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7 Mistakes Coaches Should Avoid When Managing Their Finances


Running a coaching practice is such an amazing and rewarding profession for so many people. However, managing the finances of a coaching business can be a challenge for many coaches.

Without proper financial management, coaches can easily fall into financial traps that can affect their coaching career and personal life.

In this post, we’ll discuss seven common mistakes coaches should avoid when managing their finances.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Budget

One of the biggest mistakes that coaches make in their business is not having a budget. As a coach, it’s essential to understand your financial situation and create a budget to keep track of your income and expenses.

Sure it’s understandable that budgeting is not the most exciting part of running a coaching business, but it is one of the most important. Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend on unnecessary things and lose sight of your financial goals.

But why budget?

Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend and end up in financial trouble.

Too, without a budget, it’s difficult to know where your money is going and whether you’re overspending or not.

With a budget, you can plan and track your spending, making sure you don’t overspend in one area and neglect another, and you can prioritize your spending, and allocate funds to different areas of your business.

It’s important to remember that having a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality in your business. Instead, it helps you make informed decisions about your spending and ensures that you have enough funds for the things that matter most.

With a budget in place, you’ll have a clear understanding of your finances and be able to make better decisions for the growth and success of your coaching business.

It’s important to take the time to create a budget that is realistic and reflective of your business needs. This includes accounting for expenses such as marketing, website hosting, software subscriptions, and professional development.

With a budget in place, you can make informed decisions about investing in your business and ensure that you have the cash flow to sustain your coaching business in the long run.

If you don’t have a budget yet, it’s time to create one. Start by listing your monthly income and expenses. Categorize your expenses into fixed and variable expenses.

Fixed expenses are those that stay the same every month, such as rent, utilities, and monthly memberships, while variable expenses are those that change each month, such as office supplies, payment processing fees, or credit card fees.

Remember, a budget helps you to plan your expenses and avoid unnecessary spending. It also helps you to save for emergencies and allows you to have money available so you can invest in your coaching business.

Once you have a clear understanding of your income and expenses, you can make adjustments and prioritize your spending as needed.

Mistake #2: Mixing Personal and Business Finances

Another mistake that coaches make is mixing their personal and business finances.

Coaches who don’t separate their personal and business finances make it difficult to keep track of their finances.

Mixing personal and business finances can also complicate tax filing and create legal issues.

To avoid this mistake, open a separate bank account for your business and use it exclusively for business transactions. Use this account to deposit your coaching income and to pay for coaching-related expenses.

Keep track of your business expenses and income separately from your personal finances. This will make things a whole lot easier to manage when it comes to your finances and filing taxes.

Mistake #3: Not Saving for Taxes

As a coach, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not saving for taxes. It’s easy to forget about this important aspect of running a business, especially when you’re focused on growing your coaching practice, but it’s crucial to keep it in mind from start to finish.

Coaches are self-employed, which means they are responsible for paying their own taxes. However, many coaches fail to save for taxes throughout the year. This can lead to an unexpectedly large tax bill at the end of the year, which can make paying it very difficult.

One way to make sure you’re prepared for tax season is to set aside a percentage of your earnings each month. This will ensure that you have enough money to pay your taxes without having to dip into your personal savings or take out a loan. This will also help you avoid the stress of having to come up with a large sum of money when tax time rolls around.

By taking the time to save for taxes and working with professionals who can help you manage your finances, you can focus on what you do best… helping your clients reach their goals.

Remember, failing to save for taxes can lead to serious financial consequences, so it’s important to take this aspect of your business seriously.

To avoid this mistake, set aside a portion of your income each month for taxes, and consult with a tax professional to determine how much you should be saving.

Mistake #4: Failing to Save for Emergencies

Emergencies can happen at any time, and coaches who are not prepared can find themselves in financial trouble. Without an emergency fund, coaches may have to dip into their savings or take on debt to cover unexpected expenses.

Running a coaching business is not just about making profits and growing your client base. It’s also important to look ahead and plan for emergencies that may arise.

Unfortunately, coaches make the mistake of not setting aside enough funds for emergencies, which can be detrimental to the business. An unexpected event such as a natural disaster, a sudden illness or injury, or a significant loss of clients can have serious financial implications for your business. “Hello Covid!”

That’s why it’s important to have an emergency fund set up specifically for your business. This should be separate from your personal savings and should cover at least three to six months of your business expenses.

By having an emergency fund in place, you can have peace of mind and know that you are prepared for unexpected situations that may arise.

Remember, failing to save for emergencies could put your coaching business at risk. To avoid this mistake, think about setting aside some portion of your income for emergencies. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund.

Mistake #5: Overspending on Business Expenses

Coaches often invest a lot of money in their business, but it is important to be mindful of your expenses. Overspending on business expenses can lead to financial strain and may not necessarily lead to a return on investment.

It is important to start your coaching business lean and keep your expenses low until you have a steady stream of income.

Coaches often make the mistake of investing too much money in expensive software, fancy office space, and expensive marketing strategies that don’t yield a return on investment.

Coaches should focus on the essentials of their business, such as building relationships with clients, providing high-quality coaching services, and focusing on revenue-generating activities. It’s important to keep a close eye on your expenses and track your income and expenses regularly, so you can make informed decisions about where to invest your money.

Here’s something you can do to avoid this mistake, create a budget for your business expenses and stick to it. Before making any large purchases, consider the return on investment and whether it is necessary for your business.

By keeping your expenses low and focusing on revenue-generating activities, you can build a successful coaching business without breaking the bank.

Mistake #6: Neglecting Retirement Planning

One of the biggest mistakes coaches make in their business is neglecting retirement planning. Many coaches think that they will work forever, but that is just not realistic.

Besides, you didn’t start your coaching business so that you could work forever, am I right?

As a coach, it’s easy to focus so much on building your business and helping clients that you forget to plan for your own financial future.

Coaches who neglect retirement planning may find themselves struggling to make ends meet in their later years.

However, it’s important to start thinking about retirement as early as possible to ensure that you have enough saved up to support yourself when you’re no longer working.

This can be achieved by setting aside a percentage of your income every month, investing in retirement accounts, and seeking advice from financial professionals.

Start by setting aside a portion of your income for retirement. Consider opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Solo 401(k) plan.

Additionally, as a coach, your income may not be consistent throughout the year, so it’s important to plan accordingly and adjust your retirement plan as needed.

Don’t overlook the importance of retirement planning, as it can have a huge impact on your future financial stability and success.

Mistake #7: Not Investing in Professional Development

Investing in professional development to increase your business knowledge and skills and to keep up with changes in the coaching industry is critical for coaches looking to grow their coaching business.

Attending coaching conferences and workshops, enrolling in coaching programs and other resources that help you grow your business requires financial investments.

Do not expect to grow a profitable coaching business for FREE.

But many coaches ignore this aspect when it comes to planning their finances.
To avoid this mistake, set aside a portion of your income for continual learning and professional development.

It’s a Wrap

If you’re a coach, you know how important it is to manage your finances, but managing your finances doesn’t have to be a hassle – if you follow these simple tips.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing good financial practices, you can build a strong and sustainable coaching business.

Start by creating a budget so you have a handle on your income and expenses.

It’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate and make sure you’re saving for taxes and retirement.

On top of that, be mindful of your business expenses and focus on helping your clients reach their goals.

Follow this helpful advice and you’ll be sailing your coaching business toward financial success!


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Chareen Goodman
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Chareen Goodman

Hello there! I'm Chareen Goodman, your go-to Strategic Business Coach. I specialize in guiding coaches, consultants, and niche-experts on the path to creating a successful online business, regardless of their prior business experience. My dedication and enthusiasm lie in helping my clients navigate the exciting stages of entrepreneurship. I'm here to teach you the ropes of building, expanding, and scaling your business, all while achieving remarkable results and boosting your revenue. Let's connect and chat about your business goals. Book a Complimentary Bold Leap call with me today!


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