COVID, inflation, market saturation, social media algorithms, hiring shortages… the list goes on and on. If you are a coach living in a post-pandemic world, then you know more than anyone how important it is to be resilient.
But people say that all the time, right? Protect your business! Be resilient! But what exactly does that mean for you, as a coach? How do you ensure that your business is not only here today, but here tomorrow, and next year… and the next decade?
That’s what we’ll be digging in today! By the way, we’re Cass & Tee. We’re web designers, certified coaches, and the co-Founders of Lovely Impact. After 20+ years of business experience, we partnered up and launched our new business during the pandemic, and we’ve helped countless coaches do the same.
Along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two about being resilient, adapting, and protecting our business, and we want to share it with you.
Let’s dive right in!
What Is a Resilient Coaching Business?
Being able to bounce back after a setback, definitely shows resilience. Good for you! You are a resilient person, but that doesn’t make your business resilient!
A resilient coaching business is a business that is disaster-proofed from day one. To do that, it takes a coach who has organized, strategized, planned, and stayed consistent in their business.
A resilient coaching business knows exactly what it needs to do in difficult times, including its workflows and the big hairy goals it has set, so that it can maintain itself even in tough times.
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A resilient coaching business can:
- Adapt – It’s inevitable that setbacks and disruptions will occur in any coaching business. Perhaps it is something that you are experiencing internally or outside of yourself that is beyond your control. No matter what the issue is, you can plan for it.
- Reduce Stress – You will also benefit personally from continuity planning by reducing your stress when faced with disruptions within and outside your company. Setbacks are stressful because the wrong thing happens at the wrong time without any planning, and this makes things worse.
- Protect Human Capital – If you hire people, disruptions may come from having to lay them off, from them making an error, or from them failing to show up. You can avoid disaster by planning ahead.
- Protect Assets – When something goes wrong, planning ahead, saving for a rainy day, and using the right tools can help you protect your assets. The failure of your coaching business should not put the well-being of your entire family at risk. Proper planning can protect your assets.
- Consistently Break-Even – You may not be super-profitable during hard times, but you can continue your coaching business regardless if you put plans in place to stay in business during these periods.
- Recover Quickly – Future disruption planning will not be able to cover everything that may happen, but it can make recovery faster if you have given potential issues some thought.
Coaches must consider disaster and disruption strategies in advance as part of the normal business planning process so that downtime can be avoided and vulnerabilities exposed early.
How to Setup a Resilient Coaching Business
We could talk for hours about all the things you need to do to disaster-proof your coaching business, but instead, we are going to focus on the two things that helped us and our coaching clients. Systems and hiring.
Here’s exactly what we suggest:
Step 1: Create Systems to Increase Resilience
The best way to be a resilient coach is to think about how you run your coaching business every day during the good times and work on creating systems and processes that make everything simpler to do.
When you have a specific way to do something and do it that way, you will become more efficient and accurate over time. You will avoid bottlenecks, identify opportunities, and avoid disruptions by setting up systems, thus increasing your ability to bounce back from problems.
- Identify All Repetitive Tasks – Take some time to go through your day, documenting what you do each day. Anything you have to do more than once is a repetitive task that is open to automation, delegation, and of course, systemization.
- Determine the Type of System – Systems are either manual, automated, or a hybrid of the two. An automated system will be set up using software and technology. For example, if you know you will need to make a new client file each time, you can use different software to help, such as Zapier.com. But if you don’t want to use technology, you just set up a workflow to state how you’re going to set up your new client files to standardize everything.
- Know Your Priorities – If you don’t know the impact you’re trying to make, it’s hard to prioritize anything. Focusing on impact is always going to produce better results than focusing on your intent. Of course, you intend to make your customer’s life more comfortable, but if you don’t test the impact, you have no idea if you’re succeeding or not.
- Create A Process or Workflow for Each Task – Before you can add in automation or create a workflow that makes sense, you’ll need to create a process for each task that makes sense. Thinking out the steps you have to take and then eliminating unnecessary steps that don’t affect impact will improve your workflows.
- Document Your Systems and Processes – Once you have designed a workflow or a system and a process, you’ll want to document exactly how you do it by writing it down. You can do this manually, or you can use software to help you design workflows.
- Use Project Management Systems – Don’t skimp on a sound project management system even if you are alone. Using a system that helps you design workflows and manage your projects will save you a lot of hassle and help you avoid mistakes. Consider using software like Notion.so,Trello.com, Basecamp.com, or Monday.com to help you manage your projects.
- Track, Tweak and Continue – You will have to update your processes along the way. Designing it is just the beginning. Every system you set up can be improved over time as you try using the systems you’ve set up.
A system doesn’t have to involve technology. It’s just a way of doing something that you’ve systematized. This means that you’ve organized the work you do to get the result you desire or structured the work in such a way that you can standardize it. This process enables you to produce better quality products, services and add more value to your coaching clients’ lives even if you are working from home online.
Step 2: Build a Trusted Team to Increase Resilience
A serious issue for most coaches who start a business from home online is thinking they have to do it all themselves. The more you can be the manager of your business instead of the worker bee in your business, the more resilient your business will become.
Being a freelancer is great, but it’s not really the same as being a business owner. A business owner manages the activity in their coaching business in terms of organizing and planning, and ideally, someone else does the labor. It’s OK to start out doing it all and wearing many hats, but if you really want a sustainable business that can thrive in challenging times, you need to build a trusted team.
- Develop a Business Plan – Part of your coaching business plan should include benchmarking when you’ll start using specific expensive software systems or human resources. For example, suppose you have no budget and just start building your coaching website. In that case, you may need to do everything yourself, but why not set up an earning goal that signals to purchase of software or contract with web designers for coaches who can do the tasks for you?
- Create a Vision and Mission Statement – Crafting a good mission statement and vision statement for your coaching business will help you show your team what the point is of what they do.
- Set Up Your Systems and Processes – Even when you’re still doing it all alone, you need to set up the right workflows, systems, and processes that make it easier for you to get things done in an orderly manner. It will also make it easier to identify tasks open to automation, delegation, and outsourcing.
- Choose: Automate, Delegate, or Outsource (ADO) – As you set up your workflows, note which tasks can be automated, delegated, or outsourced. For example, if you work from home and need more time, you can delegate household tasks to the kids or spouse or hire someone. For your work stuff, you can do the same exact thing. As you note which task is open to ADO, identify the software you want to buy and the type of person you want to work with. Writing a task description from the workflows you’ve set up will make it easier.
- Identify Tasks to Outsource to Experts – As you realize which tasks you can start to outsource, set up a budget. You may not know how much people charge for that task yet, so you’ll have to do the research, but at least to identify which tasks can be outsourced to experts you’re halfway there.
- Set ADO Benchmarks – Set monetary or other criteria to help you know when it’s time to automate, delegate, or outsource something. For example, if you currently write all your own content, and you’ve discovered it will cost you $1000 a month to outsource set an income number that signals it’s time to find someone to help.
- Use a Project Management System – Don’t try to run projects using email. It’s too complicated for most people to keep up with. Instead, use a standard project management system software that is designed for project management. You can find free and inexpensive options today, so there is no reason not to use them.
- Find the Right Experts to Outsource To – Once you’ve identified tasks that can be outsourced, start looking for the people even if you can’t hire them just yet. You want to know who you want to work with in advance so that you can reach out the moment you’re ready.
- Focus on Modularity and Redundancy – Don’t outsource entire projects to any one person. Let your contractor work on parts of a project but not the entire thing so that if one person drops out, you are still going to make your deadlines because you can easily find someone to either fill in that space or do it yourself.
- Get a Contract in Place – When you work with contractors (or coaching clients), having a standard contract is always a good thing to do. The agreement will spell out your and their responsibility to the project and ensure that you own their work product once it’s submitted to you. Many experts have their own contracts to sign, and that’s perfectly fine as long as you have a written agreement that explains expectations and payment.
- Provide Clear Training on Your Systems and Software – You don’t hire experts and train them how to do their job. It would help if you showed them how you want work submitted and documented using your project management software.
- Give Constant Feedback – Don’t leave your people in the lurch. Sometimes a service provider may feel lost and unsure about what they’re doing but not ask for feedback. Giving regular feedback is always appreciated by experts.
Building a trusted team in charge of doing the tasks that bring your vision to life is one of the best ways to ensure your long-term coaching business survival. This type of team can expand and contract as needed. You’ll avoid bottlenecks and other issues if you keep in mind the importance of modularity and redundancy as you build your team full of smart people and technology.
We hope you loved our thoughts and strategies now how to become a resilient coach. For those coaches who are not just jumping on the bandwagon of coaching, and want to really build an empire that lasts, this blog was just for you.
As always, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know: what are you doing to disaster-proof your coaching business?