Are you thinking of enlisting the help of a Business Coach to help you develop and implement a growth strategy for your business? Or maybe you want a Business Coach to support your own professional development to help you make the transition from “working in the business” to “working on the business”?
Investing in a Business Coach is certainly going to help you reach your business or personal development goals; so how do you ensure you get the most from the coaching relationship?
A Business Coach will likely include the following points when discussing how engaging their services might assist your situation. They will:
want to get to know you and understand your lifestyle aspirations and your aspirations for the business
ensure they fully understand your expectations for engaging their services
want to review the financial and operational performance of your business
support you through the planning and implementation stages of the agreed plan.
As their potential client you should also consider the following when engaging the services of a Business Coach. Have you:
checked their website and other on-line media to validate their credentials and checked for any negative reviews
taken advantage of any free introductory meeting so you can appraise them in person before appointing them as your Business Coach
clearly expressed your own personal goals and goals for your business, and have they demonstrated their understanding of these in return
jointly agreed the scope of the coaching relationship.
Coaching by its very nature will identify areas which require change, both within the business and also potentially for you as the business owner. Change can be disruptive, and not everyone responds the same way, or at the same pace. Intellectually it can be acknowledged that change is required – but making that aspiration a reality may not be quite so easy. Therefore it is important that regular review points are also agreed to ensure that both remain committed to the coaching process.
Every coaching session should have its own agreed agenda and result in agreed actions points for review at subsequent sessions. Prepare your questions and points you want to discuss, and if you are able – send them to your Business Coach in advance so they come to the session prepared. Proactive engagement with your Business Coach will help ensure successful outcomes.
It may be that the process of the business review has identified that the range of skills and expertise required to lead and manage the business through a growth phase is at odds with the current range of skills, expertise or organisational structure of the business. The realisation of this point will require careful discussion and agreement as to the best way forward.
Obviously, as business owner you have the final say on the direction or growth strategy for your business; so if at any point you feel the Business Coach is more interested in advocating change beyond your willingness or ability for change, then an immediate review is required. Your Business Coach should recognise any signs of difficulty or resistance, and seek to ensure that the initial objectives are still relevant. Your active participation in the process of continuous review is critical to ensure a successful outcome.
It is also important that the Business Coach recognise their own limitations, and make recommendations and/or referrals to obtain other external expertise as appropriate. Likewise, if the Business Coach recognises that they are no longer adding value or able to add value, then perhaps the coaching relationship has come to a natural conclusion.
As both the business and the business owner needs time to consolidate after a change process, the need for a Business Coach may subside, this is entirely normal. A Business Coach may become a trusted advisor for the business, although this should not be at the expense of recommending other governance structures which may be more beneficial to the business longer term. The Business Coach ideally encourages independence, not dependence on their services.
If you want some help to talk through how engaging a Business Coach could help you or your business, then give me a call!