How business coaching works, and how to choose a quality coach
If you’re like many business owners, a time comes when you realise something needs to change if your business potential is to be reached. But have you ever considered that talking to a business coach could be one of the best first steps you can take?
So what is business coaching, and how can it help you and your business?
Believe it or not, business coaching is simply about helping business owners reach their goals by becoming more effective as business leaders – and often their tightly-held secret to business success.
There are a wide variety of reasons why people go into business. Where many business owners come unstuck is that they lose sight of their vision (which can change depending on their stage of life and business maturity), and not having the skills, support and know-how to take the next steps required.
The key is recognising that as a business owner you can’t possibly have all the answers and reaching out for help is not admitting defeat, but is in fact a smart business move.
Generally, there are three areas that a business coach will help you with:
- Identifying and clarifying YOUR vision and goals – personal and business
- Putting a plan and processes in place so you can begin making measurable strides towards your goals….MEASURABLE strides, and
- Supporting you with expertise and holding you accountable so you are more likely to stay focused, motivated and on track.
The perception of many business owners is that they don’t need business coaching. What often happens is that they find themselves struggling year after year, missing out on strategies that could have taken them towards their goals much sooner.
A common misconception about business coaching is that it is only for business owners starting out, or those inexperienced in business. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Many successful business owners will tell you that they bring in business coaches at a variety of times during the life-cycle of their business, such as
- When they are moving into a new growth phase
- Looking for ways to run their business more efficiently
- Feel as though their business has hit a roadblock
- Find themselves with cash flow problems
- Looking for better ways of attracting new customers
- Wanting to improve profitability
- Developing their team skills and getting them ready for change
- To improve their own leadership performance
- Scaling their business or setting up a board of advice
- And getting ready for the business sale.
One of the great benefits of business coaching is that it can help you regain a sense of control, passion and enthusiasm for your business – and business-life balance. As you gain clarity and insight, it can feel like a tremendous weight is lifted off your shoulders. A lot of it boils down to managing time, good planning and learning practices that can help make you more personally effective.
For larger organisations, business coaches can help clarify roles for directors and key personnel so they can keep identifying and reaching milestones for their collective benefit, and the longevity of their organisation.
Like any other service, the level and depth of service delivered can differ greatly from business coach to business coach. When choosing one it’s important that they paint a realistic picture for you and that the coach is someone you can be totally comfortable and honest with. It’s also a good idea to ask them for testimonials and an understanding of the type of results they’ve been able to help other clients achieve. You may also consider other accomplishments, such as awards, as another indication if the business coach is the right fit for you.
The general rule of thumb is that it’s never too early to bring in a business coach suited to your stage of business, but sometimes it can be too late.
During today’s rapidly changing times when ‘trending’ business strategies are flooding the internet, leaning towards what seems to be a faster business ‘fix’ can be tempting. The sad truth is, although these strategies may sound good in theory, they could be putting you and your business at great risk.
Most importantly, business coaching, just like any other coaching such as that on the sports field, requires you to learn new skills and change your thinking and behaviour. The business coach’s role is to help show you how and keep you on course so your goals are being achieved – and could turn out to be one of the best business relationships you’ll ever make.