The rise and rise of professional coaching


As a society, our values are continually shifting. With changes in the economic climate, technology having a growing impact on our lives and an increasing focus on maintaining a healthy work/life balance – more and more people are looking to alternative careers, away from the frenetic pace of big business, to provide more flexible, meaningful and fulfilling work. Professional coaching fits the bill and is becoming one of the fastest growing business models in the world today.

The rapid growth of self-employment has been a pronounced feature of the UK labour market in recent years. The number of self-employed increased from 3.3 million people in 2001 to 4.8 million (15.1% of the labour force) in 2017. Forecasters predict that by 2020, self-employment will overtake public sector employment. The sheer amount of people choosing to go it alone and the professions they’re pursuing paints a definitive picture of the current trends and cultural shifts in the UK.

One significant change we’ve seen is the rise of professional coaches. An estimated 57,100 individuals worldwide are now identifying as coaches, and many consultants are looking to coaching as a new string to add to their bow. Coaching services offer a vehicle for analysis, reflection and action that ultimately enable the client to achieve success in one or more areas of their life or work. Professional coaching is thriving and proving to make a positive difference for individuals, communities and businesses.

Business coaching

The world of business coaching is coming on in leaps and bounds. More and more businesses are turning to coaches to help develop high potential employees, facilitate transitions, act as a sounding board, improve productivity or to address derailing behaviour. In a survey by Right Management Consultants, 86% of companies said they used coaching to sharpen the skills of individuals who have been identified as future organisational leaders. According to a Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives, coaching resulted in an ROI of almost six times the program cost as well as a 77% improvement in relationships, 67% improvement in teamwork, 61% improvement in job satisfaction and 48% improvement in quality. Business coaching is shifting from the perception of a nice-to-have intervention to an integral part of modern, growing companies.

Personal coaching

The idea of personal, or life, coaching may seem a bit American and alien to we Brits. However, more and more people are taking responsibility for their own personal and professional development. Whether it be for assistance with a life transition (such as a divorce, job change or bereavement) or for help pursuing a passion, better health or a new career – the role of a life coach is to help others bridge the gap between where they currently are and where they’d like to be. They provide support and use coaching tools and mechanisms to enable clients to fulfil their potential and achieve their personal goals. In a recent survey, 53% of coaches reported a focus on life coaching as a means of growing their own business. Even for coaches solely focused on big businesses, many reported that personal matters and elements of life coaching were often required in their day to day work. In a study by the International Coaching Federation, 99% of participants reported that they were satisfied with their life coaching experience, with 80% reporting an improvement in their self-confidence and 67% an improved work/life balance – showing just how effective personal coaching can be.

Coaching to success

With change and development a continual part of our lives, people rarely get stuck because they’re missing a specific piece of information or a certain procedure. They’re more likely to get stuck in how they think and feel about themselves and their personal or professional situation. This is where coaches come in and their value and benefit is starting to gain wide recognition. As a maturing and evolving profession, coaching offers a wide array of new opportunities for those wishing to pursue a different career path. Professional coaches come from all manner of backgrounds including psychology, human resources, consultancy, specialist training, organisational developers or those in senior management, industry experts or leadership roles.

As specialist accountants and former independent professionals ourselves, we’re always keen to stay ahead of the latest developments in the self-employed field. We’ve recognised coaching as a growing, developing profession that will become ever more integral not just to businesses but to individuals throughout Britain. And we want to be there to help! As thought-leaders and innovators, we appreciate how coaching is a flexible, value-driven and rewarding profession that allows it’s practitioners to change not only their own lives, but those of the people they work with; an ethos we try to imbue in everything we do here at inni. Want to know more about how we make the perfect partner for coaches? Check out our Coaching with inniAccounts article, here.

Want to know more?
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a detailed look into the coaching profession including how to get started, what the future looks likely to hold, accreditation, taxes; everything you might need to consider starting up or thriving as a professional coach. So whether you’re considering a change in career, a new sideline or are simply on the lookout for handy guides and discussions – be sure to take a look at our series.