Coach Input Survey Results – January 2021

In mid-January, we asked a group of health and wellness coaches for their input on our new vision of Teacup Wellness as a nonprofit.

These coaches had given us a chance in our first iteration in 2018 when we launched a for-profit model which ended up failing miserably.*

On the positive side, the experience provided a tremendous learning opportunity while also connecting us with some amazing people.

Below are the results of everyone’s input through January 31st. We extend a grateful thank-you to all who participated and we plan to follow up soon to discuss input and next steps.

Anne & Roxie comments: This confidence level is encouraging.

Anne & Roxie comments: We plan to focus on fundraising as a priority to validate that Teacup’s vision resonates with those likely to support our mission. We will form a fundraising committee to identify best places to begin.

Anne & Roxie comments: While our research indicated that a $20/hr rate would work for many coaches and would certainly help our nonprofit funding go farther, we recognize the concerns raised by many survey respondents that this rate is too low and undervalues coaches’ time.

We are totally open to starting with a higher hourly rate ($25 or $30?). Our goal would be to recognize the value coaches bring to our clients while maximizing the reach of our funding to serve as many clients as possible. We expect that many of our coaches will also have higher-paying clients outside Teacup.

We have considered models such as client donations, pay-what-you-want, or pay based on a sliding scale. Each approach would come with its own logistical challenges, but we believe these are areas worthy of experimentation.

UPDATE: After reflecting on feedback from this survey, we have decided to launch with a national rate of $30/hour for the services of Teacup contract coaches. While this means our donations will need to be higher in order to provide services to our clients, we believe that this rate better recognizes the value of coaching and the intense investment of time and resources it takes to become a qualified coach.

Anne & Roxie comments: Early outreach efforts raised concerns for us about how best to reach potential clients who would otherwise not be able to afford wellness coaching. We believe that developing partnerships with organizations that already work with these underserved communities could be our best approach, but being an unproven nonprofit startup presents its own challenges which will need to be addressed.

Anne & Roxie comments: Partnering with organizations that work to address food deserts would be a wonderful way to support our clients in a holistic manner, but the logistics of working with these partners would need to be worked out.

Next Steps

We will reach out to each coach who participated in our survey regarding their individual comments, suggestions, and ideas.

In the meantime, please reach out if you have any questions and we’ll be back with more info soon!

* When we first launched in 2018, we focused way too much on operations at the expense of marketing. We had plenty of coaches ready to go but no new clients coming in. By the time we realized how off-track it was, we had run out of self-funding. We had a few frantic months of trying out different approaches before hitting the pause button in early 2019. And now we are back, with a hopeful heart and a fierce determination not to let this idea wither if there is even a glimmer of hope for success.

Approaching Teacup as a nonprofit social enterprise seems like a model that could be successful while also aligning with our mission and values. Getting input from our prior coaches at this early stage helps ensure we validate our thinking before investing too much more time and effort.