How to lay the foundations for a profitable business


Starting your own coaching business is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll ever set out to do. On the other hand, building a profitable business from the ground up is also guaranteed to be one of the most satisfying experiences of your life (so long as you’ve got the mettle, that is).

Although you might not be turning the profits you envisaged from the get-go, there’s a lot you can do from the very beginning to ensure that your fledgling coaching business grows into a thriving, profitable business.

Lay the foundations for a profitable business from the start by implementing these five steps:

1 Work out who your future customers are.

You can’t start marketing your business effectively before you know who you’re supposed to be marketing your business to. Set yourself on the right path by making sure you get a firm handle on who your customers are from the beginning (bearing in mind that as your coaching business grows, so your target market may evolve). For an in-depth look at identifying your target market, check out my recent blog post on customer segmentation here.

2 Embrace digital marketing.

Digital marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to market your new coaching business. One of the great things about digital marketing strategies is that you can start with the basics, like a good website and email marketing software like MailChimp, and upgrade to a full-blown modern digital marketing strategy when resources allow. As a starting point, make sure that your website is visually attractive, easy to navigate and mobile-friendly. Also, never spam contacts; always strive to only send highly targeted, personalised marketing messages to contacts who have given you their permission to contact them.

3 Know your unique selling point (USP).

The most profitable businesses are those that are able to effectively demonstrate why their product or service is unique, and how exactly it adds value to their customers’ lives. Work out what sets your coaching business apart from other coaching services – your USP – and focus on communicating that to your target market.

4 Analyse the competition.

Competitor analysis involves investigating what your competitors are offering, looking at how they’re marketing their services and figuring out how you can differentiate your brand and improve your own marketing efforts. For example, if there are already a few successful coaches in your area offering similar services to your own, you’ll need to find a way to appeal to your target market that sets you apart from your existing competitors.

5 Ask for referrals.

There’s no better advertisement than a satisfied customer, and asking happy clients to send referrals your way can help you grow your business from a small start-up to a burgeoning, profitable business. Satisfied coaching clients aren’t the only people who can send valuable referrals your way. Put the word out to any contact you think might send you quality referrals; whether they’re someone you met at a networking event or an old colleague. A word-of-mouth recommendation will put you on an extremely good footing with any new potential clients. The best thing about brand evangelists that tell their friends and colleagues to choose your services? They do your marketing for you, for free!

Growing your coaching business into a profitable business requires regularly winning new coaching clients. Blue Chip runs an online coaching course designed to help you improve your ability to win executive coaching clients. For more information, check out our online coaching course, How to Win Clients by Playing to your Strengths as a Coach, here