If you’re here, there’s a pretty good chance you’re getting ready to set up your online coaching business. The decision to start a coaching business isn’t one to be taken lightly - as a coach, others come to you as an expert, looking for support, knowledge, empowerment and of course, a safe space to learn and grow. So if you’ve taken all of that on and you’re still chomping at the bit to get started, firstly, I applaud you! Secondly, let’s get that online coaching business set up for success!
Online Business Support
As a lawyer and entrepreneur, over the years I’ve run a manufacturing business, an ecommerce business, have offered coaching services and of course, have set up my own law business. So I understand (from wins and womp-womps) the ins and outs of running an online business as well as mistakes people make. I’ve navigated the pain points of getting said business up and running and have accumulated some pretty helpful (if I do say so myself) tips and tricks to create an online biz that works.
Guess what? I wanna share them with you now, soon-to-be amazing business coach!
The thing is, setting up an online business isn’t just setting up a hot feed on Instagram and posting pictures of your Ferrari, your Lamborghini or your Mum Van (if that’s your thing). As awesome as it would be if we could be one of the lucky few who gain success with a great following and nothing else, that’s not the reality. It takes bloody hard work, time, energy, personal and financial investment…you get what I’m saying.
So listen up. Here are a few tips and tricks for setting up your own online coaching business. And keeping it legally legit.
Define your niche
Are you a health coach? A wellness coach? Mindset coach? Spiritual coach? All you have to do is a simple search on Google to see that the ‘coaching’ industry is well and truly saturated. So how do you stand out?
It’s important to get very clear - before you do anything else - on what your offering is and how it specifically helps your people in a way that no other coaching business can. Define your niche in detail. From there, you keep building your offering and your biz.
What sparks joy for you?
What makes you happy? Maria Kondo your business spirit! There’s no point dedicating time, money and energy to teaching others to do something that makes you miserable. Teach what you love. You’ll be a better coach for it.
Identify your target market
Now that you know your niche, it’s time to identify your ideal client. Who are they? What are their desires? What are their pain points that you want to help solve? What makes them tick? Knowing your target market will help focus your branding, offering and message.
Get yourself a website
This is your own special real estate people visit to get to know you, share your values, your mission, your expertise and let them know how you might just be the perfect coach for them. Don’t just depend on social media. In order to ensure you look professional and as legit as possible, consider outsourcing your website development to someone who specialises in this. Different platforms (like Wordpress and Shopify, for example) have their own plusses and minuses, so do your homework.
Get legally legit!
My specialty! Let’s take a look at what you should have in place before you open the doors to clients:
Got a cool name for your biz? Research it first, to make sure it is available. It’s super important, before you invest in branding, logos etc., that the name you’ve chosen is available and not someone else's registered trade mark.
Tip - go to IP Australia and check if the name is registered as a trade mark. Do a Google search, domain name search and social media search to cover your bases.
If the name is available register it via ASIC. Nail the domain names and secure any variations like the .com, the .au, etc. if you’re planning world domination!
Consider trade marking your name. We can definitely support you with that! You can also check out our free Business Checklist for more insight into how you can get legit, step by step.
Decide what type of biz structure you are. Are you a sole trader or a company? This is an important step, so to help you decide have a read through our blog on the different business structures and what they entail. If you need a little insight into when you might be ready to move from sole trader to company, check this out.
Get business insurance. This is a must! Don’t wait to grow your client list. Get this sorted before any trouble can happen (you don’t want to get stuck with the bag if you give financial advice to a client who then loses lots of cash! Or, god forbid you give someone health advice and they find themselves stuck in hospital, with major medical bills, after taking on what you told them).
There are two types of insurance:
- Public liability - this is typical for bricks and mortar businesses, so if you do intend to have clients visit you in person this is important to have. If you’re solely online, you don’t really have to worry about this one.
- Professional indemnity - this is required irrespective of whether you are online or bricks and mortar. It protects you for the advice you give - if that’s specifically covered under your policy. A good insurance broker will assist you in selecting what is right for you and your business.
Contracts! How do you plan to work with people as a coach? In groups? Through masterclasses? One-on-one? In person? Be sure to identify all the ways you plan to work with clients and see how the services you provide can be offered in those forms.
We have some great templates in our template shop that will assist you with this. They cover service agreements, website T&Cs, privacy policies, website disclaimers and all the bits and bobs you need to ensure your online coaching biz is legally protected. Don't just copy and paste someone else's legal template. Apart from being a breach of copyright, it might not be suitable for you or how you run your business!
Ready to take on clients?
If you’ve followed all the steps we discussed above and done your homework, you should be!
Just don’t forget to consider some practical aspects like setting up your systems and processes, using platforms like Acuity or Calendly to take bookings for you and free up some of your precious time!
Onboarding with ease
Set up a handful of templates for your onboarding process to simplify the steps you need to take behind the scenes. Put together a welcome email, invoice emails and reminders and an email to send out your contract for electronic signing (a CRM like Dubsado is awesome. Signing apps like HelloSign and DocuSign are helpful, too).
Get yourself paid!
Make sure to set up your invoicing system, cuz you definitely want to get paid (and on time!) for all of your hard work! You can include reminders 9as mentioned above) for those who may not be so timely with their payments.
Well, beautiful people, that’s it for me! You’ve got an arsenal at your fingertips to use as support, so get building with confidence and excitement.
And one final thought…only because the first year can be a wee rough now and then. Here are some tips to help you survive your first year in business.
PS. Need help? Don't hesitate to reach out for additional support.
***Disclaimer. Please read!!***
This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice.
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