Business coaching refers to a type of consulting service that helps small businesses grow by providing advice on how to improve marketing, sales, operations, and other aspects of running a company.
But first, I want to give you some definitions of the services that are sometimes grouped in with business coaching — it is important to understand what you can expect from real business coaching before you spend your hard-earned cash.
To me, business coaching is a service that is designed to fundamentally get you from where you are right now, to where you want to be.
Just like coaching a professional football team, it involves a hands-on approach that covers all aspects of the game, with the objective of winning.
In business it is important to have your own definition of “winning,” and that will be the clear goal that you want to achieve.
Now, with business mentoring, this is something that allows you to tap into the experiences of others, who have been “in your shoes” and walked the journey from where you are right now, to where you want to be and it is not as “hands-on” as full-on coaching.
Finally, with business consulting, you are looking to bring in specific knowledge and expertise for a purpose — it may be to perform a task that you don’t have the expertise to perform yourself, or it may involve skills and knowledge transfer, to train you.
There is, of course, the option to use all three, and I have done exactly that in my forty-year business career…but I will say one thing — you have to be extremely careful who you choose to offer these services, especially in today’s world where there is almost a daily supply of adverts for experts and gurus, eager to part you from your cash, but without the real, deep and sometimes specialist experience that you need.
Please be careful!
Why Should You Hire A Coach?
If you’re looking to grow your business, hiring a coach might be one of the smartest decisions you make.
In fact, according to a study conducted by Harvard University, companies with coaches were able to generate $1 million in revenue within three years while those without had only generated $500,000.
I used the analogy of a football team at the beginning of this article and even those of you who have no interest in sports will have probably heard about the fortunes of a football team being turned around by a change of coach.
I am fascinated by all aspects of coaching and constantly study coaches from all areas of life, to strengthen my own business coaching services.
I started out in the business world at the age of nineteen (I am now fifty-eight) and there was no such thing as business coaching available to me — I had to beg, steal and borrow any advice that I could find…and it seriously slowed down my road to success.
I am also convinced that with the right coaching, I would have avoided a ton of mistakes and seriously accelerated my success.
In today’s volatile and extremely uncertain business world, it is more important than ever to have the right advice and to me, every business should have a full-on business coach, simply to provide another “set of eyes and ears” and an impartial view.
And it needn’t cost an arm or a leg — the right coach will understand exactly where you are right now and any financial constraints you have — they will work out a fair deal that doesn’t cripple you financially, but they will want something more substantial when you succeed.
So, forget those coaches who are only interested in large up-front fees, especially when you are in the early stages of your business, or looking to grow rapidly.
Check out this article from Forbes.
The Benefits Of Working With A Coach
There are several benefits to working with a coach.
First, it helps you identify areas where you need improvement.
Second, it provides you with strategies to improve these areas.
Third, it gives you the opportunity to learn from others who have been successful.
Fourth, it allows you to build relationships with other people who share similar goals as you do.
Finally, it helps you stay focused on your goals.
As I said earlier — it allows you to have another set of eyes and ears on your business that will remain impartial.
Now, here is the real advantage of having the right business coach:
The right coach will be steps ahead of you before you even engage their services — they will understand your business intimately before the first meeting and they will be able to understand your toughest and most challenging business and personal problems to a degree, without asking you a single question.
They will be totally proactive and this is simply because they have done what you are doing!
It is vital you understand this!
Types Of Coaches Available
I must admit that I’m biased here — I am an entrepreneur, who has had to make his own way in life, without any formal education and being self-taught.
I don’t use the term “self-made,” simply because none of us were — we were all made by others!
But, being who I am and taking the experiences (good, bad, indifferent, including successes and failures) I have had and am still having, I can confidently say that there are no business problems that you could have where I would be unable to help.
And because my main business provided services to some of the world’s largest companies, I understand the corporate sector as well.
Many business coaches specialize in specific areas or come from a corporate background, which I would advise is great for people working in large corporations, but provides little when it comes down to starting a business from scratch, with a very limited budget and resources.
But this is just my opinion.
If you are a start-up entrepreneur, who is venturing into the unknown, is powered by instinct, and wants to go out and attack the market, then you need a coach who has been through the process and understands both the business and emotional pressures that come with the territory.
If you are coming out of a large corporation and are looking to leverage your contacts to start a business selling back into large corporations, then you will probably need someone who has a strong background in the corporate sector.
You might find yourself talking to different coaches at different times during the process.
This is normal and it’s not uncommon for one coach to work with you for a while and then hand off the reins to another coach.
Find out more about my business coaching & mentoring services.
Finding The Right Coach For You
There are many ways to find a coach.
One option is to ask friends who have had success with coaching.
Another is to search online for local businesses that offer coaching services.
And If you’re looking for a coach who specializes in a certain industry, check out sites like LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
But as I said earlier, please be aware of the experts, gurus, and others who are promising you the next “get rich quick” scheme.
There are no secrets…remember that.
Also, be extremely wary of the “become a successful business coach” programs — these “coach the coach” programs are all the rage right now because, in my opinion, they prey on people who are vulnerable, particularly those who have recently left their jobs due to redundancy.
It takes a lot of experience to become a business coach and it is easy to be lured by the programs that promise you success after a twelve-week program, etc.
Finally, if you do want to be a coach yourself, then do so and with my blessing.
The world needs coaches now more than ever, and if you have the right experience and expertise, then go for it!
How To Choose A Coach
Before choosing a coach, make sure you understand what kind of relationship you will have with them.
Do you want a full-on business coach or just a mentor — or do you need a business consultant who will help you develop specific skills?
Or you may just need someone to simply bounce a few ideas off.
You should also consider how much time you want to spend with your coach — will you meet once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month?
Also, you must look at the financial implications — forget the coaches who are charging ridiculous fees and look for someone who can understand your business and the problems and challenges you are facing both now and in the future, before you even meet.
The right coach will be proactive and they will have grown their own business in the manner you wish to grow yours!
They will also give up their time for free, to have a deep conversation with you before committing to any sort of formal arrangement.
I work with businesses at every level, and I tailor each coaching assignment exactly to the needs of a client, so if you need any help, get in touch with me.
Last modified: October 31, 2022