By: Dr Stephen Treloar (c) 2015 You might be asking, “why do I need a business coach” and “…anyway, what exactly is a business coach.”
OK, let’s first consider what is a Business Coach?
A Business Coach is a person who is NOT an ‘expert’ in your business. You are! As the owner or manager, you know your customers’, you know your suppliers, your competition and the industry. If you like – you’re the ‘expert’ in ‘your business Pty Ltd’. So what help does a Business Coach provide?
Business Coaches are experts on the process of running businesses, including: strategic planning, finance & accounting, marketing (sales, product, price, promotion, distribution), leadership, human resources, and operations. While your focus is on your own business, an experienced Business Coach has seen scores (sometimes hundreds) of different businesses and can ‘see’ what works and what doesn’t.
As the owner or manager, your skills are ‘technical skills of ‘your business Pty Ltd’ while your Business Coach arguably, by virtue of greater experience and training has stronger conceptual and strategic skills. It’s like, your technical ability providing the skill to ‘carefully examine, define and analyse an individual tree’ to that of a Business Coach who can ‘see’ and help re-configure ‘the entire shape of the forest’.
Alternatively, if you like, the Business Coach can help take you on a ‘helicopter ride’ of your business. The old maxim of ‘working on your business, instead of working in your business’ still applies.
So what’s the difference between a Consultant and a Business Coach?
A Consultant will often scope the project, diagnose the problem, consider alternatives and (generally) implement the changes or recommendations.
A Business Coach (as does a coach in a sporting sense) shows the business owner or manager HOW to do it themselves.
Whereas Consultants solve certain problems or issues (or make recommendations), a Business Coach equips the owner or manager to resolve it themselves (and serves as a backup when needed). Many successful Business Coaches have their genesis as a former consultant but later transcend into business coaching. It is also fair to suggest that a Business Coach makes greater reliance on psychological skills, knowledge (and application) of motivational theories, and change management concepts to that of a Consultant.
The 12 Reasons – Why you should use a Business Coach…
You realise that you have not developed a clearly enunciated vision into the future of the business. Where will the business be in 3 and 5 years time, including: revenue projections, bottom-line, financing, cash flow, acquisition strategy, or possibly even an exit strategy (i.e. sale of business)?
You are a business owner or manager and experiencing that lonely feeling at the top. Intuitively, you know it would be good to have someone to act as a ‘sounding board’ to test your ideas, provide new dimensions in thinking, or suggest different paradigms. Maybe even, to hold you accountable for developing plans and milestones – and keeping you ‘honest’ to achieve them.
You have become a ‘captive’ of your business. Instead of the business working for you, you are ‘working’ for your business. This means you are taken away from the more pleasurable pursuits of being a business owner, including maintaining a better work-life balance. Maybe your family life is suffering, and you want more out of being a business owner?
You are “fighting fires” everyday and doing day-to-day tasks without looking ahead to the future and planning for the growth of your business.
Your business has either ‘hit a wall’; maybe you’re experiencing cash-flow problems, and it is “all getting a bit too much.” Every business is different and requires an individual or customised approach. We call this a bespoke approach to coaching.
You need assistance in achieving new and additional business revenue, maybe by increasing your use of the Internet driven e-marketing (e-com), social media, Google, Ad words, SEO, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. It is tantamount to say that if your business is still doing things the same way as it did 10 or even 5 years ago, chances are you are being left behind by your competitors.
Maybe, you are at the start-up stage of business and need assistance in planning and preparing all those things that are necessary. It can be overwhelming, and you need guidance.
Maybe, you have a large project to complete such as: relocation, acquisition, or downsizing project and need assistance. There is much to be done and need some assistance and guidance in considering the options.
You never seem to have sufficient time during the day to do all those things that need to be done. “Everything becomes urgent” and maybe you need some assistance in project management, time management and priority setting (or maybe it is a delegation issue).
There are ‘risk management’ issues of lingering concern, this might include changes to Workplace Health & Safety legislation (what’s my exposure?), general risk management and governance issues.
You have some staffing or human-resource issues? It could be in recruitment, staff performance, employment agreements, dispute matters, in short, any issue involving staffing.
It could be; you are thinking about one day, selling the business, handing the business down to a family member, or maybe even considering a complete career change. There are many options and you need assistance working through them, in order to make the best choice.