Often business owners and entrepreneurs are not familiar with how business coaching works and may even confuse it with consulting. Listed below are some of the more common questions that are asked as well as a brief answer. Just click on the links below to learn more.
Business coaching is adept conversation with a client in which the coach facilitates the development of strategies and the formulation of action steps to address their most pressing challenges or opportunities. A significant part of the discussion focuses on clarifying the most important issues facing the client or their company. Business coaching is action oriented and involves working with the client to provide the skills and support necessary to make the kind of changes that lead to improved personal and business effectiveness.
While coaching can be beneficial to businesses that are under-performing, it is also extremely helpful to successful business owners/clients. Occasionally, day-to-day responsibilities can overwhelm successful business owners and cause them to get “stuck”. Or they could be "stuck" because they are ready to take the business to the next level and don’t know how to begin. Or it it could be in preparation for a major change such as exiting the business. Generally, as a business grows larger, the abilities required and are not the same as when a small business was just starting out. A business coach can help create an environment where the business owner/client can grow and learn the skills necessary to take their business to the next level.
Business coaching helps keep the business owner/client on the path to increased profitability, success and the pursuit of their dream. In many cases, small business owners already know what to do; only they just don’t do anything. They start down the path and are side tracked and then get “stuck”. By consistently meeting to discuss strategies, action steps and their results, business owners begin to get traction and take the necessary steps to improve their business and take it to where they want to be. Accountability and commitment to the process is what makes business coaching work.
The specific needs of the business owner/client determine where a coach will start. A business coach uses questions and inquires to gain a complete understanding of the specific issue that may have initiated the contact. A coach will then probe to learn the current state of the business, the vision for the future and the most important issues facing the business. The next step in the process also depends on the needs of the business owner/client and may include a formal business or strategic plan. While many business owners have a general idea of what they want or even what they consider success, most do not formalize the process and develop a written business and strategic plan. The most successful businesses have a formal written strategic plan including vision, mission and value statements; that are used to guide their actions on daily basis.
Business Coaching addresses all aspects of personal and business effectiveness including leadership, strategic planning, sales & marketing, customer service, HR, business systems, financial management, and succession planning. But it is up to the client to determine what specific areas of the business to address. The coach’s initial role is to help the client clarify what is most important.
While business coaching may address many of the same business functions as consulting, it is significantly different as it is more transformational than transactional. The coach’s role is to facilitate change by helping the business owner/client learn the skills necessary to become more successful. A business coach may be more of a generalist that works to develop the whole business on a continuing basis. A consultant’s role is to provide solutions by applying their particular expertise to specific problem before moving on to their next job. It is not unusual for the implementation of any solution to be left up to the business.
First of all, your business coach should be trained and certified by a reputable organization such as the Professional Business Coaches Alliance. Second, your business coach should have extensive business experience, be knowledgeable in most business areas and have faced many of the same challenges while a business owner themselves.
A business coach cannot guarantee a certain return on investment. But what we can do is guarantee satisfaction with our coaching process. If after the first 30 days of coaching, you feel that coaching is not right for you and you regret your decision, you can cancel immediately and will receive a full refund. While coaching is a powerful way to improve your personal and business effectiveness, it does require a commitment of time and a willingness to change. If you feel that you were not provided value, we do not want your money. Coaching has to work for both of us. Our desire is to work with business owners that are committed to becoming more successful and are willing to change.
For coaching to be successful, a business owner/client must be committed to the process and want to change both themself and their organization. Change takes time. How much time? It varies for each business and owner. Our standard agreement for our “Premier” service is for a twelve-month period. However, at anytime the business owner or the coach determines that the process, for whatever reason, is no longer having its intended benefit, either party may cancel the service.
Your business coach makes no work assignments. You determine any actions to take as part of the coaching process. However, without action being taken by the owner/client, business coaching would be nothing more than a nice conversation. The amount of additional work is entirely dependent upon you and how quickly you want to move forward on your strategic initiatives. That being said, a typical business owner should expect to be dedicating two to four hours per week working on business development.