As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your business and take it to the next level. Whether your considering taking on staff, expanding into new areas or potentially taking on a new client there’s always a multitude of considerations to be made.
One avenue you could consider would be to hire a business coach. A coach can offer valuable guidance, experience, support and expertise that can help you achieve your goals and overcome objections.
However, the consideration to hire a coach is not one that should be made in a whim. There are many factors to consider, including the potential investment, benefits and time commitment involved.
In this article we will discuss what a business coach dues and explore the key considerations involved in deciding whether or not to hire a business coach. By weighing the pros and cons and considering your own unique circumstances and goals, you can make an informed decision that will help you and your business succeed.
What exactly does a business coach do?
In simple terms a business coach can help you set your goals and achieve them faster, make better and clearer decisions and help you to improve your business relationships. As experts in business they will have a wealth of knowledge to get you to where you want to be.
Let’s say you want to get to £1M turnover as quickly as possible. At the moment you’re on around £100k. How much would you be willing to invest to get expert help to achieve that goal quickly while making less errors along the way?
It’s a universal truth that very few of us have the discipline to keep going with our planned goals on our own. Things just ‘get in the way’ and very quickly we can be knocked off course. A business coach can and will help you stay on track. They will offer you advice and guidance from their own and others experience. Some will also offer a Done For You service although this will usually be at additional and considerable cost.
But there is an investment to consider. Ranging from a few hundred pounds per month to well over £1000pcm you need to ensure that you have the initial capital to fund your venture until their advice starts to pay back into your bottom line.
Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Working With a Business Coach
As previously mentioned there is a considerable investment to be considered when thinking about business coaching. The costs are not necessarily just financial, there is often the time and emotional investment which should not be overlooked. When you engage with a business coach you should be in it 100%. Any less will limit any results you get along the process.
What you are paying for (amongst other things) is someone to kick you’re a*se when needed, help you pick yourself up when times get hard and to give you advice in order to get you to where you want to be much quicker. What you’re not paying for, unless they offer a Done For You service, is someone to do the work for you. This must be completely understood as your work load will increase considerably. And your coach will expect the work to be done by the time you next meet/talk. Failure to do the work will be seen as a waste of time for you both, and there’s a likelihood that they will have a waiting list of clients if they are good at what they do.
The purpose of hiring a coach though is to get you to where you want to be faster than you could have gotten there on your own. Or indeed to give you the knowledge and knowhow (and CONFIDENCE!) to run the business you wanted when you first set out. Being at the helm of a business can be a lonely place, having someone along with you on the ride can be worth the investment in itself.
Using the earlier analogy, you may well want your business to turn over in excess of £1M each year. In order to do that there is a likelihood that you won’t be able to get there just on your work. That means hiring staff. It means marketing to higher paying clients. It means streamlining your business activity. It means writing down and rolling out of processes so everyone in the business is doing the same thing in the same way…and much more. More than anything - and an often missed point – it’s a change of mindset. The mindset to scale your business is very different to the mindset that got you started. The mindset to turn over £1M+ is very different to the mindset that got you to £10,000.
Engaging with a business coach can help you in all areas, including the reasons why you want to achieve the goals in the first place. A good coach will help you to see your end goal and help you plan exactly how you’re going to get there. Then, with regular check ins, you will be able to see your plan come to life.
You should expect to work with your coach for around 12-24 months, depending on the task you have set. I started with my business coach in April 2017 and now, almost 6 years later, I still see her to check in and to set the targets and plans for the next few months. This is of considerable cost to me, but I see it as a wise investment as she has ideas and knowledge in different areas that I either don’t know or would be too timely to learn. The ‘cost’ to my coach is saving me well in excess of 20 times that in time and resources.
Alternatives to Coaching: Other Ways to Build Your Skills
If you’re super disciplined you might be able to go it alone, learn the skills you need from YouTube videos and getting advice from social media and the like. This is a tricky way to do it; most of us won’t have the energy to keep going when the time gets tough – and it will – and so having someone there alongside you will be beneficial for almost all of us.
A popular way many of my clients use is an accountability partner. This is someone who might in the same position you are and needs a kick in the backside to ensure stuff gets done. You will meet every week and hold each other to accountable to what you say you’re going to do. Having used an accountability partner a number of times myself its most important that you don’t use a friend or a family member. Do not use someone that’s going to take it easy on you if you report back anything short of what you say you’re going to get done. When choosing an accountability partner you should consider:
· Are they in business?
· Are they hungry for success?
· Do they have the skill set you’re looking for?
· Will they take it easy on you when you don’t get things done?
· Will they make sure the targets you set for yourself are big enough?
· Will they believe in your goals in the same way you do?
This list is by no means exhaustive and many aspects should be considered. An accountability partner can be a very powerful tool when used correctly. The weekly meeting you set should be set in stone, not some flaky ‘if we have time’ or ‘as long as something else doesn’t come up’ sort of deal. The agreement should be that if you cancel on one another then you find someone else. Or even better, have a financial penalty imposed on the canceller. And the most important thing; they must hold you to account and you return the favour. This person – in this role – is not your friend.
They shouldn’t accept excuses nor should you accept any from them. What you set is intended to grow your business or grow yourself as a person. Failure to achieve what you set out to achieve is failing on your end goal, you’re loved ones and yourself. It’s your accountability partner’s job to make sure you know that!
Another excellent free way to grow is ask yourself: who do I hang around with? Are they hungry business owners who are very target driven, love to get stuff done and won’t take excuses from anyone? Or are they people living in some sort of half way life who spends their time in front of the TV every night watching reruns of Devastation Street rather than setting and achieving growth targets.
There is a chance it is the latter, especially if you’ve read this far. Without putting to fine a point on it; it’s time to ditch the drongos.
Studies have revealed that we carry the habits of the 3 or 4 people we hang around with the most. Over time we dress like they do, speak like they do and even have our core beliefs altered to fit in with your closest friends and allies. This is great if we hang around with people that are going to give us the growth mindset, to achieve what it is we’ve set out to achieve. I’m not saying you should ditch all of your friends. But separating yourself from them for a bit and finding new, more inspiring people can help you.
Think; where do they hang around? Are their any clubs or cafés that they might frequent? Where would the kind of person you’re looking for be? It’s worth some serious thought. And the best bit is, when you find them they love sharing with you ideas and success stories. These people love to help and the really successful will fee real joy as you grow and succeed.
If one-to-one coaching is out of your reach you might consider group coaching. There is a fee usually but it is normally a lot less expensive than one-to-one. Plus you have the benefit of the collective experience of the group. Group coaching is one my favourite ways to learn, each and every time I’ve had a problem, set a bit goal or gone with a question someone in the group has done it before and can help out. And you know what, they’re happy to do it. Because you offer the same in return over the months that you work together.
Evaluating the Benefits
Working with a coach is not for everyone. There are a number of alternatives in place to help you succeed in whatever it is your aiming for. Having said that working with a business coach can accelerate you to success, getting you to your goals infinitely faster and in the long run save you tens of thousands of pounds.
Further reading: Jim Rohn: The Keys to Success. Darren Hardy: The Compound Effect. Nigel Botterill: Botty Rules