What Is A Business Coach And Should You Get One?
When you think of a coach, it used to only be sports teams and athletes that sprang to mind. But now, coaching is common across a vast range of professions.
The cool thing is, you can have a coach for just about everything! Because of that, it sometimes feels like every man, woman, and their aunty is a coach of some kind!
Business coaching is one of the most popular categories.
However, it is a broad category! Some business coaches promise to transform your mindset or boost your sales confidence, while others offer specialised coaching in marketing, pricing, or productivity.
So the question is, are business coaches really all they have cracked up to be? How do you know if you need one, and what kind of coaching is right for you?
Let’s jump into answering those very questions now.
Do you need coaching?
In my experience, business coaching can be invaluable.
But, it depends on what kind of support you are looking for, the coach you choose, and how much work you are willing to put into transforming your business.
If you think business coaching might be right for you but you are not quite sure, this blog will tell you everything you need to know.
So let’s get stuck in!
What is business coaching?
Business coaching is a specialised service where an experienced professional works with you to help you reach your business goals.
Ideally, a business coach will have extensive experience and knowledge about building and growing businesses.
After all, you wouldn’t hire someone to teach you how to play the guitar if they could only play three chords themselves, would you!
Business coaching is available in a wide range of specialist areas, which we will explore shortly, so choosing the right coach for your needs is vital.
While each coach has their own style and areas of expertise, generally, they will work with you to define your goals, nail down your vision for your business, and help you develop useful strategies to reach those milestones.
Why is it useful to have a business coach?
Whether you are a budding musician, an athlete, or an entrepreneur, we all have to start at the beginning and pick up knowledge and experience along the way.
But who do you turn to when you hit a roadblock or have a question? Sure, the internet is a treasure trove of information. Yet even the almighty Google doesn’t know the ins and outs of the journey you are on.
Instead of fumbling along alone and learning through trial and error, what if there was a way to fast track that learning process and avoid making some of the mistakes?
That’s what a coach does for you.
How can a business coach help me?
There are many ways a business coach can help develop your skillset and grow your business. Here are just a few:
- Hone your focus – sometimes we can become so overwhelmed with everything on our plate and all the ideas we have that we can’t see the wood for the trees. A coach can help you cut to the chase and identify your primary goals and vision for your business.
- Increase confidence – whether they are helping you with your mindset or giving you the security of an experienced bounce-board for your ideas, having a coach in your corner can help you make important decisions confidently, turning doubt and hesitation into action.
- Provide accountability – it’s all too easy for us to wriggle out of promises or commitments we make to ourselves, but being accountable to a business coach is a whole other ballgame! Having someone who expects you to follow through and keeps you on track, can be the motivation you need to take your business to the next level.
- Provide valuable business advice – it can be challenging for business owners to gain perspective when we are neck-deep in our business. A fresh set of experienced eyes and an outside viewpoint can result in ideas or solutions that we hadn’t considered before.
- Support personal growth and development – growing a business doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You must also grow and develop as a person. A business coach can help you identify and overcome unproductive habits or behaviours. Consequently, these new ways doing things flow through to benefit other areas of your life.
- Improve profitability – of course, it’s not just all about mindset, personal growth, and goal setting. A business coach should help grow your business too, increasing sales and profitability.
- Better financial planning – even if finances aren’t your forte, you need to be able to understand and manage them efficiently. A business coach can help you with things like budgeting, pricing, and financial strategy.
And last but not least
- Save you time and money – due to all the reasons listed above, a great coach can help you save both time and money, from heading down the wrong path or taking “long cuts”.
Who needs long cuts when you can take short cuts right?
Types of business coaching
Business coaches may offer one-on-one coaching, group programs, or both. And while some coaches offer generalised business coaching, others have specific areas of expertise.
Let’s look at some of the most common.
This is where a coach works directly with you to provide personalised advice tailored to you and your business. The cost is higher than group coaching, but the benefits also tend to be more significant.
The advice is specific to you and your business. You tend to have a stronger relationship from working one to one, and you can fit the sessions around both of your schedules.
Group coaching usually follows more of a set curriculum than personalised advice, although your coach may provide a combination of methods.
This is a great affordable way to benefit from business coaching. You get the support of other business people on similar journeys and benefit from their shared wisdom and resources.
There are hundreds of books for entrepreneurs that talk about the importance of a growth or abundance mindset. Mindset coaching specifically works with your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and behaviours.
It can help you identify where you are self-sabotaging or holding yourself back, and provide positive ways to develop that winning entrepreneurial mindset.
Not all business owners are born salespeople. In fact, many find this the most challenging or distasteful part of running a business! However, sales are integral to success.
Sales coaching can help you overcome any blocks and teach you effective sales techniques to grow your business.
Marketing is another vital component of running a business, but not everyone has the time to get a marketing degree or the budget to hire a marketing guru. A marketing coach can help you get to grips with this crucial area and lead your business in the right direction.
Procrastination, poor planning, overwhelm, and inefficient work practices. We all experience the frustration of low productivity, but it can be difficult to ditch those bad habits!
A productivity coach offers you the tools and support to work smarter, not harder. They will help you prioritise, plan, and set up systems and processes to make your life easier.
Struggling to make your business profitable and want to level up your profitability? You need a profitability coach. Their sole focus is on getting your accounts in order and helping you build strategies that prioritise profit-building.
Setting the right prices for your business and services can be daunting. You want to provide a competitive offer but still be profitable. A pricing coach knows exactly how to assess the marketplace and implement the right pricing strategies for your business.
Things to consider before jumping in
Right, so you are sold on the idea of business coaching and can’t wait to get started! Excellent!
But before you dive in, there’s a little bit of homework to do.
You don’t just want any old business coach. You want one that is right for you. Answering these questions will help you narrow down the field.
What are your expectations?
Do you want a cheerleader to give you pep talks every day or someone with a bit of a tough-love attitude? Do you expect your coach to be available for emails and phone calls at any time, or are you happy with a more hands-off approach?
Just like when you are starting a relationship, it’s important to make sure you’re not expecting a casual date from someone who is hoping for a life partner.
What do you actually want or need help with?
Are you launching a new business with no prior experience? Look for someone with a proven success record with new businesses. Do you love marketing but hate making sales calls?
Perhaps a sales coach is right for you. Spend time reviewing the areas where you need support, then search for a business coach who specialises in those areas.
What are the outcomes you’re looking for?
To help find the right coach, and make their job a bit easier, try and get clear on the goals you have for coaching. Do you want to grow your profits by ten percent in the next six months, increase sales, boost your ROI on investment, or scale up your business?
What’s your budget?
Business coaching doesn’t come cheap, but it should provide an invaluable return on investment. Do you have the budget for weekly one-to-ones? If not, will group coaching still help you reach your goals?
How much time do you have to dedicate to it?
Whatever style of support you are after, remember that a business coach can only do so much. The ultimate power to transform your business lies in your hands. You need to be willing to put in the effort on your end.
Outside of your one-on-one or group sessions, you must find the time to work on and implement the strategies or insights gained from your coaching. If you don’t have the time right now, what can you change to make it happen?
How well do you “fit” with them – do you trust and feel comfortable with your coach?
Finding a coach that you “vibe” with is essential. You don’t have to be best friends, but you do need to trust them and communicate effectively with them.
Take time to read through their website and browse their social media pages before contacting them to get a feel for their style, then use that first discovery call to see if the chemistry works for you.
How to hire a business coach?
You are nearly there!
You’ve figured out exactly what you need support with in your business, you’ve found some promising potential business coaches, and are rearing to go. So what’s next?
Here are some tips for the hiring process:
Audition several coaches
Most coaches will offer a free, no-commitment chat, so take advantage of that to suss out whether they are right for you and your business.
Get a written outline
Before you get started, it’s a great idea to ask for a written document of what their coaching plan will include or exclude. This ensures you are both on the same page and there are no surprises in store for either of you.
Take some time to read through the contract carefully and be careful of what you are committing too. Think about how long is the commitment for, what it actually entails and what your investment will be.
Sign a confidentiality/privacy agreement
Your business coach will likely be getting access to your financial documents, your marketing data, your clients, and a whole lot of other sensitive information. Make sure you have them sign a privacy agreement to protect yourself and your business.
Is it time for a business coach?
Whether you are new to the world of business or an old dog looking for some new tricks, a business coach can make a world of difference. From strategic planning and financial advice to pricing insight and mindset work, the right coach is out there waiting to propel your business to new levels of success!
Along with our information-packed courses and resources, the Helpful Academy offers a range of excellent strategy and coaching services. If you would like to learn more about how our business coaching can help you, book a free chat with us today!
About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).