A sustainable coaching business: How to do it?

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Once you know how to coach, it’s easy to set up a successful coaching business. Right? No! 

Of the thousands of people who train and qualify as coaches, only a small proportion go on to turn their skills into a sustainable form of income. Others struggle or give up and return to their day jobs. 

This may be frustrating to know, especially if you have just trained to be a coach! The coaching industry is not great on promoting this reality. It takes time, effort and more than coaching skills to get a successful business established. In fact, much of the industry is busy promoting the opposite. It often is portrayed as a great lifestyle choice, that untold riches are possible, that there are magic ways to be successful. All well worth ignoring! 

A successful coaching business is achievable 

There are many coaches who struggle to make a living from coaching. But there are also many who are successful, and who make a good living. Not the fantasy millionaire type of living, with skiing, tennis and long holidays interspersed with a bit of coaching. But a good, solid income, enough to support self and family. Coaches who do this have learned the two key elements. They have learnt great coaching skills, combined with all the tools, systems and structures for running a small business. They don’t have to be natural salespeople, marketing geniuses, or fantastic networkers. They do need to invest in the skills and processes to run this type of business. 

Too many people selling to coaches! 

One of the major problems for coaches who want to develop their business is that there are so many people out there selling to us. They promote their “guaranteed” programmes to help us find clients and create our coaching businesses. However seductive they may be, they all have two things in common – they are expensive, and they don’t guarantee success. If you are listed on any social media sites as a coach, you’ll know what I mean as the ads would have found you. 

Many coaches (including me!) have been drawn to these types of promotions. This is because the sensible, solid, grow your business advice is not visible, in black and white and easy to access. If that information was clear and unequivocal, we would be able to follow it. And we would ignore the snake oil salespeople who are selling to us! 

Help is at hand! (and it’s FREE!) 

I care deeply about coaches and want to see them succeed in their businesses. As someone who runs a coach training organisation, I earn my living from training coaches. That makes me duty bound to support them to grow their business. And my heart breaks every time I hear from a coach that they have “invested” in some sort of millionaire maker programme. 

So, it’s time to challenge the status quo, and support coaches properly to grow their businesses. 

I offer a programme called The Sustainable Coach which provides everything that is necessary for you to set up and run a coaching business. The programme includes: 

  • How to design coaching services and packages, and how to price them. 
  • Finding successful routes to market and having successful sales conversations. 
  • Developing a brand style and managing sustainable marketing activities. 
  • Linking your values to your services. 
  • Establishing and maintaining your visible credibility as a coach. 
  • Which types of services you should buy in, and which you can learn to do yourself. 
  • All the infrastructure and administrative tasks and decisions needed for the business.
The programme is promoted as a totally free programme for any coach who has invested in their coaching (training, qualifications, practice), with fortnightly tasks being sent to your inbox, to work through on your own or with a fellow coach. 

For those who want additional support with 1:1 mentoring, there are low cost options available. But the principle of a free programme for coaches applies to all. 

Why free, and what’s the catch? 

We offer this as a free programme to coaches, for a number of reasons: 

  • Coaches have already invested in their training. That is the best thing they can do with their money – spend it on learning how to become a great coach.  
  • If a good, free programme is available, then coaches are less likely to be drawn to the millionaire maker type of programmes. 
  • The coaching industry and coaching bodies could be doing this and taking a lead. But they aren’t! Instead of complaining, or waiting for them to take action, we are doing something about it. 
  • It will give more coaches more chance of commercial success. This will then help grow the coaching industry to be one with successful, rather than struggling coaches. 

Is it just for new coaches? 

This programme is designed to fill the gaps for everyone. For new coaches, it will have everything that you have thought about, and plenty that you haven’t! For more experienced coaches, it will help to fill in the gaps in your business strategy. It will give you fresh approaches and will allow you to focus on your core business of coaching. This will allow you to stop than worrying about where the next client is coming from. 

And who are you – some sort of business guru? 

Absolutely not! I believe in the Peter Drucker saying that “people who call themselves gurus don’t know how to spell the word charlatan!” 

Quite simply, I am a coach and coach trainer who holds a PCC qualification from the International Coach Federation. I run a company that delivers coach training programmes for ILM qualifications. 

I have been running my own coaching business since 2007 and understand what is needed to set up and establish a successful business. Like many coaching businesses, success wasn’t immediate, and I kissed a lot of frogs on the way! There is plenty of learning from my mistakes that has been incorporated into the programme. 

I have been intensely curious about what coaches need to do to run a successful business. And I have also been frustrated by the poor offering from the coaching industry to respond to the need of coaches. 

Having researched the industry thoroughly I have a good understanding of what is being offered for coachesSo, I can see what is worth pursuing and what is worth avoiding! 

This programme has been a long time coming. I was involved in a couple of coaching businesses that didn’t thrive. I took the lessons from these, carried out my research, and launched in 2018. So far, we have had over 200 people participate in our programme, with lots of positive comments and success stories. We’ll feature some of these in future blogs. 

Next steps 

If you want to get involved and sign up for the programme, see the full details on our website.

And when you are ready to sign up, you can do so by emailing team@loveyourcoaching.com. 

We hope that you join us, take your next step in developing your coaching business, and make it sustainable. 

Happy coaching and business growing! 


Charlie Warshawski 


If you were stimulated by this article and want to know more about how to use coaching for your career, your organisation or your life generally, then get in contact. Email us at charlie@loveyourcoaching.com or book in a time for a 30-minute phone or Zoom call https://loveyourcoaching.10to8.com  

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Charlie Warshawski is a leadership coach and coach trainer. He runs an accredited coach training organisation, Love Your Coaching, offering coaching qualifications. In his coaching, he works 1:1 with leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs, supporting them on topics that are both professional and personal – according to their needs 

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