How to become a Business Coach

Business Coach

A business coach works with business owners and CEOs to reach their goals. They help business owners with motivation and hold them accountable when assessing their progress in weekly or monthly meetings. Business coaches must have a keen understanding of the workings of businesses and be great inspirational speakers.

Business coaches work with CEOs or business owners to help them improve their mindset and work towards their business goals. Business coaches will dive deep into an individual business and its present status, and work out actionable steps to how they can get to their ideal future.

Business coaches are hugely beneficial to business owners; Eric Schmidt, the ex-Google CEO, has said that hiring a business coach was the best work decision that he ever made. They are so effective because they look at a business from an outside perspective and provide personalised assistance with goal setting and motivation from their expert standing. As an increasing number of people are becoming business owners, there has never been a better time to become a business coach.

Business coaching differs from mentoring; mentors have more of an advisory role whereas business coaches focus on goal setting and mindset when growing businesses. Coaches use key performance metrics (KPIs) that track a business owner’s goals and how they are reaching them; they thus hold the owner accountable for how their business is progressing.

The main duties of a business coach include:

  • Meeting with clients and reviewing their business vision in detail.
  • Learning everything that they need to know about the specific business that they are working with so they can offer tailor-made advice.
  • Working with clients to understand their personal life and how their business goals will benefit them in all areas of life.
  • Setting actionable goals for their business, which are always personalised to the individual company.
  • Keeping in contact with clients and meeting with them according to a fixed schedule, to re-evaluate their needs and goals.

The first step to becoming a business coach is having an expert understanding of how businesses work. Therefore, a degree in business or management is suitable for someone who is looking to progress in this career; however, it is entirely possible to gain business management skills vocationally. Much more important than a degree is first-hand experience with running a business. Typically, business coaches are entrepreneurs or previous CEOs.

Prospective business coaches will then re-train for their new profession and get a business coaching certification. While obtaining this qualification, they will study fields such as business, professional development, and psychology.

As well as experience and knowledge, business coaches need to be positive people with a ‘can-do’ attitude and a motivational mindset that empowers the people that they work with.

They also need to be good marketers; often they will have to show their customers why they need a business coach and how hiring them can offer a fantastic return on investment. Many business coaches are self-employed.


What degree is most commonly held by a Business Coach?

  • Bachelor of Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor of Technology
  • Bachelor of International Business
  • MBA

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
Many business coaches do their meetings solely over conference calls. When this is the case, the job can be fully remote and the coach could be based anywhere in the world. Some businesses will look at a global pool of business coaches when hiring; so remote self-employed business coaches could work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have the correct visa and excellent WIFI. Many business coaches however also do face-to-face meetings, and many clients prefer this setting. If the business coach is self-employed, they would need to be a resident in the country where they are having the meetings. Non-self employed business coaches may struggle to find opportunities in other countries, as agencies may prefer to hire people who have experience running a business in that particular country.

What is the Salary of a Business Coach?

Experience Average salary | year
Business Coach 1-5 yrs $55,000 £33,000 $88,063
Business Coach 5 yrs + $115,000 £49,000 $130,000

What skills are needed to become a Business Coach?

  • Management
  • Coaching
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Business Strategy
  • Training
  • Marketing
  • Team Building
  • Strategy
  • Sales
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Business Coaching
  • Public Speaking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Change Management
  • Leadership Development
  • New Business Development
  • Business Planning
  • Customer Service
  • Team Leadership
  • Executive Coaching
  • Small Business
  • Project Management
  • Start-ups

Business Coaching Courses

For someone who wants to become a certified business coach, the first step is getting a solid grounding in business; learning how to be a great coach will come later. Taking some relevant courses is really important to establish business expertise. We have lots of business courses on FutureLearn, perfect for all budding business coaches.
  • Business Strategy: The Art of Looking into the Future

    Is your business strategy set up for the future Explore strategic management tools to prepare for the future of your business

  • Starting a Business 2: People and Networks

    Find out how working with people and exploring networks can help you take your business to the next level

  • Business Fundamentals: Project Management

    Gain the basic skills to manage all phases of project lifecycles effectively using the most appropriate methods and tools

  • Starting a Business 3: Customers and Competitors

    Find out how understanding and targeting your market can help your business stand out from the crowd

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

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