Creating a coaching contract is essential whether you're offering life coaching, mentoring for a start-up business client, or professional coaching. Using coaching contract templates is undoubtedly the fastest and most efficient option, ensuring your contracts are legally valid and protect you from liability risks.
Coaching agreements set out your terms and conditions and manage client expectations. They prevent any potential misunderstandings or conflicts in the future, giving you the peace of mind to focus on your coaching services.
Like any business sector, a defined agreement signed by both parties is an exercise in risk prevention. Your agreement clarifies the nature of your coaching services and details what you are providing and, in return, for what price or payment structure.
Understanding what are the steps in the coaching process is, of course, essential before you begin work with a new client–but without a contract, you could stumble into countless issues, from non-payment to cancellations.
Presenting a client with a contract ensures your business appears professional, organized, and credible, including information such as:
There isn't one universally relevant policy since you might need a few different contracts or sets of terms depending on the range of services you're offering. However, a well-formatted and clear general services agreement, or fee schedule and cancellation agreement, is a great start.
The Contract Shop® also offers coaching bundles containing all the agreements and contracts you could require.
Your contracts should be signed by both parties. Simply giving a client a copy of your terms and conditions can be useful, but it doesn't show they have agreed to the terms of the contract and committed to any limitations or caveats you have included.
It's also good practice to offer a client the opportunity to review the contract and come back to you with any questions rather than expecting them to sign there and then. Contracts can protect you from liability but should be transparent, so a client must understand what they are agreeing to before they sign.
Coaches can also use the contract as a baseline before they start work, looking at client aspirations and objectives, deadlines, and deliverables and discussing the desired outcomes of the coaching relationship to build these into the agreement.
What are the four components of coaching, and how will these influence my contract requirements? You may find that some contracts are more appropriate for your coaching business than others, depending on the types of consultancies or mentoring you offer.
For example, a session agreement covers a pattern of coaching sessions or interactions, where you split your client's goals into manageable chunks and create a strategic framework to address a core component during each session.
Some coaching professionals use mini-session agreements, where additional mentoring sessions are required to manage specific issues or gaps in knowledge. You may also wish to download a more targeted coaching template based on your profession, such as:
All these coaching contracts, templates, and bundles are available for on-demand download through The Contract Shop®, giving you the ability to customize each document to your business before presenting it to your client.
Kevin Gallagher is the CEO of The Contract Shop®, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and more. His background is in helping online businesses grow, having previously worked at Allbirds managing part of their operations. He is proud to report that his digital artist wife Mandy is a happy customer of The Contract Shop®, and his main motivation is to help as many people like her as possible with the tools that they need to confidently manage their businesses.
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