Updated: Jan 15, 2020
More and more business owners are looking to business coaching instead of business consulting to help them in their business. This is a very positive move for owners. In some cases, consulting is also required by business owners to uncover what is going on within the business in one or several areas. The problem with many consulting engagements is that the final report is sometimes taken and filed away and the recommendations are never implemented. For the most part this is because there are not the skills within the company to do the actual implementation. In this situation, finding out what the issue is within your business is only half of the problem, the other half is how you are going to go about resolving the issues or pain points. If you are not sure how to proceed, adding coaching onto your business consulting engagement can help. In other cases, consulting is chosen by owners, who are looking to have someone come in and perform the work and not involved in the process as they just want the work performed. The problem with this situation is that if you do not have an understanding of the work that was performed, how do you plan to keep things going after the consultant is gone.
In most cases business coaching or facilitation can be used to perform most of the same exercises as business consulting. When a business owner chooses this route, we find the individual(s) are fully engaged and are learning how to not only uncover the issue but also how to resolve it. We find those owners that are engaged and have an understanding of what is going on tend to be the most successful.
As a business owner, you are not expected to know everything about running a business and there should not be any shame in admitting that. As the owner and founder of the company you are an expert in the products and services that your firm provides and are not expected to be an expert in all areas of your business. Even for business owners who have a degree or background in business sometimes find they need help in an area that was not their focus in school. They have been a finance major and struggle with marketing or need help in their human resources area. What is Business Coaching? The goal of business coaching is to help you and your business move from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. This is based on the goals and objectives of the firm. A business coach will help push you in areas that you are not as comfortable or knowledgeable and aid you in acquiring the skills to move your company forward. We utilize our own methodology to deliver business coaching to help our clients meet their goals. Each business coach will have their own approach to delivery, so it is important to understand the process for the business coach you are hiring.
Business coaching is to provide guidance, advice, and learnings with the goal of teaching the business owner “how to fish”. A business coach is there to bounce ideas off of and help you brainstorm what could work for your company. The business coach you use should have some level of experience in all areas of business, and should have a high-level of expertise in the areas you are struggling.
What Business Coaching Is Not? We have business owners contact us who say they want to purchase business coaching until they find out the level of commitment and time required. Business coaching is not an advice hotline to ask questions on a weekly or biweekly basis. It follows a standard methodology and requires the business owner to dedicate time over several months at minimum to establish a path to meet one or two of your issues. The issues within your business did not happen overnight, so waving a magic wand will not resolve them after working with a coach for one session.
Business Coaching is also not about having someone tell you what to do. There is a misconception that a business coach will come in and tell you all of the things you need to do to solve your business issues and meet your goals. If that is the expectation, business coaching is probably not for you. A business coach is there to provide guidance and help challenge you but is not there to tell you what to do. This will not benefit you, as you need to learn why it is important and be able to perform what you learn after the coaching is over.
Our Methodology Our business coaching engagements are a minimum of 12 weeks (3 months) with 6 (2-hour) sessions . There is no way to solve major business issues and meet any goal within a shorter period. If a client is not willing to dedicate that much time to working on their problems, business coaching is not the service they should choose. All of our coaching is performed remotely online through Zoom. There should be no more than 2 weeks between meetings, otherwise, momentum is lost.
Step 1 The first thing we do is provide the business owner and any stakeholders involved in the coaching a