What is a business coach?
A business coach is a type of consultant that provides an external perspective on your business. They will help you address not only business issues, but issues relating to your professional and career fulfilment, which often touches on your personal life and will help you identify what is most important to you, and what your expectations and goals are from your sessions and relationship with your coach.
As a business owner, you are in a unique position. You are responsible for both the vision and the execution of your ideas and plans alongside being the sole decision-maker and leader, which can be a very rewarding but sometimes challenging journey. This is why often a savvy business professional will seek the input and support of a business coach.
Business coaching can play a critical role in the success of your business and professional life — but sometimes people have a misunderstanding of what coaching is. A Coach won’t teach you business skills. Instead, we are partners in achieving important, significant, and practical understandings and provide an objective perspective to assist you in assessing your business and the direction and goals you want to achieve.
Coaching is about facilitating and empowering a client, which often takes a more introspective, analytical, problem-solving, and creative process. Ultimately, the process enables a client to maximize their personal and business potential to ensure their goals for themselves and business can be achieved.
A business coach helps you step back, look around, and assess where you are. Only then can you decide where you want to go and create a plan to get there.
A business coach will assist and guide a client in running and managing their business, by helping them clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal ideas and goals. Business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be.
However I often find that due to my background of running and managing all operational aspects of the business that often my coaching, spreads into the advising world, but this is often a natural progression for what my client requires for them to reach the goals and objectives that they seek from working with me, to instigate change, progress and achieve further success.
It’s a clever and pragmatic business owner who knows when to seek expertise and knowledge to help them to succeed in their professional business goals. No single person can know everything. You will find every coach works slightly differently and has a different background and skillset to share. So its important to ensure when deciding which coach to work with that you take up the free consultation, as this time is not just for the coach to understand and assess your needs, but importantly for you the client to decide if you feel the coach and their approach is right for you. It often comes down to gut instinct.
Running a business can often feel like a very solitary pursuit. However, as with most things in life, having an experienced mentor or coach that you can rely on is one of the most valuable resources available to business owners.
How does business coaching work?
The key to remember with a good business coach is that they will build actionable plans with the client, that is realistic and achievable but also factoring in the personal aspect by ensuring the plan factors in and considers the strengths and weaknesses of the client and the coach will eliminate any barriers by providing the missing links for the client to achieve their goals.
If the client’s achievements are is not linked to the business owner’s personal dreams, goals, and plans, there is less driving forces for the client to achieve their goals which is critical and central to the point of initiating coaching.
After clarifying where the client/business owner would like to take their business, business coaching will help plan 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 past coaching session.
Your coach is there to keep track and measure the progress that is often overlooked without that person holding you accountable.
The purpose of coaching is to provide support, educate, motivate and guide.
They will provide the accountability and goal setter function in your plans to ensure you achieve them.
A business coach will help develop and establish realistic plans and goals and communicate and identify realistic steps to take to achieve the goals, as a coach will have the ability to see the bigger picture and understand what elements are essential to succeed.
And one of the key approaches I instill in my clients is to ensure they do not get stuck in the minutia and allow themselves to lose focus, procrastinate and not apply the full focus and actions needed to achieve their desired outcomes.
Traits of a good business coach?
- Passionate about business and have a positive attitude
- Good at seeing the bigger picture
- Open minded
- Good and clear communicator
- Confident in their business knowledge
- Natural motivator
- Strong business knowledge
- Solid operational and strategic knowledge
- Can-do attitude
- Good listener
- They adapt, they listen and adapt their style to each client
Whether you are running a small business or looking to build a national or international company, the benefits of business coaching cannot be overstated. No single person can achieve success in isolation, no one can have all the answers, expertise, and experience to apply to every eventuality that will arise in the world of business. But seeking support, guidance, and input from a coach will provide you with the key pieces of a jigsaw to complete the picture and support your journey to success.