Starting a new business brings with it a number of different feelings and emotion. Feelings like excitement, determination, passion, strategy, and of course fun, will certainly come and go in waves. However, there comes a time when the business becomes too much to handle. Two things happen at that stage – either the business folds and vanishes, or owners seek out the assistance of business coaches to help right the ship. In this first post of 2019, we’re going to look at business coaching and why it is such an important element to ensuring that a business runs efficiently at all times. As we get a better understanding as to what business coaching is, we’ll look at the reasons why it is important to have them on your side. While looking at that, we’ll quell the naysayers that are out there saying that the art of business coaching is dead. Grab a seat and cup of coffee, and let’s have a learning session that you’ll surely not want to miss.
What is Business Coaching?
Business coaches, according to Brian Tracy, are “experienced entrepreneurs and business owners themselves who decide to use their talents for building and growing a business to help other business owners reach their goals” (2019). Author Andrew Schlapia provides additional insight as to what business coaches often do. In his blog post, he wrote: “business coaches support professionals who desire major and comprehensive improvements in all aspects of their firm. Collaboration with a coach encourages breakthroughs in change, helps manage evolution, and supports the implementation of desired outcomes” (2015). In truth, the service that firms provide is actually more of a supportive role and their intent is not to take over a business they consult, but rather use their expertise to help make it more successful. In their eyes, the more successful the clients they assist, they more successful they are much in the same.
To be a little more specific, business coaching is a highly specialized service that consulting companies offer. Why is that the case? For starters, with every new client that a consulting firm takes on, different expectations, challenges, hopes, wishes, dreams, and dilemmas are presented that need solutions. When helping clients, their main goal is to train and mentor them. It usually begins with a meeting where the coach will gather data about the business and help them clarify a vision, so that the business can move forward on a positive path of progress. Once that has been completed, a plan and/or vision is developed and the business owner(s) work through them with the aid of the business coach. This is where the majority of time is spent when working with coaches. Once the goals have been obtained or are close to doing so, the business coach transitions into more of a consultant role to assist the owner(s) in keeping on track with the tailor-made plan. Depending on the complexity of the issue(s) being solved and the resources available to have a business coach on board, the time coaches spend with firms can be anywhere from a few weeks to an indefinite period of time. It strictly depends on how complex the situation is and the goals that the clients they serve want to achieve, and in what timeframe.
Importance of Business Coaching
Most entrepreneurs and self-starters feel that they can handle a business on their own and rely on the use of online materials as a guide to help them progress over time. It is quite common that a number of business owners feel that business coaches are a waste of time and don’t serve any purpose other than draining their wallets for advice that can be found elsewhere (Clark, 2018 & Schein, 2015). The truth of the matter, however, is that businesses big and small may need a helping hand once in a while in order to stay relevant and remain healthy.
Now, what are some of the reasons that business coaching is something that a company needs to have as part of their overall strategy? First off, having trusted outside sources available to help grow the business is something a lot of firms don’t necessarily have readily available. Jeff Boss, a guest writer on the Entrepreneur website, brings the point home with this quote: “Anybody can go online and find brainstorming software for free with the goal to generate genius -- that’s the science part. The “art” part, however, is excavating personal values and beliefs that you never knew existed and linking them to your desires and intentions” (2015). As they say in dancing circles, it takes two (or more depending on one’s style) to tango. Having skilled professionals available to ensure that the business stays on track is essential in the diverse business climate we’re in today.
Another talking point here, is the fact that one can only be accountable for themselves for so long. Sometimes, it will take a good, swift, kick in the rump from a seasoned professional to bring someone back in line to be successful. Much like a close friend and/or relative, they’re there to support, guide, and mentor their clients through applying their knowledge and expertise. They should be seen as role models more than anything else, and should be treated with the utmost respect when they have to dish more news that isn’t as pleasant to hear as positive feedback and affirmations might be (Greenstreet, 2019).
Likely the final point to make is the return on the investment that business coaches can provide indirectly. A common misconception with business coaches is that they are going to become a silent partner to the business and help it grow. Remember, business coaches are there to guide, assist, mentor, and support a business and not force any changes or directives. The business owner(s) receiving the coaching are free to choose what they do with the information provided by the coach. In general, Louis Mowbray cited a Fortune article where a conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from coaching, according to Fortune magazine, is that managers describe an average return of more than six times the cost of coaching” (2018). Results will wildly vary from one business to the next based on the effort of the business owner, including the amount of time spent with the coach, and the goals set to be achieved. In short, the benefits of the coach should be looked at more than the cost, provided it is sustainable for the business to budget.
Business coaching is an art that highly-skilled professionals embark on for the strict benefit of helping other businesses succeed. The role they take on when working with their clients is strictly to mentor the owner(s) and guide them towards making responsible decisions to grow and mature their business successfully. As it is true with a lot of things, people can go online to find tips, tricks, and guidance; however, the human touch of meeting with a professional in person is the best route to go here. Though there are naysayers out there who claim that business coaching is dead, it is far from that – it’s alive and well! That’s why Integrity MCG is here to be the business coach that you need to take your business to the next level. We offer the knowledge, skills, and training to help your business be the best it can be for a price that you can afford. Contact us today, so that we can begin to coach you and your business towards success!
Dr. Danielle Jenkins provides insights and tips on how to strategically run your business in the most efficient manner possible.