Why You Need A Business Coach (And How To Find One)

Business coaching is coming on strong as it should. It is now a $1 billion dollar industry. The typical approach to business coaching is to draw the answer solely from the client asking, “What do you think?” The client answers and further inquiries are made until a decision is reached. We all intuitively know what needs to be done and sometimes an outside voice just validating the answer is enough. However, I take more of a mentor/coach approach as my “real world” business experience is extensive. I am able to offer clients a fresh perspective as well as a seasoned business person perspective and open up my vast network, sharing those resources freely with a clients. A business coach should boost performance in a quantitative fashion. Results should be measurable.

In business we are fascinated by the hero’s journey as evidenced by business parable book sales. The hero sets out on a great quest, but cannot do it all by himself. All seems lost, until wise counsel is found that helps fulfill their destiny. For Arthur, it is Merlin. For Luke, it’s Yoda. For Daenerys, it’s Ser Barristan (shout-out to Game of Thrones fans!).

That is what a business coach can be for you; the wise counsel who is there to ensure your success. Building a business is like a recipe that requires the right ingredients used at the right time. Mess any of it up and at best a less than optimal result happens and at worse, abject failure occurs.

’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, a hub for business. Having built a number of companies over the years, including EarthCare, a $125 million NASDAQ traded company, have sold retail products into Walmart and raised over $67 million for my ventures.

Looking back, I am surprised and grateful for each adventure I have had in business. Some were awesome! Some were the pits. But all taught me something about myself, human nature, and specific business skills. I am particularly grateful for those mentors along the way that provided encouragement, belief, and opened doors to opportunities when I felt lost. No successful person is entirely “self-made.” That is why I am a business coach now. I want to pay that gift forward.

Why You Need A Coach

Whether you’re running a small but fast-growing business, or managing a larger company that’s struggling to keep up with agile and well-funded competitors, you will benefit tremendously from the right kind of business coaching.

Ask yourself – can your company be better, more profitable, better known and more enjoyable? Of course it can! Your company isn’t stunted because you’re overwhelmed with work. It’s failing to reach its fullest potential because you’re struggling to make the right decisions.

When you’re in the thick of the action, this can feel like trying to find your way through a maze. A good business coach can help you prioritize your tasks and decisions, when everything seems important, or call you out if emotions are clouding your judgment.

A Special Note For Women

A business coach can help you succeed in a niche market, or with an innovative idea. Over many years of running multiple businesses, I have experienced directly the difficulties unique to women who run their own company.

Women face some unique challenges in business that men do not. Women consistently find it harder to find investors, win clients, and be taken seriously. But with the right coaching, you can turn these adversities into unique opportunities that set you apart and bring more success your way.

Remember, it is not a lack of resources available; it is a lack of personal resourcefulness. All you need is a little nudge, sensible advice and support from a business coach who is right for you.

What A Coach Does For You

Have you ever seen a sports coach trying to outrun an athlete or strike out a batter? No. So what does a coach do? Measures, tracks progress, offers accountability, offers feedback. It’s hard enough to make profits in business. It’s a lot harder to get to the top and stay there. A business coach can use her experience to get and keep you there. Complacency is not an option!

This also holds true not only for you, but also your team. If you want your business to succeed, you must make your team more capable, skilled and cohesive. And for that, you can’t merely look at what’s working for you now.

Instead, you need to envision where your business will be – or can be – a year, five years and ten years from now. And work toward building capabilities within your team that can take you there. You have to be proactive about this. If you’re scrambling to adapt to a changed business climate, it’s already too late.

Find someone who’s “been there, done that” to help you navigate these choppy seas. You don’t want someone who knows a great deal about one area of business (that’s what consultants are for). You want to work with someone with a macro view of business who will act as a partner in strategy. That’s the best way to gain the wisdom needed to guide you on your “hero’s journey.”

A Coach Isn’t Your Friend. She’s Much More

You’ll find that your relationship with your business coach is perhaps the most important one in your professional life. Your coach can be your friend, but will also talk straight to you and tell you where you’re going wrong.

That’s something that most people will never do for you – either because they can’t see it coming, or because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.

While a good coach certainly cares about your feelings she will always hold the client to the truth of a situation even if it is a hard truth to swallow. She cares about your success and doesn’t want an emotional cloudy day or particular situation hindering it. That’s why a coach is invaluable.

Bounce Your New Ideas Off Your Coach

Here’s another reason you need a business coach: for sharing your newest ideas. You probably think up 5 new business ideas every day. And let’s face it – most of those ideas aren’t meant for prime time. That’s normal. If you’re even thinking of new possibilities, you’re already ahead of 99.99% of the herd.

Unfortunately, in business, ideas aren’t free. In fact, bad ideas can be very costly. Your coach can be a sounding board for them – share to get an unbiased, independent perspective before you spend time and money developing something that no one wants, or chasing after investors.

Alternatively, if you make your business moves with care, you will find it far easier to network effectively, raise money and build super-teams that take your business from success to success.

How To Choose Your Coach

A business coach is an investment that pays for itself through increased revenues and fatter profit margins. Remember, coaching can and should be tied to metrics and results. A good business coach has no problem being held accountable. Coaching will pay itself many times over both in profits and increased optimism.

Before choosing a coach, think about what you envision for your company, and what you, personally, want to accomplish in the next quarter, the next year and the next three years. Share this with the potential coach and ask how she can help get you there. Hire the coach with the business acumen most needed. Someone who understands you, the market and personal aspirations whose company you enjoy.

Above all, you must feel a sense of comfort in interacting with the coach. You must feel at ease, not intimidated. Work with someone who is approachable and easygoing, verses those without empathy that relish the “authority figure” role. Some might argue that point but personality fit is important.

Remember that in today’s economy, a disruptive technology can change your market beyond recognition in a few short years. Remember Kodak? Who would have thought the digital revolution would sink them. It didn’t have to end that way. Working with an experienced coach is insurance that you won’t be blindsided by change.

There’s nothing that can stop you from gaining more success than you ever imagined. Invest in a good coach, and you’ll be well on your way!

If you are interested in booking Joyce Bone as a business coach or speaker for your next event she is flies out of Atlanta, Georgia and can reached at support@joycebone.com or visit www.joycebone.com.