Can a Business Coach Really Get Your Business to the Next Level?
What would you say if someone told you that achieving a 70% increase in work performance, a 61% increase in improved business management style, and a 57% increase in time management could be as simple as hiring one more person?
Well, it’s true. Optimizing your business can be as simple as hiring a business coach or mentor. In the simplest terms, business coaching is the process by which an advisor comes in to take a business from where it is now to where the owner (you!) wants it to be. These experts help to clarify your vision and how every detail plays into the larger horizon.
A friend of mine — Julia Pimsleur, author of the Million Dollar Women — has a great analogy on this subject; she describes working with a business coach like getting on an express train as opposed to the local. You’ll get where you’re going faster, more efficiently, and more predictably.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you consider hiring a business coach:
1. Know Your Goals
What are you hoping to accomplish with the business coach? Are your goals and objectives reasonable and attainable? The clearer you are on what you want to achieve, the more successful you will be in communicating these goals to your business coach. It is important to know that goals and objectives are not one in the same. A goal involves establishing where you want to end up and when you want to get there, while an objective is a specific step you need to take in order to reach each of your goals.
Being on the same page as your business coach when it comes to goals is one of the most important elements of the relationship. There’s more though; the real initial value of a business coach is to suggest and help you develop the different steps and milestones you will need to help you reach your goals.
2. Know Your Style
Working with a business coach is as much about numbers as it is about personalities. If you are the type of person who is constantly invested in learning about your industry and the latest tricks of the trade, it is important to find a business coach who has a similarly innovative and curious personality. If you’re the type of person who wakes up in the middle of the night with ideas, make sure you find a coach who is willing to answer and deal with your whims at unconventional hours. There are plenty of business coaches in the sea — you just have to find the one who works best with your style.
[Related: The Best Leaders Develop Others by Coaching]
3. Choose Carefully
Once you’ve decided that a business coach is the right move for your business, you can work on narrowing down eligible candidates. Unfortunately, the market for coaches is over-saturated with people claiming to be coaches without actually having the skills or expertise necessary. A great place to start for finding the right coach is to ask people in your industry if they have anyone to recommend. Make sure anyone you interview is credentialed, experienced, and able to produce examples of measurable milestones they have achieved for other business owners.
If the main thing stopping you from moving forward with a business coach is the financial investment, there are a number of resources available to help you acquire these services at a cost-effective rate. Examples of such resources include:
- The NYC Department of Small Business Services
- Procurement Technical Assistance Center
- WEDC (Women’s Enterprise Development Center)
Jean Kristensen is the CEO of J Kristensen Associates, LLC. An entrepreneur, certified coach, trainer and public speaker, Jean has over three decades of professional security experience in firms ranging from small start-ups to multi-million dollar corporations. Sign up for their #MWBEsuccess newsletter by clicking here for free guides to grow your business.
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