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Having an experienced guide is invaluable if you are starting a new business or are experiencing difficulties. Business coaches come from diverse backgrounds and can offer valuable insight to help you successfully start, manage or grow your business. On top of providing you with guidance in achieving your goals, a good business coach will be a sounding board for new ideas, a great motivator and a trusted supporter in times of need.
What does a business coach actually do?
A business coach can help you clarify your goals, develop your professional skills, foster new habits and plan effectively, while providing valuable feedback and criticism on your current practices. Most coaches have previously run successful businesses themselves and have trained further to enter coaching, meaning they have a significant body of experience and knowledge to offer you.
As you work one on one with your coach, you will see them play many roles, at times being a mentor, a support, a motivator, a critical eye or a trusted confidant. Having a business coach is like having an experienced ally as you fight to grow your business.
Why would I need a business coach?
Many new business founders do not hire a coach, mistakenly believing that they only need one if they come into difficulty. If starting a business is a new venture for you, it's near certain you will slip up and make mistakes as you go. While most mistakes won't prove fatal to your business, having someone who can watch your back, give you advice and discuss your ideas goes a long way towards finding success.
Starting a new business can be stressful and time-consuming, so having someone who knows the ins and outs of your business, who will listen to you closely and who has experience running their own business provides a great deal of security and comfort when times are hard. When times are good, your business coach will keep you level-headed and guide you towards growing your business and investing in your future.
Business coaches have often been in business for themselves and built relationships with people in many different industries. In addition to being familiar with providers of the various services you may need, your coach's professional network could prove endlessly valuable as they connect you with people who provide unique opportunities.
How does hiring a business coach work?
In your first session with a business coach, they will talk to you extensively about your business and may make you fill out a questionnaire in order to get a picture of where you are currently at. They may wish to know more about you personally so they can get an idea of your character and habits. This first session is not just about giving your coach context and information, it's also about establishing a positive relationship and rapport. When selecting a business coach, be sure to choose one that you respect and who communicates effectively with you.
As you continue with a business coach, they will identify problem areas in your business that require attention, from your finances, to your marketing, to your sales process, to your record-keeping – they will examine your practices closely and suggest improvements along the way. You will set goals and design plans to achieve them – your business coach will keep you accountable and motivated you as you execute those plans, and will track your progress to your goals.