Building a business is tough. And growing it can be even tougher! In fact, it is estimated that startup failure rates are between 50 to 70% (depending on the industry). Without the benefit of some key, knowledgeable “go-to” people both inside and outside of your organization, it can be a very lonely and frustrating experience. This is where an experienced, qualified business coach can help.

Some people think that hiring a business coach is some form of therapy because there is internal conflict or that it is just for people who can’t get their act together. But often, that isn’t the case. A business coach takes on many different roles, depending on the needs. Here are some common roles business coaches can fill:

  •  Help startup companies navigate around common pitfalls
  • Analyze business processes to help you streamline and eliminate unnecessary spending
  • Pinpoint your strengths to leverage them for better results
  • Advise on hiring qualified staff
  • Assist with decision-making process for high-level decisions
  • Provide input on employee management/communication

But like any other relationship, it is important to make sure your business coach is a good fit. Here are some questions you can ask yourself before you decide which coach is best for your situation:

What do I expect to get out of this? There are so many reasons people enlist the help of a business coach. You may require help in several areas or just one with which you are struggling. Be sure the coach you choose has expertise in those areas.

How will you connect with your coach? Decide whether you would like to meet a couple times a week, once weekly, or monthly. Also, choose your meeting preference. Do you prefer meeting in person, over the phone, or maybe on Skype?

What qualifications should I look for? There are many business coaches out there. Before choosing one, look at their track record and qualifications. Different coaches have expertise in different fields or industries. Some have certifications, but many great coaches have a lot to offer based on their past experiences and successes.

What are my personal preferences? Since you will be spending a good amount of time working with your business coach, think about your personal preferences. Would you prefer a male or female coach? Someone with a more formal, professional demeanor or a coach who is more laid back and casual?

Am I ready to commit? Business coaching can be as beneficial as you make it. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. After all, a business coach is just that…a coach. You are the key player, and what you do with the skills and strategies you learn is up to you.

While business coaching is an additional expense that business owners can be nervous about committing to, if you are struggling to keep your company afloat, you can’t afford not to enlist some help. In the long run, a good business coach pays for him/herself many times over.

Leadership Excellence provides exceptional business coaching. Our experienced business coach, Greg L. Thomas, has over 25 years of experience in management, business ownership, and business coaching/consulting. Click here to get in touch with Greg or learn more about our business coaching services.

 *image courtesy of ddpavumba/freedigitalphotos.net