The Lowdown

What is a Coaching Business?

What is a Coach?

Before you can understand the coaching business model, let's clarify what a coach is. If you've ever played any sports before, then you're familiar with a coach. They are responsible for managing and training you to achieve a goal. But sports isn't the only place where you have coaches. You can have a life coach. This person helps someone get clear on their life's goals and how to achieve them. There are career coaches who help you find the right career. There are health coaches, performance coaches, financial coaches, the list goes on. Ultimately, a coach is someone that helps you in an area of your life to achieve a specific goal.

Coaching Business

Now that you're familiar with a coach, did you know that you can convert your knowledge into money?

If you're passionate about a certain subject, there is most likely a group of people that are willing to pay for your knowledge. You could coach on fitness, travel, pet training, productivity, marriage, motivational speaking, goal setting, leadership, gardening, hydroponics, yoga, etc. The possibilities are wide and you don't need a certification to start. As long as you have the passion, expertise, or experience, you can create a lucrative coaching business.

How Does it Work?

How a Coaching Business Works

How Do You Make Money?

1-on-1 Coaching

One of the biggest benefits of starting a coaching business is that you can charge high ticket prices for your services, quickly growing your business to a 6-figure income. Most coaches start out coaching clients 1-on-1 through video conferences charging either an hourly rate, a monthly retainer fee, or a set package rate. Coaching fees can vary widely but as you're starting out, fees can start around $1,000 - $2,500 for several months of coaching per client. As you build your expertise and credibility, some coaches can charge upwards to $50,000 per session. It really depends on the value that you can bring to a person or an organization. The skies are really the limit.

After establishing your 1:1 coaching program you can start expanding your product offerings that have more scale and ability to help more people. Two other options to make money through coaching is (1) Group Coaching and (2) Online Courses.

Group Coaching

Instead of working with clients just 1:1, you can add a group option where you give group support through video conference calls, Facebook groups, and a community forum. This allows you to make more use of your time and offer a slightly less expensive package than working 1:1 with you.

Online Coaching Courses

Another option that has the most scale is creating a self-study version of your coaching program. It requires the up-front work of putting together your program with videos and content but once you've created it, you can sell your program 24/7. This option will be your cheapest option for customers but in return, you can work with thousands of people because it's independent of your time. See Online Courses to learn more and add it to your business repertoire.

What Are The Pros & Cons?

  • Anyone can start a coaching program as long as you have people skills and the ability to help them achieve their goals in your niche.
  • It's cheap to get started. You only need a computer, video conferencing software (free), and headphones.
  • You can make income quickly.
  • You can work from anywhere in the world.
  • Requires 1:1 time with clients.
  • It requires patience as you support, encourage, and even challenge your clients to implement your program.
  • You'll spend a significant portion of your time on the phone or video conferencing.
  • You'll need to be focused and professional when working with your clients even if you're having an off day.

Estimated Startup Cost

When you're starting a coaching business, if you have a computer and a phone you really don't have any other startup costs. However, as with any business, there are going to be costs associated with growing your business. But if you're thinking about starting with 1-on-1 coaching, your costs are minimal to free.


One time

Total Cost


Key Activities as a Coach

As a coach, you'll spend a large portion of your time creating your curriculum, coaching clients, and attracting new clients. Once your initial curriculum is created, you'll continue to refine and improve your content, but once the initial work is done, most of your time will shift to coaching clients and finding new clients.

Depending on your approach (1-on-1, group, or courses), the type of work you'll be doing will differ. If you do 1-on-1 coaching, you'll spend a lot of a time on calls either over video conferencing or over the phone. Group coaching will be similar in nature to 1-on-1 coaching, but you'll also spend time engaging your clients in group forums. If you create courses, most of your time will be spend on creating course content and managing group forums.

Curriculum Creation
Coaching Clients
Acquiring New Clients

Start a Coaching Business

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By Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou is a serial entrepreneur and online educator who teaches people how to leave their day job and start their own six-figure plus business working for themselves.

She’s helped hundreds of students, including coaches, designers, copywriters, and consultants, and shown them how to launch businesses that generate anywhere from 10K to 100K in a matter of months. She has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Forbes, IncEntrepreneur, and more.

A graduate of Princeton University, Luisa majored in electrical engineering and minored in robotics. Before starting her own business, she worked as an International Space Station engineer, a mobile payments start-up co-founder, and a digital advertising manager. She lives in New York City with her husband.

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