by Eric Dombach | Business Coaching Tools
One of the biggest shifts I help business coaches make is coming to see their time as their most valuable commodity.
Want to get paid well? Value your time.
Want to command the respect of your clients? Value your time.
Want to leapfrog to the top of this industry? Value your time.
I can already hear the protests: “I have to ‘over-deliver’ or I’ll lose my coaching contracts! I can’t keep clients around unless I hold their hand through the whole process!”
“Over-delivering” signals to your coaching clients that you’re the same as any other contractor or employee they work with.
But business coaches aren’t contractors. They’re treasured experts.
If you need to wrap your head around this better, go back and read my classic post, Be a Coach, Not a Consultant.
If your clients are complaining that you’re not holding their hand enough, it’s because they don’t believe in you as a genuine coach. You’ve positioned yourself as some sort of grunt laborer, NOT a genuine expert.
It’s time to change that.
If your clients are complaining that you're not holding their hand enough, it's because they don't believe in you as a genuine coach. You've positioned yourself as some sort of grunt laborer, NOT a genuine expert.
How to Value Your Own Time and Expertise
It starts with your own self-belief.
You have to realize that your time, your experience, your expertise, are inherently valuable…that you really can make a difference in your clients’ businesses…that as a result, you deserve their undivided attention.
Look, as business coaches, our inventory of time is all we’ve got. When managed properly, we can create a lifestyle of connection, impact, and affluence.
When managed improperly, we give away our most valuable resource for free, setting ourselves up as just another contractor, subject to the whims of the business owner.
So stop driving to your clients’ offices or coffee shops for consultations.
Don’t drop everything when they call with a question or a problem; let them know you’re busy, and schedule a follow up.
Do your coaching sessions over the phone.
Value your time and expertise like the priceless commodity it is.
Only then will you begin to command the kind of respect you deserve.
What other techniques and mindset shifts do you need to master in order to become more successful as a business coach? Get a FREE 30-day trial of our comprehensive business coaching system today!
by Eric Dombach | Business Coaching Franchise
Today I want to answer another frequently asked question that we get from business coaches around the world, which is: why isn’t my business coaching franchise working?
Many business coaching franchisees purchased a franchise because they thought it would be a faster, cheaper way to begin raking in six-figure paychecks.
The problem is, those kinds of successes for business coaching franchisees are the exceptions, rather than the rule.
So why do some franchisees fail?
In my decades of experience in the business coaching franchise industry, I’ve seen that most reasons for failure fall into one of these five categories:
Category # 1. You’ve taken on too much of a financial burden.
You spent $50,000 to $200,000 of your war chest buying the franchise and getting your business started, and you have not been able to move through the learning curve fast enough to get the business up and running and cash flowing. Buying a business coaching franchise exposes you to a lot of risk because you spend such a significant amount to get into business. Then you’re in danger of running out of cash before you actually have the business up and running.
Buying a business coaching franchise exposes you to a lot of risk because you spend such a significant amount to get into business, you're in danger of running out of cash before you actually have the business up and running.
Category # 2. Not enough support.
Most business coaching franchisees provide pretty limited support after you go through their initial training. That’s not enough when you’re learning a business as skilled and specific as business coaching. The most successful coaches have a coaches’ coach! But most business coaching franchises limit their support to group coaching calls, conferences, and training measures. It’s hard to succeed that way.
Category # 3. You invested in a system that doesn’t work.
There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there selling business coaching franchise systems that aren’t actually proven in the field. Sometimes you get a high-profile, gifted, successful trainer who goes out to the marketplace and starts selling their system before they’ve even proven that it works for anybody besides themselves.
Category #4. Too many franchise limitations.
A lot of business coaching franchise rules will limit where you can do business. But in order to be successful as a business coach, you need to market yourself to a specific and well-defined niche of business owners who respond well to who you are and what you have to offer. If you’re limited to doing business within a certain geographical area, that’s a limitation that may cause you to struggle.
Category #5. You don’t fit the psychometric profile of successful business coaches.
Over the last several years, there’s been a lot of reliable research conducted on the psychometric profiles of successful business coaches. The problem is that there are very few, if any, business coaching franchisors who have examined these criteria and recruited coaches who match. The only thing they use to decide whether or not to sell you a franchise is if you have the money to pay for it. Not exactly scrupulous–but it’s the way things are. (By the way, if you go to www.succeedinbusinesscoaching.com, you can download a free report and learn more about the psychometric profile that predicts success in business coaching.)
For more great insights like these, check out The Business Coaching Franchise Buyer’s Guide—and learn more about the business coaching industry and what may and may not be going well for you.
by Eric Dombach | Business Coaching Franchise
Today I want to answer a frequently asked question we often hear from business coaches who are considering buying a business coaching franchise. That is: How much of my net worth should I put at risk to buy a business coaching franchise?
My answer is simple.
Ask yourself how much you can afford to lose.
I’m not trying to be melodramatic here, but I spent over 10 years in the business coaching franchise industry and have studied the performance of the business coaching franchise brands for another decade on top of that.
It is not atypical for a business coaching franchise brand to have a franchise failure rate in excess of 50%–some are even higher, unfortunately.
A business coaching franchise isn’t a sure bet. It’s an investment. And investments carry risks.
Anyone who specializes in investments will give you the same advice, whether you’re considering stocks, bonds, or any other investment.
Don’t make a risk so big that if your investment fails, it would ruin you financially.
Ask yourself how much can you afford to lose.
If you’re wealthy enough to absorb the risk of losing $100,000 to $200,000 if your franchise fails, then that’s fantastic. But I’ve seen a lot of potential franchisees put a pretty significant amount of their net worth at risk to get into a business coaching franchise.
And I’ve seen far too many of those folks lose it all.
Anybody who specializes in investments will give you the same advice, whether you’re considering stocks, bonds, or any other investment. First and foremost, ask yourself how much can you afford to lose.
How to Calculate Your Risk
Remember, a typical business coaching franchisee will invest about $200,000 in the first couple of years alone just to get the business going.
Expect to pay about $50,000 to $75,000 for the franchise fee, another $50,000 to $100,000 in working capital while trying to get your business up and running, and monthly royalty payments anywhere from $12,000 to $24,000 a year.
You can very easily invest as much as $200,000 to $250,000 within the first two or three years.
Take your time to think through this. You don’t want to be in a position where your home, your retirement, your net worth is exposed. There are considerably less expensive options available to help you get into the business coaching industry. Before you put your net worth at risk, ask yourself: could I lose this and stay afloat?
If you want more help thinking through your options, we’ve got an ebook for you: The Business Coaching Franchise Buyer’s Guide. We look at all the major business coaching franchise brands, analyze them, and show you how to do due diligence so that you can make an investment you’re comfortable with.
by Eric Dombach | Business Coaching Tools
On the lookout for the best business coaching tools for growing your coaching business? One of my most important business coaching tips is this: although shiny new business coaching tools may be tempting, you can never go wrong sticking to the tried and true business techniques that have worked for you in the past.
Allow me to illustrate with a story…
A while ago my family enjoyed one of our best summer holidays ever. Kathy, the kids, and I spent a wonderful week in Anglesey–a little island area off the Northwest coast of Wales.
We lay on the beach in the sun most days, while the kids went off swimming, fishing, or paddling around in our little boat. Fantastic stuff.
We weren’t initially planning to go. We’d reviewed all the fancy brochures describing exotic and far-flung destinations. We read about lots of intriguing places we’ve never visited, but what we really wanted was leisure.
We were struggling to reach a decision, then one evening Kathy turned to me,“What would you say was the best holiday we’ve had, ever? The one you’ve most enjoyed?”
“Honestly,” I replied, “when we rented that apartment in Anglesey a few years ago.”
“Me too,” Kathy agreed. “Why don’t we just go there again then?”
So we did. And that was that.
And we had a brilliant time again. It suits us. Easy to relax and do nothing–yet plenty for the kids to do.
It’s so easy to be tempted by all those exciting new adventures featured in the brochures. But sticking to what we knew worked for us resulted in a great time.
Use the Business Coaching Tools You Already Know Will Work!
The same idea–sticking to what you know–may apply as it relates to your business coach marketing.
It’s so easy to be lured by a “shiny new object” syndrome as a temptation for tinkering with your business coaching systems for marketing or replacing some of the proven business coaching tools in your toolbox. And I’ll admit, I’m a huge advocate of shiny new stuff in the field of digital marketing. I’ll tell anyone who asks that these techniques have been the most effective business coach marketing tools I’ve ever used.
But often the best thing you can do is ask yourself the same simple question Kathy asked me: what’s worked the best for you before?
Often the best thing you can do is ask yourself the simple question: what's worked the best for you before?
If the “old school” business coaching tools like networking, direct mail, conference presentations, or referrals, have worked well for you before, chances are they’ll work well for you again.
Of course, I don’t want to discourage you from experimenting. Go ahead and try out new business coaching resources, but please don’t do so at the expense of business coaching tools that you know actually worked for you in the past.
We all are eager to learn new business coaching tips for marketing a practice, alternative business coaching techniques that may help attract new clients, and fresh business coaching resources that may help grow your clients’ businesses, but if the business coaching tools you have used in the past have proven effective, plan to stick with them until you find some business coaching tools that truly represent something better. Don’t stop doing what works!
Your established business coaching systems may not be exciting and new, and you may have become a bit bored with some of your business coach marketing strategies over time. But before you replace those trusted, dependable business coaching tools for promoting your coaching business, remember: success doesn’t always require shiny new tools.
Whether you’re just starting out in your business coaching career or you’re looking for fresh, proven ideas to accelerate your coaching business, check out the Coaches’ Coach FREE 30-day trial HERE. Work with pros and learn proven techniques to grow your business. It’s just a click away. Sign up right HERE.
by Eric Dombach | How to Become a Business Coach
Are you targeting and prospecting the right kinds of clients as you’re working to build your business coaching firm?
Because if you aren’t, no matter how strong your marketing materials are, no matter how skilled you are at selling, you’ll find yourself constantly frustrated.
You need to discover your “sweet spot”–the right size and type of business that converts profitably for you. Sounds simple enough, right?
Until you realize that the sweet spot is different for each coach.
So how do you determine what kinds of businesses to pursue?
Here’s a hint: it’s based on your personal conversion rate.
What Size of Company Should You Target?
Follow this rule of thumb:
The LOWER your sales conversion rates and price and length of your average coaching engagement, the SMALLER the businesses you’ll need to attract in order to make it pay.
The HIGHER your conversion rates and average coaching engagement, the LARGER the businesses you can recruit.
The LOWER your sales conversion rates and price and length of your average coaching engagement, the SMALLER the businesses you'll need to attract in order to make it pay. The HIGHER your conversion rates and average coaching engagement, the LARGER the businesses you can recruit.
Because it costs more to acquire bigger businesses than smaller businesses.
Let’s do the math together.
Let’s say your conversion rate is 5%. That means it takes 20 leads to convert one client to a coaching program. If you’re marketing to a list of businesses with gross annual revenues around $350,000, and investing $200 per lead, you’ll land at least one new client for every $4,000 you invest (20 x $200).
In order to make this profitable, you need to sell a $1,500 program and keep your client an average of 3 months. The upside is that it costs less to attract smaller businesses, minimizing your risk. The downside is that when you deal with clients in this revenue bracket, you’ll end up spending more time and effort chasing them down and getting them to pay.
To further illustrate my point, let’s say you pursue larger businesses–say clients with revenues in excess of $1 Million. You’ll probably wind up investing around $400 per lead (that’s twice as much as before), simply because they’re more expensive to attract. Assuming your conversion rate stays the same (around 5%), it will take $8,000 to land that one client, as opposed to the $4,000 you were spending previously.
Your risk just skyrocketed, because that means you’ve got to get clients to sign up for a $2,000 per month program and keep them for at least four months just to break even.
Growing the Size of Your Target Client Over Time
Start small at first. Then, as you improve your skills and increase the value you bring to the table, you’ll be able to move on to bigger and better businesses.
For example, by the time I sold my first coaching firm in the early 2000’s, we were converting 10% of leads. Cost of acquisition was rock-bottom ($2,000)…which means we broke even on our first monthly check!
Then, because of the value we offered clients, we kept them around for an average of 9 months.
In other words, we had a return on investment of over 900%! For every $2,000 we spent to get a new client, we had $18,000 coming back.
Incremental improvements in sales conversion as you’re getting started will lead to gains in retention–which will lead to improved client quality–which will increase your conversion and retention rates! So always look to the next tier of companies you can be targeting. Stretch yourself, even as you continue to prospect clients you’re more comfortable with. This way, you’ll be able to grow your confidence, grow your capacity, and grow your revenue!
Just starting out as a business coach and looking for more great tips and tricks? Download our FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.