As Thulani’s education in the Business Coaching field grew, he started to identify other factors that make a Business Coach truly professional. He learnt about genre-based coaching which referred to different types and styles of coaching.

Much to Thulani’s surprise, he discovered that there are almost 30 categories of coaching. (See a comprehensive list of the various coaching genres here→)

Thulani was aware that he had no interest in Life or Wellness coaching as his background and expertise lay in the business world. Therefore, the coaching genres that he needed to consider included:

  • Business Coaching
  • Executive Coaching
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Performance Coaching
  • Organisational Coaching

But why would Thulani decide to identify his coaching genre? Thulani was an analytical person who wanted his coaching business to be successful. To ensure this, he wanted to investigate the benefits or harm that selecting a coaching genre could bring him as a Business Coach.

Thulani was in a predicament known to many Business Coaches: Should he limit his market and be seen as a specialist, or should he try to take any work he could in the business arena and not define himself too specifically?

To help himself make a decision, he examined these criteria:

Will this training genre open doors to coaching clients for you?

The most important thing for Thulani to consider was whether selecting a genre would be most beneficial to his business. Thulani did some internet research and asked around and he found out that people did indeed search for a specific type of coaching.

Executive Coaching in particular, appeared to be the most popular type of coaching. This excited Thulani as this was an area of interest to him and something that he could identify with. It was a specialised area with enough breadth around which he could build his Business Coaching practice. He thought that it was likely that his passion would draw clients, but he needed to determine if this was his own perception or if it was indeed a reality.

Can you calculate and estimate the demand and concomitant income in your market for this genre?

Thulani had considered various spectrums of the market, which he had learnt about from SA Business Coaches. The market dynamics appeared as follows:

Coaching Environment

Thulani enjoyed the complexity and variety of the corporate environment. He had a sense of security in terms of gaining clients, receiving continued or referral business within an organisation, and working with a variety of the C-Suite in which he was comfortable. Although unable to accurately assess the demand, Thulani was able to calculate the number of suitable corporates, narrow this down to a percentage that he was likely to work in, and then count the number of executives whom he believed he could coach. This calculation gave him a good indication of what the demand and potential income would be. He enjoyed this article which defined 6 important trends in Executive Coaching→

Can you determine how many clients would ask for this genre-based approach so you can determine how profitable you will be?

In answering this question Thulani contemplated recent changes which have moulded a new genre of executive coaching, namely the increase in popularity in executive coaching, and the introduction and acceptance of virtual coaching. In his mind, this significantly increased his work opportunities. Executives would be able to sit at their desks and gain benefit from his coaching, without creating an enormous disruption to their day. Further to this, the increase in popularity of Executive Coaching ensured that Thulani’s services would be widespread. Instead of a stigma to being coached, it was now considered a necessity and created positive mental health and growth. He thought that the genre of Executive Coaching had a certain element of prestige and that would make it attractive to his market. His coaching process will be as follows:

Best Practices

Is this genre-based approach a ‘must have’ or a ‘nice to have’?

Clients look for measurable results, particularly in the Business Coaching and Executive Coaching space. To establish frameworks and methodologies which will provide this necessity, becoming an expert becomes a necessity. If Thulani were considering life coaching, he would be able to consider his genre a ‘nice to have’. This is because many of the results in this genre are not measurable. In the business environment, what gets measured gets done, and what gets measured shows progress. He concluded that for his Business Coaching business, without a doubt, a genre approach was a ‘must have’.

To contemplate this question in greater detail, read SA Business Coaches blog on To Niche or not to Niche, That is the Question→

What other genre-based coach training will you need to augment your coaching offer?

Since Thulani had decided that Executive Coaching was his genre, he needed to firstly upskill himself significantly on the challenges, thought-processes, and commonalities amongst C-Suite executives. He had started to develop himself as a Business Coach and it was essential that he complete this journey. This would provide him with the framework to understand business and people in a holistic manner. He was not particularly interested in Performance Coaching as he perceived this to be too structured and only goal oriented, whereas Executive and Leadership Coaching seemed to be more of a combination of human and business competencies. Research from the Internal Coaching Federation (2009) showed that the benefits of coaching are many; 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment on coaching and more.

What budget will you need for further genre-based training?

Continual professional development is a criterion in any profession. With this in mind, Thulani had budgeted R 25,000 p/a increasing annually for his continued and augmented training. He was fully aware that trends shift, and he needed to be abreast of new developments. No Business Coach can do that alone. There is a need to be part of a society and ensure one’s own continued education and growth so that what he offered his clients remained valuable and pertinent.

Coaching Palet

Where will your coaching career be after this training?

Thulani was confident that his coaching career would be defined and prominent. He needed to secure two corporate clients to supply coaching to, so that his reputation and experience could be established. Working on his competencies meant that Thulani would need continuous training, yet what he had put in place was already a strong steppingstone towards the career that he envisaged for himself.

What will your clients ultimately buy from you?

Thulani reached the conclusion that his clients were buying his expertise in a specific sphere. This was their tool to enhance their business. In essence, they were buying growth, prosperity, and business acumen in the form of a Business Coach who would guide them. Thulani understood that his clients were not buying general coaching, they were buying Business Coaching.

Thulani realised that he would need to spend more on Organisational Coaching to augment his Business Coaching career. This was substantiated by his learning that the benefits of coaching in organisations. He understood that coaching:

  • empowers individuals and encourages them to take responsibility,
  • increases employee and staff engagement,
  • improves individual performance,
  • helps identify and develop high potential employees,
  • helps identify both organizational and individual strengths and development opportunities,
  • helps to motivate and empower individuals to excel and
  • demonstrates organizational commitment to the wellbeing of employees

These benefits increased Thulani’s sense of surety that he would have a successful business.

Considering which genre to follow and build his coaching business around had been an easy decision for Thulani but with the large amount of information at his disposal, he could also contemplate all the different facets of his choice before going on a set path.

See SA Business Coaches’ blog on Coach Training→

To learn more about becoming a qualified business coach see SA Business Coaches’ take a look at SA Business Coaches | Coach Training→