What coaches can do for your business

So you’ve just started out with your own company, or maybe you’ve been in business for a while but feel like you could use some help navigating the changes that have taken place in the last 10 years or so. Even well-established companies might feel like beginners in the field of e-commerce. There’s so much to remember – social media, mobile optimization, SEO. Things were so much simpler 20 years ago.

The modern world might be complex and ever-changing, but it’s also filled with opportunities we only dreamed about 20 years ago. At what other time in the world could a small business compete on even footing with a multinational conglomerate?

Coaches bring out your best

Just like an athletic coach, a business coach can take an objective look at your performance and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Your friends, customers, and employees can help, but they all have their own agendas. Your employees want to keep their jobs; your friends don’t want to hurt your feelings – but a coach will be honest with you about what needs improvement, and will push you beyond your comfort zone so that you can really excel in your chosen niche.

Coaches can bring clarity

Do you know what your core values are, as a business and as a human being? Customers are loyal to companies that share and promote their values. This is, in fact, one of the best ways to position yourself in the market nowadays.

The problem is that it can be difficult to articulate your values and goals and state them clearly. Maybe you just do them – you don’t consciously think about them. A coach can give you the non-judgemental outside perspective that will help you come up with a mission statement you really believe in.

Coaches have helpful experience

I started out in the old-school business tradition, too, and have had to learn to navigate the brave new world of web commerce like everyone else in my generation. I have plenty of experience on the ground, dealing with people face to face, and I’ve also taught myself to succeed in today’s world of interconnected computers.

Coaches can give you the mental tools you need to make your business the best that it can be. We have experience in solving the problems you’re facing – not just the material problems, but the less tangible ones as well. What’s the best way to motivate an under-performing staff member? How do you bring up the mental fortitude necessary to deal with an angry customer and turn their experience around? A coach can teach you these things because we had to learn how to do them ourselves.

How to pick a good coach

First, you must be sure you’re really ready for a coach. They say that when the student is ready the right teacher will appear. Coaching will only work on someone who is willing to listen and try new ways of doing things. Otherwise, don’t waste your money.

The second most important thing to think about is: is this coach a good fit for you? Everyone is different and responds to different methods. Look for someone who fits your personality and makes you feel like you want to spend time with them and listen to what they have to say.

That said, here are the top four things to look for when hiring a coach, according the Harvard Business Review:

  • Experience coaching in a similar setting
  • Clear methodology
  • Quality of their client list
  • Ability to measure ROI (return on investment)

Coaching as a field has exploded in recent years, so when you’re looking to hire a coach, do a little investigation into their background first. They should be able to explain their methods clearly and show tangible results, ideally in your bottom line.

Hiring a coach is a great way to take some of the guesswork out of business success. A coach can up your game, but you’re the one who must do the work to take your business to the top.

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. What part of your business life could use a coach’s guidance?

Need some help, or would like a short-term mentor in your business?

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