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How to start a life coaching business

Life coaching helps people to make the most of their lives by overcoming blocks, moving forward and working towards personal and professional goals

If you’re a good listener, get on easily with people from different backgrounds and are able to inspire others to achieve, a business as a life coach might be for you. Life coaching helps people to make the most of their lives by overcoming blocks, moving forward and working towards personal and professional goals. You may sell your services into a variety of sectors including corporations, charities, the NHS and local government, as well as to private individuals.


You don’t need any qualifications to be a life coach, but clients will be more likely to work with you if you’ve received recognised training such as Accredited Life Coaching or the Life Coach Certificate. Membership of a professional organisation, such as the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, is also a good idea. Training at post-graduate level tends to focus on performance management with organisations or within sport. Courses can be a mix of classroom and distance learning – and fees vary wildly. Check testimonials from coaches who’ve completed a course you’re interested in and ensure that it offers good resources for developing skills, practical training and supervised work with a practising life coach. Advice on setting up a business will also be crucial.

Getting started

First, you need to work out which area of coaching to specialise in – sectors include personal development, wellbeing and executive business. You’ll also need to invest time in a building networks, as well as your experience and reputation. Organisations such as CoachMeFree offer opportunities to do this. You offer your services for free, which you can then use to promote your work. If you impress your ‘free’ clients, they may be inspired to pay for more advice, or recommend you to friends - word of mouth is going to be huge in this industry. You also need to set up a cracking website and utilise social media to build networks. Through these, you could promote ‘free’ sample sessions to potential clients to give them an idea of what you offer – which is a great marketing tool. It will also be crucial to attend networking events, such as those run by your local chamber of commerce, as well as joining coaching networks, such as the Coaching and Mentoring Network.

Costs and fees

Once you have enough experience, you can start to charge for coaching. Expect to earn from £40 to £60 an hour - but while this sounds a lot, remember that you’ll only have a few hours work here and there when you first set up in business. You’ll most likely run your start-up alongside your existing day job until enough work comes in. Once you’re up and running, depending on the sectors you work in, you can charge a lot more. For instance, working in the corporate sector, you can earn around £200 per hour. Coaching can also be offered in group sessions. Coaching sessions are usually sold in block of 10 to 15. Typically, you can work from home and offer coaching over the phone, or by visiting clients in their place of work or at home. Another potential source of income is to offer workshop in particular skills, for instance, effective leadership, or taking charge of your life. You also need to factor in costs for insurance in case someone is damaged or injured through your work. Read more like this

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