Building a Profitable Health Coaching Practice that Fits Into Your Life
Do you sometimes feel like you’re spinning your wheels, and your business is in control of you? Do you ever wonder how you can structure you business around your lifestyle and your goals?
As business owners, we often find ourselves ‘winging it’ and that means learning things the hard way. Before we know it, our business has morphed into something quite different from what we thought owning our own business would look like: working long hours 6-7 days a week, letting clients dictate our schedule, and feeling a bit frazzled. I know how it goes because I’ve been there.
When I took a hard look at how I could take back control of my business and have it fit into my life, rather than have my business take over my life, I had a big shift in my business and my life. I took a big step back to look at how I could design my ideal business and put the right pieces into place.
The most important part of this process is deciding what your biggest priorities are and identifying what is a ‘must have’ for you. For example: As a wife and mom of two active children, I need maximum flexibility with my schedule. Identifying this as a ‘must have’ was helpful for me to keep in mind throughout the planning process. My main priority was to be at all of my children’s events, so having a flexible schedule was at the top of my list. What’s most important to you right now?
Decisions become much easier when you align your business model with your values and priorities. And, yes, while this may not always be possible in the beginning stages of your business, it’s important to keep your values and priorities in mind as you move forward.
Here are four simple steps for building a profitable health coaching practice that fits into your life:
1. Decide how you want to work. This is where you decide how you want to deliver your coaching sessions and do what you enjoy the most. There are a number of coaching formats to choose from: one-on-one sessions, group programs; connecting with your clients by phone, Skype, online or group conference sessions. Which format appeals to you the most?
If a flexible schedule is a big priority for you, you can coach your clients by phone, Skype or online, since you can do it from anywhere. If you prefer one-on-one and/or in-person group interaction, consider how this will fit into your schedule.
The how, also covers the where. If you want to coach one-on-one or in groups, your where will be very different than if you are coaching via phone or online. If you are coaching in person, do want to meet your clients at a local coffee shop, coach in your home, or rent office space?
2. Map out when you want to work. How many hours do you want to work per week and what days/times will you designate for seeing clients?
Establishing business hours is not only helpful, it’s a smart business practice. Set specific times that you see clients and specific times when you work on your business. Utilizing an online calendar system where clients can select times from your availability helps you stay on track with your commitment to business times.
Be sure to create a schedule that fits into your life, so that your schedule doesn’t take over your life.
3. Know who you want to work with. Who is your ideal client?
I know that honing in on your target market can be tricky. If you aren’t sure about your target market, take some time to really think about what you’re the most passionate about, what struggles you have overcome, and what you enjoy the most. This is a process that you will probably continue to refine over time as you see what works for you, and what brings you the most joy and fulfillment (and possibly, the most income).
The more narrowly defined your target market, the easier it is to be seen as an expert in that niche (a big fish in a small pond). You also have the potential to charge more for your services, the more specific you can get.
4. Determine how much you want to earn.
This is a big consideration because it can set the stage for everything else.
Let’s say your initial income goal is to earn $2,000 per month. As a new coach, having a goal of $2,000 per month may mean that you would need 10 clients at $200 per month if your practice were focused solely on private coaching.
However, if you were also doing online coaching, you could have 10 online coaching clients at $100 per month, plus have 5 one-on-one clients at $200 per month, to reach your $2,000 goal.
Set your income goal and then map out what you will need to do to get there. Working backwards to figure this out can be extremely helpful. If your goal is to earn $5,000 per month, what would you need to put into place to make that happen? Look at what your income goals are, determine what your program offerings are, and then put the pieces of the puzzle into place.
Remember, there is no one right way approach to your health coaching business. Just as you are unique, your business is unique. It may take some time (and some trial and error) to see what works best for you. Establishing and growing your business takes time. Assessing your business monthly and quarterly will help you stay on track and support you in making course corrections along the way.
You want to enjoy what you do as much as possible and this starts with designing your business around your priorities, your goals, and your life.
So, take a look at each of the 4 steps above and see what areas you may want to refine in order to create your ideal, profitable practice.
Let me know how it goes so I can cheer you on!