What Should I Look For In A Business Coach?

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Everyone talks about how working with a business coach can boost your revenue and help you overcome business obstacles….but how much of that is true?

Okay yes, working with a business coach is a fast and effective way to get to the next level and it challenges you to tackle your business hurdles differently. Just like a sports coach, they can analyse your approach and suggest techniques to shave minutes off your performance and get you to the front of the line….except…not all coaches (business or otherwise) are on the same level.

From your perspective, it’s a complete waste of time and money to work with someone whose only practical knowledge of running a business comes from what the trainer told them during their coaching course. 

All you are going to get are some flimsy biz school “paradigms” or vague advice on “transformation” from coaches who have never actually grown and scaled a business. You don’t need to be told to get your hustle on. Catchphrases aren’t the solution to any of your business problems.

If you’ve been sucked into buying business courses, books or coaching sessions that only offer the same surface-level advice, I get it. We’ve all been in that trap at some point because we are striving to improve our business and see our goals met.

The issue isn’t going out and seeking advice, that’s an absolute MUST for achieving the best for your business. You need outside perspectives to get new solutions. What’s important is having someone in your corner who has runs on the board so you can ask specific questions and get specific answers. 

This leaves you with one question, ‘How do I find an online business coach?’ We’ll take you through what to look for and how to get help right here.

Putting business into real practice

Anyone can take a five-day coaching course - or worse, an online course - and call themselves a 'coach'. The only thing this tells you is they could afford the fee to do the course. 

These people have surface-level knowledge but don't have the experience of being “in the trenches” to be able to guide business owners through the next steps. Those coaches have their place in working with people just starting out, but when you have moved past the startup phase and are looking to scale, it is time for an expert consultant to come on board.

I started a side hustle making custom cycling kits while working a corporate job - since we are talking about putting our money where our mouth is - I was riding and spending hours in cycling kits myself, so my hustle was based on my experience and desire for a kit that really worked.

What happened was the business exploded and I was soon making a six-figure income and ready to kick corporate to the curb, only I wasn’t set up for it. I had no space - I was literally working from my kitchen, and I had no idea how to handle a business of this size. My business had grown so fast that I was left behind in terms of my processes, strategies and time management, to say the least. I needed specific guidance in the clothing industry, not vague platitudes that encouraged me to create a vision board.

I had to learn the hard way how to bring it all together and mature, most of which came through my subsequent businesses - that were not quite so chaotic and far less stressful.

There is no need to do it the hard way in your business. When you work with a coach who has put in the work and succeeded beyond your current business level, you know they have the experience to offer the advice and support you need to set goals with data and see incredible results.

How do business owners find coaches?

To get a great coach who is able to handle your particular needs and offer accurate and targeted advice you’ll need to meet with several coaches and get a feel for how they work. The following steps will help you identify a coach who is smart, experienced and willing to challenge you.

  • Look to your networks

This is probably the biggest one and the first one I’ll give when asked ‘What is one tip for finding and hiring a coach?’

Rather than going online to find a coach, ask around in your business circles to see who can recommend a business coach they know and trust. The advantage here is you can start a conversation about their experiences, results and discoveries and basically get a detailed testimonial about what to expect.

If you don’t have a business community or need to expand your network this is a great time to join a business group. You can target business communities that are led by actual business coaches to get a taste of what they offer and what working with them will be like. This is why we have The Business Evolution group available on Facebook, it’s a great way for like-minded business owners to come together, share experiences and get coaching advice that’s obligation-free.

Take the time to interact with community members and ask how they’ve seen their business grow since working with an experienced coach in business. You should be able to see significant results from coaching that far outstrip the coaching fee, making it a solid business investment, not an expense.

  • Know what you want to achieve

Different coaches will help you excel in a number of different ways. You need to know what results you want before you get started.

This also shows a coach what your business priorities are. Do you want…

  • More money
  • More impact
  • Wider product offering
  • More efficiency
  • More time away from work
  • More clients
  • Less stress
  • More partnerships/investors
  • Better teamwork/workplace harmony
  • Leadership advice
  • Help in managing your budget

Knowing what you want to achieve will help you select the coach that has the hands-on experience and expertise to assist you in reaching your specific business goals.

  • Go with experience

Now that you know what you need to achieve you can look for a coach with the experience and skills to match.

Be upfront about what you are looking for and ask your potential coach how they assist you to meet your goals and what experience they have in this sector - or who they will bring to the table to make sure you get the best advice. 

As well as laying out what you want, ask them about anything they see that you have missed. Covering your blind spots is the ultimate to elevating your business performance so see what they have to add.

Keep in mind you’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics if you go ahead. Your business covers a lot of scope which means your coaching sessions will too. As well as targeting your main needs, look for a coach that has a wide net of experience working in different industries and roles.

  • Get someone who gets you

A business coach should have a good understanding of your industry, market opportunity and differentiators between success and failure.

As well as having a working knowledge of your business, your current position and how to excel, they also need to get you. There is nothing wrong with going with your gut and choosing someone you feel you have chemistry with.

A coach who is a great fit for your personality and values is important because it means you are more likely to have conversations about the things that really matter and get to the core of an issue faster. It also means you are more likely to listen to their advice and take it on board positively, rather than having someone who gets your back up and rubs you the wrong way.

A business coach isn’t someone who will agree with you all the time, so don’t look for a best friend, this will be a mentor you respect and look up to and want to emulate. If they see you are heading in the wrong direction, they need to be able to tell you that in a way you respect. You’ll get better results if you give something new and challenging a genuine go.

You also want to feel they are motivated to help you achieve the next step in your business and that they like what you are looking to achieve.

Having a strong connection is not superficial, it’s an intrinsic way of matching and selecting people who align with you, which will be an important asset to your business.

  • Feel protected

Ethics are a big issue when it comes to coaching. Mostly because coaching is unregulated and there is no certification or standard of training.

When you are checking in with your potential coaches check that everything they say feels safe and ecological. You want to be sure they offer advice that is morally, legally and financially safe, as well as protecting your privacy.

What you say in your coaching sessions is confidential and needs to stay between you and your coach. Even the fact that you are working with a coach needs to be private on their part, it’s up to you to share with others how you manage your business.

Referrals from others and testimonials will also be a great way to gauge if your coach has a strong code of ethics.

The right coach for your business won’t just give you the ability to win a few more dollars at tax time, a great coach can show you techniques and strategies that add some serious zeros behind your profits, have time for holidays, work less than eight hour days…anything you were dreaming of when your business first started is possible with the right advice and action.

To get a real insight into where your business can be in 12-months time from an experienced business coach, book an obligation-free call and let’s start a conversation.

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