Frederick, MD (PressExposure) December 16, 2009 -- Business coach? The emergence of business coaching is helping many small, local businesses in this challenging economy. Yet, the concept of coaching, outside the athletic arena, is still a fairly new one, particularly in the business world.
Once a luxury as a resource affordable only to Fortune 5000 companies, business coaching is now accessible to even solo practitioners. But what is business coaching anyway?
Is it a financial advisor/tax consultant who can show business owners how to be more profitable? Are they sales coaches who teach business owners, many who do not have sales as a background, how to sell? Or are they management consultants who teach business owners how to run their operations more efficiently?
The answer is that a business coach can be one, some or all of the above. And for the small business owner seeking out the guidance of a business coach, it's important to know exactly what it is you are getting.
"The three areas most critical to a small business owner are time, team and money. In other words, how you budget your time, how you manage your staff and/or operation and how you manage/make your money," said Karen Boyd, an ActionCOACH business coach. "When hiring a business coach, the small business owner needs to determine the areas where they need assistance and hire somebody who can address those areas."
So what should business owners look for in a business coach? What should business owners hope to get out of working with a business coach? Here are some guidelines for business owners interested in hiring a business or executive coach:
â¢ Working smarter - One of the more important things a business owner can get from working with a coach is to optimize his or her time; working smarter. A time management evaluation and plan should be part of the package with definitive steps for improvement put in place.
â¢ Increasing sales - The most obvious reason for working with a coach is to increase profits. Working with a business coach should not only include a plan of how to increase sales, but a clear timetable of by how much and by when and within the structure of your organization.
â¢ The bottom line - Increasing sales is great, but it doesn't automatically translate to profitability. You want to work with a business coach who can look at the entire financial picture--sales, operations, etc.
â¢ Inspiration or exasperation? A business coach should be a mentor and motivator for business owner. When looking for a coach, be sure it's somebody you can work with. Find out about their background. A certain level of trust and respect is needed to successfully work with a coach and the business owner should at the very least have references from the coach so they can make an informed decision.
â¢ Accountability - Only work with a coach who will hold you, the business owner, accountable. A business coach should work with you to create goals and objectives. Those require actions and deliverables on the part of the business owner. As a business owner, that's what you want.
"To get results out of a coaching relationship requires accountability on the part of the coach and the business owner," said Everardo Recendiz, an ActionCOACH out of Shreveport, Louisiana. "It's the job of the coach to work with the business owner to come up with goals and deadlines for actions and deliverables. It's the business owner's job to meet those deadlines. Success or failure of the coaching relationship really comes down to the commitment of the business owner."