What You Need to Know Before You Hire a Business Coach

WooHoo! You’re ready to commit (or at least you’re thinking about it)! If you hang out with other entrepreneurs or listen to business-related podcasts, you probably know the value of having an experienced business coach at your side. Before you pick up the phone or fill out that contact form, do a bit of self-examination. 

  • What are your goals, and what are the things that may get in the way of achieving them?
  • Do pesky thoughts that don’t exactly support or inspire your goals pop into your head? Maybe they’re even pervasive thoughts?
  • Are you too caught up in the day-to-day activities of running your business? This hinders your growth, financial security, and health and happiness.
  • Do you need help to figure out the next steps—create a plan—for your business?
  • Want to think bigger? Imagine all that’s possible?
  • How do you think and feel on most days? Many entrepreneurs feel lonely inside. Some don’t entirely believe in themselves. (Make sure to download my Confidence Cocktail ebook if this is you!) 
  • In what areas of your life and business do you need clarity?
  • Do you want a professional at your side with whom to brainstorm and help you keep the promises that you make to yourself?

You may have a mixed list of answers: absolutely-yes, meh-sometimes, no-never. That’s cool. Now at least you have some idea of where you stand. Now, if you’re ready to do the work, the right business coach and an approach that fits your needs can rock your world.

Here are some of the most popular business coaching models. Once you think you know the type of coaching that may work best for you, pick up the phone or send a couple of emails to business coaches whom you’ve either heard about or found online. Questions? You just let me know!

Group coaching.

Standard group coaching programs include two or three live sessions each month with a small group of peers. This is valuable for solopreneurs and entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Peer support is powerful; other advantages include lower pricing and limited access to a seasoned coach. Some coaches offer larger groups programs focused mostly on motivation and inspiration, much of which comes from your peers. The larger groups sometimes meet once or twice a year for a weekend retreat and that can be fun. The weekly sessions are typically recorded, so if you miss one or if you’d like to review the content, you have the means to do so.

The drawbacks.

Groups are not a highly personalized experience, and you may require more than they have to offer. Most coaches don’t give group members direct access to them between calls, so if a problem crops up, you may not find the help you need. While peer support and encouragement from the coach is excellent, sometimes it wears off between calls. Make sure that the coach encourages the members to pair up and work with a partner for the duration of the program.

Hybrid Coaching Programs.

A popular model among coaches today is a mixture of recorded and live sessions. You’ll receive lessons on a daily or weekly basis in addition to a live monthly call for Q & A. These programs are fine if the coach specializes in something you need to learn, such as social media strategy.

The drawbacks.

The coach knows virtually nothing about you in these programs. They can be adequate platforms for learning, but a poor approach to coaching. If knowledge is your only block, the hybrid may help. If you want to support and personal growth, it’s not the right platform for you.

Self-paced learning.

These programs are pre-recorded and offer no live support from the program’s author. Again, affordability is the upside here. If the topic is of interest to you, it may be worth the investment.

The drawbacks.

Real personal growth is challenging to achieve in a recorded program since the coach knows nothing about you. They are very general programs, and you have no way of knowing how current the information is. Since there is no built-in accountability, only a highly motivated individual will complete the program and implement what they’ve learned.

One-to-one business coaching.

If you wish to take significant strides, this model is the most powerful and enriching experience for an entrepreneur (with the right coach, of course). You will have a trusted relationship with your business coach and, if you stick with it, there are no limits to growth opportunities. You will find coaches who focus strictly on your business and coaches who support you in both personal and business growth.

The drawbacks.

Finding the right coach can be challenging. One-to-one coaching with a successful coach does not come cheap. However, if you’re ready to do the work, the payoff is well worth it. Clients must be open-minded and accepting of change to make the investment worthwhile; there is no magic bullet. 

Talk with your potential business coach!

Tip: If you want to explore small group coaching or one-to-one coaching, make sure you speak directly with the coach. Coaches who work under the name of a well-known individual usually go through a brief training program, mainly so they can work under the label of the famed person’s brand. These programs are often pitched by a salesperson, not the coach.

When you speak with your potential business coach make sure you feel a good connection with them. If you don’t feel good when you speak with them, or if you have any reservations, talk about it on your call or a subsequent email or phone call.

Go ahead, take the next step. You don’t have to sign on the dotted line while you’re in the exploratory stages so look into coaching and see how it feels!

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