Today I want to answer a question that we hear frequently from prospective business coaches: what are the most important questions I should ask while doing my business coaching franchise due diligence?
There are many important questions you can ask in the due diligence process, but here are the top three:
1. What Kind of Success Rate Do Your Coaches Have?
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be a statistic–either of success or failure. You owe it to yourself to find out if the stats are in your favor.
My business partner and I were involved in the business coaching franchise industry for more than decade, and between the two of us, we served seven business coaching franchise systems in various capacities. In our experience, business coaching franchise systems have around a 50% failure rate. Perhaps that’s a bit surprising because there’s a sense that business coaches should know better than that, but it is what it is. One of the business coaching franchises I was involved in had a 57% failure rate. We eventually brought in down to just 4%, but that’s not common. You need to find out what the failure rate is in the franchise you’re considering, and you need to be practical about the fact that you’re probably not the exception to the rule.
Here’s what I recommend: get the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and actually look at the numbers. Look at the number of units they’ve sold, closed, or resold and compare that to the number of units in operation. A lot of times when the franchise owner fails, they will sell or close their franchise, and that has to be reported on the FDD. Do the math and you’ll get a pretty good sense of the failure rate.
In addition, start calling the franchisors in the FDD. I’m not talking about the three or four more names that the sales reps gave you. I mean, call all of them. If coaches aren’t answering their phones, leave a message and say, “Hi there, I’m interested in the possibility of buying your franchise.” You’ll start to get calls back, believe me. Then ask them about their experience. You’ll start to get a sense for how things are really going for the majority of the franchisees.
2. What Kind of Support Will I Get Over the Long Haul?
After you buy a franchise, most franchisors send you to a training intensive. It’ll be in a posh hotel to make you think you’ve become a part of something really special, and if you’re like me, you’ll return home totally energized and ready to go.
But that’s where the rubber meets the road.
In the vast majority of business coaching franchise systems, the people who sold you the franchise are the same people assigned to support you. That’s a problem, because they’re not business coaches–they’re salespeople. When you hit month six, 12, or 18, and you’re struggling through some rough patches, you need a mentor who really knows the business.
So what can you do? Again, call the people who are already franchisees and ask them how they’re doing, how much money they’re making, how many months they’ve been in the business, and if they’re getting the coaching, support, and training they need. Ask if the people teaching the business are they, themselves, successful coaches. Call at least 20 coaches and find out what’s really going on behind the scenes.
3. What Kind of Limits Will Be Placed on Me?
It might not seem like it right now, but this is a big deal. Because no matter who you are, at some point, you’ll want to leave the franchise. Maybe you’ll stay for five, seven, even 10 years–but the time will come that you’ll be ready to move on. Find out what limitations will be placed on you when that time comes. Most, if not all, business coaching franchisors require you to leave business coaching entirely when you leave the franchise. If you still want to be a coach, this could derail your entire career.
Or what if you don’t do well? Will the franchisor require you to continue paying $1500-$2000 a month in franchise fees, even if you’re not making money?
Get a good franchise attorney (NOT a business law generalist, but a franchise law specialist) and have them sit down with the contract and point out all the potential pitfalls. Then, negotiate the contract to better terms for you. This a mistake a lot of business coaching franchisee prospects make, and I’ve seen it create serious problems down the road.
Want to know more tips and tricks like these as you consider purchasing a business coaching franchise? Download my free ebook, The Business Coaching Franchise Buyer’s Guide, about what you should look for in a business coaching franchise and how to do effective due diligence.
When I first started out as a business coach almost twenty years ago, I worked with a significant number of clients in person. Now, I rarely do–largely because I work within a specific industry niche (business coaches) as opposed to a particular market area. All things being equal, which is better? In-person or video-based coaching?
The answer is both–with the majority of the coaching being done remotely via Skype or Zoom and periodic in-person interactions.
Simply put, video-based coaching works better and actually delivers MORE value to the client than face-to-face coaching does!
Whenever you go to a client’s place of business, you waste their time and yours with all the formalities: hand-shakes, small-talk, introductions, etc. By contrast, when you do a coaching session by video, you tend to get on and off quickly, because that’s what people expect from video conferences, right?
Face-to-face coaching sessions ALWAYS take longer than one hour; video-based coaching calls tend to be 30-45 minutes in length.
Why steal your clients’ time, their most precious commodity? Would a good coach do this to their clients? And what about YOUR time? You’re a busy, in-demand business coach! You certainly don’t have the luxury of weekly face-time! Not to mention that if you’re coaching within a specific industry niche, your clients might be scattered all around the world.
Make the Most of Your In-Person Interactions
However, this doesn’t mean you should never have in-person interaction with clients, particularly those paying you at the highest levels of service. Sometimes monthly, quarterly, or even annual visits with your top-tier clients can be a great way to add value, improve retention, and deepen your relationship.
Monthly, quarterly, or even annual visits with your top-tier clients can be a great way to add value, improve retention, and deepen your relationship.
Another fantastic way to leverage in-person interactions is to do periodic retreats with your most loyal clients all together in one place–like a bonus master mind group. It can be something you price into your high-value coaching contracts, or you can sell it separately. Either way, most coaching clients love to get to know one another. They agree that these mastermind events more than pay for their coaching program.
In a digital world, I suggest video-based coaching for the most part, interspersed with special in-person interactions to sweeten the pot and keep your client relationships fresh!
For more great rock star coaching tips like this, check out our free ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.
Do you ever make the rookie mistake of talking past your business coaching prospects?
For my first couple years as a business coach, I struggled with how to get prospects to really understand I could help them.
I’d gotten good at building rapport, sniffing out problems in their businesses, and uncovering emotional hot-buttons–but closings were still slower coming than I wanted.
I finally realized it was because I hadn’t found a way to clearly communicate my problem-solving value. They’d present me with problems…and I’d respond with vague, convoluted explanations of how we’d fix them!
Though I had complete confidence that my bag of tricks would generate incredible results, getting prospects to catch the vision was tough. Sometimes, it felt like we weren’t even on the same planet–let alone the same page!– as I tried to help them understand what the process would be like.
I knew I had to DEMONSTRATE my value somehow if I was going to get my business coaching prospects to cut huge checks right on the spot.
Enter the 21 Silver Bullets
Then, one Saturday morning, it dawned on me: there are about 21 common problems I see over and over. If I could assign compelling names to their solutions, it would completely revolutionize my sales process!
I jumped out of bed and ran to my computer. And two hours later, my “Silver Bullet” system was born!
I organized all my bullets into “buckets”–time, team, and money.
Here they are:
- Apprenticeship plan
- Operations and training manual
- Time management plan
- Comprehensive Exit Strategy
- Employee Acquisition Plan
- Psychometric Profiling Process
- KPI Measurement System
- Lean Manufacturing Program
- Performance Incentive Plan
- Strategic Plan
- Leadership Development Plan
- Team Meeting Rhythm
- Organizational Plan
- Team Building System
- Current Business Plan
- Break-Even Plan
- Revenue and Profit Plan
- Cash Gap Plan
- USP and Guarantee
- Sales Management System
- Tactical Marketing Plan
Why it Works
As soon as I began using these magical Silver Bullets in my sales process, conversions skyrocketed–while the amount of time my business coaching prospects spent hemming and hawing plunged!
That’s because I showed them simply and succinctly that I could help them…thanks to my clear vocabulary for diagnosing AND solving their problems.
Just imagine what it would do for your sales if you could have compelling conversations like these…
COACH: Well Ms. Prospect, from what you’re saying it sounds to me like you’ve got a problem differentiating yourself in the marketplace. Would you agree?
COACH: So, let me ask you this. What kind of a USP and Guarantee do you have in your business?
PROSPECT: What do you mean by that?
COACH: Good question. I can help you put together a Unique Selling Proposition and Guarantee so that your ideal clients feel absolutely compelled to do business with you INSTEAD of your competitors because you’re different than all the rest. Are you open to some help with that?
COACH: Okay. So, the very first thing we’ll do in your coaching program is implement our USP and Guarantee process. This will clarify the MOST profound, powerful reason people should do business with you and your competitors won’t know what hit them!
The response I received to this system was incredible. Suddenly, my business coaching prospects could picture themselves working with me, because they saw I had a clear vocabulary for communicating solutions. They began to envision how much happier they’d be when we “slew” their problems with my Silver Bullets.
Suddenly, my business coaching prospects could picture themselves working with me, because they saw I had a clear vocabulary for communicating solutions.
Here’s another example…
COACH: Well Mr. Prospect, from what you’re saying it sounds to me like you’re just dying from lack of cash flow. Would that be fair to say?
COACH: So, let me ask you this. What kind of a Cash Gap Plan do you have in your business?
PROSPECT: What do you mean by that?
COACH: Good question. I can help you put together a Cash Gap Plan to help you quickly collect outstanding receivables, get your customers to pay on time, and improve your terms with vendors so that your bank account always has plenty of cash it. Are you open to some help with that?
COACH: Okay. We have more than 13 easy-to-use strategies to help you generate cash flow QUICKLY. So, one of the first things we’ll do in your coaching program is implement a few of these…
Think you’ll close more sales that way?
Absolutely. Heck, I sure did!
For maximum results, I recommend you shoot AT LEAST THREE Silver Bullets before you ask prospects for the next step. Teach your salespeople, telemarketers, and associate coaches to do the same.
For more great tips and tricks on becoming a business coach, check out my FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.
You’ve heard the old adage, “Those who can’t do, teach.” (Or perhaps the coaching equivalent, “Those who can’t do, coach.”) And in some cases, that’s true. There are teachers and coaches alike who have little real-world experience and whose knowledge is only theoretical. But that’s only half the story. The best coaches are the best practitioners–people who have been there, done that when it comes to growing a business.
There’s a reason why “buyer beware” is good advice for overhyped marketing promises and get-rich-quick schemes. If some of these so-called “thought leaders” spent as much time doing the work as they do bragging, they wouldn’t have time to brag at all! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t highly skilled coaches and teachers who are passionate about imparting their knowledge.
I’m a huge advocate of every coach finding a coaches’ coach–someone who can walk with you through the ups and downs of client acquisition, retention, coaching, and profit maximization. But you need to be able to discern the pretenders from the practitioners.
Here’s how to tell them apart.
Someone who spends most of their time doing
Pay attention to people’s resumes. What kind of experience do they have as a coach or an entrepreneur? What kind of success have they experienced? And more importantly, how engaged are they still in the business of business? A proven track record and a commitment to staying current on trends and tactics go a long way toward ensuring you have someone you can rely on.
A system and a method
Skilled practitioners approach their work with a system and method in mind. Why? Because hard-won experience has shown them what works and what doesn’t. Beware those who give advice but can’t articulate why it matters–this is usually a sign of an untested method.
Skilled practitioners approach their work with a system and method in mind. Why? Because hard-won experience has shown them what works and what doesn't. Beware those who give advice but can't articulate why it matters--this is usually a sign of an untested method.
A heart for teaching and coaching
While the best coaches are the best practitioners, the opposite isn’t always true: not all skilled practitioners make good teachers and coaches. Sometimes, they operate on instinct, and can’t quite articulate the cause of their success. And if they can’t articulate it, they can’t share it! So spend time with a potential coaches’ coach and get a feel for their teaching and coaching skills before making a hire.
Certified Coaches’ Coaches do all three
At the Coaches’ Coach, we take care to ensure that our Certified Coaches’ Coaches check all the boxes. In order to be considered for certification, they have to be bringing in over six figures annually in revenue as a coach; they use our own Coaches’ Coach comprehensive coaching system, which was created from years of on-the-ground coaching experience; and we vet them to ensure that they are gifted teachers and coaches who have passion for passing on their knowledge. If you’re looking for a coaches’ coach, try a free 30-day trial of our system, and get a complimentary coaching session with one of our Certified Coaches’ Coaches.
I’m an energetic business leader with a masters degree in finance and CPA and CCIM credentials. In my most recent executive role, I led a business unit doing $1.9 Billion in revenue for a publicly traded company.
When I decided to go out on my own, I knew I needed an approach to business coaching that was easy to replicate. The selling process you get with Coaches’ Coach is concise, proven, and easily replicable. I banked $17,000 in my first month using the processes that the Coaches’ Coach has laid out for lead generation, closing, and coaching. I was able to demonstrate immense value as a business coach by using the Coaches’ Coach systems and processes in my sales pitch. In my second month in the program I’ll bank $25,000. The ease of use, quality of the video and audio instruction and materials hands-down exceeded my expectations.
Also, as a business coach, I know that people need accountability. But I didn’t have it. Coaches’ Coach instantly created two separate points of accountability for me. First is the direct one-on-one coaching with Eric Dombach, my cohort leader, and the second is being a part of our cohort’s weekly group coaching calls, talking about what we’re doing and reporting out on our successes and challenges. They’re inspiring me to work harder and this level of accountability has been a huge part of my success.
I’m unbelievably impressed with the Coaches’ Coach system and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
More profit. More time. More freedom.