Speak to any super successful person and you’ll likely find that they have at least one coach working with them, sometimes they’ll have several. Many who have worked with a coach in the past often have nothing but praise for their ability to help them gain clarity, focus and direction. So why is it then that so many coaches fail to create a profitable and sustainable business, despite being incredibly gifted in what they do? Having worked with coaches for over a decade, I’ve seen my fair share of successes and failures. Here are a few reasons why some sadly never make it past the post.

Failing to find your niche

Whilst is it likely that as a coach, you could help a wide range of people, it doesn’t mean that you should! In fact, failing to niche is a mistake that around 90% of coaches make within their first year of business. You may be asking ‘why should I niche when I can help so many people?’ 

Well let’s imagine for a second that you want to quit smoking and you’ve narrowed it down to two coaches, ‘Jane’ and ‘John’. John is an award-winning coach, a bestselling author and a well known personality, but Jane is a dedicated Quit Smoking Coach (QSC). She was a smoker herself for many years and using the same principles she managed to quit smoking and can help you achieve the same too. Suddenly, she sounds better doesn’t she? Isn’t  it interesting how your mind starts to switch with this new information. No longer do John’s accolades matter, as you can see quite clearly that Jane solves your problem. You see, a true niche gets into the client’s problems; what are they facing and how you can help them to overcome those issues.. 

It’s also worth remembering that some of the biggest names in coaching started with a niche, Tony Robbins was known at first as ‘The Phobia Guy’.  The same can be said for you, and the genesis of your niche starts with your own story, the personal experiences and challenges that have made you who you are. 

Charging by the hour

Charing by the hour seems like a logical step for a coach, but in my opinion, it’s one of the biggest fallacies to ever enter the coaching arena. We conducted a study of several hundred coaches and found that the average time they retained a client for was 3 hours. As a coach, you know that if you don’t get enough time with your client, they won’t be able to gain the results they need. If they don’t get the results, they won’t see the value and you won’t get any recommendations or the ability to sell them additional services in the future. What’s more, you’ll be continually having to seek out new clients without gaining any benefits from your hard work with the previous ones. 

The trouble with coaching by the hour is that it’s intangible and not only do you have to battle with being compared to other coaches, but you’ll also be compared to things which have nothing to do with your offering, such as a nice meal out or a family trip to the movies, If we look at the bigger picture here, some of the biggest names in coaching do not offer their services on an hourly basis. The reality is that it is only the smaller and often less successful coaches who are charging by the hour. Tony says that ‘success leaves clues’ and I think that it’s pretty obvious that pricing by the hour is a seriously bad move. 

Packages focused on process not outcome

Another reason why so many coaches fail is because they focus on process instead of outcome. Most coaches who are selling packages online will offer a step-by-step process, such as a six week programme where in week 1 they’ll do xx, in week 2 they’ll do xx and so on. Whether all of this is worth the money or not isn’t really addressed because all they are focusing on is what they’ll do, rather than what the client will gain at the end of the programme. The brutal truth is that clients do not care about the process they are going to go through, what they actually care about is their outcome. 

All of the most successful coaches focus on outcome, all the uncesscull ones simply tell you what they’ll do. What’s more, the closer the link is between the pain your client is facing and the outcomes you provide, the more they will be willing to pay in order to achieve it. 

To summarise, successful coaches are those who have powerful niches, have coaching programmes that are quantified by a dedicated outcome and make good use of coach-specific digital platforms to help grow their business. We’ve made hundreds of coaches into full time coaches with teams supporting them and you can achieve this too. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen many coaches grow their business during the past few months, but with so many pitfalls to navigate, it is essential that you equip yourself with the right tools, guidance and support to achieve success.