Whether your goals are eating better, getting to the gym, saving money, buying a house, or all of the above, 2024 is your year for business. Similar to hiring a personal trainer to help you reach your health and fitness goals, hiring a business coach can help you sculpt success for your business.
If you are spending too much time and energy in your business and don’t have the healthy work-life balance that you desire, or you can’t seem to get your finances and cash flow under control, or if you’re trying to get your business off the ground and find the clients you want to work with, or you feel “stuck” somewhere in between, business coaching can help you not only set goals for your business but also achieve them.
You may have spoken to other like-minded entrepreneurs who have hired a business coach. But what does a business coach actually do? And is it really worth working with one? Do you even need one? Learn more about what business coaching actually is, how it can help you, and how it just might be the best investment you can make in 2024.
What a Business Coach Is and Isn’t
- A mentor
- A motivator
- An accountability partner
The role of a business coach involves:
- Assist with goal-setting and planning
- Assist with turning those goals into actionable plans
- Help clients find the answers within themselves
A business coach is NOT:
- A salesperson who closes deals on your behalf
- A personal assistant
- A therapist
I can’t stress this enough: A business coach works WITH you but does NOT do the work for you. If you are looking for someone to help you plan and complete tasks, then hire an assistant or a coordinator.
Much like going to the gym and hiring a personal trainer to help you get stronger, leaner, and mentally and physically sharper, a business coach works the same way. Most executives seek business coaching for reassurance, accountability, and personalized advice tailored specifically to their businesses and their unique personal and professional challenges. In fact, we conducted our own survey of 23 business owners, leaders, and executives, and these are the areas where they saw the most value from hiring a small business coach:
- Accountability – No, a business coach isn’t a babysitter but rather someone with whom you discuss goals, projects, and tasks to work on and complete from session to session. When you are scheduled to meet with your business coach on a specific date and time, that can light a fire under your “you know what” to work on what you need to in order to make progress toward that goal.
- Productivity – Many of us claim we can’t get to the gym because “there just isn’t enough time in the day”. Like any priority in life, you make time for what’s important. Working with a business coach helps you to make time to work ON your business rather than IN it.
- Leadership improvement – Many entrepreneurs get into business because they have a specialized niche or skillset. Whether you are an attorney, a wedding photographer, or make custom cabinetry in a workshop out of your home, you may or may not have thought of what your business would look like if you hired a team to help you. When entrepreneurs hire team members for the first time, it’s a liberating experience! They immediately have more time to focus on other areas of the business. However, this also means they are stepping into a leadership position for the first time. Working with a business coach can help you to become an awesome leader who inspires and motivates. This is a massive step down the road of growth and sustainability.
- Guidance through change – As businesses, we must be able to evolve and adapt over time, or we risk our businesses becoming stagnant and unsustainable. However, change isn’t easy. Whether you are a team of 100 or 1, having a change management model for you and your team to work by will allow you to see your business differently, help you get out of your own way, and grow and scale.
- Setting better and more realistic goals – As a business owner, there’s never a dull or boring day. There’s always something to do. Someone always needs something. As business owners, we often think about and set goals, but reaching them is often a different story. We might arbitrarily write down our goals, only to discover that we lost that piece of paper or Word document. Setting goals is one thing, but breaking them down into realistic and “bite-sized” pieces into a digital system that you can refer to on any given day, and see the progress being made on them is an entirely different experience—one that allows you to achieve them.
- Helping you see the WHY in your business – You likely got into business because there was a sense of joy, fulfillment, passion, and even peace that came along with your work. Or you grew tired of the corporate “9-to-5” world. Or maybe you are really good at what you do. However, after years and years of getting sucked into the daily grind over time, you may have lost sight of your vision. Working with an enthusiastic business coach can help you think differently about your business, and see ideas that you never have considered, help you get excited about new opportunities and possibilities, reminding you why you got into business in the first place.
- A trustworthy partner and mentor – They say it’s lonely at the top—and it’s true. Working for yourself is a luxury many only dream about but seldom achieve. Even if you work with a team of people, you might still feel lonely because you are still “the boss” at the end of the day. Working with a business coach provides you with that “partner”, someone you can count on when you have questions, need advice and guidance, or even someone to call when you have a bad day. A business coach should be someone who is a great listener, someone whom you can trust, and who doesn’t make you feel stupid.
- Motivation and confidence – As entrepreneurs, we are often our own worst enemies. It’s often our lack of motivation and/or confidence that prevents us from building out that marketing funnel, attending that networking event, or delivering that sales pitch to the best of our ability. However, working with a business coach can help you improve in these areas and help you gain the confidence you need to crush your goals.
So, are YOU and your business worth the investment? Always.
Is Business Coaching Right for You?
A business coach helps individuals navigate personal and professional challenges to help them see their businesses differently and grow to the next level. Although you can realize a ton of value in hiring a business coach, we’d be lying if we said coaching was for everyone. If you have considered hiring a business coach but are still unsure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you ready to put in the work?
- Are you ready to make a commitment?
- Are you prepared to take accountability for your actions and your role in your business?
- Are you prepared to make some decisions?
- Are you prepared to invest in your business—and in yourself?
If you answered “YES” to these, then you have a high success rate with working with a coach and seeing the ROI you want and deserve in your business.
How to Make Sure You Hire the Right Business Coach
Additionally, not everyone claiming to be a business coach is a good one. There are many good, reputable, and valuable coaching programs out there. Good business coaches understand how to coach with a purpose, making the entrepreneur accountable for his or her success in the program. So, how do you make sure business coaching is right for you? And how do you make sure you hire the right business coach? Here are some things to keep an eye out for.
A good business coach…
- Actively listens
- Displays an enthusiastic, motivating, and positive attitude
- Provides honest and constructive criticism tactfully, diplomatically, and professionally
- Stimulates individuals to think of possibilities by setting clear and specific goals, and helps them to see progress on those goals.
- Assists individuals in working through and reducing negative or limiting beliefs and thoughts by providing tactics and asking and framing the right questions
- Facilitates self-reflection by examining their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. As a result, individuals gain insight into their cognitive patterns and recognize areas for improvement and change.
- Organizes feedback and holds individuals accountable for their actions and their own business growth.
- Supports individuals in understanding the importance of as well as developing emotional intelligence to become better leaders and business owners.
When selecting a coach, be sure this person has the depth and experience to provide you with the guidance you seek and the ROI you deserve. Does the coach need to have an MBA? Not necessarily, but it’s up to you to decide what and who you are looking for in a coach. Similar to researching to find the right doctor or surgeon, you should do the same when looking for a business coach. After all, who you work with and who you listen to matters.
Do You NEED a Business Coach?
All in all, in 2024, a one-size-fits-all approach for businesses is no longer effective. Business coaching provides personalized guidance, ensuring that your leadership style and business objectives align seamlessly. Additionally, the ability to adapt and become sustainable is crucial in 2024. Just as a personal trainer helps you adapt your workout routine as your fitness level improves, a business coach guides you through the ever-changing business landscape.
How do you know if you need a business coach? Not every entrepreneur or leader indeed needs a coach. If you aren’t sure, take our free assessment to understand your business’s health and where coaching might benefit you. Motivation is the fuel that propels you towards success, whether it’s achieving fitness milestones or reaching business targets – sculpting a better, stronger, and more successful you.