How to Scale a Coaching Business (by Growing a Team!)

Your coaching business is doing awesome! For all intents and purposes, you’re having little to no trouble finding clients. Your marketing efforts are definitely paying off, and now you’ve reached the point in your business where you feel it’s time to scale.

Whether it’s because you’re completely overbooked and need about 15 more pairs of hands in your coaching business or you want to grow your income way past what you’ve reached now (or both), it’s a great idea to start thinking about growing a team for your coaching business!

Teams enable you to take on double or even triple the amount of clients you’re currently taking on without having to put much more work on your plate. In fact, you’d be able to exponentially clear up space on your calendar to finally get back to doing the things you love. Keep reading to learn how to scale your coaching business by growing a team!

How to scale your coaching business by growing a team - Everything coaches need to know about growing a team

Get Your Coaching Business Organized

Trust us when we say that hiring and onboarding will run so much more smoothly if you’ve done your best to organize your business beforehand. If you use Google Drive, try to get your files organized and straightened up to the best of your ability. What tools do you use now, if any, that will make it easier to onboard and offboard? What things can you go ahead and automate in your business right now?

By organizing your business, this will also make it easier to identify what tasks you’d like to outsource. Once you have the tasks, you can then group them into roles that you need filled. You may have no clue where to start, and that’s okay! If you’ve found that your business has just gotten too out of hand to try to organize, one of your first hires could be a Systems Strategist or Business Manager.

Define Your Goals with a Team

What exactly are you hoping to accomplish with a team? This will also aid you in figuring out what roles you should outsource.

Are you wanting to double your income? If that’s the case, then there are a couple of different roles you could fill. A coach assistant, for example, could be someone who is able to take on clients of their own. This will allow you to potentially double the availability in your client roster. However, we’ll admit that this role can and likely will be the hardest to fill because it requires finding someone whose skill set and character you can trust. The last thing you want are negative testimonials from clients!

WHAT ABOUT A CLIENT SUPPORT TEAM MEMBER?

You could also hire team members that focus on client support, meaning they manage the email inbox, your DMs, and other outlets that clients and prospects will turn to for support, including a Facebook group. They can also assist with onboarding new clients, offboarding clients that are finished working with you, sending out thank you gifts, and other client-related tasks. This will free up your plate tremendously to be able to open space on your calendar to take on more clients.

how to strengthen weak areas with a team

Strengthening weak areas is another common goal for growing a team. There are tons of experts for basically every imaginable area of your coaching business. If social media isn’t your jam, there are Social Media Managers who can take that off your plate. If you need help with copywriting, there are tons of copywriters who can write the copy for your website, emails, or blog posts. Graphic designers can create the graphics you need in your business. SEO experts can help you increase your web traffic.

Should You Hire Employees or Independent Contractors?

To cut to the chase, we can’t exactly tell you one way or the other, but we can help you make an informed decision by breaking down the differences between Independent Contractors and Employees! In a nutshell, it all comes down to the level of control you have (we use that word lightly because we don’t mean you should be bossing them around). After all, Independent Contractors are their own business owners.

Here are the key control differences between the two:

  • Employees have set office hours that they work. Independent contractors don’t or may not, and they can work on their own schedule.
  • Employees can work remotely, but they’re usually local and work in person. Independent contractors can (and usually do) work remotely.
  • Independent contractors are able to hire or outsource their own assistants/subcontractors for work at their discretion.
  • Employees can be hired and fired at will. There are contractual obligations that must be upheld with independent contractors, usually being at least a 30 day notice before parting ways.
  • Employees are usually trained and you’re working with them to expand their skill set. Independent contractors have already done their own education and grown their skill set.
  • You’re providing the equipment, software, or materials for the employee. Independent contractors will have their own. (For example, when outsourcing a contractor for graphic design, they already have the design software.)

 

It’s important to know and understand the differences to avoid any issues of misclassification, which could lead to big problems and big money being owed to the IRS. If you’re still unclear, head here for more information about the IRS 20 Factors Test.

How to Figure Out Your Budget to Hire

Of course, a large piece to hiring is figuring out your budget and how much you can spend. We encourage you to first look at your expenses and see if there are things you’re paying for that you don’t need to be. We recently discovered three tools we were paying for that we no longer even used!

COMMON COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH EMPLOYEES

It’ll be super helpful for you to know what costs are associated with hiring employees (and we’ll cover independent contractors next), so it’ll be easier for you to do the math.

  • FICA Tax (includes Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax): 7.65% of the employee’s wages up to $132,000
  • Federal Unemployment Tax: $42 per employee (may change over time)
  • State Unemployment Tax: Varies by state and your claims experience
  • Workers’ Compensation: Varies by state.
  • Cost to run payroll (of course) – How often depends on how often you pay
  • Cost of/for training your team (all comes down to time). This is your team members’ pay during their training period.

COMMON COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH CONTRACTORS

Contractor costs are more simple than employees. All you really have to pay is their rate! They may charge bi-weekly or monthly, and it may be hourly or a flat fee. Rates vary by person, but to give you an idea, the average hourly rate for a beginner in the U.S. is within the $20-30 per hour range. Usually, hours are accounted for even when charging a flat fee per month.

Then, of course, if you want to send special gifts during the holidays or to celebrate milestones, award performance, or celebrate birthdays, then those costs should be factored in as well.

How to Find, Interview, and Onboard Team Members for Your Coaching Business

Finding team members is the part that will likely take the longest, but it doesn’t have to be the hardest. We wrote a series of blog posts that go over how to find team members through LinkedIn, Facebook groups, Instagram, and your website, so be sure to check them out!

A key tip to remember is, if you aren’t already, you should be working on conveying your business’ mission and values through your marketing, website, and social media. Share behind-the-scenes videos on your Instagram and show your personality! This will help candidates in their research on you and your coaching business before they apply to help them decide if it seems like a good fit.

INTERVIEWING TEAM MEMBERS

Remember that the interview isn’t one sided, and don’t treat it as an interrogation of sorts. As much as they’re selling their skills, you’re also selling the position. You’re both getting to know each other to see if there could be any chemistry there. Now, as for what to ask to help you assess these things, here are some great questions:

  • How do you respond to criticism?
  • Do you prefer to stick to a clear outline of instructions, or are you okay with taking hold of the reins when needed or handling a task that you see needs to be done?
  • What type of work are you best at?
  • What type of work do you prefer not to do?
  • If I asked you to perform a task that you later realized you were unsure how to do, what would your first move be?

 

And, of course, you should get clear on the standard questions, like preferred method of communication, what their schedule is like (if hiring a contractor), what time zone they’re in (if hiring someone remotely), things like that. Take the opportunity as well to ask some humanizing questions, get to know them and their interests as a person.

ONBOARDING NEW TEAM MEMBERS

The onboarding process will look a bit different for contractors and employees. Contractors likely have their own onboarding process as well, but it should be fairly simple and easy. It usually entails getting from you any login information they may need, giving them access to files, etc.

As for employees, you’ll need to have training materials together and be able to work out a schedule for them to train. You should also account for background checks and drug tests.

How to Manage a Team

In the Building Your Team Intensive, we teach the E.E.S.E. (easy) way of managing a team. E.E.S.E. stands for:

Expectation setting – Let them know what they’re expected to do, how expectations are measured, and what success looks like.

Equip them to succeed – This is based upon their personal needs. You want them to achieve what you expect them to.

Strengths – Position them to leverage their strengths in the most valuable way (and don’t waste time and money paying them to do things they aren’t any good at).

Environment – Build an environment that helps the team succeed! This includes the company culture (accepted behavior and attitudes), tools (CRM system, project management, etc.), and processes (Standard Operating Procedures that work to achieve their goals).

TOOLS TO HELP YOU MANAGE A TEAM

There are some tools and systems that will make communication and processes between you and your team members so much easier, especially if your team consists of people working remotely from all over.

1. LastPass

LastPass is a password vault that will save your login information anywhere. You can also share that information with someone else without them ever actually having your password, which is ideal if you need a team member to have access to an account of yours.

2. A Project Management Tool

There are many project management tools out there, like Trello, ClickUp, and Asana that will help streamline tasks between you and your team members, as well as allow everyone to be on the same page as far as what’s expected of them.

3. Any CRM

A Client Relationship Manager (CRM) is going to be a huge help when managing your clients and helping your team help you manage those clients (quite a tongue twister, eh?). Dubsado and Honeybook are both wonderful CRMs that will allow you to streamline your client processes, so you no longer have to struggle keeping up with what stage each of your clients is in.

4. Slack

Slack is a communication tool intended just for members of a team. Think of it as a group messaging tool. You can add multiple “channels” for different topics, and you can add certain team members to those channels. For example, if only a few of your team members handle graphic design-related tasks, you can limit that channel to only those people.

You can also have a private message thread with another team member or a private group message. Sometimes you’ll need to talk about a topic with only a few people that you don’t need a whole channel for. Slack also has a mobile app, which makes it perfect for on-the-go communication.

5. Voxer

Some contractors may prefer voice text, which is what Voxer is all about. It’s a mobile app that serves sort of like a walkie talkie. You can group Vox chats as well. It works great if there’s a super long message you need to send that you don’t have the time to type out. There’s still the option to type messages as well.

6. Have an Agenda for Team Meetings

Having a Google Doc that everyone can view is taking that extra step to ensure everyone is on the same page. List out tasks each person will have on their plate for that week. (Or month, depending on how often your meetings are.) Team members can add topics they’d like to discuss as well.

How to Grow a Team for Your Coaching Business

Ready to learn straight from the experts? Our 12-week Building Your Team Intensive will walk you through everything you need to grow a powerful team for your coaching business!

Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover each week:

1: Mindset – Beyond Solopreneur
2: Independent Contractors vs. Employees
3: Structuring Your Team
4: Standard Operating Procedures & Training
5: Implementation Week
6: Finding & Interviewing Talent
7: Onboarding & Expectation Setting
8: Payroll, Taxes & Finances
9: Implementation Week
10-11: Leading & Managing Your Team
12: Final Q&A

We all-but-literally hold your hand throughout this process. You’ll have support in the inbox and Instagram DMs to make sure you get the most out of the program. The Intensive is application-only, so we can hop on a call with you to make sure that you’re 100% ready to start building a team before you even invest a dime!

Just head right here to apply so we can chat, or DM us on Instagram @theabundancegroup if you have any questions!

 

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