No matter how we think we are already savvy in doing things in business, we still need outside help and a valuable outside perspective to guide us on how we will be able to get from where we are now in our business to where we want to be. We need business coaching.
In my opinion, there are three stages where business coaching is most valuable:
Yes, you have surpassed the stage as an employee and now prepared to become an entrepreneurial failure or a start-up success. Before you learn bad habits or start making ‘rookie’ mistakes, it’s better to access an expert who knows every step of starting a business. Sure, I know what you’re saying. “I’m in start-up mode; so I really cannot afford a coach yet”. Often new businesses have an incredibly small budget to work with and they just figure it’s better to spend money on other things, such as marketing. The challenge is that if your money is spent on the wrong marketing, then you are just going to struggle. You may previously have been an employee, and now alone, do you know what to do, how to do it and do you have someone in your corner to hold you accountable for your actions? Fear of failure, losing money and loss of reputation can often be paralysing and cause many new owners to falter and often take little or no action, causing you to hold back from achieving your full potential.
You’ve got started, are doing quite well, but you want to grow. Before growth occurs, everything needs to be running very well, otherwise, any challenges are only going to be duplicated and grown exponentially. You are already working long hours and you wonder how the heck you’re going to grow without burning yourself out. Dare I even ask when you last had a holiday? Whilst you may have a few employees, if you disappeared for a few weeks it would all likely come crashing down. Whilst you may have mastered some items like the business system, profit growth, team building strategies, marketing, time management, finances advertising and sales to increase your revenue each month, you know there is definitely room for improvement. Before you grow a business, the smaller version should be running like a well-oiled machine.
Your final step is often the exit strategy. You may well have a fairly good business and you are thinking about the exit. Do you know what the critical parts are of selling a business? Does your business tick all the boxes when it comes to achieving top dollar for it? Working on your business for 12 months prior to an anticipated sale will mean you are able to implement those last few strategies which could potentially increase the price significantly. Some businesses start with the exit in mind (and it’s something I ask new business owners about – what is the ‘end game’?) and others do not, and only consider their exit as they are about to take that step to exit. Better to plan a little in advance and ensure your business is at its optimum to achieve the best return possible for you.
A quality business coach will:
- Be a sounding board and be honest enough to challenge you on ideas which are not ideal or help you see the variations to your ideas to make them more beneficial.
- Give your ideas and challenge you to think outside the box – a great partner to ‘spit ball’ with.
- Push you out of your comfort zone – whilst still providing you support and guidance. Your coach will encourage you to do that little bit more, take that extra step and keep on task to achieve your objectives.
- Will help you find and see the opportunities in your business.
- Hold you accountable; if you say you will action something, then they should hold you to that.
- Connect you with those who can help you, whether that be a great website designer, accountant or lawyer. A business coach who has been around the block many times will have a collection of quality and trusted service providers; ensuring the hit and miss factor is non-existent.
- Provide great advice and ask even great questions. Some coaches also do things for you, although, I try to limit this; I am about teaching clients how to do things themselves or surround them with the people who can; so that they are not so reliable on me personally. My objective is not to make myself indispensable; in fact quite the opposite.
Never underestimate the roles of the coach who will be challenging your goals, thoughts, and your willingness for growth. He or she will serve as your role model in business considering his or her experience in the industry. The coach has a distinctive insight that helps broaden your awareness in business. The direction is what you need to acquire here alongside guidance.
In choosing a mentor or coach consider:
- Their experience with a variety of businesses
- If they have been in business themselves (and if they achieved success, or left due to failure)
- The testimonials they have from their clients – what others say about them
- Their flexibility to work with you – are they expecting you to conform to their systems and plans, or are they willing to be a little flexible within the scope of the plan
- The personal connection. Be sure to meet them and know whether you feel you can work with that person, trust them and be honest and forthright. A halfway effort won’t work for either of you.
If you would like a complimentary session with me, just complete my online website form and I’ll be in touch – I particularly work with:
- Professional services
- Medical services
- Coaches, consultants and advisors through my ‘Coach the Coach’ ™ programs.