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.
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.
Kate, the question you may want to ask and answer for yourself first is -
- what is the financial, personal and business impact should you not achieve the goals you are working towards (due to lack of focus, productivity, prioritization, etc.)...as that qualitative and quantitative answer will tell you if hiring anyone, including a coach, will provide you an ROI - as that is the value of an investment, is achieving a return.
- though hiring someone to do work you don't want to, aren't skilled to, or shouldn't be doing, is always smart...(so you work on the business not in it)...however, that will not address your own focus, productivity or prioritization challenges you have, as something else will pop up to create havoc. A coach can support you in that area.
- suggestions below in regards to bartering with a coach in exchange for your services is a viable approach - but be sure there is 'immediate need' for both parties, and be sure to negotiate and contract it like anything else - as I have seen a lot of those arrangements favor one and not both parties.
- as far as equity or share of the business idea posed below - be sure to consider:
- you need to have a rock solid business plan in place, revenue stream or growth, and key players already engaged in the business for this to pay off for the person you would be engaging (the coach)...yet, to ensure you have skin in the game (meaning you are investing in your coaching)..it would need to be a substantial amount of equity or revenue share for it to be worth it for both of you - note, you get what you pay for (meaning quality of coach).
- I would go back to the first point above - work to quantify the results and growth you could be achieving should you have someone to support your business plan / leadership style, etc.. and recognize that it is an Investment - not an expense, to bring on a coach.
You could be in a very different place in 12 months working with a coach, then without one. Believe me...not only am I a coach, but I have been working with my own coach since 2009...we meet on a weekly basis for 30 minutes, and she has allowed me to achieve things I never imagined I could.
Lastly - qualify, qualify, and qualify the coach you hire - do not hire one because they are free or barter with you. If they can show how you will achieve your goals, go for it, but interview multiple coaches before engaging one.
Hey Kate...fast answer, Yes, a business coach is worth the invested ONLY if you implement your new learnings. Pretty simple.
Limited funds? As a small business owner (like you and likely everyone on this thread) welcome to the reality of small business and entrepreneurship. You're going to have to make the best call you can make with the money you have. If it's the right call, great. If it's the wrong call, you might have lost a few dollars but don't lose the lesson. Make a new decision and get back at it.
One - Invest money into your marketing efforts and that just may help you increase revenues. Use those profits to reinvest into your business.
Another One - Invest money into YOU, and you'll become a better person over all, and you just may earn more revenue because of it.
Another One - ________________________________ (there's always another option)
There is no right or wrong answer, Kate. You just have to make a decision and move forward :)
Pick up a copy of this months issue of Success Magazine, they have a great article on the Coaching industry. There's a piece on what questions to ask a coach before hiring one.
The coaching industry is unregulated...and although I think that's a good thing, it's also a challenge ...anybody can call themselves a coach, and too many are exploiting unwary buyers. Beware of "too good to be true" offers.
I hope that helps Kate. Don't be shy to read my profile if you have any followup questions. Good luck with your jewelry business.
Good question: you, for sure, could test the business coach. Work out a plan. Do a full session and see if he or her can be available by phone. Seems like you could use their expertise or at least test. Social media is a skill. Just like you need finance, an attorney or an advertising agency.
My first word was going to be "test." But I need an introduction to help you. Hope this helps. You are juggling a few balls. Just keep them in the air. Good luck.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Kate, you ask a good question.
A few years ago I was introduced to a business leadership coach and what we wound up doing is I did some website analysis work for him and he gave me a few sessions. For me it was a great experience. There was no way I could ever afford what he charges individual clients and corporations.
It always good to get an outsiders opinion but it can be expensive.
From what you are saying it, sounds like you are trying to do everything and you are aware that you losing focus on your goals. I would say it is time to go and hire some staff to taken on the social media and marketing responsibilities. That way you can focus on your goals. Do not be afraid to delegate as long as you hire the right people.
Kate: first, congrats to you for reaching out. Our growth and transformation always begins with #1: Self-awareness, and #2: The courage to reach out. The only time we commit to growth and change is when we reach "tipping points" in which the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change. Growth & change are incredibly difficult, whether it's business or personal. We often say we want to make a change, but are we truly ready? For you to recognize a Return on Investment with coaching, you must be ready to take ownership for where you are now, AND where you want to be. The ROI will only come through the hard work you are willing to do. I've led my first multi million dollar firm - which I bootstrapped from nothing - through 7 massive market shifts over 20 years. Without pushing through tremendous difficulty, we wouldn't have survived. The best coach can give you tools and scheduled sessions but ultimately it's up to you. Are you ready to do the work? That means examining those closest to you, reevaluating your goals, analyzing how you allocate your time, energy, and resources, etc. Are you truly ready for the shifts? If so, then you will achieve an ROI. I recommend going with a coach who has already achieved what you want to achieve. Are you looking to scale a business? Make hires? Then select a coach who will not only help you find your own answers but has the expertise and credibility to guide you down the right paths and away from the wrong paths. This is why my clients have selected me, and why most have doubled and tripled their revenues. Our collective success is a combination of their mindset (how they perceive their own value), their commitment to doing the work, and my personal experience. I hope I have given you much to think about. I wish you the best!!
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.
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...
Hello Kate, it all depends on how you are placed with respect to your business experience. If you are starting out fresh with no background whatsoever, and you have your business goals and achievable time-frames clearly outlined, it would be well worth to invest in a good business coach - provided you have tangible,measurable goals and expectations set for him or her. If you have some business background and understand the basics of the approach of your business, you can always go on to hire a staff member to work on your plan. Remember, a coach will generally tell you how to do things (seldom will he do them for you), while a staff member will expect that you direct him. There is, however, a mid-way to all this: you can hire a specialist for a specific area (e.g social marketing, business development etc) and ask him to work out a plan for you and execute it at the same time. So, in summary, if know very little, go for a coach, if you know some, hire a specialist for areas you are not aware of, and if you know well, hire a staff and give him a plan to execute. Happy to help further!
A business coach/ consultant only has value if his or her suggestions be acted upon. If you are paying some-one for advice it is important that you listen to that advice and act upon what makes sense to you and your business model. A coach/consultant that cares about your business will also assist in implementing the ideas
Before hiring a coach it is advisable to have a conversation with them at no charge to see if there is a good fit and allow them to better understand your business
Even the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, had a coach. Our job is to help you grow your firm, offer advice and suggestions and hold you accountable.
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!
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.
How about finding a business coach who works for "free" in exchange for either a revenue share of the incremental value they bring to your business or for an equity share in your business?
As a business coach I would suggest this- let's have a one hour, no cost, no obligation conversation. This will provide us both the opportunity to learn more about each other and enable you to 1) experience interaction with a business coach, 2) benefit from the services of a business coach (I treat my consults like a session) and 3) answer your original question. Feel free to reach out privately if you like.
A business coach. More focus will help you be more productive, accountable and should help you develop marketing strategies that will fit your budget.
Why not? As a business coach very useful to investors. Without this they hard to earn money from any investment site. So, it is powerful and credible. Maximum the business coach is wanted to MLM business referral members. You can understand this from http://www.armmlm.com/mlm_features/