What are the 3 biggest mistakes to avoid as a business coach and consultant?
Great question. With so many people taking the plunge into business coaching and consulting right now, it’s easy to get distracted doing the wrong things and thinking you’re on the right track. Spending months and sometimes years following a path that just about keeps you in business, but doesn’t quite hit the mark you were hoping for, is really frustrating. How do I know? I’ve done it. So here are the biggest three mistakes to avoid as a business coach. Don’t make the same mistakes I did and waste years not quite fulfilling your true potential as a business coach and consultant.
Avoid Mistake ONE
Trying to be all things to all people. When I first started my coaching and consulting business, I thought I could serve the big corporate market and the small start up market at the same time.
This was a huge mistake. For one, the big corporate market does not want the same kind of delivery, style and materials that the start up market does. I found myself delivering similar types of content to two very different markets and charging wildly different prices.
This was confusing for me and probably sending a very confusing message to my clients.
I worked out that my sweet spot was the small to medium sized enterprise in professional services. So I now work mainly with lawyers, accountants, architects, surveyors and other consultancies.
Does that mean I turn down work in other sectors? No. I still get work in construction, recruitment and a global bank because they happen to love what we do at Tricres.
We’ve got a series of Live Q&A sessions coming up with me and my co-founder Nick Davies to answer all your business consulting and coaching questions.
Here’s the link.
Avoid Mistake TWO
You have to charge full fat fees from day one.
I am a huge believer in charging what you’re worth. However, when you get started as a business coach and consultant, unless you have a superb track record and a big reputation, then you’re going to need to do reputation building.
I started life coaching people in a charity for free. This got me testimonials and experience and got them some top quality coaching.
I then moved into charging people, but not a huge amount and built up my fees as I built my reputation.
Getting your first clients can be tough if you step out all guns blazing charging a fortune. People want to know you’ve got a track record before they part with their hard earned cash.
Start small and build up. It doesn’t take long once you get going. Then, you can charge really healthy day rates and feel good you’ve earned it.
Avoid Mistake THREE
Don’t undersell yourself.
Hang on! I’ve just said charge small to begin with and now I’m saying don’t undersell yourself.
There’s a huge difference between building up your reputation and client base and not valuing what you deliver for clients.
Your first year is about building that reputation and doing some work at lower rates than you actually want to be charging just to get experience and build up that important client base.
Beyond that, you’ve got some fantastic examples of how much impact you’ve made to a client’s business and their lives so use them to talk about the value your work adds.
I know that I save my clients a huge amount of stress, have added tens of thousands of pounds to their bottom line and helped them weather the storms of business very successfully.
How do I know? They’ve told me.
Whenever you come across a client who wants to negotiate the fee down to the bone or refuses to pay or who isn’t listening to you or working to implement the changes you’ve discussed with them, then its time to ask whether they’re the right client for you.
I’ve walked away from very lucrative clients because they did not value what I was doing for them. Does that make them a bad person or me a bad consultant? No. It just means we’re not right for each other and that’s ok.
There are millions and millions of businesses on the planet so not all of them are going to love and appreciate what you do. Find the ones who do love and appreciate what you do, charge the right amount for the value you deliver and you’ll have a very successful business coaching and consulting practice. Avoiding those three biggest mistakes as a business coach will make your path to success that much easier.
Rebecca and Nick founded Tricres in 2018 as a way to get out content out to as many professional services businesses as possible. It turns out that we can support the growth of other business coaches and consultants too by sharing how we do things and how we’ve built up really successful business coaching and consulting practices.
If you want to ask us how we did it, we hold a series of live Q&A events to answer all your questions. They’re free to attend.
Check out our EVENTS page to see the next dates and join us!