Running and scaling your own small business can be highly rewarding, and offering coaching services can be one of the best ways to do this. In fact, some businesses in the coaching niche can make upwards of 7 figures a year with the right systems & processes in place.

Furthermore, coaching and having a positive impact on both your clients businesses and lives can also be very fulfilling. But how can you get started on your journey?

Today, we’ll look at how to become a business coach, taking a deep dive into three popular routes many successful coaches have taken.

First things first, becoming a business coach means you’ll take one of three routes (generally speaking). Each route comes with its own set of pros and cons. They are as follows:

  1. Figure It Out On Your Own: Courses, books, interview people.
  2. Join A Business Coach Franchise: Leverage their brand and materials.
  3. Become A Certified Partner: Have greater flexibility but still get training & tools.

The business coaching industry is largely unregulated, which means pretty much anyone can call themselves a coach. This has become an issue for the coaches who have the legitimate skillset because companies are becoming pickier and pickier about who they hire.

If you want to break into the industry, you’ll need to have the correct qualifications and credentials. If you already have these, then you’re on the right track. If not, then don’t worry; now’s a great time to take the first step. Having the right credentials, certifications, and relevant experience will show people you are a qualified and trustworthy professional business coach, and, as a result, they’re more likely to hire you.

The path to becoming a great business coach can look different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. There are, however, some paths that are substantially easier to follow! Today we are going to discuss some of the most popular ways on how to become a business coach, as well as the pros and cons of each method.

How to Become a Business Coach: Figure it out on your own

Figuring it out on your own includes using online courses, books, and other resources, much like this very article.

There are many elements and components of being a successful business coach, some of which you may already be good at and others that will require a significant amount of time, dedication, and practice to develop. These skills include:

  • Becoming an effective motivator
  • Giving constructive criticism & feedback
  • Business goal setting & performance plans
  • Delegating & empowering others
  • And many more

If you are looking to improve your skills in any of these areas, you could: read books or listen to podcasts on the topic; enrol in some business courses; speak to someone in a role similar to the one you are aspiring to; or try and learn on the job as you go along. You can even find helpful information on the rest of our blog.

You Can Save A Lot Of Money

You can save money on franchising and licencing fees. Franchises are notoriously expensive, with some costing upwards of £100,000 to be a part of. If you feel as though you can grow your coaching business on your own, then you’ll be able to save a lot of money. You could even use this money to invest in your own professional growth & continuous learning, marketing & advertising, or other business operations in a far more efficient manner.

You Can Start Right Away

If you already have the right coaching skills, you can start practicing right away and don’t have to wait to complete training or courses. If you have a good offer and client acquisition system, you’ll be able to build social proof and a client base far quicker than if you joined a franchise, because you won’t have to worry about completing any training beforehand.

You Have The Most Freedom & Flexibility

If you choose this option, you’ll also be able to run your business on your own terms. Franchises can heavily restrict your coaching business: the marketing materials you use, where you coach, and the branding that represents you, but we’ll go into that in more detail later. There are some positives, then, to figuring it out on your own. But it’s not all great…

Gauging Progress

It will be difficult for you to gauge if you are progressing, as you won’t have anything to compare yourself against. If you were to join a franchise, you could compare yourself to other franchisees to see if you’re progressing as expected. When you’re working alone, it might be more difficult to gauge whether you’re growing at an appropriate rate.

Having The Right Social Proof & Finding Clients

First and foremost, it will be very difficult for you to find your ideal clients without any industry knowledge or network to tap into. You’ll also find it difficult to find and convert potential clients from your target market if you don’t have any certification or coaching experience to back you up. All of these factors combined mean it could take months before you land your first client and start making money.

You may find yourself coaching clients for free to build case studies and social proof before you start charging.

Pros & Cons 1: Becoming a business coach


This route could work for you if you are an extremely successful business owner with a lot of experience and previous businesses to use as examples of your work. If you don’t have any experience like this or if this is your first business endeavour, then this is not the preferred route for you to take. Keep reading…

How to Become a Business Coach: Join A Business Coach Franchise

If you have the money to invest and want a bit of security going into the business coaching industry, then becoming part of a franchise is another popular option. It’s one way to bypass a lot of the hard work that you’d incur if you simply chose to figure things out by yourself. By paying an upfront fee, you sign a contract to become part of a brand that is already well known in the industry. You can then pay a monthly fee to be able to use all their marketing material and branding in order to boost your own coaching business.

Training & Support

Franchises are good for a few things. Firstly, if you don’t want to spend too much time on your own branding, it can be a great option since you’ll be joining a highly established, reputable brand. Furthermore, all the marketing strategies and materials will be ready for you to use immediately, so you don’t have to give it too much thought. And, finally, you’ll get formal coach training & ongoing support, so you can potentially upskill yourself.

Taking On New Clients

Furthermore, when you join a franchise, you’ll be immediately prepared to take on new clients (once you’ve finished the initial training). This means you’ll be able to get off to a great start and grow your business quicker than if you figured things out for yourself.

However, the pros may be far outweighed by the cons. If you sign a lengthy contract to join a franchise, here are some of the downsides you may incur:

Extremely high fees & Ongoing Costs

Joining a franchise can cost huge amounts of money; some can cost upwards of £50,000 or even £100,000! This means you’ll need a substantial amount of capital to start out, and you’re putting a huge amount of trust into the franchise and their systems. It’s a big risk initially, but you’ll also have to pay a monthly fee to remain part of the franchise. Finally, a percentage of your revenue will also have to be given back to the franchise, hurting your overall profitability.

All in all, some franchisees find themselves in crippling debt because the systems don’t work for them. People have even put their houses and retirement funds up as collateral to pay for the huge fees charged by franchises.

It’s extremely risky, especially if you quit your job and go all-in.

Restrictions & A Lack of flexibility or individuality

Becoming a part of a franchise also doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility or individuality. Like we said earlier, you’re restricted in the marketing materials you use, where you coach, and the branding that represents you. If the marketing materials aren’t working for you, then you may find yourself struggling simply to break even.

Limited to a specific territory

Expanding on the previous point, most franchises also limit you to a specific territory. This means you cannot offer your services to anyone outside of your allocated space. In some instances, if you want to offer your services to people outside your territory, you’ll have to pay yet another fee to access these businesses, meaning your total addressable market is considerably smaller than it could be if you didn’t go down this route.

Pros & Cons 2: Becoming a business coach


A franchise could work for you if you need minimal training and have the capital for the initial investment. You should also have confidence that you’ll be able to attract clients within your designated territory. However, if you don’t have the huge amount of capital often required or don’t want your coaching business to be heavily restricted, then this may not be the best option for you. Keep reading…

How to Become a Business Coach: Become A Certified Partner

Becoming part of a certified partnership allows you to complete formal training offered by a certified company. Once you complete the training, you become a licenced coach. A once-off fee is paid for the initial training plus a yearly license. This allows you to use the framework, done-for-you coaching tools, branding, and marketing resources.

In essence, this combines many of the positive aspects of the previous two options while eliminating the negatives.

Greater Freedom & Flexibility

When you form part of a certified partnership, you’re not limited to operating under the name of the business. This gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility when it comes to the way you brand, operate, and market yourself. You’ll be provided with a variety of resources, tools, and materials to make starting your own coaching business as seamless as possible; however, you are under absolutely no obligation to use these. This means that if they don’t work for you, you can always look for other ways to grow and expand your own business.

Excellent Training, Resources, Tools, And Materials

As part of the initial cost, which is generally lower than joining a franchise, you receive comprehensive training. This means you can become a certified business coach even if you’re a complete novice with no prior experience. As mentioned in the previous point, you’ll also be provided with a variety of resources, tools, and materials; you don’t have to use these if you don’t want to. You should finish the certification program with extensive knowledge and appropriate skills, meaning you’ll be a valuable asset to your clients.

Furthermore, completing a certified coaching program shows your adherence to industry standards and an ongoing commitment to professional development.

Lower Cost Than Joining A Franchise

Taking part in a certified partnership will cost you more than going it alone or just buying a basic one-off course, so you will need some capital to invest in your training as well as your own marketing. However, it usually costs far less than joining a franchise. We already know that joining a franchise can cost you a pretty hefty sum, but take a look at this comment from a Reddit user talking about a well-known coaching franchise:

“When they said the words, “Some people will put their IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) up as collateral,” I came to the sad conclusion that this was both trouble and not what I wanted.”

Furthermore, as a certified coach, you’ll never be required to give any of your revenue back to the company, so what you earn is yours to keep, and your profit margins won’t take a hit.

If you want to keep using the marketing and coaching collateral, you will have to pay yearly fees, but these are also much lower than typical franchise fees.

Pros & Cons 3: Becoming a business coach

Should I Become A Certified Partner?

Certified partnerships are a great option if you want to combine freedom & flexibility with affordability. You’ll be able to create and build your own brand and hone your skills and knowledge when it comes to the best business practices.

You will have to be willing to put in the time to really grow your business. It can take a while to establish yourself as a trustworthy coach, but this is no different from any other business like this. By becoming a certified partner, you’ll have credentials to back you up on your quest to find clients and grow your coaching business.

Become A Business Coach With Business Coach Academy

Are you a high-achieving business director or executive? Business Coach Academy can help you achieve greater freedom and autonomy by building a 6-figure coaching business, and you can start by committing just 5 hours of your time at the weekend!

Just look at these results:

Business Coach Academy Testimonials 1
Business Coach Academy Testimonials 2

Learn more about how you can become the next Business Coach Academy success story here.

Find out more about how to become a business coach in the following articles:

Best Business Coach Courses

Business Coach Certification – Everything you need to know

How do you do the coaching?

What expenses will I have to become a business coach?

Does it work combining business coaching and consulting?

Which is easier to sell, coaching or consulting?

Should you take on FREE Clients?

Business Coaching vs Therapy

The Profit Coach Certified Program

Or check out this article by the International Coaching Federation

Zander Woodford-Smith

Founder Business Coach Academy, Co-Author International Best Seller "Better Business, Better Life, Better World. Coaching Tools used by over 20,000 people.

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