With advances in technology, we no longer have to conduct meetings and coaching sessions in person - we are now able to have virtual meetings or video-conferencing via FaceTime, Skype etc.
If you have good people skills, and the ability and desire to connect and help people, one idea to transform your existing Personal Chef business or to start a new business, is to offer nutritional coaching.
It's currently an unregulated industry, so no courses are required, although, as with anything, if you have an educational background in the area, it's always a bonus. Coaching and Nutritional Certifications will increase your marketability and credibility, but this also takes time and money to achieve. You may wish to start off coaching existing clients or friends using the knowledge you've built up over the years, until you are able to accomplish certification.
Being a home-based business, it's cheap to start. You'll need a computer and headphones with a mic. Add to that a website and/or business listing on a variety of websites, an email address, and a contract, and liability insurance and you should be good to go!
Coaches in a variety of areas typically offer group and individual coaching sessions. Group sessions are more affordable for some consumers, and also allow them to use the peer support for encouragement to stick to their goals. These also give you the benefit of helping more people in a smaller amount of time.
Of course, there are negatives with any business. You'll get clients who come to you for coaching, but who turn around and ignore everything you've said. Knowing how to help these clients overcome their fear of change will be a big factor to your success - you'll have to be patient, supportive and encouraging.
Working from home also means that you're 'performing' all the time. Even on days when you're not feeling your best, you've got to remain professional, upbeat and enthusiastic during your coaching sessions.
- Set up the business, if you haven't already got one set up. This includes:
business structure, business name registration, financing, business licence, if required etc. Don't forget liability insurance - it protects you, your clients and your business.
- Getting your materials together. This includes:
computer, headphones & mic, client contract outlining your services and expectations, terms of payment, course materials etc.
- Create a marketing plan, using LinkedIn, YouTube and so on.
- Build a website or internet presence. Post client-centric information and materials that will help them, and encourage potential clients to use your services. Client testimonials are a must.
- Offer incentives at the start to build a client base. For example, try offering 15 free minutes with every hour booked, or packages of 3 or 5 sessions at a lower per-session rate than if they were booked individually. Referral fees are also a great way for happy clients to benefit from referring your services to friends and colleagues.
Coaching isn't easy, nor should your responsibility be taken lightly. Clients come to coaches at vulnerable times of their lives, whether they need help to lose weight, deal with health issues (heart disease, diabetes, food-allergies etc.) so you owe them the best coaching services that you can offer, each and every day. Their health depends upon it.
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BACKGROUND: The Chef Alliance is a membership organisation for Personal Chefs, Private Chefs, Chefs and Caterers, Artisan and Cottage Industry food producers and bakers, Home Cooks, Culinary Instructors, Food Stylists, Chef Instructors and other foodservice professionals across Canada. We support our members in growing strong, successful businesses, through mentorship, peer support, marketing, business savings and liability insurance. We have member Chefs in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington, Montreal, Quebec City, Vaughan, Markham, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax... and many other towns and cities in Canada.
DISCLAIMER: INFORMATION PROVIDED MAY BE INCOMPLETE. THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. EACH BUSINESS SITUATION IS UNIQUE AND THE ADVICE PROVIDED IS INTENDED TO BE GENERAL. PLEASE CONTACT A LEGAL OR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL FOR ADVICE THAT IS BEST SUITED FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR LOCAL/REGIONAL GOVERNMENT LAWS AND BY-LAWS.