What value can a business coach bring to your business? Find the right business coach for your business by taking your search online. You’ll find a wide variety of coaching personalities, industries and experience to evaluate.
There’s really no easy way to weigh your options when it comes to finding a business coach. However, there are some things you can look out for to help your search. In this blog, we’ll look at the advantages of doing a coaching programme online.
And we’ll discuss some things that you can watch for to find a coach that suits your business needs.
What to look for in a coach
Besides making the actual decision to work with a coach, one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is simply picking the best one for you. Since you’re going to be investing your hard-earned business dollars into the endeavour, you’ll want to pick a coach that suits you. The point of having a personal coach is that they can give personalised advice for your business situation. So it’s worth taking the time to make sure they are qualified to do so, and not just giving you generic advice.
To find a good fit, there’s a few things you’ll want to consider:
Size of business
There are many types of niches that business coaches work with. Some advise small mom-and-pop enterprises while others work with tech startups that employ hundreds or even thousands of employees.
You want to concentrate your efforts on making connections with coaches that actually work with clients like you. Finding a coach that is familiar with business situations like yours is important.
You might want to seek out an experienced coach that has worked with lots of clients.
Generally, the rates will be competitive with the level of coaching experience. There might be good value in going with a coach that has a less proven track record. But it may not be for everyone. Be sure to check for qualifications and testimonials, which are helpful ways to round out what a coach can offer you.
Every coach has a different career history, and some might be more helpful to you than others. For instance, if you’re a clothing retailer. It would be most helpful to stick with a coach with proven success in that industry. Or someone that has experience with that type of sales scenario in their career.
There are also professional coaching organisations like the International Coaching Federation. They certify coaches and help to standardise the coaching industry. Be sure to check out accrediting authorities in your country and see if your coach is a member.
Perhaps the aspect that varies the most between coaches is their chosen methodology. It has a huge impact on the success of your programme, so be sure to get to know the style of a coach that you’re considering.
Some coaches will focus on results-based goals that can be established with a few hourly sessions. Others will take a hands-on approach over the course of a few weeks or even months to get to know your business by interviewing staff, helping you hire the right talent, and taking a deep-dive into your financial records.
It can never hurt to ask a business coach for a reference from a previous client or two. Testimonials are one of the best ways of making sure that your coach is credible and it’s a widely-used practice in the industry, so don’t be scared to ask.
For most of the information above, you’ll be able to find out enough about a coach by looking at their website, profile or even their LinkedIn pages. However, to truly get all the details you need to make a decision, you might need to introduce yourself with a discovery call.
What is a discovery call?
No matter the qualifications or experience that a business coach has, there’s no better way to find out if they’re a good fit for your business than to set up a discovery call.
It’s like a mini-interview to assess their style, tone and personality. Many coaches offer free initial consultation sessions to make that assessment easier for you. During this call, it’s also helpful if you tell them what you want to focus on.
For example, if you want help with your work-life balance or with aligning your personal goals with those of the business you can mention that during the discovery call.
A discovery call can unpack lots of the uncertainty about the decision-making process. For example, personality is not something that you’ll find advertised by business coaches since it’s so difficult to define and will garner different reactions and comfort levels from different clients.
But if you’re going to be working extensively with this person to improve your business, you better find someone that you get along with. If you find a coach that you think is a good match for you, try suggesting a consultation or discovery call. Often, it’s possible even in 15 minutes to see if your instincts are correct.
Going digital with your coach
The nice thing about going with a coaching programme in the modern world is that you can do it completely online.
With the widespread adoption of webcams, online meeting rooms and online video conferencing technologies, and other remote management practices the business coaching world has taken off in recent years.
If you still like the personal connection that comes from working face-to-face with someone, some digital technologies like webcams and conferencing can make you feel like you’re in the same room as your coach. They’re also incredibly helpful to have a coach sit in on your internal meetings to help them get the sense of your business.
Going digital also helps you hear more diverse advice and lets you navigate potential conflicts that arise from working with local business experts. For instance, if your company is based in a small community in Ireland, you’ll be limited on the number of business coaches in your area.
In a tight-knit community you may be worried about openly discussing your business since you may run into a conflict of interest or may involve someone in the community.
Instead of searching for a coach nearby, then, you could get in touch with a coach in Germany or the United States that still has experience and qualifications in your industry. That might solve your confidentiality issues.
Look for a similar role
Try thinking about your own career path when choosing a coach. While you’ll mostly be engaging with a coach about your business itself, a coaching arrangement can also be a great mentorship opportunity.
Whether consciously or not, you’ll learn much more from your business coach than how to balance your financial statements or attract new clients for your company. You’ll get even more out of the experience if you pick a coach that has had a similar career path or learning journey as you,
For instance, if you’re trying to make a name for yourself in a male-dominated industry, maybe learning from a female coach who has seen it all before will come in handy.
Or, if you’re a new board member for your company, perhaps a coach that has experience in the board member role themselves will help you navigate the ins and outs of managing those delicate stakeholder relationships.
Explore the coaching world
Since there’s so much to consider, picking the right coach that can help with your business is not an easy task. You’ll find that there are many types of personalities, methodologies and niches that exist in the professional coaching industry. You can read here on the costs of business coaching.
Whatever you find in your research, don’t let it get you down. One of the best things about the online community is that there are so many options to choose from. You can rest easy knowing that there’s a coach out there that’s suited to you and your business. To learn more, read our blogs on why you need a business coach now,