Personal Coach Business Idea

Become a Life Coach

solutionbox 7/13/2007

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Business Summary:

As a Personal Coach, sometimes called a Life Coach, your job will be to help clients look ahead to the goals they want to achieve – and to help counsel them on reaching those goals. This position is relatively new and does not require a specific degree or certification, although a degree in the helping professions would certainly be an advantage. A membership organization, the International Coach Federation recently said that coaching for personal life enhancement was the third most popular personal coaching job, behind executive and leadership coaching. The ICF had a membership of 12,000 worldwide, more than twice the number of members just five years ago.

Those in the profession say that their role is to help the client look beyond the confusion of her present life situation, formulate realistic goals, and then plan the most effective way to achieve those goals. One particular aim of coaching is to help the client avoid repeating mistakes from the past in order to bring her a more satisfying and productive life. Life coaches are not therapists – their job is to assist healthy clients in finding ways to enrich their lives.

Start Up Cost: $2,000 – $5,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

In order to succeed at personal coaching, you should have the qualities that distinguish good counselors: empathy, compassion and great listening skills. You need to be a good planner, aware of the resources available in the communities that you serve. You should also project self-confidence so that prospective clients are comfortable with your abilities. A degree in psychology, social work, or counseling would be a definite plus, but again, it is not required by any licensing board.

How Much Can You Earn:

Most personal coaches set up a specific program of appointments for each client. They charge a first-time fee for discussing the client’s situation and getting necessary information. The fee for each subsequent appointment is usually set at that time, often in the area $50 to $150 per session. The ICF estimates that first-year personal coaches can earn $50,000 to $60,000. One prominent personal coach charges $400 for a 50-minute session. Another has a 3-month minimum commitment for clients, with once-a-week meetings.

Understanding Customers:

Typically, your clients will be individuals who feel that they are not achieving the things in their lives that they had hoped for – they want your help in providing motivation, encouragement and sound advice. You will work with your clients to set out realistic goals for them, help them attain more self-confidence, and assist them in making productive use of their time. Keep in mind the fact that you will not be working to improve a client’s mental health by recalling traumatic events from the past Your job is to look ahead and inspire your clients to achieve future goals.

Marketing Strategy:

Use contacts from your business and personal life. Spread the word among friends and family. The more people who hear your name and understand what you do, the more clients you will gain. Use every opportunity to speak to civic and community groups about this new field and how it can improve people’s lives. Develop attractive brochures and an effective website to promote the benefits of personal coaching. You will also want to advertise in area newspapers and magazines, being careful to explain how this coaching can enhance one’s life. Eventually, you’ll be able to use testimonials from satisfied clients to draw in more potential customers.


Individual programs in personal coaching are offered, but they are not required. They do, however, look good on your list of credentials. You will need a private office space, either at home or in a commercial office building. If you don’t already have standard office equipment, you will require a computer, appropriate software, a fax machine, copier, a printer and a toll-free telephone line. A cell phone is necessary for clients who need to reach you outside the office. You may find it helpful to audit college courses or to take adult education courses in specialized areas of counseling or running a small business.

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