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How Entrepreneurs Can Join Europe's Booming Coaching Industry Following the worldwide increase in e-literacy, the coaching business is booming in Europe--especially now during a time of global crisis.

By Simon Moser

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The business coaching market was estimated to be worth more than $15 billion in 2019, up by 5.6 percent compared to the previous year according to recent estimates by IBISWorld. However, this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. The global e-learning market, which mainly involves online coaching and digital learning platforms, is expected to reach a combined value of more than $325 billion by 2025.

This endlessly expanding industry provides extremely lucrative opportunities for those with the know-how to make the right moves. Interestingly, the sector is spearheaded by a few countries in Western Europe.

Why coaching is booming in Europe.

According to the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, Western Europe accounts for the lions share of the coaching market. In total, around 35 percent of professional coach practitioners operate in Western Europe, compared to just over 33 percent in North America. Eastern Europe, on the other hand, comes in at third place, comprising around 8.4 percent of the global coaching market.

Much of the reason behind this huge market share is owed to the huge proportion of sponsored clients coaches in Western Europe. As it stands, a huge number of individuals receive coaching as part of their employment, education or training. In total, coach practitioners in Western Europe reported that around 60 percent of their clients were paid for by a third-party, whereas this number shrinks to just 50 percent in North America.

In 2020, the coaching industry is bigger than ever and an increasing number of businesses are turning to expert coaches in a range of disciplines to help improve operations and move forward in the right direction--especially now during a time of global crisis. It isn't just junior staff and middle management that stand to benefit from coaching, a large number of firms have begun investing in executive coaching, helping to develop a leadership team with more focus and determination, that is better prepared to achieve their objectives.

Nevertheless, the B2C sector has meanwhile become the key market for many coaches and consultants. These coaches often specialize in a specific discipline, including health, wealth, business, spirituality, personal development, and leadership, allowing businesses and clients to better hire a coach for virtually every aspect of modern life. In fact, many entrepreneurs are hiring multiple coaches at the same time to increase the probability of personal success to the highest possible level.

When coaches need coaching.

Because the coaching industry is becoming increasingly competitive, it is important that practicing coaches do what they can to stay ahead of the curve, building out their own repertoire of skills and working to maximize their conversion.

One of the ways they do this is by enlisting the help of specialist coach trainers and highly experienced coaches that can help unlock their latent potential and help them climb to the top of their game. Often, these coaches are those that have already achieved significant acclaim in the field, and now offer their expertise for those looking to do the same. Commenting on the current situation, Javid Niazi-Hoffman, a successful business coach primarily operating in German-speaking countries and the U.S., believes that the coaching and consulting industry is currently in a paradigm shift.

"Digitalization has conquered a tremendous share of business life, and with it comes a myriad of opportunities for consultants," said Niazi-Hoffman. "By leveraging digital learning concepts and online sales procedures, consultants obtain access to a significantly bigger market and are able to convey knowledge much more efficiently."

Even Bill Gates, American business magnate and philanthropist, extolled the benefits of coaches in one of his recent TED talks. "Everyone needs a coach. We all need people to give us feedback," said Gates. "That's how we improve." As such, if one of the most successful men on the planet thinks everyone needs a coach, it might just be worth reading into.

Universally educated.

From dog trainers to law teachers, coaching has arrived in almost every segment of life. However, though there is little doubt the industry is blossoming, many coaches seem to lack core business administration skills, as well as marketing and sales knowledge.

Despite the virtually infinite application areas, finding a satisfying number of clients is still among the chief concerns of many consultants. Regrettably, online coaches have been connected to immoral sales tactics numerous times.

"We've seen a lot of consultants and salespeople who sell their services aggressively and manipulate people with psychological tricks," said Niazi-Hoffmann. The expert advocates that coaches should always choose moral and ethical ways to win customers, without pressure and fully authentic. This, he claimed, is vital to building a sustainable consulting business, as it manages expectations and yields much better customer relationships.

Apart from that, personal branding and brand positioning represent further aspects that are often underestimated. According to Forbes writer Caroline Castrillon, personal branding was never more important than now. As a consequence of search engines and social media, the first impression of a person is based on online data. "With the proliferation of social media and the gig economy, it has become essential for everyone to embrace personal branding," Castrillon wrote in a recent article.

Lastly, forming a clear offer is an essential task to ensure that a coach's messages reach the correct audience. "Selecting the right person for the right job is the largest part of coaching," said Philip Crosby in his book Reflections on Quality. As such, both coaches and clients should be mindful of this -- finding the right client or coach that can best help them grow.

Simon Moser

Founder of Polygrowth

Simon Moser is a European communications specialist and entrepreneur. He is particularly focused on new markets, such as high-tech, fintech and cannabis. In 2018 Simon co-founded Strain Insider, which has since become the leading online media outlet in the European cannabis market.
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