You're an valuable coach who shares in demand information with clients. You may coach in matters of health, wealth, family, career and more. But it takes more than coaching skill and a list of clients to run a coaching business.
Coaching is a business and like all businesses it requires legal protection. Before any coaching begins, you must execute an agreement.
And this should not be just any type of client contract. This agreement should be specific to the coaching you are offering to your clients. Let's discuss what should be in your coaching agreement.
Coaching Services Offered
Client agreements have a "services" clause that outline the exact services the provider will deliver to their customers. A coaching agreement is a type of client contract but with terms specific to the coaching industry.
In your "services" section state exactly what coaching services you will deliver to your client. Now, this doesn't have to be an exhaustive list in paragraph style that will be long and boring to read.
Instead, you can use bullet points to highlight the most important aspects of your program. For example, a career coach might list:
4 week group coaching program designed to provide strategic tips on:
Landing a promotion
Negotiating a raise
Building a network
With monthly 1:1 and weekly group coaching calls
You can also include your coaching services package taken from your sales page. And be sure to inform your client about whether the program is for 1:1 coaching, group coaching or both.
Next up, describe how frequently you will deliver the coaching services.
~Will they be delivered daily, weekly or monthly?
~How many minutes/hours each session?
~How long will the program last (weeks, month, year)?
Be detailed here so that your clients know exactly what to expect. The more information you give about the structure of your program, the less confusion later.
This is what's so wonderful about consistently using contracts in your business. You can always point to your agreement to get clarity about what was agreed upon. So the more detailed you are, the less that is up for debate.
Let's talk about payment! With all of the hard work that goes into delivering quality coaching to clients, make sure you outline fees in your agreement including any required deposits.
So what does this look like?
Well, it depends on how and when you charge:
~You may require full payment when the client signs up for your program.
~Or you require an initial deposit paid at sign up and the remainder paid before the program officially begins.
~Perhaps you have a monthly program in which you will debit their account for payment.
There are many options but whichever you choose, include it in your contract so your client knows exactly when payment is due.
Ok, so we discussed getting paid. But what about those occasional instances when a customer demands a refund. What is your refund policy?
Do you give refunds? And if so, under what circumstances?
If you have a "no refund" policy, make that very clear in your agreement. In fact, you should have this in your sales page, online terms and conditions and your coaching agreement.
Because some clients will feign amnesia when it comes to your refund policy. Have it in several places including your agreement so that it is unmistakable that this is your policy.
Alternatively, some coaches may provide refunds in limited circumstances. For instance, they may say no refunds for services "already delivered" and only allow refunds for unused sessions.
It really depends on your preference including your business investment in allotting time, money, staff and other resources to your program and the impact of cancellations and refund requests.
Of course, rescheduling may be an option and if you choose to allow it, put that in your agreement as well.
This is an important but often over-looked clause. One of the biggest complaints I hear from service providers is the lack of cooperation from their clients.
Now this isn't ALL of their clients. But when you have a successful business with several clients, you're bound to have one, two or a few who are unresponsive or even uncooperative at some point.
This may take the form of a client expecting to receive more than you promised. In this clause you want to make clear that you make nopromises or guarantees for specific results.
You do not want to promise that you will build them significant wealth, change their marital dynamic, guarantee a job promotion only for the client to be disappointed and sue you for breach of contract.
Instead, you should promise and deliver the services within your scope. And they should only expect to receive the same.
Watch the Video
Coaching Agreement Template
In need of a coaching contract for your coaching program?