Monday, January 28, 2013

Coaching Business Builder - What are your core focus areas?

This past week in the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar we explored the topic of marketing and promoting group coaching work. Inherent in this conversation was the topic of pricing as well as how coaches can position their caching work.

Today's Coaching Business Builder post is geared to get you thinking about what your core focus areas are. These focus areas may shape your time, drive your revenue, as well as influence your business decisions.

Diversification in a coaching business is encouraged more today than it was when I was starting almost 10 years ago. I recall being encouraged to let go of some of the pieces I was very active with - leadership training, team development and performance consulting work - when I started coach training. Thank goodness I followed my own path!

Here are some questions for you to consider:
1. What are the core components of your coaching business?
2. What type of coaching services do you offer - individual, group, team, relationships, family etc?
3. As you consider your business overall, where do you see your major revenue coming from? How much of your time does/will this take? How much of your time are you spending on your major focus areas?
4. As you consider your business overall, what has been most successful for your clients? For you?
5. As you consider your business this year, what new products or services will you be offering? What "older" work can be productized?
6. As you consider these focus areas, what are you doing to let people know about them? What are you doing to build relationships?
7. Who do you need on your team to support you with this work?
8. What will help you stay renewed and at peak performance this year?
9. What, if anything, do you need to let go of to create space for your major focus areas?10. What will success look like for you at the end of 2013 in these core focus areas?
11. What plans do you have/want to put in place throughout the year?

Lots of questions, and of course, that is the backbone of any coaching work. I hope that you may engage with these questions over a cup of coffee or with your journal or tablet.

Have a great week!

Best regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)

Upcoming programs include the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (starts Tues Feb 5th at 2 pm Eastern/Toronto - 4 spots open) and the Mentor Coaching Group for coaches who are working towards their ACC Renewal or ACC/PCC Portfolio Route (10 hours - 7 hrs group, 3 hours individual. Group calls Tues 10-11 am Eastern starting Feb 5 - 3 spots open). Early Bird rate for the April 6-7 Group Coaching Intensive in Toronto is on until Jan 31st.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Four Essential Systems for every Coaching Business

Four Essential Systems for Every Coaching Business

By 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:

I hope that you will join us! Three spaces are still open for this program.

Best regards

 Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC 
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

(416)996-TEAM (8326)

Other upcoming phone based programs include the Mentor Coaching Group (10 hours for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio route starting Tuesday Feb 5 at 10 am ET) and the Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCEs starting Tues Feb 5 at 2 pm Eastern/New York)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching for Coaches starts this Thursday

Looking to focus on your coaching business this winter? Are you starting to grow your coaching business, or want to take it to the next level? Join me this Thursday January 24th at 2pm Eastern/11 am Pacific by phone for the launch of the Winter 2013 90 Day Biz Success Group Coaching program geared for coaches.  Benefit from a mix of group coaching, peer accountability and individual coaching calls. 

Over the course of 90 days (3 months) we will be exploring these rich topics, along with others you identify:

·         Business vision and your business values - What sets you apart as a coaching business?

·         Tapping into your unique strengths as a business owner

·         Creating your Annual plan for 2013 and longer-term business goals and milestones

·         Collaboration and Partnering - Creating a team around you

·         Essential systems for your coaching business - creating a foundation for success

·         Leveraging social media and more traditional mediums for building relationships, promotion and marketing

Registration includes:

  •    7 x 1 hour group calls over the three months
  •   Monthly 30 minute individual coaching calls with me (Valued at $300) 
  •   36 biz tips delivered to your email box three times a week
  •    Weekly module notes with exercises, and small business templates, you can adapt for your business

Space is limited to 4-6 coaches. Registration  is $497 (US or CDN) for the three month program, payable in two installments of $248.50 or three installments of $165, $165 and $166.

We will be holding our group calls on Thursdays from 2-3 pm Eastern/11 am - 12 noon Pacific on January 24, 31, Feb 21, March 7, 21, April 4 and 25, 2013. Monthly individual calls will be scheduled with you directly.

This program allows me to return to my own roots, as a former part-time Business faculty member I taught marketing and business planning and has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in the last 10 years. I was also contributor to the Women’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business in York Region (

I hope that you will join me as I  return to my roots for this small group coaching program for coaches - new, emerging and those wanting to take their business to the next level.

Click here for more information and to register: Questions? Contact Jennifer by email at or (416)996-8326.

For more tips to support you on your own business development check out the BizTips and business development tags here at the blog.

Best regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-8326
Other upcoming programs include: the Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCEs - starts Tues Feb 5 at 2 pm Eastern/New York and runs to early March), the Mentor Coaching Group (10 hours from Tues Feb 5 at 10 am Eastern until May 7, 2013 - ACC/ PCC portfolio and ACC Renewals), and the Group Coaching Intensive (Toronto - April 6-7: 15 CCEs - early bird rate on until Jan 31, 2013)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Measuring the Impact of Team and Group Coaching

Measurement was an area flagged in the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Survey as a key area for the profession to keep an eye on, as well as a trend/hot topic area I flagged last month in my year end review call. How do you currently measure the impact of coaching - whether it is individual, team or groups? What changes/modifications would you like to make in this area?

In Effective Group Coaching (pages 222-224) I provide a very high level overview of the Four Levels of Evaluation by Kirkpatrick which is commonly used in the training and performance realm. Very briefly, these are:
Level 1 - Reaction - What do clients like about the program? This measures individual reaction - what do people like. It often is referred to as the "smile" sheets
Level 2 - Learning - What did clients learn from the program? This level looks at what specific insights people have acquired.  It looks at
Level 3 - Application - How have clients applied the learning/insights from the program? What are people doing differently after the program (short term and medium term)? For teams, this may be looking at the application of some of the new frameworks you have explored (i.e. difficult conversations) or integration of their team contracts. In leadership group coaching application may be include new supervisors adjusting their communication style with their team, based on what they have learned about themselves.
Level 4 - Results - What is the business impact/results from the program? This is much harder to measure and isolate. As Phil Sandahl of Team Coaching International recommends, the work will benefit from asking team members to identify success measurements that are relevant at the start of the engagement. Team members themselves will be well versed on what relevant measures are for their industry and context.

As I have seen in my work, measurement at higher levels (beyond measuring only initial reaction, and learning) can be a very sophisticated activity. Wherever possible I try to tap into the resources and expertise available within an organization. These individuals may be able to provide expertise in the area, what metrics are already being tracked, as well as to provide insight as to what the current state of evaluation within their organization.

Even if we as coach practitioners are not going to develop expertise in this area, it is useful for coaches to develop an basic understanding of evaluation and measurement for coaching. Two of the resources I point coaches towards include:

Anderson and Anderson - Coaching that Counts (2004)
Patricia Phillips, Jack J Phillips and Lisa Ann Edwards - Measuring the Success of Coaching (2012)

What resources would you recommend around measurement?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)
Upcoming programs include: 90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching Program for Coaches (Thurs 2-3 pm ET: Jan 24 - April 25),  the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar(Tues 2 - 3:15 pm ET): Feb 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 5 - 6.75 CCEs) and the Mentor Coaching Group (Tues 10-11am ET): Feb 5 - May 7, 2013 (for ACC and PCC portfolio applications and ACC Rewewals)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Group Coaching: What do you want to create this year?

Happy New Year!
What do you want to create this year? What new programs do you want to be offering for teams or groups?
Every year it has become tradition for me to host a year end program call dedicated to group program issues. IF you were not able to join me in December, you can listen into the call here  (look for the December 14 2012 9th annual year end group programs call).
Last month I also shared 15 year end reflection questions over at the Effective Group Coaching Facebook page. You may want to incorporate these into your own reflection process, or new year planning with your clients.
Here are a few questions for you to consider:
- What are your key goals for 2013?
- What is the intention you have set for yourself (and your work) this year?
- What new programs or services do you want to be offering?
- What is the format you want to be offering your group programs as (teleclass, workshop, group coaching, webinar, retreat)?
- What new groups or teams do you want to be providing services for?
- What is going to make your work stand out this year?
- What focus do you want to have on building relationships this year? With whom?
- How can you incorporate new technology to boost connection amongst the group and team?
- What is going to expand your comfort zone, and impact, this year?
I look forward to continuing to act as a resource for you as we move into 2013. I am personally looking forward to working with many of you throughout the Group Coaching Essentials series and Mentor Coaching groups this year. I will be expanding my own client base this year with individuals, teams and groups so please let me know how I can support you.  I'm also planning a number of key activities as we move towards the publication of From One to Many - Best Practices for Teams and Groups later this year. Stay tuned!
Cheers to a great start of the new year!
Best regards
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, BCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: 416-996-TEAM (8326)
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program - 6.75 CCES (starts Thurs Jan 10 and the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (8 CCEs) starting Jan 18th. Next Mentor Coaching Group  starts Friday Jan 11th at 12 noon (ET) for ACC and PCC Portfolio Coach Applicants, and ACC Renewals (10 hours - including 7 hrs group calls)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Group Coaching Trends for 2013

What might be in store for trends around group coaching this year? In December I shared 4 trends I see as quite possible for group and team coaching trends this year. If you were not able to join me for the 9th Annual Year End Group Programs Call in December, you can listen to it here (click on the link for the December 14 2012 call).

Here are four trends I see as continued shapers of work in the group coaching realm - as well as team coaching, workshops and retreats:

1. Virtual - I believe that there will continue to be increased appeal for virtual group programs - whether it is a group coaching program that runs for several months or a year, or a webinar type format. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, and connectivity through mobile devices continues to explode, I do believe that more people will feel confident in trying out a virtual offering. Consider Christmas/holiday gifts during 2012. How many of you now have a new tablet or Ipad in your household? These devices increase the opportunity for virtual collaboration.

2. Relationship Based - I do believe that a continued trend or priority area for coaches and those running group programs will continue to be the importance of relationship-based connections. WE often talk about the "KNOW, LIKE and TRUST" factor in marketing. How are you creating opportunities to get to know potential clients, and more importantly have them experience your work so they know if they like it or not?

3. Focus on Measurement - The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Survey pointed to the need for more attention to measurement as it relates to coaching. As a coach, how are you measuring impact (short term, medium term, long term). What are you doing with your organizational partners to measure, or get them to measure impact. Coaches will benefit from familiarizing themselves around measurement. Een if coaches are not the ones undertaking the measurement they should develop awareness around standard practices of evaluation. ASTD has some great resources for trainers. Kirkpatrick's 4 Levels are quite standard in the training industy, and of course ROI measurement. Jack J. Phillip's is considered one of the go-to persons for ROI measurement.

4. Visuals - Hand in hand with trend #1 - Virtual, visuals I believe will continue to play a more important role this year, for in person and virtual programs. With the advent of even more webinar service providers, consider how you can integrate a coaching approach using a webinar platform (making it more two way and conversationally based of course).

What do you see or sense as the trends that will influence your work this year? As always feel free to comment below on on our Effective Group Coaching Facebook page. 

Best regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Connect with me on Twitter | Facebook

Upcoming programs for coaches include:
Group Coaching Essentials - 6.75 CCEs: Thursdays 1030-1145 am ET: Jan 10- Feb 7 or Tuesdays 2-3:15 pm ET: Feb 5- March 5
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum - 8 CCEs - a follow-on to the GEC program, providing coaches with hands-on group coaching practice in the virtual realm
Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals or ACC/PCC portfolio candidates - meets the ICF requirements for Mentor Coaching, and includes 7 hrs small group calls (max 4-5 coaches) and 3 hours of individual mentor coaching. Next group starts Fridays 12- 1pm ET on Jan 12 running to April 12.