Find the Right Business Coach For Your Success

ICW14WebHeaderMay 19-25 is International Coaching week. Business, executive and life coaching are interesting blends of skills and practices that have been around for centuries.
The position of “coach” of course is almost always first associated with athletics and that model gives some insights that transfer to coaching in business and life skills areas. Not too long ago, the label of “consultant” would have been attached to almost anyone who signs on to help a business. But a coach takes the relationship deeper.

A good coach can be extremely beneficial to a small business, but you need to have a good idea of your needs before you hit Google and start searching for someone. Let me give you three scenarios that would call for coaches with different strengths.

Startup coach. There are three different kinds of entrepreneurs: the first-time entrepreneur, the successful serial entrepreneur and the unsuccessful serial entrepreneur. All but the second could benefit from a startup coach.

There are special skills required to get a startup off to a strong start. Very often people with great ideas will dive into starting a business and find that the only thing they really have is the original great idea. A good startup coach can help “fill in the blanks” and transform the business owner from just the idea person into the savvy manager.

Productivity/profitability coach. After they’ve been rolling along for a while, some small business owners find that they are working really hard, but failing to grow the bottom line. Major corporations always have a “fixer” on the payroll. It’s the person who can go into a situation, find the waste, fine tune the sales and marketing and get more revenue flowing to the bottom line.

If this describes your situation, you need to find a coach experienced in turnaround efforts. It is a special skill set and working with this person will increase your small business IQ dramatically in a short period of time. Your eyes will be opened.

Growth coach. Perhaps you’re doing okay, but sense that it’s time for a growth spurt. This can cause some small business owners to get very nervous; they are accustomed to having every aspect of their business close at hand. Expansion often means giving up some direct, day-to-day control.  A coach experienced in growing businesses can help you make the transformation from on-site manager to CEO of a bigger organization.

These general categories share certain skills and you may find a business coach who can work with you through all of these phases; someone with a depth of experience will probably have the tools.

However, when you begin to zero in on a coach and start to check references, be sure you’re talking to people who were initially in a situation similar to yours when they started to work with the coach under consideration. By the way, make sure the coach helped them successfully navigate out of that situation!

Check out professional organizations such as International Coach Federation, Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, SCORE and others. They help you know that your prospective coach has a strong commitment to the coaching professSponsored by AT&Tion.