Ask 100 successful business owners what the secret is to their success and you’re likely to get about that many different answers. But I’ll bet that the one that comes up the most often is, “I hired a business coach.”
Working with a business coach can be life-changing.
But finding the one who gets you the results you’re looking for can be a challenge. After all, there’s as many different coaching styles as there are waves in the ocean.
With the coaching industry being largely unregulated, each coach can offer whatever services she wants and call it “coaching.” Even as a coach myself, it’s a challenge to talk to other coaches about services—because they’re always so different from one another. That makes it hard for you, as a consumer, to make an educated decision about coaching.
If you’re planning to start working with a business coach, first decide what role you want your coach to play. Here are some options:
- Consultant. If you want someone to assess you and your business, then offer you professional expert advice, you’re likely looking for someone whose style is that of a consultant.
- Mentor. If you’d rather work with someone who has longevity in your industry who can guide you through their knowledge and wisdom, you’d probably benefit from working with someone who has a mentor style.
- Therapist. If you want someone to help you relieve stress, anxiety and fear from your business, a therapist approach to coaching would be a good fit.
- Coach. If you’re looking for someone to guide you using a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements, listening, questioning, clarifying, etc.) to help you shift your perspectives, resulting in discovering different approaches to achieve your goals, then a more traditional coach would be a good fit.
Once you know what type of coach best fits your needs, you need to consider your investment for the coach’s services—both time and financial.
- Time. How much time do you have for coaching? Coaches will often have you work on activities between sessions to help you move forward faster. Some of these activities can take you 30 minutes per week while others can be as many as four hours per week. It depends on the type of coaching you’re receiving and the intended outcome of that coaching.
- Finances. You may be able to afford a high profile coach to work you through some challenges. But at the end of your coaching package, will you still have the funds necessary to implement all the great ideas and solutions she helps you uncover? There’s no sense in hiring a coach that drains your bank account, leaving you with nothing left for implementation.
Hiring a coach is exciting but a big commitment to your business. It’s putting out there to the world, “Let’s do this!” And you are!
After considering all of the above, my biggest piece of advice would be to start following a few coaches who you feel fit your needs. Then get on a call with them to see if your personalities mesh. You’ll be able to narrow down your decision quickly and get on the right track to business success.