The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Business Coach

Business coaches have helped thousands, if not millions of small, medium and large corporations to grow their profits and reach their goals. Undeniably, business coaches can be incredibly useful in many situations, but they aren’t right for everybody.

Understanding the purpose of a coach, what they can bring to the table and how much they cost is vital to making a choice. In your local area, there are probably tens of coaches, all of whom will proclaim that they are the best choice for your company, deciphering between them can be tough.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at how you can go about choosing a business coach, what you should ask and how you can filter the list down to only a few excellent candidates. Hiring a coach can often seem like a lengthy process, and it is, but spending the time upfront to screen candidates will mean far better value for money for you.

Do You Need a Business Coach?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether you need a business coach. Coaches will tell you that every business can benefit from their services and while that might be true, that certainly doesn’t mean that everybody should hire them.

In fact, the percentage of businesses that should hire any coach is small. The reason for this is because a coach can only bring value in an area where they are experienced, and it’s impossible for anybody to know everything.

Therefore, you really should only hire them if you feel that no matter the effort you put in it would be more efficient for you to seek the guidance of somebody else. For the majority of businesses, this is true for areas like accounting, HR, marketing, and hiring.

But for areas that are unique to your company they might bring little value. Secondly, you should also consider the specialty of the candidates that you’re hiring to see if they align with the problems that you are facing.

Define Your Goals for Your Business

Before you jump in enthusiastically, deciding that a coach is a right decision for you, you must define the goals that you want to achieve. To reach any goal in life, you must be able to define it so that you can aim your efforts towards it.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your goal is to become a billion-dollar company; goals are only valuable if they are realistic and specific.

One example of a great goal might be to increase your revenue by 15% by the end of the next calendar year. This goal is specific, it’s measurable, and for most businesses, it is also a realistic target.

Without these defined goals you will spend time with the coach deciding on them. For most of us, this is a waste of time because we could decide them by ourselves with just the smallest amount of effort.

By taking the initiative before starting to hire you can figure out precisely what you want to attain so that you can pick an individual that can guide you there.

Not doing this is a common mistake, which can lead people to pick the wrong coach. Often people decide they want help any they hire a person who believes that they can help them increase their revenue. But if the client decides that their goal is actually to reduce marginal costs, they probably hired the wrong person.

What Do You Want to Gain from a Coach?

Now that you have your goals in front of you, you can more easily decide what you want to gain from the person that you’re paying for. Again, be as specific as possible so that you can quiz the candidates and decide who is the best choice.

You might realize that the most significant problem that you need help with is growing your social media following on Facebook and Instagram. In this case, an individual with plenty of experience running social media campaigns would be the obvious choice.

But if you went through the hiring process thinking that you wanted to grow your online presence you might end up with a coach that specializes in paid advertising rather than social media.

Hopefully, you can see the vast difference and understand why it’s far more advantageous to be as detailed as possible in your approach.

Choosing a Business Coach

You know what you want, where you want to go and what you expect from the person that you’re hiring, now it’s time to start the search.

You shouldn’t have to look far to find an array of candidates offering their services; a simple Google search will return thousands and business directories provide even more.

But the key to hiring a candidate is in the efficiency with which you can filter, screen and interview. With thousands to choose from it’s unrealistic to interview them all, meaning that you must sift heavily from the start.

Finding Coaches in Your Industry

The most crucial filter should be to only search for coaches that have experience with your industry. By industry, we are referring to the types of products or services that you sell, not the specific problem that you are struggling with.

Top consultants recognize that tactics and strategies might not transfer correctly from niche to niche, meaning that specialized knowledge is vital.

For example; digital marketing for a B2B accounting firm is unlikely to be comparable to for a local cheese maker searching for consumers in their area.

Read Reviews from Previous Clients

Famous consultants who have worked with an array of clients in the past should have reviews online on a website like Yelp, Google Reviews, and industry forums. Here you can look at the experiences of those that have worked with them in the past.

Judging consultants based on their results and previous work is the only scientific way of filtering between candidates. After all, you’re investing in their expertise because you want a notable return on that investment.

Sample Their Work

Finally, you should search for a way to sample some of their work. While some consultants will offer a free session or consultation, many don’t, and that’s not a problem.

But there are other ways to sample their work including asking for case studies from past clients, reading their blog and looking for articles they have written.

Understanding their approach to problems and reading about their past efforts and recommendations can give you a unique insight into how they might be useful for your business.



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