Four Essential Systems for Every Coaching BusinessBy Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Systems can help coaches to not have to reinvent the wheel, creating a platform upon which to build a sustainable business which works with you. The following are four systems every coach will want to put into place, and review on a regular basis to see how it they are working:
1. Coaching Materials - Whether you are working with individual, team or group clients, coaches will want to have standardized materials that they can adapt from depending on the need. Some of these core admin materials may include:
A Welcome Letter/Email,
Your standard Coaching Agreement outlining what is included, what coaching is and is not, confidentiality, and other policies and procedures (missed calls, billing and payment, last minute cancellations etc).
Intake/Discovery/Welcome Questionnaire to learn more about the individual. Many coaches will use a questionnaire (paper based, PDF or online) which will cover core questions such as contact details, focus areas for the work, goals of the coaching process, strengths and areas of development, and how the person being coached wants to be supported. The questionnaire may include Wheel of Life or other starting assessment to provide a snapshot of where the client is at, at the start of the coaching (this can be revisited/redone/redeployed at the mid-point and end of the coaching to provide insights as to changes and growth area during the coaching.
2. Scheduling and Tracking: Scheduling and tracking your coaching hours is also a key part to running a coaching business. Coaches can sometimes very quickly find their threshold of the time they have to be “doing the work”.
Questions to consider:
What type of scheduling system will work for you - online? Paper-based? Phone?
Back-up? Security of the data?
What hours do you want to be working? How will this meet the needs of your client base?
3. Invoicing and Payment. How will you bill and receive payment for each piece of work/client? Does it need to be automated? What currencies do you need to operate within? How do your clients want to pay - online? Offline?
Along the same vein with these financially related systems, coaches will want to establish relevant bank and merchant accounts. Cash flow can make or break a business, what budgeting have you done for expenses, revenue as well as cash flow?
4. Marketing - Web or Print - Who you are, what do you offer (individual, group or team), what have others said about your work? Many coaches spend a lot of time, prehaps too much time, getting their website perfect? Remember that a website needs to be found? How are you connecting with, and building relationships with others? What other activities do you want to incorporate around marketing - speaking (in person or online), networking, blogging, Linked In, other social media, by work of mouth?
Over time, consider how you can develop other pieces, for example, presentation templates and speaking topics which can be tweaked rather than created each and every time you present. With whatever content you are creating how can Tips you cover in a workshop or teleclass become the foundation of blog posts or articles which can extend to a much larger audience?
Questions to Consider:
Which one of these four system areas requires attention in your business right now?
What is the focus you want to take in creating over the next month?
How can this become a foundation for other pieces of work you do?
These are four of the areas we will be exploring over the next three months in the 90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching program for Coaches. The program starts this Thursday Jan 24th at 2 pm Eastern. Group calls are held on Thursdays from 2-3 pm ET/New York (Jan 24, 31, Feb 22, March 7, 21, April 4 and 25) with individual coaching sessions monthly. Benefit from a sustained focus on and accountability for your coaching business in this group program. More information and registration at: http://bit.ly/9IQ4hf.
I hope that you will join us! Three spaces are still open for this program.
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)