I am often asked questions about Business Coaching – such as, how does coaching work? What do Coaches actually do? And, are they worth the money? In this article I will explain more about how I go about coaching, and hopefully provide some answers.
What is business coaching?
Business coaching for me is about helping you win the ‘game of business’. Nobody sets the rules of business, and running your business can be a difficult, frustrating and lonely journey. Coaching provides support and experience from the sidelines, or a route map when trying to navigate the road of business. It’s all about helping to get you where you want to be!
Whether you have BIG goals that you want to achieve as quickly as you can, or you’ve hit a wall and don’t know how to take the next step forward, bringing on a professional business coach is one of the most effective options you have available.
How does coaching work?
This is my tried and trusted approach to coaching, which is broken down into 3 steps:
First and foremost, you need to be clear on what it is you want to achieve both personally and within the business. This is all about setting long term goals, and putting plans in place that will enable you to achieve those goals.
Your coach will help you get real clarity on your vision for the business, and also how you want your life to be. We’ll look at questions such as:
- What do you want the business turnover to be in 5 years?
- How big a team do you need to achieve that?
- What role do you want to ultimately have in the business, if any?
- What lifestyle do you want to lead?
- When do you want to retire, and how are you going to fund your lifestyle when you do?
Most business owners don’t have big enough aspirations and don’t think longer term, as they are too bogged down in the day-to-day dramas of running the business. But as a business owner, you should be looking at your business as an appreciating asset that you can sell to fund your lifestyle, should you wish to. Working with a coach will help you to change your mindset and get real clarity on the future, and the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
Now you have your vision and goals, and a route map of how you’re going to reach those goals, you will need help to create detailed and structured plans to achieve those goals. Your plans should identify the strategies (actions) needed to enable the goals to be achieved, and who will be responsible for these actions. You need to get your team on board, and include them in the planning process!
To help you become a better business owner/manager and really lead your business towards the success you desire, it’s important to develop your own skills, as well as that of your team. You can’t be an expert at all aspects of business, but you need to have a good overview, and get support where you need it.
As a coach, I encourage the business owners I work with to read as many business books as they can, watch webinars or videos and attend my business mastery workshops. There are many skills in a business you need to master but the 5 fundamental ones are:
- Marketing – How to generate a consistent flow of new leads into your business.
- Sales – How to convert these leads into sales and ensure your customers stay with you and buy as much as they can.
- Finance – How to get to grips with the numbers and use them to motivate staff, make better decisions about the business and attract eventually attract investors/buyers.
- Operations – Understand exactly how your business functions, where the weaknesses in processes and bottlenecks are, and how to use systems to improve efficiency and accountability.
- Team – How to build a great team who can eventually run your business for you. For this you will need to learn how to recruit, induct, motivate, discipline and remove people.
In addition to this you will need to learn how to become a Managing Director, Business Owner and Investor. All these skills can take many years to master. This is why the best time to start learning is NOW!
Once you have the goals, the plans and the knowledge, it’s important to keep focus and motivation to ensure you stay on track. You will frequently be faced with overcoming obstacles and challenges, as the road to success in business is seldom smooth. This is where the benefits of a Business Coach really come into their own, as they will make sure you are held accountable to your action plan and are heading in the right direction. They can offer their experience and guidance to help you navigate the bumps in the road.
Many successful business people such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Eric Schmidt all had a Business Coach. None of them needed one, but they chose to have one. Why? Because they knew that building a business is a tough and lonely pursuit, and having somebody at your side helping you along the way is worth the investment.
So now hopefully I’ve answered some questions you may have, I have a question for you – what are you waiting for? .
Take the next step and contact a qualified business coach – in fact, make that a goal!