Online business coaching has taken off in the last decade, and it’s an excellent niche to be in right now.
If you’re interested in getting certified or starting your own business coaching practice, you’ve come to the right place. This article is all about what business coaching involves, and how you can make it your career with some of the best courses on offer.
What Is Business Coaching?
Online business coaching is a type of coaching like any other: an expert provides the knowledge, wisdom, and guidance to their client to help them grow and thrive.
In this case, the coach is an entrepreneur or business expert, and the client is a business or business owner(s). Among other things, a business coach’s job is to help their client learn how to be more profitable, create manageable growth, or overcome a strategic challenge they are facing.
A business coach’s job is to help their client learn how to be more profitable, create manageable growth, or overcome a strategic challenge they are facing.
Types of Business Coaching
As the market for business coaches expands, so too has the available range of business coaching solutions.
There are now more than a few niches for aspiring practitioners to specialize in, such as:
- Leadership team coaching – designed to help larger organizations improve their management team performance, manage strategic issues, or tackle specific challenges.
- Entrepreneurial coaching – for new or growing business owners to develop managerial skills, among other things.
- Business performance coaching – often more generalized, business coaching services can frequently be tailored to a unique coachee’s desired goals, learning specific management techniques concepts for overcoming challenges.
If you love the sound of helping business owners take their ventures to the next level, coaching in the field may be the perfect career move for you.
Online certifications can often provide you with the know-how to become a coach for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and here, we’ve reviewed some of the best.
3 Best Online Certifications For Small Businesses
Here are a few online business coaching institutions that offer ICF-accredited coaching certifications.
While there is no official requirement for coaches to be qualified, these programs may help you gain the skills needed to coach small business owners and entrepreneurs:
|This program involves 8 x 60-minute classes and 2 x 2-hour classes, during which you will learn how to attract small business owners and work with them both one-on-one and in small groups.|
You’ll learn how to design a strategy for their success, identify issues unique to small business owners, and more.
|Name||Small Business and Entrepreneur Coaching|
|IPEC is a popular provider of training programs in Life Coaching, CORE Energy Coaching™, and more.|
Their Business Coaching Certification Program will show you how to help business owners define their goals, develop a strategy for overcoming obstacles, and improve their day-to-day operations, among other things.
|Name||iPEC Business Coach Certification Program|
|Price||Check with provider|
|Institution||Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)|
|This online course, hosted on Udemy, includes 18 hours of step-by-step video training, 238+ downloadable and ready-to-use resources to help you apply 2 proprietary Business Coaching Systems with clients.|
It is perfect for business coaches or consultants who would like to run an interactive online group coaching program and require the tools, techniques, and resources to do just that.
|Name||Business Coaching Certification FECBC Business Fundamentals|
|Institution||Fearless Entrepreneur Academy|
A Closer Look: Executive Coaching For Entrepreneurs
The terms “executive coaching” and “business coaching” are often used synonymously, but there are differences between the two.
To put it simply:
- Business coaching involves helping an entrepreneur or owner achieve their strategic objectives, and
- Executive coaching is focused on developing the potential and abilities of leaders, particularly those in C-suite and director positions. It is generally undertaken within the context of a leader’s role in their organization, helping them further develop their knowledge and skills to better perform the functions of their position.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming an executive coach and the tools that can help you succeed, our 5 Best Executive Coaching Apps & Leadership Coaching Tools article takes an in-depth look at what it takes to run an executive coaching practice.
How To Start A Coaching Business: 8 Steps
So how can you become a professional business coach?
There are at least eight steps:
- Find your niche. First, you need to figure out exactly where you fit in and where your knowledge and skills can be put to best use. Are you a leadership coach? A branding coach? A startup coach? Decide on your little corner of the business coaching world.
- Get the right qualifications. This may mean getting certified, taking some college courses, or getting some other kind of credentials.
- Define your ideal client. Figure out exactly who you are able and eager to help. What kinds of businesses do you want to work with? In what industries? At what level of development? With what goals or challenges? Knowing exactly who you want to work with will help you define your coaching practice and get it off the ground.
- Register your business. Whether you decide to help clients online, in person, or both, you’ll need to consolidate your business. Check what the requirements are for the area in which you’d like to practice and consider getting any help that you need might from a lawyer.
- Create a professional website. You’ll need a sharp and professional-looking website to market yourself, bring in potential clients, and interact with both potential and current clients.
- Create high-quality content. If you want to be taken seriously and stay relevant, you’ll need to create some quality content for interested business owners (e.g., a blog, infographics, PDF resources). This will be one of the best ways to bring new clients in.
- Create an online course. In addition to creating high-quality free content, creating an online course in your area of expertise is a really smart move. It will help you bring in new clients and upsell them on your services.
- Market your coaching skills. Marketing can take many forms, but you’ll want to use at least a few of the available options (e.g., social media campaigns, email promotions, word of mouth, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), networking events).
9 Courses and Pathways To Help You Become A Business Coach
If you’re brand new to the world of coaching, there are a good deal of introductory courses that will take you through the basics of coaching others professionally.
These can range from foundational training programs to fairly advanced levels, depending on your budget, time frame, and career goals.
Here are two general courses that come highly recommended and which will leave you free to specialize in the business coaching niche of your choice:
|This eight-month coach training program is ICF-accredited and includes a five-day Foundation Course, sixteen weeks of Foundations of Ontological Learning, five-day Coach Training immersion, and sixteen weeks of virtual learning in The Art and Practice of Ontological Coaching.|
It includes 125 student contact hours, personal coaching and mentor coaching, and performance evaluations, after which you will be able to apply the Newfield ontological approach to coaching.
|Name||Coaching for Personal and Professional Mastery|
|More info||Newfield Network|
|The World Coach Institute offers a huge program of courses such as Foundational Downloadable Self-Study Courses, Foundational Zoom Teleclasses, a Niche Zoom Masterclass, Certified Coach Zoom Masterclass, and more.|
The foundational classes are a perfect place to start with ICF and BCC-Approved Coach Training and are offered at different speeds, such as eight-week teleclasses, six-day teleclasses, or as self-paced study downloads.
|Name||CPC Foundational Zoom Teleclass|
|Price||Check with provider|
|Institution||World Coach Institute|
|More info||World Coach Institute|
Training in Business Coaching: 7 Courses & Programs
If none of the programs or courses that we’ve covered so far sound right for you, check out the list of ideas below that can help you get your business coaching practice off the ground.
- Become an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (IFC); this requires 60+ hours of training and 100 hours of coaching experience.
- Become a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the IFC; this requires 125+ hours of training and 500 hours of coaching experience.
- Become a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with the IFC; this requires 200+ hours of training and 2,500 hours of coaching experience.
- Earn a Business Coach Certificate (BCC) from the World Coach Institute; you can earn this certification through self-study, teleclass, online study, and/or specialized add-on training and coaching lessons.
- Take the Erickson Institute’s “The Art & Science of Coaching” program and earn a coach qualification (70 hours), a coach certificate (136 hours), or a coach diploma (154 hours).
- Enroll in Columbia University’s Coaching Certification Program (CCP).
- Complete the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) Business Coach Certification Program.
3 Best Examples of Business Coaching Software
A final tip – it’s never too early to think about the tools that you’ll use when you’re coaching – even while you’re still considering the niche that suits you best.
Getting started with the right coaching software is a bulletproof way to build scalability into your business from the start, so take a look at what’s available and think about what tools will help you customize, design, and share important resources with your clients.
Here are some examples of business coaching software:
|Quenza is truly powerful, user-friendly software dedicated to professional online coaching. As a business coaching app, it can be used to quickly and efficiently design customized exercises, programs, and learning material for clients – then to assemble these into complete online coaching sequences or programs for automated delivery.|
Using Quenza’s real-time progress tracking insights, coaches can build accountability and engagement by personalizing clients’ programs or following up with motivational resources. The app’s Android and Apple apps are free for clients to use, and all learning materials, results, and intake forms are private and secure thanks to the GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant platform.
|Good For||Client Relationship Management, Client Engagement, Coaching Management, Business Coaching Software, Life Coaching, Wellness Coaching, Executive Coaching|
|This online coaching software helps small and big businesses alike and provides a friendly interface for its users.|
This HIPAA-compliant solution makes perfect fitness software, as it’s secure and fit to handle sensitive data like business reports and client data.
|Good For||Goal setting and tracking, Client management, Progress monitoring, Business coaching|
|More info||Nudge Coach|
|Cloud-based online coaching platform Coaching.comis an integrated management system that allows coaches to:|
Good for large and small companies as well as sole traders, this specialist coaching management platform offers a host of services designed for the industry, such as mentor and coach matching.
|Price||Available on request|
|Good For||Billing and invoicing, Progress monitoring, Scheduling, Program management|
3 Inspiring Quotes About Business Coaching
Coachable people seek out those who speak truth to them, even if it is a painful truth, because it protects them and it makes them a better person and leader.
― Gary Rohrmayer
Habits are like financial capital – forming one today is an investment that will automatically give out returns for years to come.
― Shawn Anchor
A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has to see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you always known you could be.
― Tom Landry
Are you a practicing or experienced business coach? What certifications would you add to our lists of courses and programs? Tell us below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
We hope you found lots of great tips in our article to help you make a bigger positive impact with your business coaching practice. Now turn your insights into amazing client results with our $1 Quenza trial, so that you can deliver more impactful, engaging exercises that help them achieve their vision.
- ^ Ely, K., Boyce, L. A., Nelson, J. K., Zaccaro, S. J., Hernez-Broome, G., & Whyman, W. (2010). Evaluating leadership coaching: A review and integrated framework. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(4), 585.
- ^ Matlay, H., Rae, D., Audet, J., & Couteret, P. (2012). Coaching the entrepreneur: features and success factors. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 19(3), 515.
- ^ Kajabi. (n.d.). Your guide to becoming an online business coach: Make money and share your expertise. (n.d.). Kajabi. Retrieved from https://kajabi.com/blog/how-to-become-a-business-coach