Is a business coach worth the investment?
I think a business coach might be valuable to help me stay focused on my goals and accomplish more to move my business forward. However, with limited funds, I could also use that money to hire someone to help with social media and a few other marketing efforts that I am struggling to manage myself. What do you think is the better use of my resources? Thank you for your thoughts.
Is seeing a physician worth the investment, even when we are not sick or hurting, for example; getting a physical? Is getting a great massage worth it? Is investing in our growth, well-being worth it?
This is how I look at life coaching and development. Not all life coaches are the same. Know what you are looking for then start shopping for a good life coaching fit.
There are four dimensions on which you could evaluate the value of a business coach:
1. Short-term: do you have burning questions or issues that you could not address on your own?
2. Long-term: how could the business coach help and coach you through to a more viable business?
3. Business: what could be the business coach's value and impact on your top line and bottom line?
4. Personal: how could the business coach help you with thinking process, and strengthen your characters as a leader and a person?
It's basically a trade-off between short-term and long-term. Many people choose to look at coaching options when they are financially affluent enough. Chances are the accrued issues, ego, and inertia make them not easily coach-able at a later point in their business and life.
Richard Stern- It all depends on the contribution to your company. Furthermore, the Business Coach should have experience in your industry.
Then the information being shared will be more valuable to you.
A business coach can help you to think outside the box and direct you on the right path to achieve the goals you want. However the following points are very important:
- you must be able to have a good relationship with your coach and complete the actions the coach sets in order to achieve the results you want
- the coach also has the responsibility to make sure you keep to task and follow-up on progress on a regular basis
- the coach should do their homework on what you both discussed and planned to do as a recap before you start the next coaching meeting. You as the client shouldn't have to remind the coach what you discussed at the last meeting.
The problem is when the business coach is too busy, works on their own in their business and doesn't have the time to follow-up on every assignment they set with every client. If the coach fails to follow-up, you become slack in completing actions than nothing will be achieved before your next meet. That is a waste of time and money.
The coach may need someone to help them with their business and clients.
You need someone to help you with your business.
A right coach will help you achieve what you want, but you will still need to do the work they set you. It doesn't really answer your question about where to spend your money when you have limited funds but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and try it out, if one doesn't work, try another method. Yes you may lose out financially but you learn from your mistakes.
If you're already confident about what you want to do next with your jewellery business, than off-load all the jobs that's taking up your valuable time and stopping you from achieving your goals as a first step. Once you become more organised and have the help you need, coaching can be the next step in your business transition.
Hello Kate. If you don't have a "mentor" you can speak to weekly, a business coach is definitely worth the "investment". I can remember a time when I hired a previous boss a business coach. He thought it was a waste of time and therefor we wasted the money. That company ended up losing tens of thousands of dollar due to my boss's lack of skill and experience. Another company I worked for spent great sums on a coach to help them assemble the correct team. I ask you this: Who do you have in "your corner" that is "smarter" than you and is looking out for your best interest?
If you are seasoned in the area your business operates in, then the business coach can serve to validate or offer second opinions. If you are not seasoned, then getting substantial advice and input on a regular basis is a very good idea. I would consider paying for good advice an investment in my success — but pick carefully, since there is much to consider. Take a look at: http://www.businesscoachesalliance.com
A good business coach can help you in multiple ways, in essence they can guide you to make your business more effective and they can also help you become more effective. If you are having difficulty being effective and staying focused, you would be well advised to put some personal structure in place to help you with that. The publishing world is full of excellent resources, this is a very good one: http://www.franklincovey.com
I would not start with a business coach unless I already had thought through my business model and developed artifacts (for example, a business plan) that would make the coach more quickly and accurately understand your business. So, even if you are totally green in terms of experience, you need to work through your ideas before paying someone for advice will get you the bang for your buck.
You already have lots of good answers here, and like many before me, I am a business coach -- and thus have a certain bias. In fact, my bias is what told me to become a business coach. Having managed, lead, and/or owned businesses my whole career with great success, I had utilized coaches for different things from time to time. In retrospect, I was always amazed at how powerful the process was. As a result, when I had an opportunity to have a role I was passionate about, I became a business coach.
It does not mean I am right for you. A big mistake -- when you are caught in your current chicken-and-egg dilemma -- is to go and invest in things necessary in the business without having some assistance to ensure you are doing the right things, with the right people, and (in the case of marketing) that you have put in place the fundamentals for ensuring that your marketing dollars will get results.
A good business coach is like having a business partner working right there with you...whose role is to focus on nothing else but ensuring the setting and realization of your goals as the owner, and in ensuring you have a healthy, growing, and profitable business. Like with any partner, you want to make sure they are complimentary to you, that you relate well, and the they have the focus and the expertise to provide you what you need.
Every coach I know of will spend a ton of no-cost time to ensure you get to know them and vice versa. The coach does not want a short-term, failed relationship any more than you would.
Based on your situation, and the fact that there are no-cost marketing strategies and tactics that can be put in place to make a huge difference in results (even before any real marketing investment takes place), I would urge you to view a killer video talking about how wrong everyone's current marketing is. Here is the link to the free video and you do not have to provide contact info to get it: http://bit.ly/1L8NDsg
All the best...
Kate, a business coach will certainly be able to help you avoid walking on live mines. A coach can see things that you as an entrepreneur might not be able to; it's not about company vision, it is about market/industry/customer needs and requirements. An executive coach can see far than what you might be able to see.
But then coming to an important question - where should I invest? Coach or Marketing initiatives? Both are equally critical, as without marketing you may not succeed. But if the business coach can ad value to your marketing efforts, that will be awesome.
I have, in many cases, acted as an advisor when we spearheaded their digital marketing initiatives.
So looking out for such combination, could be too difficult, but not impossible. Good luck!
I do think that a business coach can add value but the time needs to be right.
I had used a business coach at a difficult time in my career. Targets were revised, management had changed, new staff came on board at this time.
I really benefited from using a business coach because the one-to-one set-up suited me.
At first it slowed me down because it was rather tiring and time consuming to share information about my professional background and experience with the coach in order for her to assess the situation and suggest a way forward.
At first it was also tricky to find out what I wanted to get out of the coaching process. Moreover, I had to do some additional preparatory work before and follow-ups after each coaching session.
The coaching energised me and gave me tremendous confidence because it also involved my direct line manager who had to comment on any changes.
Coming back to your question. I really recommend a business coach and perhaps you could save costs by mostly using Skype. Also you could limit the process to a few, say 5-10 sessions over three months.
The coach will also help you to see your business clearer and will help you to refine the solutions you already have in mind for growing it.
I hope this helps.
All the very best
Thorsten (from London)
You have got some great ideas and observations here. Take time to really define first what you want to achieve with your business. With a good coach, you can get both. Marketing for small business is not that complicated and a coach can help you. If you don't mind sharing what your business is about, we can guide you better in your thinking. And take some coach on the free diagnostic session. But do remember each small business has its own reality. Your wants are are important to define your business road map in these circumstances.
Best of luck
Hi Kate. Most business coaches would start with a one hour free consultation so they can understand your goal and allow both of you to work out your "fit" together. You'll be in a much better place to answer your question.
Good question Kate. How about hiring a coach that has expertise with social media/other marketing efforts for a small business owner? I'm sure they're out there for you.
All depends on the coach of course. Many coaches are not very experience. I would never hire one who has not run their own business before and has 5+ years managing a team of people. You need someone who has done before EXACTLY what you want to achieve ideally. So if you want to take a $500,000 company to $20 million you should try to find a coach that has done that - not as a coach but as a CEO.
Coaches have a lot of value but many do overcharge. I charge $600/month for a basic program for startups and $800/month for an established (profitable) company. This is one meeting a week plus email support.
Of course I am biased because I was a CEO for 14 years before I starting my current coaching, consulting and training company for CEOs and entrepreneurs. However, would you hire a football coach who never played football? The franchise operations give these inexperienced people a framework that helps but it cannot give them real-world experience. Ideally you want ALL of the following from a business coach:
1. Experience doing just what you are trying to do as per above example (big picture)
2. High analytical and intellectual capability to see and understand problems and provide another perspective
3. Systems and frameworks for management, leadership and operations (experience)
4. Creativity to approach problems with fresh ideas
5. Ability to be direct and point out your weak spots, both personally and as a company, to have a plan to deal with those
6. Hold you accountable
Many "franchise" coaches do only #6 and a little of #3 with simple profitability frameworks. Many independent coaches have "Corporate" experience in management but are not "been there, done that" entrepreneur that have grown a business. You really cannot go to school or get certified in coaching and expect to be a good one as it comes from real-life experience, not a classroom.
I would guess less than 5% of the coaches meet the criteria I am laying out here, as few people with this levels of experience go into coaching.
There is a little about my program and some statistics here: http://clevelenterprises.com/coaching.htm and my management systems for companies preparing to really scale (larger opportunities that want to go to 50-1000 people) here: http://www.airtightmgt.com/what-is-airtight-management/what-is-airtight-management
Bottom line is not having a good coach will cost you a fortune in mistakes, missed opportunities and time but finding a good one is not easy. Use the checklist above. I am not the best coach for every situation but would be happy to give you a free session to see if there is a fit. I would be overkill for many as my specialty is rapid growth opportunities.
BTW understand that an Executive Coach for someone climbing the ladder in a large corporate environment is very different than a Business or Entrepreneurship coach. The stage of development of the company is critical and each requires different skills and an adjustment in the way you manage and lead. See one of the 150 videos I provide to my clients on stage of development here: https://vimeo.com/airtight/review/96213080/26ee6e8005 for an explanation on this concept which few people really understand well.
Best of luck.
The answer is yes, BUT...Over the years I have worked with a number of business coaches, the main thing you need to look for is how good and engaged are they to your business and requirements...Outsourcing the social media stuff is a great option so you may want to look for a "mentor" who is also in that field right now so they can both guide your immediate requirements and also drive your social media strategy from a point of expertise.
One of the areas I have found as a weakness for a lot of "branded" coaches is they are practising basic business strategies (effectively) but are not knowledgable enough for the media and marketing strategies...Have a look at at howtobuildabrand .org as they have some ideas which may be useful and they may not fit your requirements but they have a lot of connections with people who just may so you can fire off your question to Miles or Sammy...Good luck
A quality, certified business coach is not inexpensive but is well worth it. The hard part of picking them is you need to know what you want from the relationship and also that they will push you very hard. The introspection of using a coach to overcome what has held you back is tough and emotional and very rewarding unless you do what many people do...quit! Talk to many coaches, check credentials (have they invested in their business on themselves) and references of course they will only supply good ones.
Hello Kate, you've received some great answers to this question and I would concur with many of them.
With limited resources and the need to determine the cost benefit between hiring a social media/marketing specialist and a coach to help you to move the business forward, I believe it would be beneficial for you to firstly focus on 'what' you are aiming to achieve for the business, 'why' and then 'how'. These are all things that an experienced coach will help you to do.
If you use some of your limited resources to explore the what and why first (especially the why), it will help you to be lot clearer about how you can achieve your goals and you may even find that you have other options than hiring some to assist with social media/marketing.
I think you will also be surprised at how much you can achieve in just a few sessions with a great business coach. Most coaches also work virtually so the world is your oyster when selecting the right person to work with you, without incurring an additional costs.
The only thing I would add is the need for clarity and agreement at the outset about the return on investment and how this is to be measured, especially as your funds are limited. You will find that most business coaches will offer a free introductory session which will help you to determine if this is the best option for you.
I hope that this is helpful in making your decision.
Present your dilemma to a few potential business coach candidates. See who comes up with a solution that works for both of you. A good business coach should be able to make a proposal that will allow you to spend money most productively for the business. Better still, you make the first proposal.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein
A coach can be a cheerleader, a mirror, an accountability partner, and more.
Hiring a coach can be a great investment. Like any investment, there's risk.
As others have said, it's still on you to do the work and act on the perspective and insight your coach provides. You also need to select a coach who's a good fit for your personal and professional style and goals.
With respect to the comment about industry experience, be clear about whether you're looking for a consultant or a coach. I've heard it put as a consultant will tell you what to do, a coach will help you figure our why you're not doing what you know already you need to be doing.
My personal point of view is that you, among everyone on the planet, are uniquely qualified to build your perfect most successful business. Your biggest challenge is to maximize your strengths, minimize your your liabilities, and stay focused on what's most important. A coach can be a great resource in accomplishing those goals.
As a business coach I offer a guarantee that you will make a return on your investment in my services in 90 days (or less or I will continue to work with you at no additional charge until you do). So you can pay for the social media person and your marketing support out of the profits you make from working with me. Simple.
Investing in a business coach is (by definition) investing in yourself. In other words, you reap what you put into the journey. An effective coach can help you "triage" your priorities, clarify ideas, illuminate blind spots (and uncover/challenge underlying beliefs where needed). One tip, make sure that the coach you select is being coached as well. Note: Just like continuing education activities, receiving ongoing coaching has made me a more effective coach. Ultimately, as you are your business, when it comes to self-development, the ROI surpasses the funds spent.