Start-up Entrepreneur Coaching: The Definitive Guide [2024 Edition]

Is there a market for start-up entrepreneur coaching in 2021? Yes!

Let us look at the market prospects.

The United States ranked highest in the list of most accommodating countries for start-ups according to the CEO World magazine.

Start-up Entrepreneur Coaching: The Definitive Guide [2024 Edition] start-up entrepreneur coaching

The United States secured its top spot for a number of reasons. The top most was the country’s research and development capacity. The country’s strengths also include a very high rate of start-ups, robust angel and venture funding.

According to the website, America got high marks for building its knowledge economy. The country is home to 119 institutions. These are among the top 500 universities in the world for 2019. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the top school in the world, is also based here.

The magazine’s Start-up Ecosystem Ranking ranked 62 countries across five categories:

  • Human capital investment
  • Research and development
  • Entrepreneurial infrastructure
  • Technical workforce
  • Policy dynamics

And we won! This means that the entrepreneurial spirit will bring in several new start-ups to the market in the coming days.

Are you now excited about offering start-up entrepreneur coaching services?

Do small business owners need start-up entrepreneur coaching?

Do you know what Andrew Carnegie, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and Larry Page have in common? They are all super successful American entrepreneurs! There are several other entrepreneurs who have made it to the top ranking lists. Check them out here.

This is not surprising.

This article in the Entrepreneur has some interesting takeaways for entrepreneurs. In the article Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Coach, the author mentions a recent study.

Infusionsoft and Emergent Research discovered that small business owners are increasingly using paid coaches for overcoming challenges in the study. The survey had 402 U.S. respondents from businesses with 2-25 employees. In addition to that survey, 26 in-depth interviews were conducted. These were with new small business owners/executives who self-identified as running successful small businesses. Almost all respondents reported using one or more of these resources in overcoming business and personal challenges.

The author identifies three reasons for using a coach. These are:

  • Personal growth
  • Saving time
  • Leveraging technology
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Facts relevant to start-up entrepreneur coaching

Every country is facing economic challenges and uncertainty. Yet there are more entrepreneurs and start-ups in market today than ever before.

This website reports that the US Small Business Administration has nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States employing 47.8 percent of US workers.

Check out the full article for some interesting data about start-ups and their prospects. Here are some points:

  • Micro businesses (those with less than 10 employees) make up 75.3% of private-sector employers
  • Age is not a barrier for owning a start-up. According to the website, start-up owners span the whole gamut in age, gender, race, and other background/demographic factors:
  • Half of small business owners are between 50 and 88 years of age
  • 2.5 million business owners are veterans of the armed forces

The market for start-ups is full of opportunities. Hence the market for start-up entrepreneur coaching is also huge.

Large business versus start-up entrepreneur coaching

Is there a difference between a large business and a small one?

Yes, there is!

From different niche audience and legal structures to financial hierarchy, there are major differences. You can read about some of these differences here.

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Some of the differences are highlighted in this image sourced online. It is important to understand the difference in order to know how to pitch your start-up entrepreneur coaching services.

Why should a client hire you for start-up entrepreneur coaching?

Are you starting out in your career by offering start-up entrepreneur coaching? Or are you switching careers to pursue your dream of offering start-up entrepreneur coaching services?

Either way, both categories of coaches ask themselves the following questions.

  1. How will I get clients?
  2. How can I get noticed for my start-up entrepreneur coaching services in a saturated market?
  3. How will I advertise my start-up entrepreneur coaching services?
  4. Will I earn enough to have a good life and support my family as a start-up entrepreneur coach?

Can you relate to these concerns?

Through this blog I will address each of your queries. Reach out to me for any other queries you may have.

Target audience for start-up entrepreneur coaching

First, let us identify who is looking for start-up entrepreneur coaching?

  • What does your target audience profile look like?
  • Where can you find them?
  • What are they looking for in you?

These are the questions that most start-up owners ask themselves. You have already identified your niche. As a next step, identifying your target audience is key. This will help you pitch your coaching services to their specific requirements. Check out my previous blog 8 ways to think like your customer (that will get you coaching clients fast). I have discussed some pointers that will help you. For example, these are some questions to help you draw up a list of details about your target audience. It will also give you clarity on values that will define your coaching services.

  • Do you know the income level of your ideal client?
  • Do you know the age range of your ideal client?
  • Do you know the kind of work done by your ideal client?
  • Do you know how and where your ideal client socializes with like-minded people?
  • Do you know the kind of recreational activities that your ideal client involves themselves in? Do you know the kind of blogs or magazine your ideal client reads?
  • Do you know what are the core beliefs and value systems of your ideal client?
  • Do you know which party they support?

By now you must have figured out all you need to know about your target audience.

Where is your target audience for start-up entrepreneur coaching?

Look around you in order to find your target audience. Where do they hang out most?

The other good place to identify prospective clients is online. For example, here is a list of start-up business owners and entrepreneurs who have won awards last year. This is another list of most promising start-ups announced in 2018. Looking for technology-based clients? This list by Deloitte may be useful for you.

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What are they looking for in a start-up entrepreneur coach?

Most clients who sign up for start-up entrepreneur coaching are looking for:

  • An understanding of their abilities and any limiting beliefs that may affect progress
  • Hand holding while drawing up business goals, budgets and setting objectives
  • Advice on skills and resources to acquire for making their business ventures successful
  • Someone to hold them accountable to their stated goals

This is where you come in.

Your success as a start-up entrepreneur coach is to empower your client to take calculated risks. But this can only happen when he/she is completely aware of his/her strengths.

As a coach, you help your client become:

  • A better manager
  • Handle the stress of being a business owner and generate additional revenue
  • Increase their company’s sales

What qualities are needed for start up entrepreneur coaching?

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There are several traits that good coaches have. I have posted these in detail in a few blogs. In my previous blog Top 10 Coaching Skills You Must Have as a Life Coach, I have mentioned the following qualities. Some of the points I mentioned are relevant here too. These are:

  • Be objective. Your job as a good start up entrepreneur coach is not to provide answers but ask great questions. The best way to approach a client’s problems is to listen and understand what they have to say with empathy. Then, take a step back. Because the only way to help them is to be truly objective, and that cannot happen until you are emotionally detached from the situation. Your client already has all the answers he needs. He just needs your help to identify these answers.
  • Make your clients accountable. As a coach, you may be doing a great job of encouraging them. But unless your client does the hard work, you will have nothing to show for your dedication. Make him/her accountable for the tasks you set out. Chart the objectives and timelines clearly at the beginning of the coaching session and hold him/her down to it. Ultimately, your clients will thank you for teaching them to be accountable.
  • Be flexible. Coaching will sometimes test you in many ways you did not expect. Be flexible with your hours and preconceived notions of how to help the client. Each client will bring in his/her own unique challenges. Although they are all likely to be start-up owners/entrepreneurs, each will struggle with something different. Some may struggle with cash flow. Others will worry about hiring the right talent or defining the company vision.
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There are several other qualities that make for a good coach. You may read the whole blog for more.

You may also want to refer to my blog on 21 Coaching Skills Every Successful Coach Needs and Top Qualities Of A Successful Coach.

These qualities mentioned are helpful for all coaches, including start-up entrepreneur coaches.

Top qualifications required in

start-up entrepreneur coaching

Are there certain specific things that your client is looking for in a start-up entrepreneur coach?

Besides a willingness to help people, the traits that make for a good coach are common to all coaches.

However, clients look for a start-up entrepreneur coach who understands their concerns. You may find some pointers about the struggles that entrepreneurs face here. The article talks about how “motivation paralysis” is an actual state of being. And this is very common to entrepreneurs! Here is a podcast on some mistakes that entrepreneurs make.

As a coach, this is where empathy and understanding of the concerns go a long way.

Showcase your understanding of their concerns. I found this article online quite interesting. Some of the data is unverified but it raises some valid concerns.

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References are also a great way to practise your start-up entrepreneur coaching. So ensure that you ask your current clients to give you a referral.

Do you need certification to practise start-up entrepreneur coaching?

No, you do not!

Right now, the coaching industry is still unregulated. This means everyone can claim to be a start-up entrepreneur coach. What will set you apart is your expertise at being a good coach, marketing yourself smartly and getting good client recommendations. Learn more about these in my blog Is Marketing Crucial to my Coaching Business?

However, it is important to get training. As I always say, you should invest in yourself before asking clients to invest in you.

Basics of start-up entrepreneur coaching

How does a start-up entrepreneur coach work?

Bringing about change requires determination, hard work and persistence.

Clients often struggle to learn and practise life-altering behavior. They understand that these are necessary. But they often break down in the face of conflict or a real-world situation. And this is where they need help from a start-up entrepreneur coach.

So how does a start-up entrepreneur coach work?

The coaching process is fairly common across all niches. Irrespective of whether you are a life coach or a sports coach, you will follow the same process. You may follow a particular coaching style. In my blog Types of Coaching Styles and Models Every Coach Should Know About, I have mentioned some of these styles. Your personality and the niche you have chosen will define your style of coaching. However, you should know these coaching models and tailor your style to suit your client.

As a start-up entrepreneur coach, you may work with a particular client over several weeks. Usually, a weekly or bi-weekly meeting is enough to take stock of progress and chart action steps. The process of coaching usually follows these steps. I have mentioned it in an earlier blog but it is relevant in this context too.

  • Building awareness is the first step. Work with the client to understand his challenges and what he defines as success. Then, make the client understand and identify any self-limiting behavior.
  • Work together to develop goals. The plans can include setting a monthly/annual budget or identifying 5 new business prospects each month. Clients need to face practical life challenges outside of your coaching sessions. This can be overwhelming. The objective is to constantly prepare your clients for the outside world.
  • You are the accountability partner for your client. Over the coaching period, your clients should be well on their way to achieving their goals.
  • The last step is equally important. As a good coach, ensure that your clients know they can rely on you. It is easy to tell people what to do when you are coaching them within the four walls of your office. But your clients will have to go out and face the real world. Temptations are sure to cross their path. And they could find that they are slipping back to old behavior. Show them your support even after your coaching engagement has ended.
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How much can you earn in start-up entrepreneur coaching?

As a start-up entrepreneur coach, how much can you expect to earn?

This website reported that business coaches may charge from $50-$300 or more an hour. The average ranges from $75-$200. Many coaches offer their services in packages. Four half-hour sessions a month cost $200-$300. Eight 90-minute sessions over 5-6 months can cost $800-$2,000.

According to Payscale, the average pay for a business coach is $39.24 per hour. On average they bring in $65,800 per year.

The truth is that coaching is a growing industry.

Let us look at some market realities. I have mentioned these statistics in my earlier blog posts as well. This post claims that the life coaching industry has crossed the $1 billion dollar mark.

  • The International Coach Federation boasts 53,300 members. It has a steady growth trend.
  • Average income for life coaches ranges from $27,100 to $73,100. Specialty coaches can charge more than $100,000 annually.
  • Growth projections for the life coaching industry are an estimated 6.7%. This would take revenues to $1.34 billion by 2022.
  • 92% of life coaches remain active in the field.
  • In Asia, there were around 3,700 coaches. They contributed $113 million in total annual revenue.
  • More and more corporations are hiring life coaches instead of mental health counsellors to work with employees (no stigma).
  • Life coaches remain unregulated. There are no state licensing requirements. This suggests freedom of practice, but also raises concerns about quality.
  • Executive coaches can earn a handsome salary too. Salaries start at $150 and can go up to $350 for most coaches. Executive coaches can also charge $1,000 per session.

This news report reported from the 2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study. The research was also conducted by PwC Research. It stated:

  • 89% people in India are aware of life coaching
  • 59% have partnered with a life coach at some time
  • 97% expressed satisfaction with the experience

Since start-up entrepreneur coaches have a very specific niche, tap into this enormous market.

Are you wondering how to get your brand name noticed as the competition is getting tougher? You may want to refer to my blog How to promote your life coaching business? for tips on this.

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Resources to help your start-up entrepreneur coaching practice

A simple Google search will show you several books and podcasts online. As a start-up entrepreneur coach, you may want to look up some of these.

Let us start with some online resources to follow. You may want to look at some magazines and dedicated sections in the newspapers to keep track of the start-up entrepreneur market.

Some resources like and Entrepreneur also have lots of helpful information.

Books to read as a start-up entrepreneur coach

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A search on GoodReads will offer several list of books for start-up entrepreneurs. But there are not so many options for coaching. That is a business idea for you!

Here are some best books on coaching that you may want to read. I have taken this from the list mentioned here.

  1. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Brene Brown
  2. Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  3.  Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck
  4. Grit: Why Passion and Resilience are the Secrets to Success – Angela Duckworth
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen R. Covey
  6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
  7. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers
  8. Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live – Martha Beck
  9. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  10. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

There is also a list titled Training Books for Coaches. Some of the books mentioned here are:

  1. Co-Active Coaching – Laura Whitworth, Henry Kinsey-House, Phil Sandahl, and John Whitmore
  2. Transformational Life Coaching – Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott and Lynn U. Stewart
  3. Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills – Tony Stoltzfus
  4. Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training – Patrick Williams and Diane Menendez
  5. The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything you need to become an effective life coach – Curly Martin

The website also provides a list of audio books for coaches.

While these are about coaching entrepreneurs, you may also want to pick out a few books that entrepreneurs are reading. Some of these are available here and here.

Podcasts to listen to for start-up entrepreneur coaching

There are several YouTube videos and podcasts on start-up entrepreneur coaching online.

You will find a list of popular podcasts for entrepreneurs here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do entrepreneurs need coaching?

Coaching helps an entrepreneur evaluate her business model and target market, to figure out the most effective way to run the business. A coach can also help an entrepreneur to improve her sales and marketing skills, thereby helping her to make her business grow. Right from writing a compelling business plan to opening up a shop, coaching and mentorship can be very helpful in launching a business.

What are the 4 types of entrepreneur?

There are four types of entrepreneurs. Using their characteristics and the way they approach their business, the four types are: Managerial, creative, financial, and marketing.

What qualities are needed for start-up entrepreneur coaching?

The qualities of a successful entrepreneur coach are many. The key qualities one needs to possess is an ability to listen, an ability to empathize, an ability to hear the needs of the client and an ability to then be able to translate what is being said and help the client achieve their goals. Of course success comes with experience, and so coaching itself is a skill that needs to be honed.

Why should a client hire you for start-up entrepreneur coaching?

Clients are increasingly recognizing that they need to be the full-time CEO of their company, in order to grow faster. The demands of our fast-paced, ever-changing world create a constant hailstorm of challenges. One should be able to help their clients with solutions to their specific challenges. Helping owners identify their unique business model, and helping them formulate their go-to-market strategies.

How much can you earn in start-up entrepreneur coaching?

As a start-up entrepreneur coaching, you can earn around $10,000 as a fee per month when you charge your coaching fees based on a client’s monthly revenue. However, you should settle for coaching fees equivalent to 10% or less of their monthly revenue. For example, if your client makes $10,000 a month, you should charge $1,000 a month, which is 10% of the monthly revenue. Some services-based startup entrepreneurs may want to offer their clients lifetime coaching for a fixed fee, for example, $10,000 for unlimited coaching for three years. So, you can earn around $30,000 as a startup entrepreneur if you’re offering lifetime coaching.

How do you become an entrepreneur coach?

An entrepreneur coach is a business owner who is always looking to help other business owners succeed. They may do this by offering coaching, classes, resources or mentorship. Becoming an entrepreneur coach can be a side business or your main gig. It’s a unique role because many of us are on the journey, too. In fact, I started my coaching business while I was still starting my business.




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