Building a profitable life coaching practice can be a lot of work. It involves a lot more than simply racking up your billable hours, and that alone sounds daunting enough to put off most aspiring practice owners.
Having a solid life coaching business model can take a lot of the complexity out of setting up and getting started, and it’s an essential way to stay on track as you scale up your practice and grow.
We’ll show you how to plan your own business plan in this article so that you can create, deliver, and capture value strategically while you grow. If you’re keen to design your own as you read, why not work along as you read with your 1-month, $1 Quenza trial?
What is a Business Model? 2 Examples
If you’re like most new coaches, the words “business model” might conjure up images of how you deliver your sessions, from personal face-to-face coaching to online group sessions and similar.
While these do account for how you run your practice as a coach, there’s a little more to it.
Here’s what a sustainable business model looks like at its most basic, according to international business experts. This diagram ties in beautifully with how Strategyzer co-founder Alexander Osterwalder defines a business model, which is: “…the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.”
Where do you think your session delivery fits into the above diagram?
That’s right—it’s only one part. As a coach, you need a business model that considers the elements of your value proposition, value creation, and value capture strategy, all of which work together to help you grow your practice.
Let’s take a closer look.
Crafting Your Life Coaching Business Model
So what does each element represent in real life?
Your life coaching business model is simply the rationale of how your practice creates, delivers, and captures value.
Here’s what each element represents.
It’s critical to get very clear on your value proposition before you can create value as a new life coach—or before you start trying to scale up as an established practitioner.
You may have done this informally at some stage, but taking the time to solidify your offer is the key to creating consistent value sustainably over time.
You can create your proposition by formulating your promise as a life coach:
- Who (specifically) do you help? Where can they be found? What are the defining characteristics of your dream client?
- What before-state do you help them solve?
- What after-state do you help them achieve?
- What product or service do you use to help them achieve that?
This stage is all about being customer-oriented. If you haven’t created a dream client persona just yet, now is the time to do so as it will help you clarify your life coaching niche.
Value Creation and Delivery
The way you create value will stem from your proposition, and may even overlap with it if you’ve drilled down to the specifics of your offer.
Value creation is all about your product or service, whether that’s:
- One-to-one sessions
- Group or team coaching
- E-courses, learning modules, or workshops
- Information products, or
- Life coaching packages featuring all the above.
This is where you can plan a differentiated or “signature” package that’s tailored directly to your dream clients. It’s also where you can consider free products that help you promote your business, such as downloadable, ebooks, or introductory discovery calls.
Delivery is just what it sounds like, and precisely what we looked at a little earlier. When it comes to how you’ll reach potential clients and how you’ll deliver your offer, consider the following questions:
- Will I offer online, offline, or blended coaching solutions?
- Where can I get in front of potential clients, e.g. what social media, blogs, or podcasts do they use?
- How can I (better) tailor my solutions to their lifestyle, preferences, or needs?
Why did you start a life coaching practice in the first place? Value capture is all about what you get out of coaching clients.
While you may have got into the field primarily to help others, this is where you think about the following:
- What will my revenue streams be? (There will ideally be more than one!)
- How will my pricing structure look? What differently priced packages/tiers can I offer?
- What costs do I need to account for?
Creating A Health Coaching Business Model
If this all sounds confusing, here’s how a (very) basic health coaching business model might look:
Career Coaching Business Model: An Example
Let’s zoom in on an example career coaching business model to unpack it a little further.
Consider the following value proposition: “I help ladder-climber CXOs in Vancouver to land a promotion with in-person group coaching sessions and online learning modules.”
Your Value Creation and Delivery elements will of course be different from the health coaching clients in the last example, as your dream clients and expertise vary with the type of life coaching you do.
- A few example key activities might be: a career health check, discovery call, team coaching sessions, workshops, or online classes
- Resources could include: Group coaching package options, a downloadable ebook or worksheets, or podcast episodes, to name a few
- Channels may look more like: LinkedIn, Glassdoor discussion boards, and contributions to Forbes or HRAscend, and
- Tech might include online learning software.
Templates For Your Coaching Business Model
If you’re looking for more in-depth coaching business model templates, check out our full guide to How To Write A Life Coaching Business Plan: 5 Templates.
You can, of course, use the 3-step example we’ve already considered and create your own in a blank template using Quenza’s Activity Builder as shown above.
A few other helpful resources include:
- This Lean Canvas Coaching Business Model Template from Leanstack
- This collection of Value Proposition Canvases from Edit.org
- This Business Model Canvas Template from Miro.com
A Closer Look: Business Model For Online Coaching
So what do you need to figure into an online coaching business model, if you’re practicing digitally?
A coaching management platform like Quenza makes it extremely easy to plan, manage, and even deliver all your different business model elements from one centralized location.
While you’ll still need to formulate your own value proposition(!), software such as Quenza helps you create and deliver value while differentiating your product.
Quenza offers a unique suite of online coaching tools that allow you to customize your products and solution, while reaching your target audience of dream clients anywhere in the world.
Let’s get specific, though.
11 Benefits of Using Digital Tools In Your Practice
Here’s how Quenza not only helps you configure value, but build your solutions too–and share them seamlessly with your life coaching clients.
With your subscription, you can:
- Design entirely bespoke resources such as life coaching session plans, programs, and life coaching packages—both from scratch or from handy, free Expansion templates.
- Deliver your personal or group sessions asynchronously and automatically by drip-feeding Pathway content to your clients (ideal for e-courses, classes, and learning modules).
- Stay on top of your clients’ engagement and progress with live, HIPAA-compliant results tracking.
- Develop information products, free lead magnets, and other paid solutions for sale on your life coaching website (e.g. habit trackers, gratitude journals, or standalone exercises).
- Brand all of your solutions with your custom practice logo using Quenza White Label.
- Give your clients a free, practice-branded, and multilingual coaching portal app for receiving their solutions, tracking their progress, and downloading your resources as PDFs.
- Chat in real-time with your life coaching clients.
- Manage cohorts with easy-to-use bulk import and export features, group chat, and more.
- Keep notes on all your sessions and programs using Quenza’s private Notes feature.
- Share video, audio, image, and PDF files securely at any time using Quenza Files.
- Keep them on track and motivated using notifications, updates, and reminders, among other client engagement tools.
Best Software and App For Coaches
There is no shortage of different business model templates available online for life coaches, and you’ll also find a wealth of different apps for separate aspects of your planning and execution.
But when it comes to bringing all your plans, resources, and clients together in one connected space, Quenza is by far the best way to manage and grow your practice.
With Quenza, you’ve got all you need to deliver completely custom solutions directly to your clients in the way that suits you both best.
5 Ways You Can Use Quenza With Your Clients
Need some inspiration for your coaching business model? Here are some ways you can use Quenza to bring your strategy to life:
- Develop a screening questionnaire to zero in on your dream clients
- Plan out your signature coaching program using Expansions and resources as Pathway steps
- Design and publish your free products, such as downloadable checklists, “How To” guides, interactive gratitude journals, and worksheets
- Engage clients virtually between sessions by scheduling homework for automatic delivery,
- Create online learning modules, e-courses, or workshops featuring your personal Vimeo or YouTube files. Use them alongside your programs or as standalone life coaching products!
There’s a world of ways to create value, so planning your business model should be an exciting experience, not a daunting one.
Use these tips, frameworks, and examples to get you started, because these are the first steps to turn your day-to-day coaching job into a thriving business!
Don’t forget to start your $1 trial of Quenza for all you need to bring it to life.
Frequently Asked Questions
A coaching business model is the framework that outlines how a coaching business will generate revenue, attract clients, and deliver services. The most common coaching business models include one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and online coaching.
The most common coaching models are:
– One-on-One Coaching: This model involves working with individual clients to achieve their specific goals.
– Group Coaching: This model involves working with a group of clients who have similar goals or challenges.
– Online Coaching: This model involves providing coaching services through online platforms, such as video conferencing or email.
– Hybrid Coaching: This model combines one-on-one coaching with group coaching or online coaching.
To structure a coaching business, you’ll need to determine the type of coaching you’ll offer, define your target market, and establish your pricing and service delivery methods. You may also need to consider the legal and financial aspects of your business, such as registering your business, obtaining insurance, and managing your finances.
- ^ Bocken, N. M., Short, S. W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 42-56.
- ^ Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Oliveira, M. A. Y., & Ferreira, J. J. P. (2011). Business Model Generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers and challengers. African Journal of Business Management, 5(7), 22-30.
- ^ Leanstack.com. (2021). Lean Canvas. Retrieved from https://leanstack.com/lean-canvas