Business coaching looks to help business owners and their teams thrive. Supporting both the working on your business (putting plans and strategies in place) and in your business (the day-to-day work), coaching can help you move your business forward.
How can a business coach help me?
Starting and running a business is a learning experience for everyone. Getting support, guidance and accountability along the way can make all the difference. Business coaches help their clients explore their strengths, build on their weaknesses and learn new skills to help them excel.
A business coach could help you by offering an external, objective and constructive perspective. Business is a broad subject and you’ll find coaches who specialise in different areas.
In this video, life and business coach Oli Anderson tells us three ways business coaching can help you get your business where you want it to go.
Do I need a business coach?
If there are certain areas of your business that you're struggling with, or you'd simply like the support and guidance of someone unbiased, you might benefit from business coaching. Here we look at some reasons you might decide to hire a business coach:
You want to improve your communication skills
Communication skills are paramount in business. Good communication skills don't come naturally to all of us, however. Shyness, low self-confidence and feelings of inferiority can hold people back. A business coach can help to unpick the root of your communication difficulties. They can help you navigate self-doubt and support you to feel confident and clear as you communicate.
You want to start a new business
Start-up business coaching offers much-needed support, guidance and expertise for new entrepreneurs. Start-ups can be risky with nearly half failing within the first three years. With an experienced coach on board, you’ll have guidance and support along the way and any pitfalls could be minimised.
You want to improve your interviewer skills
Interviewing potential employees can be daunting. How do you know how to get the best out of someone? What are the right questions to ask? How do you know if an individual really will fit into your company? A business coach can make the whole process clearer and less nerve-wracking by teaching you practical skills to become an effective interviewer.
You need to make key changes and decisions
For businesses to merge, expand or change in structure, careful decisions are necessary. It can be hard to see your business as a whole, especially if you have an emotional bond with it. Staying true to your original aims is important, but so is recognising when changes are needed.
As well as supporting you during the transitional period, business coaching aims to offer a completely objective outlook. Sometimes a decision is easier to make if an impartial perspective can be considered.
You need help managing a team
Managing a team can be incredibly hard work. Firstly, you have to be very perceptive - how do you identify and utilise everybody's strengths? How do you get everyone to work as well as they can together?
Secondly, you have to be confident and seen as a leader. Some coaches specialise in leadership skills, helping you to support the progress of your team and the business.
What is team coaching?
Team coaching is a type of coaching often used by executives, managers, and members of a team. Together with your colleagues, you work with a single team coach to improve your performance, efficiency, and cohesion. The coaching helps you reach your shared workplace goals together.
You need help with setting boundaries and your work/life balance
It's easy to get carried away at work, especially if a project demands lots of time and effort. If you're finding it difficult to find a healthy balance between work and home life, then a business coach could help. By prioritising tasks, implementing time frames and developing time-management skills, you could soon find you have time to give your family, friends, hobbies and work the attention they're due.
You need motivation
The problem with motivation is that it can be short-lived. We might wake up on Monday raring to go and get started on new projects, but by Wednesday that enthusiasm can wane. Business coaches can help motivate you to keep going by introducing short-term goals and encouraging you to see your successes.
A coach can also teach you how to motivate yourself so that if things become difficult, you can find the strength to get up, get out and get going with the day.
How long does business coaching take?
The number of sessions needed will depend on your coach and on what you’re seeking help with. Generally, though, business coaches work with their clients for between six to 18 months.
The sessions end when goals have been reached, or whenever the client wishes. Coaches aim to work at their client's pace and shouldn’t rush any decisions, or take longer than necessary to work on a project.
How much does business coaching cost?
The price you can expect to pay depends on a number of factors, including:
- Location - if your business is located in the centre of a city, coaching fees may be higher.
- The complexity of your needs - if you're hiring a coach to come in and help you re-organise your multinational corporation, it is likely to cost you more than a session to improve presentation skills.
- Experience of a coach - if you're looking to hire a coach with decades of experience, they may cost more than newly qualified coaches.
- The number of clients - group coaching is typically cheaper than one-to-one coaching.
How do I know which coach to choose?
It is essential to have a good rapport with your business coach - after all, you will be working with them closely. The best way to know if a business coach is right for you is to look at their experience, see if their values align with yours, meet with them and trust your instincts.
Often coaches will offer an introduction or chemistry call, free of charge. This is a short conversation to discuss your needs and get to know the coach better. This can help you ensure that you're hiring the right coach for you.