Business coaches work with a diverse range of clients, from individuals starting their entrepreneurial journeys to established business owners. If you’re thinking about becoming a coach, knowing what to expect can help you choose a niche and work out what sort of services your market might find valuable.

In this article, we’ll look at the different client categories business coaches collaborate with, grouped by size: solopreneurs, micro-businesses, small businesses, mid-sized businesses, and large businesses. We’ll also explore industries that business coaches often work with, including construction, finance, real estate, retail, and professional services.

Business Coaching Clients by Size

Business Coaching Clients by Size

Business coaching has grown in popularity as a way for entrepreneurs and business owners to improve business outcomes. While business coaches work with clients of all sizes, different businesses can benefit from coaches in different ways.


A solopreneur is an entrepreneur who runs a business without employing anyone else. They often build their companies around their unique skills or expertise. Examples include e-commerce operators, freelancers, consultants and tradespeople.

Although being a solopreneur can deliver benefits like greater flexibility and better work-life balance, it also comes with distinct challenges.

These can include a lack of accountability, limited resources, overwork, and fewer networking opportunities. Business coaching can be an invaluable way for solopreneurs to overcome those obstacles and achieve their goals.

  • Accountability: As a coach working with solopreneurs, you’ll help keep them accountable, ensuring they remain motivated and focused on their objectives. You’ll likely help set realistic goals, develop action plans, and monitor your clients’ progress. Most business coaches also help solopreneurs form business strategies by identifying their unique strengths, weaknesses, and messaging.
  • Time Management: Effective time management is another aspect where business coaching can be useful for solopreneurs. Many coaches teach their clients how to prioritise tasks and outsource less critical responsibilities.
  • Networking: Business coaches often support their clients’ networking efforts by identifying potential clients and partners and establishing strategies for building relationships.
  • Growth and Scaling: A business coach helps solopreneurs recognise opportunities for growth, develop methods to scale, and increase headcount.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~1,550,200 solopreneurs across Australia


Micro-businesses have one to four employees, including the owner, and can often struggle with areas such as finances, marketing, and operating systems. Consequently, business coaching has become popular among micro-business owners who want to scale their businesses.

The key advantages of business coaching for micro-businesses include:


  • Solo Decision-Making: Micro-business owners usually make decisions independently, which can be isolating and challenging. A business coach offers an objective perspective and expert advice, providing valuable support in the decision-making process.
  • Marketing and Branding: Micro-businesses often struggle to establish a strong market presence due to limited resources and expertise. A business coach with marketing experience can help develop cost-effective strategies for building brand awareness and attracting customers.
  • Financial Management: Micro-business owners may lack experience in managing finances, which can hinder growth. A business coach can offer budgeting, cash flow management, and financial planning guidance to ensure the business remains financially stable.
  • Business Planning: Micro-businesses may not have formal business plans, making it difficult to set goals and track progress. A business coach can help develop a clear business plan with actionable steps, ensuring the micro business stays on track for success.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Micro-businesses may be unfamiliar with specific laws and regulations applicable to their industry. A business coach can help them navigate these requirements, minimising the risk of legal issues and penalties.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~728, 700 micro-businesses across Australia

Small Businesses


Small businesses (five to 19 employees) form the backbone of the Australian economy, and coaching can be a powerful instrument for helping them be more successful. Many small businesses have good offerings and the right market, but can struggle with the financial and operational requirements of scaling up.

You can expect to coach small businesses across areas such as:

  • Limited Resources: Small businesses often operate with fewer financial and human resources, making efficient allocation essential. A business coach can help streamline operations, ensuring resources are used effectively to support growth.
  • Expertise Gaps: Small business owners may lack experience in specific areas such as marketing, finance, or operations. A business coach with domain expertise can fill these gaps, providing guidance and support to drive success.
  • Time Management: Small business owners frequently juggle multiple roles, leading to overwhelming workloads. A business coach can help prioritise tasks, delegate responsibilities, and streamline processes to ensure efficient use of time.
  • Networking Opportunities: Small businesses often struggle to make connections in their industry, which can limit growth potential. A business coach can introduce them to valuable contacts, expanding their network and creating opportunities for partnerships or collaborations.
  • Strategic Planning: Small businesses may lack the experience or resources to develop comprehensive growth strategies. A business coach can help define clear objectives, create actionable plans, and monitor progress, ensuring the business stays on a trajectory toward success.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~227,100 small businesses across Australia

Medium-Sized Businesses


Medium-sized businesses with 20–199 employees often face unique challenges as they grow and expand. Business coaching can be an invaluable resource for navigating these challenges and achieving objectives.

Key areas where coaching can benefit medium-sized businesses include:

  • Scaling Challenges: As medium-sized businesses experience growth, they often face difficulties transitioning from a smaller to a larger organisation. A business coach can provide guidance on scaling effectively, managing increased complexity, and maintaining company culture.
  • Organisational Structure: As businesses grow, a well-designed organisational structure becomes vital for smooth operations. A business coach can help medium-sized businesses create and implement an efficient structure that supports communication, decision-making, and accountability.
  • Talent Acquisition and Retention: Attracting and retaining top talent becomes increasingly competitive for medium-sized businesses. A business coach can help develop strategies for recruiting, retaining, and developing employees, ensuring a skilled and motivated workforce.
  • Financial Management: Medium-sized businesses often face more complex financial challenges, such as cash flow management, forecasting, and budgeting. A business coach can offer expert advice on financial strategies, ensuring the business remains financially stable during growth.
  • Market Expansion: As medium-sized businesses grow, they may be ready to explore new markets, both domestically and internationally. A business coach can guide them through market research, entry strategies, and risk assessment to maximise success in new markets.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~59,400 medium-sized businesses across Australia

Large Businesses


Large businesses with more than 200 employees often face challenges related to managing organisational complexity, coordinating communication across multiple departments or locations, and maintaining efficiency and innovation amidst increased competition.

Business coaches that work with the executive leadership of large businesses often help their clients solve challenges around:

  • Change Management: Large businesses often face challenges in adapting to new technologies, markets, or competitors due to their size. A business coach can assist in implementing change management strategies, ensuring the organisation remains agile and responsive.
  • Leadership Development: Large businesses require strong leadership teams capable of managing multiple departments and teams. A business coach can help develop effective leadership skills, empowering executives to drive the organisation forward successfully.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Large businesses may pursue mergers or acquisitions as part of their growth strategy. A business coach can provide guidance on identifying suitable targets, valuing potential deals, and integrating businesses post-acquisition.
  • Corporate Culture: Maintaining a strong and cohesive corporate culture becomes increasingly challenging as a business grows. A business coach can help large businesses develop strategies to foster a positive culture that aligns with company values and encourages employee engagement.
  • Crisis Management: Large businesses are more likely to face crises, such as public relations issues or market disruptions. A business coach can help develop crisis management plans and strategies, ensuring the organisation can respond effectively and minimise damage.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~4,500 large businesses across Australia

Business Coaching Clients by Industry

As the demand for business coaching continues to rise, it has become increasingly essential for companies across various industries to seek tailored guidance and support.

Examples of industry-specific coaching include:

  • Technology: Coaches work with clients developing software, hardware, and other technological products, helping with product development, marketing, and sales strategies.
  • Healthcare: Coaches support healthcare professionals in starting and growing their practices.
  • Retail: Coaches help small business owners and managers improve customer service, increase sales, and optimise inventory management.

Business coaching is a versatile profession adaptable to various industries. Having industry-specific knowledge can help you deliver practical guidance and support.

Construction Businesses

Construction businesses often face challenges around efficient project management, resource optimisation, and navigating complex regulations. A business coach can support better coordination, smoother resource allocation, stronger regulatory compliance, and frictionless client relationships. The results: increased profitability and competitiveness.

Business coaching for construction companies can cover a range of topics, such as:

  • Project Management: Construction businesses often manage multiple projects simultaneously, requiring efficient coordination and communication. A business coach can help develop and implement effective project management strategies, ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Resource Optimisation: Construction businesses need to optimise their resources, including labour, equipment, and materials. A business coach can help identify areas for improvement, streamline procurement processes, and reduce waste, leading to increased profitability.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Construction businesses must navigate complex regulations and industry standards, including building codes and safety requirements. A business coach can help ensure compliance, minimising the risk of penalties and damage to the company's reputation.
  • Client Relationships: Construction businesses depend on strong client relationships to secure repeat business and referrals. A business coach can help improve communication and customer service, thereby increasing client satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Market Differentiation: With competition in the construction industry, construction firms need to differentiate themselves. A business coach can help identify unique selling points and develop targeted marketing strategies, ensuring the business stands out in a crowded market.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~392,600 construction businesses across Australia

Financial Businesses

Financial businesses operate in a highly competitive environment, facing challenges such as regulatory compliance, risk management, customer acquisition and retention, operational efficiency, and cybersecurity. Addressing these challenges is crucial for success and growth in the industry. The following section highlights how business coaching can help financial businesses overcome these obstacles and thrive in the complex financial landscape.

Financial business coaching can address various topics, including:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Financial businesses operate in a highly regulated environment, making compliance with laws and regulations essential. A business coach can help navigate these requirements, minimising the risk of penalties and maintaining a strong reputation in the industry.
  • Risk Management: Effective risk management is crucial for financial businesses to protect their assets and maintain stability. A business coach can provide guidance on identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, ensuring the business remains resilient in a volatile market.
  • Customer Acquisition and Retention: Financial businesses need to attract and retain clients in a competitive landscape. A business coach can help develop targeted marketing and sales strategies, as well as improve customer service, resulting in increased client satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Operational Efficiency: Streamlining operations is crucial for financial businesses to reduce costs and improve productivity. A business coach can help identify areas for improvement, implement process optimisations, and leverage technology to enhance efficiency.
  • Cybersecurity: Financial businesses must protect sensitive client data and adhere to strict security regulations. A business coach with expertise in cybersecurity can help implement robust security measures and develop a culture of security awareness, minimising the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~104,700 financial businesses across Australia

Real Estate Businesses

Real estate businesses can be highly profitable yet face unique challenges, such as complex regulations, diverse clients, and changing market conditions. As a business coach working with real estate businesses, you can expect to help your clients problem-solve around areas such as:

  • Market Analysis: Real estate businesses need a deep understanding of local market trends and conditions to make informed decisions. A business coach can provide guidance on analysing market data, helping businesses identify opportunities and make strategic investments.
  • Lead Generation: Attracting new clients is essential for real estate businesses to thrive in a competitive market. A business coach can help develop targeted marketing strategies and improve lead generation techniques, resulting in increased client acquisition.
  • Negotiation Skills: Effective negotiation is crucial for real estate businesses to close deals and maximise profits. A business coach can help develop and refine negotiation skills, empowering agents to achieve favourable outcomes for their clients and the business.
  • Team Development: As real estate businesses grow, they may need to expand and develop their team. A business coach can help recruit, train, and motivate staff, ensuring a high-performing and cohesive team.
  • Branding and Differentiation: With competition in the real estate industry, businesses must differentiate themselves to succeed. A business coach can help identify unique selling points and develop targeted branding strategies, ensuring the business stands out in a crowded market.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~104,700 real estate businesses across Australia

Retail Businesses

Retail businesses face intense competition and numerous obstacles, such as supply chain management, pricing, inventory control, and customer service.

Business coaches can provide guidance around areas such as:

  • Customer Experience: Retail businesses must offer an exceptional customer experience to attract and retain shoppers. A business coach can help improve customer service, develop targeted marketing strategies, and create a seamless in-store or online experience.
  • Sales Strategies: Developing and implementing effective sales strategies is critical for retail businesses to drive revenue. A business coach can help refine sales techniques, train staff, and create promotional campaigns to boost sales performance.
  • Employee Engagement and Training: Motivated, well-trained employees are essential for retail businesses to succeed. A business coach can help develop employee training programs, improve communication, and foster a positive work environment, leading to increased productivity and staff retention.
  • Store Layout and Merchandising: An appealing and functional store layout can significantly impact a retail business's sales performance. A business coach can provide guidance on store design, product placement, and visual merchandising, encouraging customers to spend more time and money in the store.
  • E-commerce Integration: As more consumers shop online, retail businesses need to embrace e-commerce to remain competitive. A business coach can help develop and implement a successful e-commerce strategy, ensuring a seamless transition for both the business and its customers.

Total Addressable Market (TAM): ~136,400 retail businesses across Australia

Professional Service Firms

Professional service firms, such as law, accounting, consulting, and marketing agencies, face challenges like managing billable hours, building a solid brand, and attracting top talent. They must continuously adapt to stay competitive, while also managing their finances effectively and measuring their performance to maintain high service quality and drive continuous improvement.

Business coaching for professional service firms can cover functions such as:

  • Client Acquisition and Retention: Professional service firms rely on attracting and retaining clients to sustain their business. A business coach can help develop targeted marketing and sales strategies and improve client relationship management, leading to increased client satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Service Offerings and Innovation: To stay competitive, professional service firms must continually refine and expand their service offerings. A business coach can help identify new market opportunities, develop innovative services, and guide the firm through the implementation process.
  • Operational Efficiency: Streamlining operations is crucial for professional service firms to reduce costs and improve productivity. A business coach can help identify areas for improvement, implement process optimisations, and leverage technology to enhance efficiency.
  • Financial Management: Professional service firms must manage finances carefully, including cash flow, billing, and pricing strategies. A business coach can offer expert advice on financial management, ensuring the firm remains financially stable and profitable.
  • Performance Measurement and Evaluation: Regularly assessing performance is essential for professional service firms to maintain high service quality and drive continuous improvement. A business coach can help establish key performance indicators and evaluation processes, ensuring the firm remains accountable for its results.


If you’re thinking about entering the business coaching space, understanding the types of clients you want to work with is critical. All organisations can benefit from coaching – but you can’t approach every industry or maturity level in the same way.

Solopreneurs, for example, often get the most value from hybrid coaching models like ActionMEMBERSHIP. Mid-sized to large businesses, on the other hand, need a dedicated coach acting in a business success role – someone who can act as a sounding board and guide for the CEO in a way that internal second-in-commands can’t.

Exactly what sort of coaching service you deliver will depend on your experience and the type of clients you want to support. When you’re thinking about your offerings, use this article as checklist for your ideal client’s needs.

Prefer to talk to someone who’s been where you are? Book a strategy session with an ActionCOACH business coach. Like you, they’ve built a coaching business from the ground up, and, with a network of more than 1,000 coaches globally, they’ll be able to connect you with someone who’s succeeded in your chosen vertical. Click here to find a coach in your local area.

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Written by ActionCOACH April 20, 2023
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.