Running a business, be it big or small, is a complex and demanding affair. Often, business owners can find themselves a bit overwhelmed dealing with numerous challenges – facing tough competitors, weathering rough business times, and more. The stress that comes with handling high-level responsibilities can make business owners lose their core focus and cloud their decision-making abilities, which can have an adverse impact on their business growth and profits.
The person on top may be sitting in a coveted position, but they are also held to different standards in terms of their own performance and held accountable for every major or minor decision that is made. The crown often comes with more thorns than roses! In these cases, having a trusted, knowledgeable, and neutral entity to guide them in difficult situations and point the way forward can be a very valuable resource.
This is where a business coach can make a lot of difference. But who is a business coach? And what does a business coach do? Let’s find out.
Who Is a Business Coach?
As we know, a business owner’s role is quite complicated with multiple responsibilities on their shoulders. From daily operations, administrative challenges, planning & strategizing, finances, legal tasks, sales & marketing, staffing & HR, maintaining profit percentages, boosting growth, working towards a vision, exploring newer opportunities for the future and more – the leader has to have his/her finger on the pulse of every department of their organization.
Naturally, they can feel weighed down by the sheer number of demands that the business makes on them. Many business owners turn to professional mentoring or coaching to help guide them through the present complexities, find clarity in vision, and provide a more astute understanding of upcoming challenges as well as opportunities.
A business coach is an expert (they may themselves be entrepreneurs) who has the requisite know-how of how to run & grow a business, help calibrate business strategies, weather rough patches of the business terrain, provide much needed motivation, give personalized advice as well as neutral perspective to business owners to make decisions based on sound understanding and clarity of the situation, become more self-confident, overcome ambiguity, and take charge of their business development.
A business coach is one who essentially offers a mix of tools, skills, and insights of the industry to help guide business owners out of a rut & revive their struggling venture (if it is so), craft smart strategies that will deliver long term results, define realistic goals that are attainable, and give unbiased, honest, & constructive feedback to accelerate business growth & increase revenues.
What Does a Business Coach Do?
In a nutshell, the main role of a business coach is to help entrepreneurs/business owners recognize their strengths, overcome their weaknesses & roadblocks that hold them back, unlock hidden potentials, encourage novel thought processes, enable stronger leadership qualities, help increase productivity, and help device ways to increase revenues to put the business on the path to success.
1. Identify weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities
It is quite common for business owners to get stuck in one place. The business is neither moving ahead nor is it keeping pace with newer technologies, challenges, and opportunities. This blind spot of not recognizing potential and the fear of getting out of the comfort zone can make it difficult for owners to upgrade to newer skillsets and adapt to change.
An experienced business coach can help the executive or business owner get a clearer perspective on how embracing fresh prospects can be beneficial to the long-term interests of the business and in the same vein help them weigh the current risks and potential rewards to make an informed choice.
2. Unlock hidden potential
Often, we ourselves are not aware of our own true potential! A business coach, in most cases, works with seasoned & highly knowledgeable people who may already be at the peak of their careers. Yet still, they may not have performed to their real capacities. A business coach can help get them out of their slump, remove mental shackles, and open up unexplored avenues which may well end up revealing unknown aptitudes, and being one of the best upgrades to their skillsets.
3. Provide neutral but constructive feedback
As people in position of considerable clout and power, business owners and top executives are used to their staff and associates being yes men and nodding agreement to each & every idea, direction and decision. This clique of sycophants may provide a temporary ego boost but in the long term will prove disastrous to the business owner and their business.
A business coach is neither a friend, nor a family member nor a subordinate. They are in a perfect position to observe the strength, weaknesses, challenges & opportunities of the business owner and provide honest & constructive feedback. The business owner just needs to keep their ego aside and listen to the business coach, whose services they have hired to do precisely that!
4. Upgrade knowledge
No matter how high a position you occupy, no business owner can know everything. The maxim that you never stop learning is so true! There are always going to be newer technologies & industry developments that you need to understand and learn of if you are aiming for future growth.
A business coach is an industry expert who has ears and eyes in relevant places and is well versed with changing trends and upcoming segments that can be lucrative future options. The business coach can help the owner learn, evolve, and grow – their own capacities and in turn their business.
5. Boost self-confidence & improve leadership
Many professionals go through loss of self-confidence, clouded judgment, and confused decision-making. A business coach can provide great support in tough situations, motivate the individual to stay on course despite setbacks, urge them to go back to the basics that initially worked for them and build on that, and encourage them to take time and think clearly on their challenges and how best to overcome them.
A business coach can also present a reality check of strengths & weaknesses to help the business owner be more strategically sound, be a better leader, encourage them to delegate tasks, and trust associates to do their job, self-motivate, and in turn inspire their team to deliver their best.
A confident leader will be an effective leader who will have the strength & conviction to take tough but necessary decisions that will ultimately benefit the business.
6. Improve business productivity & boost revenues
The bottom line of every business is to make money. It all comes down to growth and revenues for any business to sustain itself.
A good business coach will have the necessary expertise to understand the present position of the business, gauge its strong points, limitations, and future potential. Based on their assessment, the business coach will be able to help the owner/executive chart out solid strategies and action plans that will help navigate problems, increase productivity, and finally boost revenues.
A business coach can help the owner to not just put in their best but also get the best out of their team members. After all, for any business to succeed the entire team has to be on board, inspired to give it their best effort.
A business coach can make the business owner gain awareness that they are accountable for executing decided-upon action steps and achieving their set targets and that they themselves are responsible for their own success.
Why Hire a Business Coach?
We’ve seen what a business coach can do, but what are the main reasons that business owners or executives hire the services of a business coach? Here are some known reasons:
1. To grow the business
Any business will survive and thrive only when it evolves, adapts, and grows. Keeping abreast with the complex demands of the ever-changing business landscapes requires the humility to keep learning, the flexibility to bend when the situation demands so that you don’t break, the foresight to anticipate not only upcoming challenges but also opportunities, and the willingness to incorporate hard changes for the survival and growth of the business.
But doing all this is not an easy task and neither is it possible for one person to do it. A lot of owners make the mistake of wasting their time, energy, focus, and resources on non-productive tasks, while missing out on looking at the bigger picture. It is a classic case of missing the woods for the trees!
A business coach has the experience of dealing with such situations and can help the business owner prioritize important tasks and delegate the rest to their capable associates. This automatically frees up valuable time that can be spent recalibrating business strategies, developing higher revenue generation plans, and ideating on how the business can be scaled.
2. To expand reach and acquire more clients
The sustenance of any business is clients, ideally a continued & increased flow of them. But getting steady clients is one of the most difficult tasks all business owners face. One of the most important things to do to gain a wider audience for your products and services is to make the prospective customers aware of your offerings.
A lot of times a business has a great product, but it doesn’t reach the right people. This can be because the business owners lack the knowledge or skills to devise strategies to promote and market their product in a manner that catches the maximum and relevant eyeballs.
A business coach can help the business owner spread the word about their product to a suitable potential clientele by encouraging them to pitch their products that will cater to the clients’ requirements, smartly use social media channels to expand reach, have a solid sales funnel and marketing strategy, create relevant content around the product to increase awareness, establish a strong brand presence, and more. All these methods have the potential to increase the flow of clients towards the business.
3. To formulate fresh strategies
The only way to survive in the cut-throat world of professional business is to keep re-inventing your business. A stagnant business is a finished business. Many businesses that initially showed great potential shut shop only because they didn’t hit the refresh button periodically.
A business coach brings professional qualifications as well as corporate experience, which is a great combination to help guide business owners across a variety of challenges – right from re-building a business from scratch, formulating novel strategies that takes a successful business to the next level, getting a business that is spinning its wheels in place and getting it moving forward again, revising business vision, improving operations for accelerate growth, to charting out detailed plans for future expansions, and more.
4. To set accountability
Coaching is not about the coach instructing and the client listening. It is a mutual partnership, based on trust and common intent of achieving positive outcomes that bring about a transformative change in the client’s business.
But for this to happen all the stakeholders have to be equally committed to the coaching process. Many clients operate under the mistaken belief that hiring a coach is like a magic wand that will swish through and deliver results on a platter. Nothing could be further from the truth; the business coach will be with the client all throughout the journey, but the client also has to accept that their role is the main one (if any changes need to be seen) and the coach is just present in a supporting capacity. The client has to be made aware by the coach that the accountability for any result rests solely with them.
In contrasting scenarios, some business owners take on way too much responsibility, even those that aren’t theirs to carry, and end up feeling overwhelmed with the tasks. In these cases, the business owner can subtly point out the priorities, suggest areas for delegation, divert attention to the important goals, and ensure the business owner sticks to the decided plans.
5. To attain goals
The very intent of going on this coaching journey is to reach a particular destination. For the business owner, the goals can be anything from reviving a loss-making venture, targeting a particular percentage of profits for the quarter, resolving inter office conflicts that are hindering productivity, tracking KPIs (key performance indicators) such as social media impact, SEO rankings, customer relations, etc. – all the various aspects that ultimately influence the business productivity and profits.
A business coach can help the business owner monitor these factors regularly, gauge their impact, make adjustments where needed, and keep the process on track for achieving set objectives.
6. To get a clearer and a different point of view
One of the most pressing reasons many business owners hire the services of a business coach is to get a different, unbiased, and fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities from a third person, one who has no bias about the situation.
‘It’s all in the mind’ is a cliched but still a popular maxim. And there is a reason why it is true – after all the mindset determines how a person will react to any situation. Swim or sink, take off or crash, fight or flight are all responses that come from the mind.
True leaders have the right mindset, one that is capable of separating the wheat from the chaff and seeing the real picture, not getting tangled in minor issues and wasting valuable time and resources, but tackling the issues to find a solution.
A business coach can help the owner/leader gain clarity in their thought process, identify the real challenges, think of feasible solutions, take action steps and execute them to drive positive results. The coach can encourage the client to see the glass as half full rather than half empty!
Whether you are a small business owner, a newbie entrepreneur, a top executive, influencer, marketing expert, or a person in any other position that requires leadership & decision-making skills, then hiring the services of a business coach, who is experienced and uses effective but clear & transparent methods, will be most beneficial to your business.
1. How much should a business coach charge?
The charges of a business coach depend on various factors such as the experience, qualifications, location, client type, subject, and more. Seasoned business coaches with a specialization & a proven track record of delivering results can charge higher rates.
Normally the charges may be anywhere between INR 10,000 to INR 1,00,000. A six-monthly coaching engagement may even cost between INR 3 lakh to INR 6 lakh if it is a seasoned coach.
2. When is a business coach usually hired?
There are many reasons why business owners hire a business coach. Some of the reasons include managing daily tasks more efficiently, improving time & productivity, keeping track of short-term goals, getting clarity & focus in decision making, refreshing business strategies, upgrading to newer technologies, expanding reach of business to gain more clients, refining business vision & mission, navigating complex business challenges, and identifying future obstacles & prospects.
Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.