Everything you need to know about finding a business coach, including what to expect and how much it costs.
We’ve put together a complete guide about business coaching for small business owners. We’ll look at everything you need to know about business coaches, including the differences between certain types and the businesses and situations that benefit most from the professional guidance that only a business coach can deliver.
The advice is separated into sections to help you navigate to what applies to your situation:
- What to expect from business coaching
- Dealing with the changing business environment
- Growing your business
- Becoming a business leader
- Changing jobs as a business executive
- Costs of business coaching services
Any business owners or anyone involved in running a business knows that a business plan is rarely static, and the company is often in transition. There are many types of business transitions. You might have a long term plan of selling your business, handing it over to the next generation, key staff leaving, changing from an office-based organisation to working remotely, or considering growing your company nationally or internationally. Whatever transition you’re going through right now, business coaching can help. According to the Institute of Coaching over 70% of individuals who received coaching services benefited from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills.
What to expect from business coaching services
A business coach will get to know your business almost as well as you do. They will not make decisions for you, or go in and take part in the running of the company. A business coach will help you identify skill gaps, set clear goals for the business and the management, hire better employees, executive training and making better business decisions.
The list of what can you learn from a business coach is long. Some businesses enlist business coaches when sales or team morale is down; others have executive coaching staff on retainer. When you’re going through a difficult transition, professional advice can go a long way. However, for small business owners, investing in a coach is a good idea at any stage of your company’s life cycle. One of the worst things you can do is wait too long before hearing the advice of a business coach.
A business coach can be instrumental to success for small business owners. Together with your business coach, you’ll put a strategy in place to grow, based on some of the following principles:
- A business coach will help a small business owner like yourself design a tailored roadmap for success by outlining goals for you, and the business. The business coach will help you make sure these are aligned, identify actions needed to reach them.
- Business coaching will make sure you are tracking the right measures to increase performance. Once you have outlined your goals, you need to identify what the key indicators are to track progress towards your goals. Your business coach will help you identify these for your small business.
- Your business coach will make sure you remain accountable throughout the improvement initiatives. Business coaches will be a support through the process of reaching your goals, including helping you look for solutions if you’re not reaching your goals.
Questions you might be asked during business coaching:
- Who is your customer?
- What is your Key Performance Indicators, have they changed?
- What is your average staff retention rate?
- How many employees have you lost in the last six months?
- What is your business goal? Does it align with your personal goals?
- How are your sales?
- What’s your cost of sale?
- What is the biggest challenge in your business as you see it?
- Where do you see your business in 3 years? In 5 years?
- What can stop you from reaching those goals?
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers yet. Coaching services from your business coach will guide you on how to get them if they are relevant to your business situation.
Dealing with the changing business environment
Transitions can be make-or-break moments for business owners. They occur all around you – from expanding your brick and mortar store to the online world or transitioning employees to remote working environments.
Business coaching provides the expertise and the ability to break down those major transitions into smaller and more manageable tasks for small business owners, whilst keeping the focus on the bigger picture. For example, you might find it challenging to find and keep the right employees for your small business. Business coaches can help you hire the right people through employee profiling and identifying skill gaps in your business. If your problem is staff retention, he or she can help your business evolve in response to employee preferences, or determining how to improve the work environment and the work-life balance.
Growing your business
There’s a lot of generic advice available for small business owners on how to grow your business. A simple online search can give you thousands of results and millions of tips on business growth. But, how do you know what’s good and what’s bad advice for your small business?
That’s where business coaching for business owners comes in. They can give tailored advice based on industry experience. Small business owners, like yourself, don’t have to rely on generic or outdated advice that you find from online content or friends and family.
Best of all, a good business coach not only improves your company but also makes sure that your personal goals are aligned, too. Your leadership style and your company values are often closely linked to your personality, so aligning your personal and business goals will help you stay motivated. Identifying where there the two are not aligned might also help you make necessary changes.
For example, let’s say your business goal is to grow your small business, but your personal goal is to spend more time on learning French. Those two might not be contradictory goals, but it might mean that you need to get better at delegating at work so that you can leave on-time more often even as the business will need more resources. To identify that early is the easiest way to set you up for success, both in your business and private life.
While business growth is an essential part of a business strategy, knowing when to make the leap can be a challenge. A coach helps to predict the best time to kick your business into overdrive. And more importantly, business coaching can help you plan for how to get there. When to grow your business, what resources are needed, and if professional development can make the journey easier. If you’re in the lucky position that your business has already started growing fast, business coaching for business owners can also help you manage growing pains. These can occur from hiring decisions, cost trimming or struggling to stay focused on organisational goals.
Becoming a business leader
Many entrepreneurs struggle as they transition from being a business owner to a leader. As a leader, gone are the days when you can make decisions based on instinct alone. You’ll have to listen to advice and think about your whole team as you make business decisions.
A coach can help you through that change. They have practical tips to help identify your management style and build on your strengths as you become a leader at your company.
Or, if you work in a large organisation, managing a promotion can be just as difficult. A transition from a mid-level employee to an executive position can be overwhelming. The tailored advice of business coaching reduces stress and frees up your time to excel in the workplace.
Changing jobs as a business executive
Even if you’re at the top of the organisational chart of a large company, you can still move around in your business life, such as:
- Lateral transfers;
- Leading committees;
- Becoming a board member;
- Leading new regional offices; or,
- Moving to a new company.
A business coach evaluates your personal and professional experience to ensure you’re a great leader no matter where you go. They’ll offer practical advice on how to take your learning and experience with you to your next job.
What is the cost of a business coach
You can expect to pay a few hundred pounds or euro for your first session with a business coach. That small investment can pay off hugely in the long-run. If you want to know more about why business coaching is worth the investment – check out the full details on the cost of a business coach, including discussion on ROI. They range from increases to profitability and employee satisfaction, to reductions in business costs.
More extended business coaching programs can range into the thousands of dollars, so it’s essential to get a good match. When picking a business coach, look for one that’s a good fit for your industry and has relevant experience. To maximise your investment, check for business coaches that offer free initial consultation sessions. These are great ways to get a feel for the process and see if your business coach is right for you. The cost of a business coach can be a deterrent, but according to the Institute of Coaching 86% of companies who invested in business coaching report that they recouped their investment in business coaching and more.
One of the best parts of business coaching is that virtual consultations and online sessions can significantly facilitate the process. Going with an online coach can help small business owners get the best deal possible, and the experience can be just as beneficial and professional as in-person sessions.
Find a business coach
The business world is harsh and can be a difficult place to excel. Competition is everywhere and making one wrong turn might flip your lifelong professional dream into a bust. Do you want to take that chance?
Why not increase your odds of success and business growth? Find a business coach whose coaching services can help your business get to the top of your industry. You’ll get organisational advice about how to improve your small business but also professional advice about how to improve leadership abilities. You’ll get tailored, personable, and actionable strategies to build the foundation of your business success through the coaching services at Upskill Coaches.
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