Since I started this journey, I've had a lot of people ask me, "what exactly IS a business coach?" or "why would I need a business coach?". There is not just one answer to these two questions as business coaches are all different and the reasons for people seeking out a business coach are also varied. So let's look at the first question.
What is a business coach?
A business coach works in partnership with the owner of a business at the strategic level - that is; keeping the long-term vision or big picture top of mind. business coach will employ a framework to work with the business owner to assess the current situation, gain an understanding of the current issues, frustrations or obstacles facing the business, as well as the goals or vision the owner has for the business. Or another way of putting it is - where they are now versus where they WANT to be.
A business coach will assist the business owner in putting in place tools and strategies to address the issues and achieve the goals they have identified together. Also referred to as an action plan or tactical plan, this will be broken down into specific actionable tasks.
One of the key roles of a business coach is to keep the business owner accountable and on track, and measuring results along the way.
What is the difference between a business coach and a business consultant? Or a mentor?
A key difference between a business coach and a business consultant is that one of the main goals of a business coach is to educate the business owner; essentially the business coach wants to pass on knowledge of various business tools and strategies to ensure the business owner can use these new skills in the future. A business consultant is simply employed to complete a task - there is generally no transfer of knowledge to the business owner or wider organisation.
A mentor is sually an individual in a more senior position, with knowledge and/or experience that can be very valuable to the business owner or individal. They can be from the same or similar industry but this is not essential. Where a business coach differs from a mentor is that the business coach will lead the business owner or individual through a structured process - assessing the current situation, setting goals and creating a clear plan of how to get there. A mentor will simply pass on wisdom or guidance to the individual and will act as a sounding board rather than working closely to create a robust plan of attack.
And now to address a couple of other common questions or more specifically, misconceptions I've heard about business coaching.
How can you possibly know more about my business/industry than I do?
don't, and the role of a business coach is NOT to dictate or talk down to a business owner or individual. A business coach is simply an ally that can objectively assist the business owner in assessing wher the business is, why it isn't where it wants to be, and how to get the business where it wants to be.
Shouldn't a business coach have similar industry experience to my business? How else can they understand my challenges?
This is a really common question, and one that ultimately comes down to the choice of the business owner. Yes, there are definitely challenges and nuances that are industry specific, but generally speaking businesses that aren't succeeding have the same issues:
FINANCIAL: Not selling enough, not making enough margin, business costs are too high
OPERATIONAL: Productivity is low, business owner has poor work/life balance, business is more reactive than proactive
CULTURAL: Staff are not motivated, recruitment and retention is poor.
Lastly I want to share with you why One Small Step is the right choice for your small business.
. We understand from personal experience the challenges of small businesses.
2. We have extensive experience in strategic planning and believe it is critical to your business success.
3. We are passionate about helping small businesses to succeed and realise their potential.
4. We understand you don't have a lot of disposable income and need flexible options.
5. We want you to stay true to your vision and we want to help you bring it to life.
For more information on how we can help your business please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.