How to find a business coach – What are the key things to look for?
There are many people looking for help to run their business, so the question is how to find a business coach that call help you realise your full potential. I believe the best experience a business coach needs is to have run their own business. Only by being a business owner can a business coach be in a position to provide the practical advice for small business owners based on their own real life experiences. Until you have run your own business and experienced the pressures of staff, cash flow, government regulations, BAS and the 100 other things to be considered then I don’t believe that you are qualified to help business owners. There is nothing more confronting, but at the same time rewarding as running a business you started.
The things to consider are how to find a business coach and the 4 areas that need to be considered first.
- Business Structure
The business needs to be constructed much like a building, with solid foundations. By this I mean that correct commercial structure, whether it be as a sole trader, partnership, trust or company. A prime consideration in any business setup is asset protection and this needs to be carefully worked out preferably before starting the business. It is also essential that all parties involved in the business have wills in place that relate to personal and business assets. Asset protection relates to keeping personal and investment assets at arm’s length from business assets. I would recommend that a solicitor who specialises in asset protection be engaged to draw up the necessary paperwork.
- Clear Goals and Objectives
This is one area that most businesses really struggle with as they often have an idea of what they want to achieve but never write it down! By being absolutely clear of your end objective you then work out how you can reach that goal. This sounds simple but in my experience it is one of the most challenging obstacles that business owners face.
I believe that the two main reasons that business owners fail to address this are:
1) fear of commitment and;
2) fear of failure, or success.
In discussions with many clients over the years these two issues constantly recur and it is due to restrictive mindset issues which can be resolved as part of a coaching program.
If you don’t have structured systems in place people will make up their own. Many people before they become clients are unable to realise the value of a fully systematised business and allow their staff to operate the business their way! It is interesting that when a business is able to operate through clear systems the staff are actually more content and easier to work with. Why? Because they now know exactly what they have to do and usually why they have to do it. There is no guesswork and they do not have to be concerned about whether they are doing it correctly as there is only one way to do their job. They do have to be concerned about doing it the wrong way as now there is a standard against which they can be judged. This also assist with measurement of performance and provides an template so that everyone does it the same way; consistency! Systemising your business will take a while and take considerably effort but every dollar invested will pay dividends for years and form the basis of the sale, should you ever decide to sell.
This is generally the first thing that business owners want to be fixed! However, unless the first three items are working well then focussing on marketing may be a disaster as the business possibly won’t be able to cope with the influx of customers. Marketing should be an integral part of the overall business plan and be clearly articulated in business goals and objectives. Too much growth is just as bad as not enough growth albeit for different reasons. In general, every time a business grows it puts pressure on cash flow, staff, infrastructure, including premises, vehicles, tools etc. and it also puts pressure on management because invariably there are more questions and queries than with a stable business. By careful planning and considered growth many of these issues can be anticipated and planned for.
So the title of the article “how to find a business coach” is actually very simple, just Google it. The reality is that finding a business coach is easy, how to find a good business coach that understands what you need and is experienced in business is definitely not quite as easy. I hope that this article has helped you how to find a business coach who will give the best advice to small business owners.