Have you ever thought about getting a business coach?
Think they’re only for big business? Think again!
If you think that a business coach might be able to help you in your business, there are a few things that you need to work out before you start looking. When I started doing my initial research into becoming a coach, I was saddened with the number of people who were disappointed with their business coaching experience.
With so many great business coaches out there. It can be hard to find the one that is going to take you and your business to the level you want to go.
Even harder to find a great coach – if you don’t know what to look for.
That’s why it is so important to do your research and find the right fit for you. I never wanted my clients to feel that way about me.
So I’ve written this guide, in the hopes that it gives you an idea of the process you should go through before engaging a coach.
Ask for Referrals from Friends
Word of mouth is still one of the primary ways we like to find any product or service. It is why influencers do so well – they will recommend and refer. You may not know an influencer, but ask your friends, family members, social media connections or networking groups if they know of any business owners that have used a business coach. If so who did they use and was it successful?
Remember that if it wasn’t successful for them, it doesn’t mean it won’t be for you. There are many reasons why this may have happened and this is your opportunity to learn what went wrong for them so that you can increase the chances of success for your business.
Do some online research
The next step is to do some research online. Have a look at their website, and at their social media, so you can get a feel for what kind of coach they are before you make contact with them. There are many types of business coaches with varying areas of strength, so you need to find one that suits your specific needs.
Arrange an Initial Meeting
Most coaches will offer you a free introductory session, where you get to meet and have a chat, at Fempire we certainly do!
Depending on where they’re located this might be an online meeting, or it could be an in-person meeting. These meetings are essential, they are free and you have to take them up on their offer because that conversation you have will determine how and if you proceed with this business coach or not.
You should really avoid working with any coach who isn’t willing to have that initial meeting with you. You need to be able to determine whether you’re compatible with them or not. Once you are in that meeting with a business coach, the first thing you need to be attuned to is whether they’re actually listening to you or whether they’re just talking about and promoting themselves.
A good coach will listen to what you need and assess whether they can provide solutions for you and your business. It isn’t about them.
You do want a coach who’s going to jump in there and let you know whether they can help you, and whether they’re a good fit. You want a coach who is actually going to be able to pull you up when you are going down the wrong track. If they don’t speak out about things how are they going to help you?
Listen to Your Intuition – It Will Lead You Down the Right Path
While you’re talking to a business coach and having this conversation, take a moment to consider the conversation. What’s your gut telling you, what is your intuition saying? If there are warning bells going off, anywhere, then they’re not the right coach for you.
Marnie LeFevre explains eloquently how important intuition is in business by describing it as “The Sixth Business Sense”. The key in using intuition effectively is to understand that the business decision making process should be a balance between your research and your intuition.The key in using intuition effectively is to understand that the business decision making process should be a balance between your research and your intuition. Click To Tweet
Just because something seems good on paper, doesn’t mean it is right for you.
Experience, Education, Success – What is Important for You to Have in a Business Coach?
Ask about your coaches experience; what qualifications do they have, what work have they done, what are they’re results like, what clients have they worked with, who are their success stories.
This will give you an idea of whether you think that they can help you achieve what you’re looking to achieve. Of course this will not give you a definitive answer (see Tip 4), but it will give you a better understanding of their abilities.
In your quest to find a business coach, you will come across those that are new to the job. They may have no reviews, no clients, and no coaching history. Don’t make the mistake of discounting this person as an option. Think about this – every coach out there started somewhere. This is why a more thorough overview of the coach is needed – experience, education, work history – all important ingredients in the mix.
Your intuition may tell you that while you may be their first client, they are the right coach for you.
What Style of Coach Do You Want?
All coaches have a different way of delivering results. Some are very focused on particular areas of business and will deliver nuts and bolts training to you, some will want to focus on mindset, while others will determine which you need most and go from there.
So, ask about how they coach clients and how they deliver their coaching; is it just to catch up once a month, is it a weekly schedule where you have to check-in – what is their process?
You should have an idea of the outcomes you are looking for and ask how they might help you achieve that. Be pointed in asking how they intend delivering their service and ask yourself will that serve you best?
Communication and Boundaries
The next thing you need to ask is whether they’ll be available to you between your sessions. This is important – if the coach is only going to talk to you once a month, that can leave you flailing a little bit. You will struggle to reach goals if you get lost along the way. If they’re not willing to converse with you via text or email or have brief phone conversations with you, then you’re looking at a very long term proposition to achieve anything.
People who are looking for a business coach are usually not looking long term, they want results in the foreseeable future. But results take time to achieve so don’t expect miracles in the first week. Make sure that you discuss what you want to achieve and ask them to explain the timeframe in which they believe they can get you there.
Whilst coaching is not a guaranteed fast track for fame and fortune, it is reasonable to think that a coach will be able to help you produce great results in 12 months – as long as you put in the work needed.
Money Spent or Money Well Spent?
You have to keep an open mind about the money that you’re investing in your business coach. You’re not buying the coaches time – you’re buying their knowledge, their wisdom, their experience, and you’re buying their ability to get you on track, and to achieve results.
So, what you need to think about is, if you stay on your current path can you get there yourself? If you answered yes and you aren’t there already then think about your answer again.
What are the projections for your business over the next 12 months versus if you take on a coach and you achieve your goals?
If you’re looking at growing your business by $100,000 in the next 12 months, then spending 10 or 15% of that on a business coach to help you get there is a very worthy investment, don’t you think? Let’s put this into perspective in a different way. You could employ a part time person at $20,000 do to some admin work for you. At the end of twelve months will that investment improve your business by $100,000?
Here’s another way to look at it – have you made $100,000 in the last 12 months yourself? If your answer is no, then stop thinking about what you’re spending and start thinking about what you’re going to get back.
Quick Fix or Lasting Results. You Choose.
In this fast paced world we live in I realise everyone is looking for quick fixes. When I speak with prospective clients I try to be very clear that I am more about creating positive and permanent change rather than a quick fix that isn’t sustainable.
Where does a quick fixer leave your business? Back in the same position in 12 months time. Don’t do it! You’ve got to be prepared for the long game and putting in the work.
Although there are success stories, and you’ll hear about coaches who have worked with clients and they’ve had phenomenal success in three or four months, you’ve got to understand that this is rare. That doesn’t happen for everybody.
On average, most coaches should be working with you and planning a 12-month strategy to achieve your goals. Anything less than that is really, really good, but you’ve got to manage your expectations. I’m not saying it won’t happen for you, but you have got to be prepared for that, as I said, it’s a rare thing that happens.
Courtship Before Commitment
Before you make any kind of commitment to a business coach or coaching program, ask yourself if you are you ready for hard work and for change? Being coached means that you’ll sometimes be told you’re not doing things the right way. It means accepting that you don’t know everything. It means giving up a little bit of control over your business.
You have to learn to see things differently if the way you’re doing things now isn’t getting you to where you want to be. If you were getting the results you wanted then you wouldn’t be looking for a business coach, right?
A coach is going to push you out of your comfort zone. Are you ready for that?
Location, Location, Location
You shouldn’t restrict the search for a business coach to your local area. These days, a lot of coaches will coach clients via Skype or zoom or any other number of platforms, so that you’re still getting that face to face coaching, just virtually.
Fempire offers both face to face and online coaching to our female business owners because we understand that we can better meet their needs by offering both options.
Does a Coach Need to be an Industry Expert?
There are instances where the size of your business or the particular challenges you are facing will require industry expertise, and a great coach will know if they can’t serve you and will recommend someone who can. However, a coach does not have to be an expert in your particular industry.
An experienced coach will give you suggestions to help you build an amazing business model that will achieve your goals.
Coach vs Consultant – What’s the difference?
The final piece of advice I have to offer is the understanding that there is a key difference between a coach and a consultant.
Let me explain it like this; if I was your swimming coach, I’m not the one in the pool doing laps – you are. I’m standing on the sidelines cheering you on, correcting your stroke and pushing you to do that extra lap. A consultant on the other hand, is going to jump in the pool and do some of the swimming for you in order to help get you started and set up.
Your business coach is not there to do the work for you, and you shouldn’t expect them to. It’s about teaching you, and it’s about enabling you. It’s about you embracing the success that you can potentially create yourself by doing the hard work.
So in Conclusion..
Unfortunately, many small businesses in Australia fail. However, I believe this can be prevented by business owners receiving the help, education and motivation they need to be successful.
Finding a business coach early in the game increases your chances of having the business of your dreams exponentially. And doing your due diligence and being honest about what you want to achieve will help you find the right person.Finding a business coach early in the game increases your chances of having the business of your dreams exponentially. #bizcoach Click To Tweet
You don’t need to do it all alone.
If you’re looking for a business coach, we can help! Fill out this form to connect with me, or with one of our other lovely Fempire coaches!
And if you have any questions about coaching, please feel free to share them with us in the comment section below.
We’re here to help!
Samantha is a Fempire Certified Coach and business leader who is dedicated to helping women to succeed as fempreneurs. She is a process-driven strategist who has visionary problem-solving skills and managed to raise a family of five children while running a successful business.