How to Start and Build a Successful Coaching Business

The coaching business is one of the most well paying and popular industries. Here are some great self employment opportunities in the coaching business.

I’m sure most of you have heard the name Tony Robbins. He’s built a massively successful coaching business. Rumour has it that his company is worth over a billion dollars.

Tony is more of an exception than the norm in the training business.

If you look around in your local area, you’ll see several one-man training shops earning a decent income for themselves.

Why is training such a lucrative business?

Almost every individual goes through roadblocks in her life. It could be relationships, parenting, health, career, or business. When they are faced with these challenges, they are looking for an expert opinion.

Fifty years ago, many of us relied on our grandmothers, parents, friends, or even the bartender at our local bar. But now, people have realized that they need an expert to fix their lives. That’s where coaches come in.

The investment to start a coaching business is low. All you need is knowledge (in your niche), a laptop, a little bit of marketing money, and a group of clients willing to pay; and you are all set.

Here is a step-by-step process to start a training and coaching business.

Step 1: Choose a Niche

There are various niches in the coaching business. Life and career coaching are the common ones. But don’t underestimate the power of other niches like dog and cat training, dating, social skills, and much more. Many people take their hobbies seriously. Hobbies like knitting, video gaming, etc. can be profitable as well. Not too long ago, I saw PokimonGo coaches all over the place.

Dating is another massive market. There are a lot of celebrity dating coaches who are doing well for themselves. Many of us don’t take relationship courses in college and are mostly self-learned. In this context, a great dating coach can do wonders for a person’s social life.

For more niches, check out our article “Top 47 niches in the coaching business.

Step 2: Understand the role of a coach

A coach’s role is to understand the problems of his client and provide solutions. If you are a dating coach, your job is to help your client become more confident and meet more matches closer to his criteria.

Step 3: Identify your Revenue Streams

How do trainers make money?

Business models for trainers have evolved over the years. With the internet, we now have online courses, webinars, and many more revenue streams.

I’ve listed some options below. Choose the ones that suit you best. Initially, you may need to experiment to figure out which ones work best for you.

Workshops and in-person events

This is one of the most common ways trainers make money. They organize one-day, two-day, and longer format workshops.

Group lessons

These are courses that last anywhere from four weeks to one year. In a typical four-week course, attendees meet once a week for four to six weeks. Longer versions like six month and one-year programs typically meet once a month, and trainers tend to throw in bonuses like buddy group and a few informal events to make their programs more attractive.

These courses can either be an in-person event where attendees meet physically, or it can be an online teleseminar or webinar.

Online courses

They have become very popular because they can generate passive income. One needs to set-up the course just once, and it keeps generating income over and over again.

DVDs, CDs, audio files

Many trainers do a video recording of their live events, put them on a DVD and sell it. If video is not in your budget, then recording audio files can be cost-effective.


A lot of coaches, bloggers, writers and consultants sell ebooks. Some have had success, although the perceived value of an ebook is much lesser than video or audio.

Annual retreats

They are mostly five to 10-day programs. It is usually in an exotic location, and the purpose is to help attendees rejuvenate, relax, learn and meet new people. Yoga retreats are extremely popular all over the world.

One-on-one coaching

Sometimes, clients want personal attention, and trainers address them on a one-on-one basis. Pricing for this is much higher than group programs because the coach is addressing just one client at a time, as compared to multiple people at the same time in a group session.

Corporate workshops

Several organizations and private companies hire outside trainers for their employee development programs. Here, the trainer’s primary role is to help companies fulfill their HR development goals.


A blog can be an additional revenue stream for your coaching business. Money can be made from advertising, affiliate programs, paid subscriptions/memberships. If you have no idea how to start a blog, check out this article.

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan to Acquire Clients

The biggest challenge in the coaching business is acquiring clients. Most trainers are not good marketers, and they struggle with the marketing side of the business. Check out this article on how to acquire clients for your training and coaching business.

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About the Author: Vinil Ramdev

Vinil is an entrepreneur, trainer, marketer, and a passionate blogger.


  1. Such a detailed and informative guide! Thank you so much for sharing this, its so useful!

  2. I don’t know if I could ever do a coaching kind of business, but I totally love the idea of it and commend all those who offer those kinds of services 🙂

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