With so many business coaches on the scene, one must ask, how can I
find the best business coach for me and my business?
Likewise, if you are entering the coaching market, you must ask,
how can I be the best business coach for my clients?
The following is my opinion based on past and present experiences as well as my advice in regard to finding and being the best business coach.
What is a Business Coach?
A business coach is someone who will guide you in the process of making decisions in your business. Don’t expect them to give you all the answers. You still have to do the work. A coach will share their experiences and knowledge to help you make the decisions you need to make to move the needle forward in your business.
A good business coach will ask questions of you and bring things to your attention so that you can take effective action. Sometimes there is a focus on mindset. Other times a focus on technical systems and processes, and yet other times, content creation and relationship building. The topics a business coach can help you navigate are endless. The knowledge of each business coach is going to be specific to the industry they work in and the experiences they’ve had within their business.
Why Hire a Business Coach?
As humans, we aren’t meant to do things alone. When we try, we often become overwhelmed and frustrated and in return procrastinate. We often invest in tools that we see others using and think they’ll solve our problems and yet we get no results.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you might want to hire a business Coach:
You are stuck in a place of inaction and procrastination.
A business coach can help you identify what is holding you back. They will push you out of a state of fear or inaction to make progress in your business.
You want to start a business but don’t know where to begin.
The best business coach is the person that can share all of the action steps they took to build their business. They can give you the guidance you need to start at point a and get to point b. Starting a business can be very challenging, overwhelming, frustrating, and expensive if not done right. You can invest a lot of time and money for no results if you don’t plan accordingly and take the right steps in the right order. You must lay the foundation first.
A business coach can serve as a sounding board or as a guide for which action steps you need to take and in which order. She will provide advice, but also ask the questions you need to consider, things you may not have thought of.
You know you have gifts to share but you aren’t sure what they are or how you can use them to build a business.
We don’t know what we don’t know. How cliché, right? However, the truth is, we often have a gift or talent or knowledge that we don’t recognize as being such. A business coach is an asset for helping us recognize our strengths and put them into play for creating a business, serving others, and making money.
You are struggling with creating content that resonates with your ideal audience.
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help us identify our niche and ideal audience. We might think we know who they are, but we aren’t connecting with the right people and therefore we aren’t getting clients. If you are putting in hours and hours of effort but not getting results, it’s time to hire someone to help you discover the problem.
You don’t know how to sell or do marketing.
Some business coaches have sales expertise and can help you work through your fear of selling. They will help you understand how to sell with ease and grace so that you don’t feel sleazy. There are ways to sell without selling and business coaches whose specialty is in sales will be able to guide you to sell with confidence.
You aren’t tech-savvy.
Similarly, to not liking sales, some of us aren’t tech savvy and need guidance to know what systems we need to put in place and how to create processes to help our business run on automation or to streamline tasks. Believe it or not, there are business coaches who specialize in coaching entrepreneurs on how to up level their business by using tools, systems, and processes. Implementing these will enable you to run your business on autopilot should you have to step away for a time.
Such coaches may specialize in creating funnels or teaching how to do Facebook ads or even organizing your business finances.
Coaches Were Right Where You Are A Short Time Ago
That’s right! There is a coach out there who was right where you are three years ago, more or less, and has all of the information you need. She is waiting for you to hire her to be able to teach you everything you need to know. In fact, the best business coach has learned through experience and can teach everything they learned from their mistakes to what worked.
If you are questioning if you should hire a business coach, here is an article on Forbes.com that you may find helpful.
Things to Consider When You Want to Hire the Best Business Coach for Your Business
Now that we’ve reviewed the reasons you might want to hire a business coach, let’s look at how to hire the best business coach for you and your business.
Not all business coaches are equal. Some have great personalities that you are going to feel comfortable with, and others are going to have personalities that turn you off immediately. You might not fit into the description of some coaches’ ideal avatars, thus the importance of a discovery call before committing.
If you are a person who needs to be pushed and held accountable for action, the best business coach for you is going to be someone who takes charge and will hold you accountable. She will ask why you didn’t accomplish the tasks you discussed and push you to do the work.
Likewise, if you are someone who is sensitive and needs a more gentle nudge, you might feel more aligned with a coach that asks the right questions but isn’t as forceful.
Mindset without action equals stagnant.
You have to be willing to take action or hiring a coach will not solve your problems. However, if it’s a push and accountability you need to take action, and hire a coach!
Values, Faith, Authenticity
If you are considering hiring a coach, you want to be sure that your values align. If you are a Christian, for example, you might not work well with someone who bases their coaching on astrology, the moon, or crystals and vice versa.
You want to be sure that no matter what you need help with accomplishing, your coach is going to be aligned with your faith and values. If you don’t agree with your coach’s values, you aren’t going to trust them. You will question their values and their intentions and suggestions. Hire a coach who is not only aligned with you but is truly authentic. If the person you see on social media isn’t the person on the discovery call it’s a red flag.
Why? Because you will be challenged to trust and respect her if she isn’t representing her true self online.
Your relationship with your coach has to be built on trust or working together will not advance your business.
You must consider the cost and value of a business coach. If you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, who is going to be willing to invest in you and your business?
I’m a firm believer that a good business coach is going to give you a return on investment, and pretty quickly. If you don’t see an ROI, then you aren’t doing the work, or the coach isn’t as good as you thought they were.
Before signing on the dotted line, be sure that the cost is aligned with the value you will get from the coaching program. You aren’t going to pay $10K for one month of coaching if you aren’t going to see a substantial amount of growth in your business or have new-found skills that will launch your business into a $10K+ month the following month.
If the coach’s expertise lies in the area that you need help with, you should be able to see an ROI. It is truly an investment of time and money. Don’t go for the least expensive coach just because you really want to hire a coach. Hire the coach whose price aligns with your budget, but whose services are most aligned with what you need to advance your skills, improve your mindset, and help your business grow.
If you are thinking that there is no way you can afford a coach, think again. The best business coach is worth their weight in gold.
How to Pay for a Business Coach
Ideas for Coming up with Money to Pay a Coach
Don’t have the cash to pay for the coaching program upfront? No worries! There are creative ways to come up with money.
✓Sell items in your home that you don’t use and don’t need
✓Borrow from a family member
✓Ask about a payment plan
✓Use a credit card
✓A small business loan
Let me assure you that I am not a fan of owing anyone money, but if you truly need a business coach to make a difference in your business, then you will make enough in the coming months to be able to pay back the loan or pay off the credit card.
Not having the money is not an excuse for not hiring the coach that you desperately need. In fact, you are doing more harm to your business by not hiring the coach and you will ultimately lose more than you would be spending on the business coach.
I’m not sold on the fact that a business coach needs credentials. Yes, credentials are good, but if you hire a coach who is in your field of expertise, you are going to learn more from their experience and mistakes than you are from classes they took. This can be specific to your niche or area of expertise. There may be some areas of work where credentials are more important than others.
But keep in mind, credentials don’t make a person who they are or determine their success. Hard work, innate gifts, and the desire to serve can often be more valuable than a credential. If someone is touting credentials, research the credentials and confirm that the credentials add value to hiring that person as your business coach. If they don’t, and the investment is higher because of the credentials, consider finding more coaches to interview.
Read more about credentials here.
When evaluating someone to hire as a business coach, research their outcomes. It might as simple as asking for references or viewing testimonials on LinkedIn or their website. There are times when there may not be monetary results but instead significant mindset shifts or other valuable items that transform a client’s business. Be mindful of this when considering the testimonials and the results you are seeking.
In my opinion, the best business coach will work with you on both mindset and business skills. She will ask the right, and hard, questions, and not only help but make you think deeply about your goals and values for your business.
What is the time investment for the program the coach is offering? How often will you meet? Will the program be for 3 months or 6 months? What expectations are there outside of the time spent with the coach? Is the coach offering availability between live or virtual coaching sessions for questions and answers via email, text, or Voxer? Does the time demand on you align with your availability? If the time expectations are not aligned and now you have to juggle childcare or take time off work, etc., you’ll need to factor this into your decision.
Note, that a six-month coaching program may seem like a long time but the reality is the six months fly by, and you’ll find that the time is always filled with a question or problem that needs solving or you need guidance on.
How to Be the Best Business Coach
Such a good question. What makes a coach the best coach?
Align Your Expertise with Your Ideal Client
Know your niche and who your ideal client is. If you don’t, you will become frustrated and you will not enjoy working with the people hiring you and you will not be able to serve them effectively. You will both feel like time, and money is being wasted.
Create a Program
One of the first steps to becoming the best business coach is to create a program that you believe in and that you know will serve your clients. At the end of the day, you have to produce results or help your client achieve results, or you won’t receive testimonials or referrals. Likewise, if you aren’t seeing outcomes, you will become frustrated and not enjoy the work.
Outline the needs of your client and how you can help them. Describe all of this on your website so that your ideal client doesn’t have to search for what you provide and how they can work with you.
Represent yourself authentically so that your potential clients can get to know you and trust you. Don’t try to get every client, you want clients that align with your values. You will not be an effective coach if you are trying to be who you think the client wants you to be. Deciding your ideal avatar upfront will help you stay true to your authentic self and to your goals. This will also help you attract only those people who will align with your personality, values, and goals for your business.
This can be a tricky subject. You want to be paid for the value you provide, but you also can’t look at it as an hourly rate. What will the end result be when a client works with you? Will you save them time, money, overwhelm, and frustration? After working with you will they attract more clients and make more money? What industry or industries are your ideal clients working in? How much are their clients paying them?
Your pricing is not about you, it is about your clients and their perceived value for your service and expertise.
If you aren’t in a specific industry but working with the same type of people, i.e. I work with women moving into their second phase to begin a journey in entrepreneurship, identify a common denominator. For example, earnings, clients, and size of businesses, that you can use as a reference to establish your ideal client avatar and your prices.
Be prepared for people to say they cannot afford your services.
Use the ideas for coming up with the money that I mentioned above to coach your potential clients on how to come up with the money. Do this, especially for those who are aligned with your values and are the right fit for your services, but really for anyone. Everyone needs a business coach so you will be helping them and doing so may turn into referrals later.
Remember, you don’t want to overprice your services so that people won’t hire you. But you also don’t want to be the lowest-priced person because you’ll attract clients who don’t value your expertise. This will cause you to become frustrated and disheartened.
People tend to see higher prices as having more value, so if you want to charge more, don’t be afraid to do so as long as you are providing the expected value.
People want to work with people they connect with, but also who will push them to new levels, help them grow, make more money, and also who are compassionate. I’ve found that being empathetic and intuitive is a huge advantage. It helps with heading off excuses and keeping my clients on track for taking consistent intentional action.
Get to Know Your Clients First
When someone hires a coach, they are doing so because they realize they need help, but they don’t always know what help they need. It helps tremendously to be curious and to ask the right questions as you work with your clients. Ask questions upfront in the form of a questionnaire. Research and get to know about the person, their business, and their line of work. The more you know about them, the better you will be able to identify what their problems are and how you can help them.