The range of coaching costs is huge, mostly because the definition of “coaching” varies a lot. As I explained in this post, there are different types of coaching. Career coaching with an individual is very different than coaching an entire management team on integrating strategy, execution, and culture and, as you might expect, the pricing models are different as well. Some coaches will charge by the hour the same way a therapist does: you come as often as you need to and pay the hourly rate after each session. When you feel like you don’t need the coaching any more, you stop.
Most, however, structure it more like a consulting engagement, with a flat monthly fee, typically for a minimum of at least six months. Those fees are usually based on a rough estimate of hours that will be put into the work, but hours are not tracked or reported. The fee is based on the results that are expected, rather than the hours put in. High priced coach Marshall Goldsmith actually charges by the results—if the client gets no measurable financial results from the work, Goldsmith doesn’t get paid!
So if you google looking for an hourly rate for coaching, you’ll find a range between $200 and $3,000 (that’s quite a range!). Many articles say the average at about $350 to $450 per hour. But are you paying just for the hours on the calls? Are you paying for assessments that are part of the coach’s model or approach? Are you paying for the time the coach spends preparing for each call? Every coach answers those questions differently, making it very hard to know in advance what YOUR actual coaching engagement is going to cost.
So here’s my advice: plan on a monthly retainer. All models of coaching agree on one thing: it’s not a quick fix (some require a 6-month minimum). I suggest planning on a year to start, so think about what kind of investment you’d make in developing either yourself or your team/organization through the process that the coach is proposing. This isn’t training. This is long-term development in partnership with someone who (one would assume) has very deep expertise.
In my experience, most coaches will fall in the $1,000 to $5,000 per month range, regardless of how they structure their program, so you’re looking at a $12,000 to $60,000 annual investment. In our Priority-Based Execution coaching program, we charge $1,500 per month for a single executive, and $3,000 per month for the entire management team (though for smaller organizations, we do offer a group course online that covers the basics in six months, and that’s only a flat fee of $1500).
So build your coaching budget accordingly. Leadership is not easy, so why would you go it alone? Find a price point and a coaching philosophy that works for you and give it a try, because just like Marshall Goldmsith, I’m pretty confident that you will start achieving results you couldn’t reach before.