Getting a Business Coach: How to Find a Good Fit

As an entrepreneur, business owner or manager, you should be constantly looking for opportunities for growth. Having an experienced business mentor who can give you advice and guide your professional development can help you get the most out of your business and work towards meaningful goals. It is important to seek out potential business coaches whose experience and skills align with your ideal career trajectory so that you can receive the best guidance for your situation.

 

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What is a business coach?

A business coach is an experienced professional who works to cultivate your strengths and help you develop professionally. They share their experience as a businessperson and discuss insights into how different choices might impact your career. Business coaches ask their mentees questions and host discussions to help both aspiring entrepreneurs and established professionals clarify what they want from their career and set goals for their business. They specialize in growing people’s leadership skills, confidence and accountability.

Related: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Executive Coaching

 

Benefits of hiring a business coach

Hiring a business coach is an investment in your business’s success and your ability to drive continued growth. Working with a business coach gives you an expert perspective on your abilities as a businessperson that you can leverage for a range of personal and professional benefits:

 

Strategic support

As you become more successful, it may be harder to find a professional support system. While entry and mid-level employees have a variety of peers they interact with every day, top-level company leaders may not have easy access to people who have similar skills and experience. Hiring a business coach connects you with someone who understands the challenges of being a leader and can give you strategic advice on overcoming challenges.

 

Expert insights

An ideal business coach will have plenty of experience in your field and can use their experience navigating the business world to give you situation-specific advice. Experienced coaches have handled a range of professional challenges throughout their career, giving you an inside perspective on how to respond in stressful, challenging and unexpected situations. Business coaches can also give you access to their professional network, connecting you with people who have the right expertise to take your business to the next level.

 

Increased self-awareness

Hiring a mentor to help you improve your business and leadership acumen can make you more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, wants and needs. Business coaches provide you with honest, constructive feedback on your mindset, business strategies and general leadership skills. If you are unsure about what success means to you, talking to a business coach can clarify your values and what you hope to gain from running a business. Your discussions with a business coach have the potential to improve your self-awareness in all aspects of business including the way you interact with others and how you self-manage at work.

Related: Boost Performance with Coaching Management

 

Ability to identify opportunities

Business coaches are experts at identifying opportunities for growth and new avenues for success. They can make you aware of opportunities that you may not have recognized or considered without outside suggestion. Business coaches can also help you create your own opportunities in situations where you feel professionally stifled or lost. As your business mentor, business coaches can personalize their coaching strategy to your specific business, helping you pursue new leads or research potential changes to your business practices.

 

Improved accountability

Meeting regularly with a mentor helps keep you accountable to the goals you set for yourself. Running a business can be busy and stressful, and it is easy to push your own professional development to the side and to focus on immediate priorities. Business coaches give you deadlines on completing certain goals and keep you accountable if you don’t prioritize your own business goals.

 

Encouragement

Business coaches encourage you to take risks and make business moves that you’re excited about. Part of their role is to build your confidence and help you develop the skills you need to make smart business movies. The empowering relationship you have with your business coach can provide you with the motivation to trust your instincts and pursue growth and change.

 

What to look for in a good business coach

When trying to find a business coach, it is important to vet their qualifications and ensure that they have the right perspective and business experience to provide appropriate mentorship. Excellent business coaches can have a range of approaches and strategies, but they should have these basic qualifications:

  • Industry experience: Business coaches should have a strong resume of business experience in your industry or the industry you want to pursue.
  • Positive attitude: Because business coaches provide feedback and mentorship, they should have a positive attitude and a calm demeanor.
  • Honesty and direct expectations: Quality business coaches are clear about how much time they can devote to you and what you can expect from the coaching relationship.

 

How to find the right business coach for you

Everyone’s business goals are different, and you should only work with a business coach that suits your needs and aligns with your learning style. Follow these steps to find a business coach who can complement your needs and help you grow long-term:

 

1. Set personal goals

Make a list of your personal goals for meeting with a business coach and use these goals as a guide when researching potential business coaches. Knowing what you hope to get out of the relationship can help you determine if various candidates can fill that need.

 

2. Assess your business

Small business owners who want to grow and open a second location for their company need a different level of guidance than entrepreneurs who are trying to expand their startup internationally. Assess the stage of your business and determine what kind of coaching you need to implement your business strategy.

 

3. Research online

Learn as much as you can about each potential business coach by reading through the material on their website and researching their web presence. Reviews, testimonials and mission statements can give you insight into the coach’s methods and values before meeting with them.

 

4. Interview potential coaches

Ideally, you’ll have an ongoing relationship with your business coach, so it is important to select a coach who you can get along with and suits your personality. Interview potential coaches and look for someone who you have a good rapport with.

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Frequently asked questions about business coaches

How much does it cost to hire a business coach?

The cost of a business coach can vary, with some coaches charging hourly rates for consultations and others offering consistent support for a monthly fee. The cost can vary by industry and experience level, but it tends to average $150 to $350 per hour.

Is a business coach worth it?

If you invest your time and energy into working with a business coach, you can get a significant return on your initial investment of hiring an advisor.

What are the three types of coaching styles?

There are three main types of coaching in business: democratic, autocratic and holistic. Democratic coaches seek input before giving advice, while autocratic coaches provide direct orders. Holistic coaches focus on your overall wellbeing as a method for driving overall success.

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