Ever wonder how much it actually costs to start a business online? If you’ve ever been curious about the costs to create a startup the right way, this post will give you a great breakdown of what to expect. Here is what you need to know about how much it costs to start your own online coaching business.
Are you ready to start helping others meet their goals? Whether you want to work with clients to improve their fitness or their finances, you may be interested in starting an online coaching service or business. Before you do so, I encourage you to plan carefully and be aware of the cost to do so.
How Much It Costs To Start An Online Coaching Business
When you are ready to start an online coaching business, you can definitely expect to pay for several expenses upfront. Thankfully, there are ways to save on some of them, so use this guide as a general overview of the costs.
In this article, you’ll discover some of my favorite business tools and how much you can expect to pay for them.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) Cost
It is really important to set up your coaching business as an LLC. This way, if someone decides to sue your business, they only have access to your LLC’s assets. It protects your personal assets like your home.
The cost of an LLC depends on whether you create it yourself or you pay a lawyer. You’ll pay more if you have a lawyer create the paperwork and file it for you. If you try to do it yourself, however, you run the risk of making a mistake.
There is a basic LLC filing fee that is different per state. Look up how much it is your state. Most filing fees range in price from about $100-150 per year. You’ll have to renew and keep your LLC license current.
Domain Name and Website
Next, you will definitely need your own domain name and website. A URL such as “OnlineCoach.Wordpress.com” just isn’t as official or professional as “OnlineCoach.com”.
There are lots of different domain name registration companies and they all have different prices. The two most common are BlueHost and GoDaddy. In general, they range in price from about $12 per year to $18 a year.
Then, you’ll also need to set up hosting for your website. I know there are lots of places like Wix and WordPress.com that offer free hosting, but if they decide to shut down, you run the risk of losing all of your content. When you pay for hosting, you have all of your content.
The cost of a website includes the monthly or yearly hosting fees (which are about $10-20 per month) and a one-time web-design fee. The web-design fee is optional, but it will make your site look polished and professional.
Why do you need a post office box for an online coaching business? Sometimes people want to send you paperwork via mail and pay with paper checks. In these cases, the post office box protects your privacy.
Even though you work from home, protect your privacy and keep your home address private on everything. It’s important to note that many coworking spaces provide this function as well, so if you belong to one, you may want to check.
You can reserve a post office box through the USPS for about $30 for 3 months.
Another option is to reserve a box from UPS. They don’t have their prices online, you have to talk to a representative.
When you are going to be scheduling meetings with potential clients, you need a robust tool that makes this job easier. I recommend Book Like A Boss. When you sign up through my link, you get a 14-day free trial to see if you like it.
Book Like A Boss can easily be embedded right on your website. So you can allow clients to book appointments with you without having to answer the phone. It’s so nice! Plus, it looks crisp and clean on mobile too. You’ll also have access to a list of all the clients who have ever booked an appointment so you can send them thank-you notes or special discount codes.
I also really appreciate that Book Like a Boss allows you to require a deposit or full payment upfront to help you eliminate no-shows and avoid having to chase down payments after the fact. Plus, it’s really affordable. It starts out at just $9 per month, going up to just $29 a month for the really robust features.
Video Conference Tool
Once you have an appointment scheduled with your client, you’ll need a way to meet with them. I suggest using a video conference tool such as Zoom.
They offer a great basic plan that is free to use, and the sound quality is near perfect.
All you need to do is set a call up and then send participants a link. They click it and join the meeting either via video or by calling in or even simply listening in to the call and utilizing the chat room option.
If you want to read more about video conference tools and methods, I have an entire post dedicated to this very topic! Click to read about the best conference call tools for client calls.
Social Media Scheduling
While you are scheduling clients, save time and use MeetEdgar to schedule and automate your social media posts. Don’t waste time sitting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all day.
You can literally type in the same post and tell it to post to multiple social media accounts throughout the day. Not only that, but it can also curate content for you, saving you time from searching and finding content to share.
Invoicing and Accounting
Another starting business expense is paying for invoicing and accounting software. This is vital. When tax time rolls around, you will need to be able to export all your income and expenses.
My favorite one is FreshBooks. Through FreshBooks, you can accept payments, create personalized invoices, and export everything beautifully for your accountant.
Pricing starts at just $7.50 per month. The most expensive plan is $25 per month. This is the perfect software for anyone that is starting a new business, it’s so easy to use and affordable.
By the way, if you’ve ever been curious about the difference between FreshBooks and Quickbooks, read this post.
Another software you will need is something that can capture signatures on legal agreements. Don’t agree to work with someone as a client until you have a signed agreement. It’s just to protect you in case they have problems paying.
HelloSign is $13 per month and is really user-friendly. They allow you to set up a template so you don’t have to write out the same signature request email every single time.
DocuSign is $25 per month. It’s an amazing program because it seamlessly integrates with more than 350 programs (like Google, Box, and Workday). Even better is their Agreement Cloud. Here, you can create your own documents easily from tons of templates.
Email Marketing Tool
When you start an online coaching business, you need a way to contact current and potential customers. Social media is limited and you can’t reach 100% of your audience that way. When people sign up for your email newsletter, they agree to hear from you. Your news lands directly in their inbox.
Every financial coach needs an email marketing tool. Read my guide for more information about all the ways it will help your business.
In my opinion, the best email marketing tool is ConvertKit. You can customize who you send newsletters to with a few clicks. It also has really easy tools you can create to capture more email signups.
I also love their email designer. It’s so fun to use! It makes your emails stand out.
Plus, when you dig into your newsletter’s analytics, you’ll see what is working and what isn’t. This program will more than pay for itself in ROI when people who read your newsletter sign up and share your link with their friends.
The first 1,000 subscribers only cost $29 per month. After that, the price goes up to $49 or $79 per month.
Cloud storage is essential for every business. You should own both a physical hard drive with a back up of all your files and pay for cloud storage.
Because you need to prepare for disaster. If something happens to the cloud storage, you’ll have a backup. And the same goes for your hard drive in your office.
What’s the best cloud storage for small businesses?
The best one is OneDrive. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office products. Plus, it offers lots of ways you can share your files with just a few clicks. For just $5 per month, you get 1TB of storage and files as large as 15GB. That’s a huge value for the money.
Other options include:
Start An Online Coaching Business Today
Online coaching is a really rewarding career that you can do from home or wherever life takes you. Make a plan and make it happen. Yes, you’ll have to invest money upfront before you start earning money back, but with hard work, you’ll be earning it back in no time. I hope this guide helped you understand what some of the startup costs are so you can plan ahead for them.
If you have any questions about how to set up your business for success financially, please reach out. I’d love to chat with you about it.
Related Post: How to Become a Financial Coach
I get asked a lot about how I got my start as a financial coach, so I sat down and put together an entire post all about it! If you have ever wanted to become a financial coach, make sure to read my beginner’s guide.