When I was first starting my business, I eagerly sought out business coaching. Since then, I have worked with 5 powerful mentors, each of whom has taught me about different aspects of business, and helped me grow as a person.
These experiences were so powerful for me that I determined that I, too, wanted to become a business coach. Now I work with my own clients, helping them increase their reach, and make more money. It’s exciting and interesting work.
What I realize, though, is that not everyone understands what business coaching is, nor why they might consider it to move their business forward.
So let’s start at the beginning.
Do you even need a business coach?
The answer: that depends. If you feel that your business is running exactly as you like, and you’re reaching all the people you want to reach, and making the income you want to make- you might not need a business coach. If there is some part of your life that doesn’t feel that balanced; let’s say you have sacrificed your health to build your business, then you might look, instead, at hiring a health coach or someone who can help you improve that area of your life.
If, though, you find that you have ideas you can’t seem to bring to life, or you feel confused about what you’re trying to do- and why, then it can be very helpful to work with a business coach who can hold you accountable, give you support, and help you stay clear on what you want to create in your business.
When choosing a coach, as with any other professional, personal referrals are the best first step. Ask your friends and colleagues if they have someone they work with whom they would recommend. This can be a good place to start, although you should not hire a coach just based on a recommendation.
Be sure to meet with your potential coach and make sure you both are a good fit to work together.
Once you decide to work with a coach, your next step- and your coach can help with this- will be to decide what your goals are. I work with my clients to set 60-90 day goals, as I find that this focuses our work really well and helps us be successful early on. Since my work often involves lead generation and engagement building, it can also take 45-60 days to see results, so it’s important that I and the client are both working towards the same outcome.
You can hire a business coach who is a general specialist, or one who is designed to help you with something very specific- such as public speaking, book writing, outsourcing, or any other specific business service.
My strong recommendation is that you make sure your coach has documented case studies and results they have created for other businesses. There are some people calling themselves business coaches who have never actually built and run a successful business. You don’t want to work with those people.
As with any professional relationship, you are looking for goodness of fit between you, documented results, and an agreement on the goals of your work together.
One other aspect I feel is really important is the capacity to work with your chosen coach as a resource for life. I often work with clients for a time, we take a break for some months, and they come back when they are ready to get more coaching to meet their next goal. I think this kind of ongoing relationship is very positive, as it gives the client a way to quickly resume coaching (since you, as the coach, know their background and what they’ve achieved so far.) For the coach, it creates a continuity of story, and enables the coach to participate in creating bigger and more meaningful results.
And that, really, is the whole point of business coaching –> To help clients create even bigger and more meaningful results that they might not have been able to achieve on their own.