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Career Coach Business Idea

In today’s difficult economy, many qualified, skilled workers are at a career crossroads. These individuals need guidance on a host of different career-related topics, including how to properly market themselves, how to choose the right career path, and how to advance in that career. With this in mind, learning how to become a career coach is a great small business opportunity.

There are many different services that a coach can offer and these are dependent upon your own experience and how comprehensive you want your career coach business to be. So how do you become a career coach? It requires a lot of thought, planning and a sophisticated approach.

A career coach can be viewed as a comprehensive professional conductor. Most individuals who learn how to become a career coach start their own consulting business, attracting clients on their own and helping those clients become successful. The field offers much flexibility and freedom, and it is up to you to choose exactly how you want to build your services.

In general, a career coach assesses her client’s professional skills and interests, and helps match those interests with available career disciplines. A career coach can not only help a client progress further in an existing career, she can also help her clients reinvent a new professional direction.

They can prepare clients for interviews, help with resumes, and direct clients toward career paths that are more likely to bring success. A good career coach will provide both a macro view of the business world and intensive set of steps to get started in a specialized career.

How To Become A Career Coach – Types of Services

While there are numerous services a career coach can package together, there are a couple of services that form the backbone of a career coach business. These services are:

  • Career assessment and selection – Many people have a requisite degree and a number of skills, but they’re unsure about what to do next. These individuals need a career coach to help them choose a career that best matches their skill set and professional interests. A coach would analyze a person’s analytical acumen, their personality, and their prior experience to come up with a field where they will be likely successful and satisfied. This is often one of the most difficult parts of the business, as it requires a great deal of honesty and openness between the coach and client.
  • Resume and interview training – Though not all career coaches provide this service, it is key to success for clients. This is a direct, intensive way to improve a person’s chances of getting noticed. A career coach will help a client with his resume and drill him on how to interact during interviews. This is where a coach will use his intimate knowledge of a given field to anticipate questions that might come up during the interview process and to advise clients on the appropriate answers to those questions.
  • Career targeting – An important part of the coaching process is helping clients target various jobs within an industry. A coach will help find these jobs and in some cases, help the client line up an interview. The best professionals will use their own contacts to give the client a leg up, though this is not always necessary for success. As you build your network of clients, you will also need to build your network of hiring managers and H.R. associates.
  • Contact building and networking – One important part of learning how to become a career coach is building a contact list. A good career coach will help her client get started with this process, teaching her how and where to network. Likewise, coaches can pass their own contacts along to clients, giving them a head start.
  • Career management – A good career coach will also provide management advice to those with higher aspirations. The corporate world is difficult and climbing the ladder is no easy task. A coach will show a client her options and discuss potential moves up the corporate ladder. Offering valuable advice is a must in this capacity. This is an advanced service and is better suited to an executive career coach. While related, an executive career coach provides more highly specialized, management-specific services to her clients.

What Experience Do I Need To Become A Career Coach?

Career coaches come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and no one background will guarantee success. Typically, they have been in the business world and built up contacts. They have experience interviewing clients and they understand the ins and outs of the corporate scene. When learning how to become a career coach, drawing upon any Human Resources experience will also help. The best coaches bring a combination of skills and experiences to the table.

There are basic interpersonal skills that one needs when learning how to become a career coach. Since a huge part of the process involves motivating clients, one would have to be a natural leader. Likewise, organization is an absolute must. Because the business is one that will be dependent upon your ability to go out and attract clients, a natural sales ability is necessary. Coaches are self-starters, they are persistent, and they have plenty of confidence. All of these attributes can lead to success, and they can be improved with time.

Finding Clients For Your Career Coaching Business

For any small business owner, the most important thing is building a “book”. You need clients in order to be successful. How do you find them? There are many different ways, especially in today’s highly technological world. The best way to find clients is through a personal referral network. If you have contacts in business or in university settings, have them refer clients to your career coaching business.

A bulk of the marketing must be done on your own, as well. Don’t be afraid to use the internet, but make sure that you come across as professional and sincere. Advertise your service honestly and focus on what it can do for clients. What is your value proposition? How will you help clients?

How Much Do I Charge?

This is a difficult question and one that can only be answered on an individual basis. The average rate for career coaching services is around $100 per hour, but that can be modified according to your experience and client list. In the beginning, you might start by offering free consultations and offer discounted rates of $40 or $50 to build a client book. This will help you establish credibility and build rapport with clients. As you become more successful and known, it is smart to bump up rates for new clients. This will be determined by the demand for your services, however.

Learning how to become a career coach can be not only a highly profitable business but one that helps others succeed. Before getting started with a career coaching business, assess yourself. Do you have the requisite background and skills to help others? If so, pull the trigger and get started today!

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