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6 Signs You Need a Stronger Strategy for Your Coaching Business

If you’ve worked in your industry for a while, or had a service-based business prior to shifting to coaching, you’ve heard the word “strategy” before. Honestly, this term gets thrown around a lot without a lot of context. So what does strategy mean, and how will it help your coaching business?

Strategy, specifically business strategy, simply means the plan you create to meet your goals. It is the steps you plan to take and the projects you plan to create to move closer to your goals, be they client bookings, revenue, flexibility, team growth, etc.

Typically, there are seven areas of business strategy that I review with clients:

  • Finances
  • Visibility
  • Products or Services
  • Operations
  • Team
  • Professional development
  • Client Experience

I don’t want you to dive into all seven of those areas of business strategy, though. Because right now, you likely know that something is off… but you don’t know what. So let’s dig into signs that your business needs strategic help, and figure out which area of strategy can help you improve.

Sign #1: Revenue or profit is low

This is a common problem for small business owners and entrepreneurs. There are a few reasons why revenue or profit dip: Seasonality, pricing, and expenses.

Your work likely has seasons, or dips, where income is high and then income is low. On the other hand, if you realize that you’re not hitting your revenue goals despite having a full client roster, you might want to check your pricing!

Expenses are another problem area: If your profit or take-home pay is not where you want it to be, that could be a sign it’s time to check your expenses, your tax contributions, and any contractors or team members you’re working with. 

Sign #2: Lead quality is low

We’ve all had nightmare clients. We’ve all seen those red flags and took on the client anyways, because we needed the cash. So if you’re there right now, struggling with non-ideal clients to keep things afloat, that’s OK.

However, if you consistently have inquiries from people who are not ideal from the get-go, or who are referred to you by non-ideal clients, that’s a sign your lead generation strategy is off.

Outcomes aren’t what clients want

Sign #3: Outcomes aren’t what clients want

You’re a coach because you want to help people experience a certain transformation, or develop a certain skill set. So it’s a real bummer when a client doesn’t receive those outcomes — or they don’t implement the tools you gave them. This could be caused by one of two strategic shortcomings:

  • Your client attraction strategy
  • Your product strategy

You’ll want to determine if the product is actually working the way you want, or if it needs improvement. If you find the product/process is solid, you’ll want to look at your client attraction strategy (see Sign #2!).

Sign #4: You’re doing everything alone

Building a business can feel lonely sometimes — especially when you’re wearing all of the hats. From sending onboarding packets to hosting the coaching calls to sending invoices and managing team members, if you’re doing it all, you’re going to feel stagnant at some point.

This is where an operational strategy can come in handy. You’ll need systems to actually help you do your work, and a strategy to help you implement systems that actually fix your problems.

Sign #5: You don’t have time to innovate

You barely have time to eat and sleep, let alone watch all those courses you’ve paid hundreds (or thousands) for. But you’ve noticed that other coaches in your space are starting to offer a new approach, or have created new packages. How can you stay ahead of these trends if you don’t have time built in for professional — and personal — development?

Part of strategically growing your business means selecting the right supports to help you constantly improve. Your business will never be 100% automated and you’ll never be the absolute expert in your space. There’s always something to learn and new ways to grow. If you’re struggling with feeling like you’re behind with your business or offers, now’s the time to build a professional development strategy.

Sign #6: Every project or package is unique

That new client needs this added onto their package. This other client has a special package price. Those old clients have a different package and get more 1:1 calls with you.

As your coaching business grows, you’ll probably find that your packages change, too. But what happens when packages change and you’re working with old clients? Or when you’re shifting packages but you’re in the messy middle when you book a client?

If your packages or offers are all over the place, it might feel to your clients like you are all over the place. You also will end up re-creating the wheel with every new client; you can’t use the same contracts or onboarding materials, call questions, or deliverables. You’ll end up in a cycle of doing more work — and it’s not necessarily even work that your clients need.

Want to dive deeper into your coaching business strategy?

My goal, as a Business Growth & Systems Strategist, is to help coaches & service providers like you focus on the right things — the things that allow you to grow with efficiency, so you can enjoy your business and avoid burnout.

If you’ve been wondering why your coaching business isn’t growing, why you seem to attract the wrong clients, and why you’re always scrambling to get things done… you’ll want to read my full blog on the 6 symptoms of a weak coaching business strategy.

I’ll walk you through all 6 signs and help you figure out what to do next