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The 5 Main Challenges of Having a Coaching Business and How to Overcome Them

What do Hershey’s chocolate, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs have in common?

You may already know this, but if not, perhaps you will be surprised.

They all failed at their first attempt to do what they eventually became famous for. It took Milton Hershey three tries to create a successful candy company, Disney was rejected and told he lacked creativity, and Steve Jobs was fired from the board of Apple..

Failures and subsequent triumphs are essential reminders that success is rarely immediate, and the road to achievement is often fraught with challenges.

But the key is in preparation, perseverance and confidence. Of course, the second thing that Hershey’s, Disney, and Jobs have in common is that in the end, they did prevail.


What are the challenges of having a coaching business?

The road to becoming a life coach is not an easy one. There will likely be many challenges, pitfalls, and mountains to climb on the way to establishing a life coaching business.

So what’s to come on the path to having a successful career running your coaching business? What are some challenges you may encounter along the way? And what specific online coaching problems may you have to face?

Here are five challenges Jay Shetty Certification School recognizes coaches face when they start their business, and the solutions to overcome them.

Finding a Niche Within a Niche

There are many life coach challenges, but this might be the biggest one new coaches face: they fail to niche appropriately.

There are plenty of executive coaches, entrepreneurship coaches, wellness coaches and relationship coaches. But what is their ‘niche within a niche’?

Coaching clients are looking for something specific. They want someone to help them navigate the complex journey they’re traveling on, which is completely unique to them and their current phase of life.

A potential client cannot see the value in a coach unless they can see how the coach’s specialized niche applies to them.

In fact, as coaching is an emerging industry, clients may not immediately see that the answer to their problems is a coach––they need to understand this first before they can hire you and take value from your sessions.

Take, for instance, a new mother navigating returning to work and balancing the challenging needs of her career with her newfound responsibilities as a mom. Does she need a career coach? A relationship coach? A parental coach? A life coach? Either one of these broad terms could apply.

But what if she could meet a coach specialized in helping new mothers find balance? This niche is exactly what she is looking for. We at Jay Shetty Certification School believe the more the client fits into the coach’s niche, the more effective the coaching experience will be.

The Struggle to Find Clients

A common challenge coaches face is getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. This is the timeless struggle that is marketing. How can coaches find the exact people who need to hear their unique message and would benefit from coaching support?

This is a challenge that every business faces, no matter how big, small, or well-established it may be. Finding new customers (and turning them into loyal customers) can be tricky.

In coaching, you already know that people need your services. Perhaps you have seen the need for coaching in your niche firsthand or the value of having a coach from your own lived experiences.

But the truth is that unless you can get other people to see that value, your business will not succeed. This isn’t about visibility. It’s about convincing. We always tell our Jay Shetty Certification School students that people will not knock on your door as soon as you start your coaching business, nor should you expect them to.

Instead, starting a new business is about marketing, positioning, and preparing. You must create a brand image for yourself that accurately represents who you are, what you offer, and why people need it.

First, create a social media account and regularly post interesting and valuable content that makes your audience more intrigued. Then, create a website and further develop your brand credibility. Great content can include blogs, video content, podcasts––whatever you need and enjoy creating for your audience.

Find other ways you can increase and share your platform. Could you speak at a webinar? Could you work with other content creators to create a combined live or series? Could you get some testimonials from your current clients?

There are many ways for your voice to be heard. The most successful coaches are the ones who know how to market themselves through proactive creativity, networking, and self-promotion.

Finding the Time to Invest in Yourself

Do you have a coach? Are you continually driven to be your best self through learning and personal development?

You might already have your life coach certification, but the learning doesn’t stop there.

The third item on Jay Shetty Certification School’s list of life coach challenges? When coaches fail to continue their professional development and get overwhelmed with finding the time to invest in themselves.

Other businesses offering a product or service often spend many hours refining their product through research and development—so why shouldn’t it be the same for coaches?

Take something as simple as a mug, for example. The materials, the shape, the design––these are all things that could be improved upon or modified. If a business finds through research and development that its blue mugs sell much better than its pink mugs, then perhaps investing in a range of new shades of blue would be a good investment.

For service-based businesses, the most successful ones are continually researching, improving, and refining their services. Customers are encouraged to leave reviews and provide feedback, and staff are sent on training courses to brush up on their skills.

In coaching, these things become more personal because your product is yourself.

Just like other businesses, you must have the ability to honestly appraise your work and actively seek ways to improve your skills.

Perhaps you will invest in education and training that allows you to improve your communication skills and technological capabilities, or perhaps you need to set yourself targets and KPIs to self-manage your progress.

Coaching is not a static industry or job; it is dynamic and always shifting. The best coaches understand this and bring this quality to their business and services.

Don’t know where to start? Well, a great place to begin is by hiring a coach yourself. Do you have a business or development coach who can help you? Do you make coaching a priority in your life? If you don’t know how to find one, Jay Shetty Certification School can help.

By having a coach, you can speak from a place of authority about how valuable coaching is. Your coach can help you overcome obstacles, recognize your strengths and identify what parts of your business you need to work on.

New coaches make this mistake––they’re ready to go but don’t have the authority to speak about why coaching is crucial. They haven’t found the time to invest in their own research and development, which undermines their clients’ trust in their services and holds back their overall progress.

Sales, Sales, Sales!

You’re a coach––you’re probably not a salesperson!

But the truth is that coaching is partly sales. Even with the best offer in the world, you will still struggle to find customers and close the deal without knowledge of sales fundamentals.

In other words, to become a successful coach means that a part of you must also become a successful salesperson.

This might not come naturally: if you’re unfamiliar with sales funnels, objection handling and acronyms like ABC and AIDA, you should find a way to begin learning.

The good news is that there are many resources out there that are designed to support new entrepreneurs. You can find podcasts, courses, books and videos demonstrating key sales fundamentals and how to implement them into your business.

But our favorite way of becoming a sales expert?

Hire a sales coach!

You will be able to benefit incredibly from having a coach specializing in the art of making and increasing sales. There are many entrepreneurs out there who have a business in offering exceptional coaching wisdom as it relates to business, sales, and marketing.

Building a Business Strategy

So you’ve got your offer, you’ve curated a fantastic brand presence, and it’s time for your clients to start rolling in.

Now comes our final challenge––a lack of strategy, clarity and systematic processes.

When your logistics become organized and seamless, your business will succeed.

How do your clients book and pay you? How do you keep track of your invoices? How do you keep in touch with your clients afterwards? What are your plans for growth?

It’s time to focus on the technical side of your business: developing and building a business system with room to expand.

Create a plan: what kind of coaching sessions would you like to offer, and are there any other ways you would like to supplement that income? Set yourself targets: how much money you need, and how many clients must you have? Detail future goals: what will your business look like in 6 months, five years, ten years?

If you have a set plan in place, you exponentially increase your likelihood for success.

Getting the technology set up at the beginning will help you with this.

Invest in a good website that has scalable potential. Start collecting client and contact data in a free CRM system and prepare your privacy policy–– something you may use later. Create a social media account right now, and create ideas for content you can post over time.

The key to a business strategy is not doing everything at once but understanding where your business will be able to go in a few years.

This takes off the pressure, so don’t worry! Remember, here at Jay Shetty Certification School, we always say that a successful business isn’t built in a weekend; it slowly grows over many years.

Having the right plan allows you to direct your effort and grow your business while avoiding burnout and getting overwhelmed.


Challenges Coaches Face: A Solution from Jay Shetty Certification School

Is life coaching calling your name? Perhaps you have already started as a coach and want to take your business to the next level. Maybe you’re looking for a career change and know that you have valuable experience to offer.

Whatever brought you here, the journey’s beginning is often the most challenging part.

If you’re thinking about beginning your life coaching journey, there’s no better way to begin than by getting certified with Jay Shetty Certification School.

Designed not just for learning the tools of the trade, Jay Shetty Certification School is constructed to set you up for business success.

Learn the entrepreneurial foundations of starting a business, such as accountancy fundamentals, sales techniques, marketing basics, and more. This is a comprehensive support system of instructors, mentors, and alumni that will show you the way step-by-step.

The Jay Shetty Certification School is designed to bolster your confidence as you embark on your new career, allowing you to overcome the challenges coaches face.