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Other than “what is business coaching?”, one of the first questions I get asked when I speak to a prospective client, is how much does business coaching cost?
Although, that is probably not the real question that they have.
More likely, the real question that a prospective client is really asking themselves, is “can I afford to hire a business coach?”
In reality, a good business coach will earn you far more than it costs, so really you should be thinking of using a business coach in terms of an investment rather than an expense to manage.
Although it’s a very difficult question to answer, I’ll do my best to explain a few general principles about business coaching costs. Which will help you answer the real question you probably have too.
What do you need?
Buying the services or contracting with a business coach is a little like buying a car, or even a house.
Just like cars and houses, business coaching has so many options. With prices to suit all budgets. The cost can be very low or seemingly quite expensive.
But just like buying a new car, the price of business coaching can quickly mushroom when the cost of options are added in.
For example, here are some of the more common optional items, which will add to the cost of your business coaching:
- In person retreats
- Training materials/manuals
- Additional training/seminars
- Online private forums
- Mastermind sessions
- Additional coaching sessions/seminars with a more experienced coach
These items might well be useful, but depending on your situation and your needs, they may be completely unnecessary.
So it’s important to get really clear about what you need.
There are 4 Main factors influencing business coaching cost
The way coaching is delivered or provided to you will change the cost dramatically.
For example if I was to deliver in person 1:1 coaching to you in New York, USA the cost would be vastly different to if I was delivering 1:1 business coaching in my home town of Wellington, New Zealand.
Group coaching; where a group of business owners are provided with business coaching at the same time will also influence the cost. Although the overall cost may be higher, on a per person basis, the cost of the coaching will be much less than working 1:1 with a business coach.
Again, the cost of provision will depend on whether it’s in person or delivered virtually.
2. Length of time
Business coaching can be as short and simple as a one off coaching session. A one off coaching session would usually cover a very specific piece of advice to move you to the next level or overcome a roadblock.
Or maybe you need a longer term arrangement with a business coach where you work through a coaching programme designed to deliver a specific result.
Obviously, the length of the arrangement can vary between a few weeks or a few months. In some cases it may be indefinite. As your business grows, your needs will change and as long as the coaching arrangement benefits the business owner and delivers value then it will be ongoing.
It’s important to note that a good business coach will also be spending time understanding your business or producing training materials. This will happen outside of the time you spend with them, but will be covered in the cost of your coaching session.
3. Your needs
Sometimes business owners will have very generic needs – like advice on starting a business, social media coaching or marketing advice. There are many business coaches that can provide the coaching you require. You will just need to choose the business coach that has the most experience in the area of need, for the cost you can afford.
In other cases, your needs may be very specific or you may require specialised / tailored advice for your situation based on specific skills/experiences of the business coach. This will require a much more specialised coach and the costs may be considerably higher.
In the late 90’s big business consulting firms recognised that whilst each business and organisation are vastly different, they often have similar problems.
So instead of creating bespoke solutions for each client, they developed standardised processes and solutions. The benefit of this (at least in theory) is that the costs of delivering a solution is reduced, as the costs of creating it were much reduced and the time to implement much quicker.
The general rule being, the more tailored the coaching, the higher the cost will be.
5. Number of clients
A good business coach won’t just be focusing on coaching his/her clients. A good business coach may well be focusing on research, continuing professional education or running their own business(es). The fewer the clients the coach deals with the more time they can spend getting to know you and your business.
I like to limit the number of clients I work with at any one time so that I can focus on proving quality service to my clients, as well as balancing working on my other projects.
In order to ensure that I focus on the clients that I can help the most, I have an application process.
Costs of business coaching
As I’m sure you will appreciate by now, the costs of business coaching can vary enormously.
From a few hundred $’s or £’s an hour to many thousands.
How to identify your needs
What I advise business owners who are at the transition stage in their business i.e taking it to the next stage of its development – for example going from sole trader to recruiting the first employee. Or growing from your 1st million to your next 10 million,then they will get the most benefit out of a 8-12 week programme designed to prepare and think about the challenges ahead.
Where business owners have a specific issue that they need help with, then they would be best served with a single one off session.
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