Most small business owners desperately need the help of business coaches, whether it’s to help them survive downturns, or to enable them maximize their productivity and profitability.
The problem is that very few small business owners are willing to admit that they need the help, and even the ones who admit it don’t think that hiring a coach is much of a priority. If you run a small business, here are 3 things to consider before you write off hiring a business coach.
A business coach can act as a sounding board for your innovative ideas
In many ways, a business coach is like a therapist or a spiritual advisor, but instead of trying to improve your mental health or increase your spiritual fulfilment, he tries to improve your leadership ability and to give you the best chance at succeeding in your business. Great business coaches have the ability to help you grow as an entrepreneur by allowing you to sound out all your ideas without judgment — you only get constructive feedback. You may have great ideas, but they are often unfiltered and often times, there are lots of details that need to be figured out before those ideas can become concrete executable plans. That’s where the business coach comes in.
According to Stuart Hayes, a high profile business and leadership coach based in Melbourne and the founder of Stuart Hayes Leadership, “a perfect business coach is one who has been in your shoes before, and can tap into his experience to help you figure out what needs to be done to turn a profit, so he doesn’t cuddle you or harass you, he just brings out the greatness that was in you and in your business the whole time”.
Like other coaches of his calibre, Stuart Hayes has the necessary academic credentials and business experience to make a great coach. He has a bachelor of economics and a CPA, and he spent 12 years working for international audit firms which specialized in restoring ailing businesses and making them profitable again. In his view, coaches are able to provide guidance because they have gone through the same challenges and obstacles that you are going through at the moment, so they can bring your attention to the blind spots that you may be overlooking as you try to learn how to lead and innovate.
A business coach will help you create a roadmap for achieving your true potential
Many entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders fail, not because they lack vision, but because they either overshoot or undershoot when they are setting their goals. It’s okay to be optimistic when you are getting started on a new venture, but if your expectations are unrealistic, you can easily end up getting frustrated even if you are making remarkable progress. A good business coach can take a look at your business, your resources, and your talents, and he can use all that information to help you create a strategic and practical business plan.
When you walk into an appointment with your business coach, the time you spend together will be about dissecting various aspects of the business, and trying to iron out the weaknesses that you have as a leader, and the ultimate aim is to elevate you to reach all your goals. You need to move as fast as possible in order to succeed, and the business coach gives you the benefit of his experience to accelerate your success. As Stuart Hayes puts it, “if you are leading or running a business facing challenges, either to break through to the next level or simply fighting to survive, nothing is as valuable as spending one-on-one time with an experienced business leader.”
A business coach will help you stay accountable
As an entrepreneur, building a successful business is probably the hardest thing you will ever do in your entire life. You might set lofty goals, and you might have the best of intentions, but anyone with business experience will tell you that the real work is in the execution. When things start getting difficult, you will be tempted to give up, and you will find yourself slacking off. It’s almost inevitable that you might find yourself exhibiting behaviours that are counterproductive to your ultimate goals. That is why you need a business coach to help you stay accountable.
Even if you are responsible and you value autonomy, the fact remains that you are more likely to break the promises that you’ve made to yourself than you are to break commitments that you made to someone else. Your business coach can be that person for you because he understands the nature of your business and your real potential, so he will be able to call you out if you are not working as hard or as smart as you need to.