Currently, I am working on an internet marketing certification program. One of the classes I was listening to this morning addresses the importance of researching your market as part of your internet marketing strategy. This topic was of particular interest to me as I prepare to do in-depth market research for one of my clients.
How does market research tie in with business failure? Market research is an important element that can help protect your business from potential failure. As a business owner myself, and a supporter of the entrepreneurial spirit, I want nothing more than to see small business owners succeed!
Especially coaching businesses! Coaches and therapists are the links to transformation in this world. Although you may cringe at the idea of your coaching business failing, it’s better to face the possibility. You must do everything you can to prepare for exactly the opposite – success! Let’s explore the eight most common reasons businesses fail and ensure you don’t make these mistakes.
Lack of Planning and Organization
Do you remember when you first launched your business? Did you choose a business name, print business cards, and start coaching? Probably not. My guess is you did at least some level of planning and organization. But what I find when working with start-up coaches, many don’t have the systems and processes in place to scale. When the business starts to grow, it’s chaos. Most coaches are focused on getting clients, leaving little room for planning and organization. Creating time and mental space to plan and organize is crucial and must be done on a regular basis in order to succeed.
Poor Management / Leadership / Team
You can stumble in any one of these areas. You may be a great coach, but do you know how to manage and grow a business? You might teach leadership development, but how well are you leading yourself and your team? Speaking of a team, do you have one? Or are you flying solo? The most successful coaching businesses have a leader that either knows business operations or hires someone who does. The team behind that leader is loyal, experienced and committed to the mission and values of their organization. Everyone is on the same page, heading in the same direction. They are regularly reviewing progress on the company goals and working together to ensure the organization is successful.
Overspending was one of the biggest mistakes I made in my first business. I also spent money on the wrong things. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “It takes money to make money.” It’s definitely true! It takes money to market. It takes money to run a business. It takes money to hire help. But where do you get that money when you are brand new? Maybe you’ve set aside some money in savings or perhaps you are still holding down a corporate job. You must operate lean and don’t spend money you don’t have. Avoid using credit cards if you can’t pay them off every month. Save the fancy spending until you start making money. It’s very important to look at your relationship with money. Your mindset will subconsciously shape your ability to earn money, how you spend money, and even what you charge your clients.
Overexpansion (Growing Too Fast)
Is there such a thing as growing too fast? Absolutely! Especially if you aren’t prepared for growth. Imagine if I took on every potential client without considering if I could properly service their account. Growing too fast affects many things:
- Your ability to service your clients
- Having time to properly plan and organize your business
- Creates cash flow problems
- Produces mental burnout and fatigue
- A breakdown of operational systems
- Compromising the integrity of your brand
- The potential for a chaotic work environment
Growth is good but be strategic! Make intentional choices to ensure steady growth.
Saturated Market (competition)
When I first started my coaching business 12 years ago, the coaching industry was relatively new. It was experiencing rapid growth, and coaches were popping up every day. Fast forward to 2018 and the coaching industry is booming. Coaching schools are producing new coaches all the time. I recently did a Google search on “small business owner coaching” and it produced 224,000,000 results. Wow! If you coach small business owners, you’ve got competition. Competition doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. You will need to differentiate yourself, become a master marketer, and an expert closer to build a successful clientele.
Poor Service Offerings
Not everyone wants coaching or thinks they need coaching. Many are unaware that coaching can help resolve their most important problems or needs. Your coaching service must solve your ideal clients’ problem. You need to know exactly what your clientele is passionate about, what keeps them up at night, what they spend money on, and where to find them. If you miss the mark, you won’t connect, and you won’t have clients. Even if you’re a great coach, your client needs to believe your services are a good return on their investment.
Besides knowing your market, your ability to market effectively can make or break your business. Do your research. Gather comprehensive information to develop a great marketing strategy. Don’t rely on one means of marketing. Make sure you include internet marketing in your overall plan. Even though coaching is a relationship sale, your prospective client is online. In today’s marketplace, you cannot skip content and/or social media marketing. Find your marketing sweet spot. Create marketing tactics that accentuate your strengths. If you love face to face interactions, network or get involved in public speaking. Writing blogs or articles may work more effectively for others. It’s important to develop an effective offline and online marketing strategy. If marketing isn’t your strong suit, don’t be afraid to hire someone.
Failure to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
I am currently engaged in market research to identify my client’s competitors. Who are your competitors? What are they doing? What makes you different from them? With an abundance of leadership coaches to choose from, why should they hire you? There are hundreds of virtual assistants and online business managers that work for coaches. What makes me different? The fact that I am a certified professional coach that built and managed a coaching practice for eight years. What is your unique selling proposition? Know what makes you unique and find your tribe that connects with YOU.
The world needs you! You have the potential to bring amazing changes to individuals and organizations all over the world. Stay on top of your business game and prepare for the roadblocks that could derail your success.
8 Reasons Your Coaching Business Might Fail
June 22, 2018