3. Consider Certification
You don't need any special certification to be a consultant but it helps a great deal. For every niche, there are certifications that can help to lend you credibility.
That certification may be the deciding factor in a business choosing you over someone else.
4. Know Your Strengths
Don't try to consult in an area of your niche where you don't have solid knowledge. We all have gaps in our knowledge and experience, and there are even highly-paid consultants who don't try to cover everything.
Know which areas of your niche you're proficient in and offer your services for those areas.
5. Stay Current
In order to be a consultant, you need to be an expert in your industry. This means not only your years of experience and knowledge, but also that you need to stay current in what's going on in the industry now. That's where the people you're coaching are.
6. Offer a Pre-Consultation Questionnaire
You don't want to waste valuable consultation time getting to know the basic details of your clients, so give them a pre-consultation questionnaire.
This should include basic questions about their history and current situation, as well as questions regarding the challenges they're facing and problems they're having. These areas are where you can help them.
7. Get Organized
You have to be an organized, disciplined self-starter in order to consult. You need to be able to manage time, stick to a schedule and plan your day well.
The entire consultation process from answering inquiries from potential clients to sending follow-up reports should be as smooth as possible.
8. Reward Loyalty
Set up a system to reward clients who stay with you over the long-term. Include discounts and extras to say thanks.
You should also reward clients who refer others to you since they're bringing business to you and essentially doing your marketing for you.
9. Build a Network
Probably the greatest source of new clients is networking. Start getting to know people and staying in touch with them.
Begin building a network of contacts as soon as possible and work on building strong relationships with these contacts. You never know who might refer someone to you.
10. Give Your Clients More
In addition to an hour of your knowledge or expertise, do whatever you can to make your sessions valuable to your clients.
Offer to record your consultations so that they can review things you said later. Offer reports that summarize key parts of the consultation as part of the consulting fee.
Before you get started, do some research on the types of coaching available.
Certain industries such as accounting, marketing, publishing, communications and career counseling offer more consulting opportunities than others.
You might even take a coaching session once to see what it's like and get ideas.
You can learn more here in my directory section for how to run a business that will show you more details and steps in setting up and running your business.
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