How to Choose a Business Coach

Choosing the right business coach is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner.

Let’s face it, only failures need coaches right?

If that’s what you think, it’s time to think again…

Olympic athletes have sports coaches.

Multi-platinum selling album singers have singing and vocal coaches.

CEOs of multi-national companies have executive coaches, life coaches and business mentors.

In fact if you were to investigate the daily routines of highly successful individuals in the world today, you may be surprised to find that most of them have received some form of assistance from a coach or mentor.

Having a coach has become a symbol of success. Like owning a Rolex.

Pursuing Business Success

You wouldn’t say your in business to fail would you?

I doubt that.

Most people start a business to achieve personal freedom; whether that’s financial freedom or the freedom to control how they use their time.

Once on that path, they realise there is something bigger at play. Something that is beyond personal success.

The path to success can be very personal and is certainly different for everyone and the assistance you need from a business coach needs to be unique to you.

That means the people and coaches you surround yourself with need to fit in with what you need and want.

This is where choosing the right business coach becomes critical.

A Business Coach is there to do One Thing Only – To Help You Get Results

Good Business Coaches Work By The Numbers

The first thing that most people do when selecting a coach is to look for someone that they like. Someone who is nice and says kind things about them.

In the 80s these types of people were called “Yes Men”. Individuals who always agreed with you and told you how fantastic you were. It was these types of people who hid all the bad news which lead in some cases to the collapse of major companies.

A business coach should never be a “Yes Man”.

The best way a business coach can be supportive to your business is to use numbers and metrics to highlight what’s not working and help you apply strategies to get you back on track and get results.

What Makes a Good Business Coach?

The type of person you want as a business coach is someone who…

  • Has a track record for getting the types of results you want
  • Specialises in the problem areas you are challenged with
  • Has been in business themselves or a business coach longer than you’ve been in business
  • Is a member of a respected coaching association
  • Holds you accountable for your actions
  • Encourages you to greater ambitions
  • Is coaching other businesses that are succeeding
  • You Respect and who respects you
  • Demonstrates their knowledge of business in the way they communicate
  • Has masses of resources that they willing share with you
  • Is reliable, dependable and behaves professionally
  • You Trust and you know will keep your confidence
  • Can connect you with new business opportunities
  • Is honest with you and demonstrates integrity
  • Believes in you, is on your side and wants you to succeed
  • Encourages you to celebrate and be proud of your successes
  • Protects your interests through discretion and never shares information about you

How To Pick a Good Business Coach

Speak With Them

Great business coaches are motivated and inspired by the success of their clients. They are driven to get results for business owners who want to succeed. So if they publish or advertise a phone number pick up the phone and call them.  Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs. There’s a famous business saying “Hire Slow, Fire Fast” that applies to employees, but it’s just as essential when you’re considering consultants, business advisers, mentors and a business coach.

Ask questions, get answers and get closer to a decision.

Choosing a business coach isn’t something you can expect to do overnight. It does take time and consideration because it will be an important relationship in the history of your business.

You may also want to open your mind to the idea that you and your business actually need more than one business coach because of the highly specialised nature of your business or industry.

These are things that a one-to-one conversation will help expose; and also give you greater clarity about what’s important to you about the type and style of business coaching that is best for you.

Investigate Them

The way you find out if a particular business coach measures up, is to start by finding out what other people are saying about them.

  • Look for testimonials on their website or in any marketing materials they provide.
  • Read what other people have said about them online in blogs and social media.
  • Ask them to give you the names & contact details for three clients they currently coach and find out what they have to say about their coach.
  • Find out if the business coach has any case studies from their work with clients (the client-coach relationship may prevent them from having information like this, but ask anyway).
  • Search online to see if they’ve been quoted or published in newspapers, magazines, journals or books. As well as checking for any media appearances on radio or television, where they have been interviewed on business issues or on business coaching.
  • Look also for affiliations, association memberships, certificates and awards they have won or been nominated for.

 As you’re investigating, begin to think about filtering out individuals who aren’t measuring up or miss the mark.

Experience Them For Yourself

Many business coaches offer a free business review and coaching session that they conduct before you start coaching sessions. They use these consultations to find out about you and your business so that they can properly assess what style and type of coaching they’ll need to provide you.

You should use the consultation to find out a few things about them too.

Ask them to tell you about what drove them to become a business coach and what they did before. Find out whether they specialise in the areas that you really want assistance with as well as if they have the resources, knowledge and experience that makes you feel confident that they can help.

Ask the business coach to explain how they conduct coaching sessions and what sort of availability they have, to see if it meets with your expectations.

If the business coach runs introductory seminars attend one to get a sense of the type of person they are and whether they sound like they know what they’re talking about.

Increasingly coaches are offering materials, like whitepapers, webinars and online coaching programs for free to help business owners. Read, watch or listen to these free samples so that you get to experience their style of coaching.

Choosing Your Business Coach

Once you’ve done some research, it’s time to narrow the field and make your decision (you can always change your mind later if it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped). How you decide depends entirely on your process of making decisions.

Some make a list of the ’Pros and Cons’ for each candidate and tally up to decide a winner. Others imagine what it would be like to have a session one-on-one with each candidate and some go for what their ’gut’ tells them is right.

No matter how you go about your decision making process, once you’ve made a decision you must act on it… Because it is your actions that matter most in the pursuit of business success.