Business Coaching Rates and Fees

Are you thinking of hiring a business coach? Among the many questions that you may have, one of the first things to ask is, “How much does it cost?” Business coaching is an unregulated industry. As such, coaches can vary greatly in credentials, experience and in the fees they charge for services. The hiring of a business coach is a decision that requires thoughtful consideration of the benefits and costs. You will want to base the decision on a clear picture of the expected outcomes of the arrangement. The coaching must be efficient, focused on the objectives for the individual and company, and produce results. In terms of costs, the coaching will require an investment of time and effort, as well as money.

There are a number of factors that will impact the business coaching rates and fees.  Start with key questions that will help you to understand and establish the business coach cost that is best for your circumstances.

  • Are you hiring a coach to solve a problem or to develop the leadership of an executive?
  • Have you established objectives for the coaching experience?
  • What is the level of the executive who will benefit from the business coach?
  • What are the credentials or experiences you are looking for in the business coach?
  • How will the business coaching be delivered? Over what time period?
  • Can I afford the costs that will make this coaching experience successful?

Let’s review how these factors will impact the business coach cost.

The Purpose for Hiring a Business Coach

Are you hiring a coach to solve a problem or to develop the leadership of an executive? Sherpa Coaching has conducted surveys on trends in business coaches from 2006 through 2017. Per the 2017 Executive Coaching Survey, more than 60% of respondents believed that an executive coach is needed to develop leadership capacity. The survey assessed coaching in terms of strength or deficit focus. A strength-based coach focuses on the potential of the client and uses a premises grounded in positive psychology. A deficit-based coach addresses plateaus and weaknesses in behavior that are creating challenges for the client to overcome. This is where clarity of purpose is important when articulating your needs and considering costs. Coaching that is focused on correcting a deficit or overcoming a barrier will be more costly than strength-based coaching. About half of strength-based coaches may charge up to $300 per hour or more. More than sixty percent of deficit-focused coaches will have rates starting at $500 per hour or more.

The Level of Executive

The coach acts as a partner who facilitates the individual to identify goals and the actions needed to reach those objectives.  Whether in a corporate or small business situation, the preferred coach will be one who has experience and a reputation in the business area. According to the 2008 Executive Coaching Survey, the cost of coaching increases with the level of the executive who is using the service as well as increases in revenues of the company. Companies who provide coaching to top-level executives pay fees that can range from $200 per hour to over $500 per hour with most spending in the higher price range. The median rate was $425 per hour. Smaller businesses pay a wider range of fees than the big companies, who are paying more for top-level executives. Industry type varies in terms of coaching to mid-level leaders. Non-manufacturing and public sector employers provide more coaching to middle tier leaders than financial services.

The Credentials and Specialties of the Business Coach

Coaches set their own rates. According to the 2016 Global Coaching Survey by the International Coach Federation, the average income of a coach in North America was $61,900. About 45% of surveyed coaches were not planning to increase fees in the near future while 63% were optimistic they would have an increase in client sessions. The greatest concern is the threat to the credibility of the field when unqualified persons call themselves coaches.

Many coaches will have credentials through professional coaching organizations, demonstrate thought leadership through their presence in media, and have a reputation of successful outcomes. The qualifications and years of experience will impact the fees that the coach will be able to charge. Coaching programs do exist but they can vary widely. According to the 2017 Executive Coaching Survey, the trend has been for coaches to have ten or more years of experience. Coaching rates have stabilized, if not declined in the past two to three years.

Rates will vary by type of coach. Estimates are that executive coaches earn about $325 per hour, small business coaches earn about $235 per hour, and life coaches earn about $160 per hour. Business coaches will be able to address a wide range of issues, including leadership, accountability, teamwork, one-on-one training, or seminars. Those with the most expertise will be able to charge more for their services. Personal or life coaches will address issues of life goals, relationship goals, and strategies for interpersonal relationships. Most businesses are finding business coaches through networks, web searches, and LinkedIn, which may be causing more calibration of rates than in the past.

The Service Delivery Model

Just as coaches vary in credentials and skills, they may offer different types of business coach rates based on the service delivery model. The 2017 Executive Coaching Survey reported the following percentages of service delivery arrangements among their participants: 34% In Person, 28% Phone, 21% Webcam and 8% Video.

While face-to-face meetings offer the most advantages for developing a relationship with the coach, these sessions will be the most costly and time intensive. Most face-to-face arrangements will involve meetings lasting about 30 to 90 minutes at rates that can range from $200 — $500 or more per hour.

According to a recent article in costhelper.com, many coaches will offer the services in packages. For example, four half-hour sessions a month for $200-$300, or eight 90-minute sessions spread over 5-6 months for $800-$2,000. Coaching for leadership or a corporation may be as much as $750-$1,000 or more per month, depending on what’s included in the package.

With technology, there are more options for interacting. Some coaches will agree to the use of email or webinars to maintain accountability and provide ongoing support for their clients. Dr. John Oda, in a recent blog, reminds us that online services are becoming increasing available. These sessions increase access to business coaching to people in different regions. Typically, the sessions will last for about one hour and occur monthly over the course of a year. It is best to begin the online arrangement with a 90-day plan with a monthly rate.

Price at the Best Fit for Your Context

A credible experience, participants in business coaching report improvements in reviews, well-being and engagement, and impact on business outcomes. Business coaching fees can vary depending on a number of factors that include the size of your business, level of executive, the coach, your purposes, and the arrangements for service delivery. Whether you are estimating costs in terms of hourly business coach fees or establishing business coach rates for a package of services, you will want to be intentional in setting the parameters that will be the best fit for your circumstances. It is important to remember that, of your business costs, your best investment will be in your most important assets — you and the people who bring your vision to reality.


References

2016 ICF Global Coaching Survey: Executive Summary. International Coaching Federation. Retreived July 9, 2018 from
https://coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2017/12/2016ICFGlobalCoachingStudy_ExecutiveSummary-2.pdf.

Executive Coaching Fee Survey.(2008) Council Perspectives: Insights from the Conference Board Council on Executive Coaching.  Retrieved July 9, 2018 from
https://www.conference-board.org/pdf_free/councils/TCBCP006.pdf.

Executive Coaching Survey. (2017). Info 2017. Sherpa Coaching. Retrieved July 9, 2018 from
http://www.sherpacoaching.com/pdf%20files/2017_Executive_Coaching_Survey_PUBLIC.pdf.

How Much Does a Business Coach Cost? Life or Business Coach Cost. Retrieved July 9, 2018 from
http://smallbusiness.costhelper.com/life-coach.html.

IFC Credential. International Coaching Federation. Retrieved July 9, 2018 from
https://coachfederation.org/icf-credential.

Jill. Life Coach Salary: How Top Coaches Earn 300+/Hour. National Coach Academy. Retrieved July 9, 2018 from
http://www.nationalcoachacademy.com/life-coach-salary.

Oda, John. The 7 Mistakes People Must Avoid When Hiring a Business Coach. April 16, 2012. Noomi.com Retrieved July 9, 2018 from
https://www.noomii.com/articles/1898-what-is-a-business-coach.