Business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be. A business coach will assist and guide the business owner in growing their business by helping them clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals. Fitting the business vision in with the business owner’s personal goals is a step that is often missed by most business coaches, who often only focus on the business goals. In so doing, they are omitting the goals of the business owner altogether.
A great business owner seeks to understand why reaching business growth goals is important to them personally, and the impact it will have on their life. After all, the business owner ultimately determines the speed and passion in which the goal is met (if ever), and if it is not linked to the business owner’s personal dreams, goals and plans for themselves, there is no burning reason why getting to that business goal is critical.
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Why Should You Get a Business Coach?
So you’ve decided to start a business or maybe you already run one needs some help. A business coach can help you reach the next level of your business potential.
If you’re not convinced here are just 4 reasons why you should get a business coach:
1. They bring out the best in you
Trying to hash out everything by yourself is hard work. Having someone, like a business coach, to bring the best out of you can be a huge help.
Of course, you could just brainstorm by yourself but where a coach brings value is their ability to push you to discover your personal values and beliefs and what you really want. Sometimes it takes a new perspective to see something in you that already existed.
2. Sounding board
Nowhere else would you find somebody solely dedicated to acting as your own personal sounding board. A good coach puts aside their own thoughts and judgements, so they are there to listen to you. Listening so intently allows the coach to ask meaningful questions that are going to give you clarity and help you discover exactly what you want in a business.
3. Someone to hold you accountable
It’s so easy to break promises we make to ourselves, but it’s strange that we would rarely break promises to other people. When you’re an entrepreneur working by yourself it’s easy to let things slide and not keep to targets, because no-one is keeping you accountable. That’s where a coach comes in; they serve as a partner that keeps you accountable and on track. They will challenge to develop your goals and make sure you keep working towards achieving them.
4. To receive guidance
A business coach will challenge your thinking, goals and how much you’re actually willing to work to achieve these goals. A coach also has unique insight that can broaden your business awareness.
Ultimately a coach gives you gives you guidance on how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Once you do get there, they leave you to it; their job is done!
The value of coaching resides in the mental tools the 'coachee' learns that help them navigate toward success both inside and outside of the business world.
How Does It Work?
Business coaching can take your business from where it is now to where you want it to be.
After clarifying where a business owner would like to take their business, business coaching will help strategise and prioritise what goals and strategies are needed to help progress the business closer to its goal. A business coach will meet with the business owner regularly, either weekly or monthly, to keep them on track to the commitments made during the last coaching session.
A critical component of business coaching is accountability. You will never see a football coach run laps of the field for their team. The very same fact is true of a business coach. A business coach is not a consultant. They will not do the work for you in your business. They are there to keep you focused on the end result and remind you why it is important. They will motivate you to keep your commitments. They will act as a sounding board and when needed hold a mirror in front of you, highlighting your business and personal blind spots.
How Do You Pick a Coach?
Nowadays there are a lot of people out there calling themselves business coaches. Without any real professional accreditations or associations, it’s hard to know who to trust.
Business coaching is not consulting, and it’s also not therapy - it’s right between the two. A good business coach is someone you can trust that has the acumen to be able to diagnose specific and systemic issues in your business, but who has the strength to wait for you to deliver on the solution instead of jumping in and doing it for you.
Being a good listener is half the equation, but a coach can’t help you unless they understand what makes a good business good and a great business great.
Being smart about business is of course expected of a coach, but they can’t help you unless they care about people and really want to get to know you personally. Coaches should adhere to basic principles in order to bring out the best in you.
Great coaches are patient - their job is to help you get clear on what needs to happen next, but they wait for you to take action. And of course, they hold your feet to the fire on your goals. A great coach lives by one rule: that you already have the fundamental ingredient to transform your business - which is the ability to change your relationship to it.
Not just about their methodology or the quality of the training, but about their approach to business and life in general. It’s a deeply personal engagement and on some level, you’re buying who they are and why they do what they do.
Business Coaching is a relationship. It’s a place where you go for guidance, support, and challenge so you can figure out what’s in the way of creating the business you want.
It’s about asking you the right questions in the right moments from a place of real competence so that you become a better leader for the sake of your business, your employees and your bottom line. Great coaching helps you build a company culture based on ownership and accountability, and backs up the right ideas with real tools to put theory and tools into practice.
How Should Your Coach Help You?
Here’s how you should evaluate every meeting with your coach, and the relationship overall:
- Do they meet you where you are? Are they comfortable being with what’s real at the moment - whether that’s to celebrate a success or really be there with you when something goes wrong?
- Do they know where they are? Do they have proven experience that they use to ask the right questions for your specific business in the specific stage it’s in?
- Can they hold a long-term vision while they help you fix today’s problems? Do they notice patterns and trends in your behaviour or are they just reacting to today’s frustrations? You want wise counsel, not quick fixes.
- Do they make you more curious and hungry? Their way of thinking about things should be infectious, you should find yourself asking other people the kinds of questions they ask you.
- Do they understand what coaching is? Watch out for consultants in disguise and amateur therapists.
- Do they have the guts to make you mad? They should be willing to fire you if you don’t honour your commitment to yourself to show up, do the work and make changes.
A great coach is a lot of things - but the best way to say it is that they’re not your best friend, they’re the business’ best friend - and that’s a partnership where everybody wins.
Many great business success stories credit their results in part to having a great business coach. Whether you are just starting out or are already established but looking to go in a different direction, a business coach can really help you get there.
There are various other types of coaching, including: