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International Retreats: Is Your Coaching Business Ready to Take on the World?

 In today's interconnected world, taking your business to a picturesque location overseas isn't just a dream; it's a strategic move for personal and professional development. International retreats offer an unparalleled blend of growth opportunities for your business and the individual development of everyone involved. Imagine the synergy of combining travel's inherent beauty and excitement with the transformative power of focused workshops and sessions. Retreats aren't just about seeing new places; they are about transformation for your clients, you, and your business. 

But how do you know if your coaching business is ready to take this significant leap? It's one thing to daydream about exotic locales and transformative experiences; it's another to ensure your business can handle the leap and thrive. We're talking about assessing key readiness indicators, such as the strength of your client base, the financial health of your business, and the potential for your retreat to create meaningful, lasting transformation in your clients' lives.

This guide is crafted for you—the entrepreneurs and coaches with a vision that stretches across continents. You're the changemakers and visionaries who understand that impact doesn't have geographical boundaries. Whether you're pondering hosting your first international retreat or looking to refine your approach, this article is your stepping stone to realizing those global ambitions. We'll explore what it means to be truly ready to expand your impact, offering insights and considerations to help you align your dream with the tangible realities of making it happen. Let's embark on this journey together with openness to learning and an unwavering commitment to growth.

TLDR: Are you ready to host an international retreat? If you have a big enough (although smaller than you think) client base and market reach, the finances to cover upfront costs (like venue deposits), a problem that your clients are begging you to solve, and the right legal and insurance compliance... then the answer is YES! If you don't have all of these pieces, that's ok. Start pulling them together, and you'll be ready in no time. You may be wondering if you need ALL the pieces to get started. That's a good question. The answer is a soft no. There are ways to get clients, cover your finances, and figure out your topic as you go. But you should definitely get your legal house in order. If you have questions - send me an email! [email protected]

Evaluating Your Client Base and Market Reach

Before embarking on the grand adventure of an international retreat, let's start where every successful journey does: with the people you aim to serve. Your clients and followers aren't just numbers on a page; they're a community of engaged individuals looking to you for guidance, inspiration, and transformation. Understanding the depth and dynamics of this community is your first step in gauging whether the time is ripe for taking your show on the road, internationally speaking.

The Foundation: Your Client Base and Following

  • What's the Magic Number?

You might wonder if there's a magic number of followers or clients you should have before considering an international retreat. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, a good rule of thumb is to have a solid base that actively engages with your content and offerings. Think quality over quantity—a smaller group of deeply committed and engaged followers can be far more impactful than a large but passive audience. Now, if you're like me and would like a number, the minimum base I would suggest is 100 warm clients or leads. With the right marketing strategy, you can convert 10% (10 retreat participants), which is, in my opinion, a perfect-sized retreat. 

  • Gauge Their Interest

How do you know if your community is ready to pack their bags and join you abroad? Start with a simple yet powerful tool: conversation. Engage with your audience, ask questions, interact on social media, or have direct conversations to gauge their interest in international experiences. This engagement can provide invaluable insights into their preferences, expectations, and, most importantly, their willingness to invest in such an opportunity. Hint: If you are even thinking about hosting a retreat (ready or not), ask your community. You'll find out if they want a retreat, and you'll likely find the topic they are most interested in. 

Tuning Into Market Demand

  • Do Your Homework

Understanding the broader market demand for the type of retreat you're considering is crucial. This means researching trends in retreat topics, preferred destinations, and the types of experiences attracting attention. Are wellness retreats the rage, or are people seeking skill-based learning in exotic settings? This research will help you align your retreat with what people are actively seeking, ensuring relevance and appeal.

  • Find Your Unique Space

In a world buzzing with options, what makes your retreat stand out? Knowing your niche and unique selling proposition (USP) is essential. This could be anything from a specific skill development focus to a transformative healing modality or even a particular approach to personal growth that you offer. Remember, the goal is to provide something that resonates with your audience and offers the solution they want solved yesterday. They are eager for this transformation.  


Financial Readiness: Can You Afford an International Leap?

Stepping into the realm of international retreats is like setting sail on a vast ocean. It's thrilling and undoubtedly transformative, but it requires a sturdy ship—your financial readiness. Before you chart the course, it's crucial to look into your treasure chest and thoughtfully map out your financial voyage.

Upfront Investment and Budgeting

The first step is understanding the costs involved. The financial commitments can be substantial, from securing enchanting villas that promise an immersive experience to partnering with a retreat planner who can turn your vision into reality. But don't let the numbers daunt you; instead, view them as the seeds you're planting for future growth, and remember that retreats can add multiple revenue streams to your business (Read more about increasing revenue with retreats). Crafting a detailed budget is your compass in this journey. It will guide you through financial currents, ensuring you can afford this adventure and be poised to reap its rewards.

  • Costs to Consider

Start with a list: accommodation, transportation, food, activities, retreat planning company, and, yes, a contingency fund for those unforeseen adventures. Each item on your list is an investment in the experience you're creating. The two highest and most significant costs to remember are the accommodation (usually a 50% deposit with limited refundability) and the cost of a retreat planner (which covers Seller of Travel licensure and some of your insurance needs). Think of them not as expenses but as brush strokes on the canvas of your retreat masterpiece.

  • Creating a Financial Plan and Budget Forecast

Here is where your vision meets reality. Break down your costs, anticipate your income (from registrations, for example), and set realistic expectations. How many participants will make this retreat not just viable but profitable? What's your plan B if numbers are lower than expected? This step isn't just about having the funds; it's about managing them wisely to ensure your retreat's financial success. 

Financial Safety Nets

Adventures come with their share of surprises; the wise captain always has a safety net.

  • Importance of Having Financial Backup Plans

Consider scenarios where you might need a financial cushion. Will you have enough reserves if venue costs change at the last minute or a key speaker's flight is canceled? Building a buffer into your budget can turn potential disruptions into mere hiccups on your path to a successful retreat. I'm not trying to scare you, and you don't need to have thousands of dollars, just a small buffer for when things don't go right. 

  • Setting Realistic Financial Goals and Expectations

The beauty of your international retreat dream is not just in its execution but in its sustainable success. Setting realistic financial goals means balancing ambition with prudence, ensuring that your retreat doesn't just enchant and transform but also solidifies the financial foundation of your business for future ventures.

In this journey of financial preparation, remember that every great expedition was once a mere dot on the horizon. With careful planning, a clear vision, and a heart ready for adventure, your international retreat can be a dream realized and a cornerstone of your business's growth and impact.


The Transformative Potential of Your Retreat

Embarking on an international retreat is not just about changing scenery; it's about facilitating profound transformation in the lives of your participants. This journey isn't simply a physical move from one place to another; it's an exploration into new depths of personal and professional growth. Let's uncover the layers that make your retreat not just a trip but a pivotal moment in your client's lives.

Identifying and Articulating the Transformation

Your retreat should promise a transformation beyond the ordinary—a metamorphosis that participants can only experience by stepping into the world you're creating for them.

  • Defining the Core Transformation or Outcome

What unique shift or growth will your participants experience? Is it a newfound confidence, a deeper understanding of their business, or perhaps a rejuvenation of their passion? Pinpoint this transformation and make it the heart of your retreat. This is what will draw participants to you, the beacon that promises not just a journey but a destination of growth.

  • Ensuring the Transformation Aligns with Your Clients' Needs and Aspirations

Understanding your audience is critical. This alignment ensures that the transformation you're offering is profound and desired. Engage with your clients, survey your followers, and dive deep into their aspirations to ensure your retreat meets their needs and desires. 

Content and Programming

Crafting the content and programming of your retreat is akin to curating a gourmet meal menu. Each element should be chosen for its unique flavor and how it blends with the others to create an unforgettable experience.

  • Designing Content That Delivers on the Promised Transformation

Your workshops, activities, and sessions are the vehicles of transformation. They should be meticulously designed to challenge, inspire, and nurture your participants, guiding them toward the breakthroughs you've promised. For example, ensuring that the activities are tied to the learnings to help with transformation is vital. If you are doing a lesson on changing perspectives, you could go up in a hot air balloon to see the area from a different viewpoint and talk about the differences from being on the ground and how that relates to their growth. 


Logistics and Operational Readiness

Embarking on an international retreat is like orchestrating a symphony—it requires harmony among all players, precise timing, and a deep understanding of the score. Your logistics and operational readiness are the backbone of this harmony, ensuring that every detail sings and every moment resonates with your vision.

Team and Resources

The first note in our symphony involves assessing the orchestra—your team. Do you have the maestros and virtuosos needed to bring your retreat to life?

  • Assessing if You Have the Right Team and Support for Planning and Execution

Look around you; the people you need are your co-creators, the ones who understand your vision and have the skills to make it tangible. From marketing mavens to logistical wizards, each plays a crucial role. It's not just about having hands on deck; it's about having the right hands that move with purpose and passion. Some people may be nice to have on your first retreat, but others are necessary for running your retreat legally. And remember, as a business owner, you already wear many hats; do you need to add more?

  • Considering Partnerships with Local Providers or International Retreat Planners

No symphony is complete without guest performers with local knowledge and expertise that elevate the entire performance. Partnering with seasoned retreat planners can transform your retreat from a beautiful melody into an unforgettable magnum opus. They bring the nuances, insider knowledge, and logistical finesse that can make all the difference. Those in specific states or provinces may be required to hire a retreat planner or get a Seller of Travel license. If you aren't sure if you need this, check with your area's laws around selling travel. 

Legal and Compliance Considerations

Then there's the score itself—the legal framework and compliance considerations that guide your symphony, ensuring it plays out smoothly and harmoniously.

  • Understanding International Regulations and Requirements

Navigating the legalities of international retreats can seem daunting, but it's simply a matter of understanding the rules of the countries you're entering. Visas, permits, and local regulations are your sheet music; knowing them by heart ensures your performance flows without a hitch.

  • Insurance, Waivers, and Other Legal Protections

And what of the unexpected? The sudden crescendos, the unforeseen solos? Insurance and legal protections are your rehearsal for these moments, ensuring that your performance can go on no matter what surprises your retreat may encounter. From health and safety to liability waivers, these protections are not just bureaucratic necessities; they're your peace of mind, allowing you to focus on creating an impactful and transformative experience.

In the grand performance of hosting an international retreat, your logistical and operational readiness is key to ensuring that every note resonates, every detail captivates, and your vision becomes a reality that echoes long after the final bow. It's about meticulous preparation, deep understanding, and the joy of bringing people together in harmony and transformation.


The path to hosting an international retreat is filled with excitement, opportunity, and, admittedly, a fair share of challenges. Yet, through our discussions on client base evaluation, financial readiness, and logistics planning, we've uncovered the key indicators that signal your readiness to take on this rewarding venture. 

Now, we stand at the threshold of adventure, equipped with the knowledge and insights to assess our preparedness. It's a moment to be both thoughtful and bold. Hosting an international retreat is not just about finding the perfect locale or ensuring the numbers add up; it's about creating transformative experiences that resonate long after the return flight home. It's about expanding your impact, touching lives across borders, and fostering growth that knows no bounds.

So, to you—the visionary entrepreneurs and coaches who dare to dream big—I offer this:

  • Take a moment to assess where you stand.
  • Plan with both your heart and your head.
  • When you're ready, take that decisive step towards the world stage.

Your journey of global impact begins not with the first booking but with the courage to envision what's possible.

Let this be your call to action. Prepare, plan, and then embark on the journey with a heart full of dreams and a plan solidly in place. The world awaits your presence and the unique transformation only you can bring. Here's to your success, your growth, and the unforgettable adventures that lie ahead.

I know this can sound like a lot to have in place before your first retreat, but I'm here to help you bring this dream into reality. Let's set up a time to chat. Send me an email, and let's make your dream come true. [email protected]