Everything You Need to Know About Finding and Hiring a Business Coach

Cody Cromwell
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Where to Find a Business Coach or Coaching Services

For most business owners, the process of creating a business is just as valuable as the business itself and it’s important to discover easy ways to consult with a business coach.

Ideally, you will find a coach who understands your values, your business model, all your core values, your daily objectives and give you objectivity and feedback.

Your coach will take your potential thinking and grow it to the next level.

Be as specific as possible, your coach should be able to hold you accountable for what you have committed to and help you over any hurdles you may experience.

There are several ways to find a business coach, but here, we’re going to focus on the best ways to find and hire a coach.

There are many ways to hire a coach, there are Coaching Programs that coach not just one area, but multiple aspects of your life. If your time is too valuable and you don’t have the time, a group program becomes the way to go. You can also hire a one on one coach.

Here’s some advice for you in how to review a coach’s credentials and how to find the best business coach for your business.

Ask Your Personal Network

Spend some time talking to your colleagues.

Check out what problems they’ve seen in their company’s management structure and how they’ve dealt with them. Your colleagues can give you some practical advice, and maybe even show you how they have successfully dealt with similar problems.

In addition to sharing your ideas and sharing your problems with everyone you know, ask all of them for their advice.

This can be counterproductive if you are too pushy and ask for too many opinions from your network. Ask if you can have some time to think and process all of their advice.

Ask for individual recommendations, and then ask for different opinions on the same issue. It’s a good idea to get a broad perspective, as well as a range of different viewpoints.

Encourage Criticism

In addition to asking for recommendations, explore the idea of asking your network for criticism as well.

Our personal networks are often comprised of people with a total lack of objectivity. They may well make suggestions that make you feel great to hear – but they would also point out areas where your ideas are flawed.

Here’s the truth about criticism, however: there is nothing that walks away from a good criticism unaffected.

Search for Coaching Services Online

Use the internet to find a business coach you may want to consider. If you see people who have had success with a particular business coach or who have received excellent service from them, you can probably assume that they are receiving quality coaching.

There are several online resources that can help you find coaches in your area. You can also contact your local chapter of the American Counseling Association or the International Coach Federation for suggestions. Keep in mind that, although there are guidelines for what organizations can and cannot do in relation to coaching, there are no regulations concerning business coaching, so it’s best to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if a business coach has sustained any complaints.

The internet does have its drawbacks – in particular, it’s rather hard to get information without actually meeting the business coach face to face before deciding to work with them. Take care to beware of phishing scams. Some of the most common generators for phishing scams claim to have a list of successful entrepreneurs, but when you submit your information, they’ll request that you pay money for a product or service.

Always remember that the internet is not a professional medium for assessing a business coach. Find your business coach through the right places and only use information that you are comfortable with.

Look for a Business Coach or Mentor Locally

The most obvious place to look for a professional business coach is locally. The internet is a great place to find all kinds of information, including business coach listings. However, it should be your starting point, not your end point.

Business coaches typically offer one-on-one business coaching for their clients. Offering one-on-one coaching can be expensive, so most business coaches will offer group workshops or seminar-style coaching to a wider audience. This is where finding a business coach locally can be extremely helpful.

Local business coaches will generally be more accessible. They can be contacted via phone, email, or text. They’ll also likely be able to meet with you in person.

While finding a business coach may feel like a daunting task, the benefits are tremendous. Here’s how business coach programs can help your business.

Go to the Small Business Administration (SBA)

New inventory is the most important aspect of business growth. More inventory means more sales, and more sales mean a larger profit and more profits mean a larger customer base. However, when you try to run multiple inventory lines, the costs skyrocket: you’ll need to hire an additional person to handle the inventory line, hire a warehouse to store the inventory, or a combination of the two.

Fortunately, there’s a way to reduce your business financial and human resources with no down time: converting your inventory lines. This means you’ll run a single inventory line that will increase your business costs for a while, but you’ll also reap the benefits of a larger inventory book at a cheaper price.

There are different types of inventory conversions – it’s entirely up to you which type of conversion you’ll use. For a start-up business or a brand new business, new inventory (new merchandise) allows customers to place an order in real time without any down time.

New inventory allows you to keep the inventory line in stock, while returning the used products to the vendor. This ensures that your customers can only order those products from your inventory line which are currently in supply at your business.

Local Business Coach vs Online Business Coach

Many successful entrepreneurs use a coach to help them learn and to find better management strategies for their business. A local business coach is generally someone hired for on-site support, while online business coaches take a more informal approach by offering advice and personalized coaching via e-mail or online accounts.

Without any experience or training to become a professional coach, qualified coaches are becoming more and more popular as companies find value in their advice and as online networks provide newer and improved methods of communication to gain advice and support for their own business ventures.

What is a business coach?

Strength coaches use a variety of tools and techniques to bring their athletes to the highest levels of performance. There’s one tool that helps nearly every athlete, whether they are part of a strength and conditioning program or not: a strength coach.

However, every strength coach doesn’t fit into the model of the stereotypical strength coach – standing at attention with a clipboard and a stopwatch at every station. Business coaches… a new and growing subset of strength coaches … want to make a difference in the lives of business owners. They want to help them achieve their goals. They want to help their clients reach their potential.

Strength coaches can help you improve your performance in the gym, on the field or on the workforce. But business coaches can help you improve your performance at work.

A business coach understands that success doesn’t come through sheer force; it’s not a matter of working harder. A business coach helps develop a positive mindset. He helps you open your eyes to possibilities that you never thought were available to you.

Over the past few years, business coaching has become a very popular business niche. More business owners are turning to business coaching to find solutions to problems.

Business Coach vs. Consultant

A business coach is the same as a consultant, although not all consultants boast the qualifications as a business coach. A business coach or consultant is someone who is an expert on the subject that s/he is coaching you for in order to help you succeed.

You may have to pay an upfront fee to meet with the coach or consultant so that s/he can assess your business situation, goals and needs, as well as walk you through steps and tactics to achieve a goal.

If the coach/consultant implements a plan that works well, the fee is paid back by the success your business gains with the plan implemented. If not, the coach/consultant only works for free to improve your business so that you can progress.

Depending on your situation, it may not be financially prudent to retain a consultant or coach, and you would be better off working on your business the way you know how to and then bringing in a coach/consultant for the financial advice.

Or, it may not be financially advisable to work with a coach/consultant in the short term, but more likely advisable to work with a coach/consultant in the long term to aid in reaching faster success in your business venture.

Cos t to Hire a Business Coach

There’ll be different costs associated with your business coach depending on your needs and what you want to achieve.

Every coach will have a different coaching approach and will come with different coaching packages. For example, location plays a major role in the cost of coaching. You may live near an area with a rich choice of business coaches. Or maybe you live in an area where there’s no nearby coach, which could mean travelling time more than double.

Similarly, the fewer hours you want to dedicate to coaching per week, the lower the coach’s hourly rate will be. Some coaches will charge per hour, others will charge a monthly retainer fee and a cut of what happens during that month.

After shelling out the cost of hiring a business coach, you’ll have to contend with the costs of coaching.

Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Corporate Coach

Whether you lack confidence or need help becoming a better leader, there’s nothing like a coach to help you get where you want to be. Whether you’re looking to grow a business, improve your communication skills, work more efficiently, or increase your salary, a corporate coach can provide the support you need.

However, some of you may also find it difficult identifying and hiring the right coach for your situation. The process can be challenging as we’re expected to drop in on people that we don’t know and trust blindly. The truth is, there’s no shortcut to finding the right coach since you must go through the process of screening and interviewing. A friend who is just a karaoke coach can be a bad fit, and you could waste your time and resources on coaching that doesn’t provide the results you need.

So how do you find the right coach for you? When you’re looking for a coach, there are several factors to consider, such as cost, referrals, and the market. But before you start interviewing coaches, take a moment to prepare and refine your coaching needs. To help you along the way, let’s take a closer look at some questions to ask yourself before you hire a coach.

Questions to Ask to Evaluate a Business Coach

How much time will we spend together?

How will we set goals? How are we assessment our performance(s)?

What type of structure will we work with?

Where, when and how often will we meet?

What specifically will we be working on?

How will success be measured, reported, accessed and/or celebrated?

What are the benefits of working with this business coach?

What are the coach’s qualifications?

What Certification Do Business Coaches Need to Have ?

First of all, it’s important to define what a –business coach” is. A business coach is not a –personal coach” – a business coach is a specialized partner who works with an individual to help them grow their business. Ideally, business coaches offer aspiring business owners unconditional support and guidance from a more experienced professional.

To offer effective and helpful business coaching, a coach’s experience and skills must be well-rounded and specialized to the field in which they serve. In other words, business coaches can offer not only direct assistance with marketing and growing an existing business, but their specific training and experience will also benefit business owners in specific fields or industries. In addition to helping you grow your business, a business coach will be able to provide you with specific training that will help you tackle certain challenges and set you up for continued success.

There are a variety of ways to gain certification in business coaching. A business coach can choose to be trained by an established company, or can work on a apprenticeship with an individual coach. Without a word of a lie, there are many business fly by night coaches out there offering business coaching services at high prices, many of which are based on what you want to call it.

Work that a Business Coach Does

A business coach is a professional who works with a small business owner(s) to help them with any issues related to the business. A coach’s job consists of working with the business owners to implement strategies and methods to help them achieve their goals. For example, a coach may work with a business that currently has a slow growth. The coach would set goals together with the owner, and create a plan that would take them from where they are now to where they would like to be in the future.

In addition to working with the owner, a coach can also help the business owner deal with a number of situations that might arise. These situations can include any problem that would arise that needs to be resolved or any difficulties that can arise when dealing with the business.

Possibilities for Business Coaches to Work With

There are a number of different businesses that a business coach can work with. A coach can work with a new business owner or an existing business owner. Regardless the type of business, a coach could be working with, he or she would work with that business to help them reach their goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

Any Downsides to Hiring a Business Coach?

Business coaching is an investment. It's not cheap, it's not a luxury, yet we expect our businesses to grow without coaching, yet we also know that coaching (with some variables) can increase our success rate.

Coaching is a short term fix to long term success. My advice is to get started with a 30 day plan. Then evaluate what area, will give you the biggest outcome within the 30 days. You can do this, if you structure your business and the system.

Coaching is about the system, not the person. You hire a coach to create or build your coaching system. More than likely, you can find a coach to coach you for 30 days. This coaching is short term to help setup a system for years to come.

There is a difference between consultants and coaches. Consultants are hired to do work. At the end of the day, they should be doing the work.

A coach is someone who can help you maintain and grow your business. They can make you look smarter than you really are. They coach with systems.

How do we choose coaches?

It's simple answer, ask yourself the question, "Can they coach my business?"

Remember it's not about the person, it's about the system you are building.

When building your coaching system, make sure you follow these:

Questions to ask yourself.

More On Business Coaching From The Experts

Business coaching offers several ways to improve without any one-time investment:

  • You can take your current coaching program to the next level.
  • You can invest in an effective strategy to increase revenue, improve margins, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
  • You can improve the human resource skills of your staff by teaching them to communicate more, effectively manage conflict, and consistently deliver their best work.
  • You can develop a healthier, happier, more cohesive culture so it’ll make an impact for years to come.
  • You can build trust between you and your employees and your colleagues.
  • You can become a more effective leader.

A business coach will work with you to implement an approach to achieve your business goals. It’s important to understand that the job of a coach is not to tell you what to do but to help you figure out what to do on your own. Coaching is not a one-time thing, a lot of money, or a babysitting service. Rather it’s a relationship of a trusted advisor, a business mate.

Does Coaching Really Help?

The idea that you can embark upon a new business but get "stuck" without a business coach is a myth. Many small business owners have found that coaching to help them focus on the most impactful areas of their businesses, develop a successful business strategy, and to set a clear, measurable, and attainable goal is highly beneficial.

By identifying and addressing the problems that prevent you from achieving your sales and business results goals and maximizing your profits, you can take your company to the next level.

Sound like a plan to you? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have not used a coach before, make sure you take action in developing a strong business plan before you make the call.

Conversely, if you are an owner who has a thriving business, you can be your own coach. It’s a tremendous benefit to have some personal momentum in your venture, so study your business, push yourself, and evaluate your progress at regular intervals.

What Makes A Good Coach?

There’s a lot of personal and professional coaching available, but how do you know if it’s being offered by a professional who has the right combination of qualifications and experience?

It’s worth taking the time and effort to find a coach who has both the professional qualifications and industry experience to ensure that your coaching experience is of the highest standard.

First, make sure the coach you’re considering has achieved the necessary level of training and qualifications. Since professional coaching is actually a profession in and of itself, the higher level coaching qualifications date way back.

First, check to see if the coach has completed a formal education program. These courses are usually accredited by some educational organization. They often cover all the main areas of professional coaching:

  • Relationship and Life Coaching
  • Motivational Coaching
  • Performance Coaching
  • Executive Coaching
  • One-on-One Coaching
  • Off-Site Coaching
  • Seminar Coaching
  • Group Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Mentoring

How Do You Prepare Yourself for Coaching?

There are many ways to prepare yourself. First, you can find a coach or mentor in your area, or hire a coach online. You can also read my blog on how to find the right coach for you. And if you want to venture into this on your own as an entrepreneur, here is a guide to help you get started.

Having a coach can help you take action. A coach is not a tool. A good coach is a guide to help you with the work you need to do.

You’ll also need to decide what to focus on to get better results. How you run your business, the outcomes that you want to achieve, and the steps you need to take to attain them. If you already have a pretty good idea of this, contact a coach. Coaches can help you clarify your purpose and vision and help you through the process of getting there. And no matter whether you hire a coach or not, it’s always important to take action!

How Do You Find the Right Match?

The first thing to do is to analyze what your exact goals are. This is important because the coach you choose may or may not work with your objectives and only you can decide if it's worth it for both of you to work together.

Begin your search by reading articles about business coaches, interviewing a few coaches and asking fellow business owners for recommendations. Ask around to find out if there is someone close to you who has a coach or is in the process of finding one.

You shouldn’t go about it blindly but do employ some research so that you can compare different coaches and their work. You would want to get an attitude check done from a coach-client to have an idea of how compatible they will be with you. In this case you can also try to get some references. Having a few different references will give you a better idea of the kind of coach you are looking for.

You have to find the right coach who can help you evolve your business, meet your objectives and can help you be more successful beyond just saying it. An effective coach helps you achieve your goals, which helps you to better manage your team, marketing strategies and marketing plans.

A business coach is hired by a business owner or CEO and can help them in five categories: embracing new ideas, overcoming obstacles, transforming opportunities and challenges into results, improving personal performance and smoothening their organizational and interpersonal relationships.

Bottom Line on Business Coaches

Business and Personal Coaching is a popular and effective way for busy and busy people to achieve their business and personal goals. Many businesses and companies have their own coaches to guide CEOs in the right direction and it is my belief that every busy business person demands their own personal coach to become more successful. Personal Coaching is great for helping business people who want to achieve stretch goals in their business.

In a previous two part series: ( 1 ) 2 we talked in detail about the benefits of Boosting your Business in 2014 and kept pointing out that personal coaching is one of the fastest and most effective way to take you business to the next level. If you just read those two articles please do yourself a favor and read this article now –> part 3

We have asked many business coaches over the years to tell us exactly what constitutes a good business coach. We asked both for the undergraduate/graduate level coach and for one who has fully traversed the road between student and professional. We asked them to frame a time line that contained both the minimum and maximum duration of coaching. We asked them to identify the age group of the company and the individual for whom they were coaching (young or mature, new or experienced and natural or trained). And then we asked them to define the main 3 reasons for hiring a business coach.

This is what they said: