How Much Does Coaching Cost?
That’s a question I get all the time. The answer is: it depends!
The cost for these services depends on the level of service that you’re looking for. As you might expect, coaches charge more based on two factors:
- How much time they spend working with you personally (or with people on our team) and
- The value that they bring to your organization. Frankly, if you’re running a larger organization, you’re going to pay more for the help of a coach.
Three Basic Models For Coaching
- Group coaching
- Individual coaching
- Organizational coaching
1. Group Coaching
Group coaching helps you get an outside perspective from your peers once a month or quarterly, usually for a full day at a time.
In group coaching the executive joins a roundtable of other executives, usually in similar size businesses, and usually outside your industry. These programs can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars a month, but generally it will run between $1,000 and $2,000 per month for a year long program.
If that sounds expensive to you, there are programs available through departments of economic development or the SBA to provide low or no cost mentoring to small businesses.
2. Individual Coaching
In individual coaching, the executive meets personally with their coach on a weekly or biweekly basis. The job of the coach is to help you get out of your own way. A great coach should ask you tough questions that will make you think differently. For example – I recently asked a client – “You really believe that your industry is reactive. Why do you believe that? Are new problems coming up all the time, or the same old problems? Could you develop standard approaches to each ‘old’ problem?”
Sessions last about an hour, and you should expect that the coach will not leave you comfortable.
You should expect to have some “homework” between sessions – to help dig deeper and think more about the items covered in the session with your coach.
Many coaches work on an hourly fee basis. You should expect to pay as much as you’d pay for an attorney. A Harvard Business Review article from 2009 says that coaching may be as inexpensive as $200/hour up to $3,500/hour.
I work with clients on a fixed fee basis. My clients know exactly what it will cost each month, not matter how much they call me.
3. Organizational Coaching
In other cases, executives want to make investment not only in a single leader, but also want to bring in a customized program which will align their lieutenants with the senior leaders and help all of them to grow.
In engagements like this, fees can run from $15,000 to over $100,000 per year depending on the number of people in the programs.
These programs may include: Individual coaching for some executives, group coaching for leadership teams, team building programs, development programs on leadership, communications, problem solving, strategic planning, tactical planning, and more. Programs may involve weekly, monthly and quarterly sessions with different team members, and it’s all based on bringing the best program your budget allows.
Is Executive Coaching Worth The Money?
That depends, too. The key factors in success are:
- Does your coach “fit” with the team? and
- Is your team open to trying new things?
If your coach connects with the team members, and the team is open to learning and trying new things, there can be a HUGE payoff.
Make sure that when you talk to a potential coach that you ask them how they can help you find the answers to those questions.
I follow an on boarding process. What I find is that about half the time there’s a good fit and I can help. about half of the time it’s not a good fit and I can refer you to someone else or suggest a more effective course of action than coaching.
Coaching Return on Investment (ROI)
What do you get for your money? A 2003 study from Metrix Global showed an ROI of 788% – that means for every dollar invested in executive coaching, study participants reported organizational results of almost eight dollars!
Here are some more stats from the International Coaching Federation’s 2009 study on Coaching Effectiveness.