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  • Writer's pictureMarley Rose Harris

Ultimate Checklist For Starting A Coaching Business

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Checklist for starting a coaching business

Maybe you’re in a 9-5 that you hate, or maybe you already have a full-time business but something inside of you knows you’re not aligned with your soul purpose. Regardless of your situation, if your body lights up in a full body “hell yes” every time you think about coaching individuals with their health, finances, relationships, business or whatever topic you’re passionate about - you’re on the right path, and I’m here to help you start your dream coaching business.

If you're thinking about starting an online coaching business, you likely have one million things going through your head about where to start, and there are definitely some core things you need to consider before you dive in.

What's your goal? What kind of clients do you want to work with? What sort of offer will you have? All of these things can feel overwhelming, especially at the beginning. But I’m going to walk you through the ultimate checklist for starting a coaching business now.

If you want to skip ahead, here are some quick links to navigate through (but I recommend starting at #1!):

Affiliate Disclosure: some of these links are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to purchase after clicking one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only ever promote tools & products I love and genuinely recommend!

1- Identify Your “Why” And Your “Soul Purpose”

Discovering your why and clarifying your purpose is arguably the most important part of starting a coaching business. It’s definitely the most foundational starting point, and this is why it's #1 on my checklist for starting a coaching business. After studying successful entrepreneurs for the past 4 years, I’ve found that they all share one thing in common: they started their businesses out of pure passion. Starting and running a business is a lot of work, but when it’s truly aligned with your passion and life purpose it feels 100% worth it.

2- Start Working On Your MINDSET

Mindset is one element that is so often overlooked when it comes to starting a coaching business. I believe that entrepreneurship is 80% mindset and 20% strategy which is why working on your mindset is number TWO on my coaching business checklist. Have you ever heard that starting a business requires personal development? This is exactly why. So often we can see entrepreneurs psyching themselves out of success because they feel like an imposter, or they are so filled with overwhelm and fear that they don’t continue with their business. Working on your entrepreneurial mindset is KEY to tapping into your intuition and using alignment as your superpower for staying consistent with your business.

While having an entrepreneurial mindset is important, over the years, I’ve learned another major thing that holds back new (and experienced) entrepreneurs back is money mindset! It’s a fact that money beliefs can majorly hold us back, or propel us forward with our business. Learning a money mindset that is committed to attracting abundance and removing any limiting beliefs about money is another must-have.

If you want to learn more about mindset, I talk about it a TON on my podcast. If you're looking for more podcasts on the topic of mindset & manifestation - check out my 9 favourite mindset & manifestation podcasts.

3- Research & Development

Research & development is a phase that many new entrepreneurs skip at the beginning, but end up having to backtrack to once they begin to learn more about their target audience and the current market. R&D is a crucial step in creating a successful foundation for your business based on data and facts. Important research & development you should conduct before starting your coaching business includes:

Competitor Analysis

What does the competition look like? What are your competitors currently offering? How do they speak to their audience? What do their offers look like? Understanding the competitive landscape can provide so much insight into how you want to position your business, the types of offers you’d like to provide, and even the type of audience you’d like to attract.

Naming Your Business

Are you going to run your business under your name? Is there another name that speaks to you that will also speak to your target audience? Consider all of these things before choosing a name for your new business.

Clarify Your Audience

When you speak to everyone you speak to no one. Get super specific about your target audience. How much money do they make? What age range are they in? What do they do for work? What pain points do they have that you solve for? Getting super specific will help you to design your offers, brand, and business in a way that speaks directly to your audience.

Drill Down Your Niche

Niching down can also help to stand out in a busy market. For example, if you are a health coach that works specifically with women dealing with PCOS. When a woman with PCOS is looking for a health coach to help her, do you think she will choose the generalist health coach who works with everyone or the health coach who works only with clients with PCOS? I think we both know it’s more likely to be the latter. When you identify and stay consistent in your niche it’s easier to speak to your target audience, clarify your brand message, and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

4- Determine Your Offer & Pricing

Determining your offer(s) can feel overwhelming, especially at first. However, since you’ve already taken a deep dive into the competitive landscape and established our target audience and niche, we should have a better idea of what is working for others and what our audience needs. Marketing and sales are also much easier when you’ve created an irresistible offer that your dream clients can’t refuse.

However, we also want to ensure that our offers are scalable and priced correctly. There are many pricing strategies and some may work better for some businesses than others. In my signature program Freedom Club, I teach the benefits and the “how-to’s” for building your business in a more passive way. This means that more money does not mean more hours worked. I focus on creating passive income that allows you to stop trading your time for money. If you’re interested in learning more about Freedom Club, read more now !

5- Develop Your Brand & Website

Number five on our checklist for starting a coaching business is developing your brand & website! This is a common step I see skipped by new coaches & healers. Your branding is so important and one of the biggest opportunities to speak to and connect with your audience. Meanwhile, your website is your home on the web and should be an extension of your brand. Branding is so important because it:

  • Promotes brand recognition & trust

  • Lets potential customers know what to expect from you (feelings, level of service, etc.)

  • Helps you stand out from your competitors

Having established brand guidelines helps you to stay consistent when you’re showing up - whether that’s on a service page, social media, podcast or newsletter. Establishing your brand early on will save you a ton of time and resources and avoid you having to backtrack and re-design everything to be consistent with future branding guidelines.

6- Put Together Your Marketing Mix

OKAY, so now we’ve established our brand, we’ve clarified our niche & target audience, we’ve worked on our entrepreneurial & money mindset, and we’ve created an irresistible offer - WHEW. It’s almost time to pop that non-alcoholic champagne angel, you’re doing great!

Next step on my checklist for starting a coaching business: it’s time to promote your brand and offer. Now is the time to deep diver into your marketing mix. Where does your ideal client hang out? How can you get in front of them in a way that feels authentic to both you and them? When you first start a coaching business it can feel like you need to be everywhere all the time. Start with the most important platforms for your niche and try to create a content marketing strategy that allows you to re-purpose your content and messaging across channels. For example, if you plan to have a blog as part of your marketing mix, pull tips and messaging from your blog posts to post on social media, re-purpose your posts for newsletters, etc. Planning your marketing ahead of time will take away so much stress and confusion. Having a clear plan is one of the most important things you can do to stay consistent and clear.

7- Get Confident With Sales & Selling Organically

Having a solid sales strategy goes hand in hand with a solid marketing plan. For many, when they think about sales they think of icky salespeople forcing purchases of things consumers don’t want. But that’s TOTALLY NOT what sales is or needs to be. When your sales strategy comes from a place of authenticity and value, making sales feels much easier, and yes, you can learn to truly love sales. Learning to become confident and tap into the law of attraction to attract your ideal customers to you is also one of my favourite ways to increase sales.

8- Set Up Business Tech

When setting up your coaching business we can’t forget about business technology. There is a TON of information and programs out there, and it can feel overwhelming trying to decide where to start. Here are a few of my favourite programs I recommend and use in my business as well:

17 Hats CRM

17-Hats is an all-in-one CRM for small businesses. For those who aren’t sure what “CRM” stands for, it means “Customer Relationship Management” and refers to a business technology that allows you to streamline all interactions with your customers. This includes invoicing, emailing, contracts, reminders, questionnaires, etc. I personally love 17 hats because it’s user-friendly, it’s designed for coaches/creatives/freelancers, and it’s super cost-effective. Some programs can be hundreds of dollars per month, but 17 Hats starts at $15/month and can grow with your business.

For 50% off use my code “xpphrrhsfk”


Asana is a project management tool that may just rock your world. If you manage a team (or plan to manage a team), it can be incredibly helpful as it allows you to assign tasks, due dates, and monitor internal project progress or external client progress. If your team is only you at the moment, it can still be incredibly helpful to keep you on track, monitor client progress, and streamline your to-do list. The best part? Asana is free for teams of up to 15 members.


We love getting paid, and Square allows you to do that easily! Many payment processors take a huge processing fee and often will majorly upcharge currency conversions if your clients pay in a currency other than the one you use in your bank. This can easily mean hundreds or thousands of dollars gone from your business every month. Square’s fees are quite low, taking roughly 2.65% of your payment plus $0.30 per transaction.

Use this link to save the processing fee for your first 6 months (or up to $1,000!).


If you’re planning to incorporate courses or memberships into your business offers my favourite platform hands down is Kajabi. Kajabi is the ultimate technology to turn your services & knowledge into passive, scalable offerings such as courses, paid communities & membership programs. However, you can also use it as an all-in-one platform for podcasts and running your online coaching business.

Get your first month free here!


If you don’t have a website yet, I always recommend Wix to start. It’s extremely user-friendly, their builder is drag and drop, and has so many built-in integrations it’s a perfect option for new businesses. The best part about Wix is that they also have an AMAZING amount of resources, so if you’re ever stuck you can easily find solutions in their easy-to-follow blog posts.


If you want your customers to be able to book directly into your calendar or book a free discovery call, we recommend setting up a Calendly account to automate this process. Calendly allows one free “event”, such as a discovery call, and you can easily integrate it with your favourite online call platform like Zoom.

Flo Desk

Flo Desk is my favourite email marketing platform by far (and trust me I’ve tried a lot!). It’s intuitive and easy to use and it’s been such a time saver in my own business. They also have a “Flo Desk University” section on their website if you’re new to email marketing!

Use this link to get 50% off!

9- Launch Your Online Coaching Business & Claim Your Freedom Life

Pop the bubbly - it’s time to launch your coaching business to the world! You’ve completed the checklist for starting a coaching business. Now it’s time to grow your freedom business and most importantly, live life on your terms. Building a business can be very challenging but when it’s aligned with your soul purpose, I promise it’s more than worth it. It's a challenge that changes every day and the opportunities to scale your coaching business are truly endless.

Still Feeling Like You Need Support? I Can Help.

Whew-you made it this far! If you enjoyed my checklist for starting a coaching business, but you’re looking for more support and accountability, check out my signature program Freedom Club. This 8-module accelerator includes all the tools and training you need to build and run an online business that gives you time, location, and financial freedom. In Freedom Club I cover everything outlined in this post and so. much. more. See you on the other side!

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