There are numerous reasons why using a business coach could be of huge benefit to you. Here are a few scenarios that are very common for business owners.
“I was spending too much time ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ it”
The creation of such opportunities is where business coaching really scores.
The business owner or director can be left mired ‘in’ the business with too little time to actually develop it. There’s often no-one to turn to for clarity, or for an objective, informed view of their real choices and how to make them happen.
Take this typical scenario. A business owner has built a company based on his own expertise or idea. But a reluctance to delegate, plus a natural preference to stay immersed, head down, in what he’s comfortable with leads to overwork, frustration and little progression. In such cases, the business coach can be an outlet and a trusted counsellor with whom business matters can be discussed confidentially.
“Just two directors, but we were so busy the business was left largely rudderless”
Turning to a business coach by no means implies shortcomings on the part of those seeking help.
In fact, most of the issues business coaches deal with are the result of a company’s success. The aim is to ensure it continues that way.
Often rapid growth can be distracting and diverts the key players away from longer term objectives. Partners fail to meet regularly because of ongoing commitments, and then hardly at all.
Meanwhile the sales pipeline gets dangerously short because it’s not being actively managed and, before they know it, the business is facing a monthly deficit.
Coaching can focus attention on the company structure and systems, and point out viable opportunities that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Clearly to do this competently, the coach should have meaningful business experience to share.
Hard business experience means your business coach can frame questions and brainstorms in a business format that’s informed by their own relevant experience. Clear outcomes and value measurements can then be set for both the business and the individual.
“Direction? We’d expanded so quickly we were out of control”
Because they often work long hours with adverse effects on family and social life, business people can reach an impasse.
They may be succeeding professionally but in a disorganised way that can leave them with no clear view of their sales pipeline, or where the money’s going. Proper internal structures and systems may not be in place or working adequately. Their work-life balance is a shambles.
The opportunity to re-energise and re-focus is what regular coaching sessions provide. Business people may be rushed off their feet, but are they just ‘busy being busy’ instead of delivering tangible results to the business?
A coaching programme can remind them of who they are and help them realise their own potential by identifying where they want to go.
“I wanted a different view of the business but wasn’t convinced coaching would deliver it”
A business coach provides the perspective from which an executive can get an alternative view of the business. It’s time in which to think, explore ideas and commit to action.
But, say sceptics, “I can think for myself – I’ve been in business for years!”
A good business coach is not there to make decisions but to create a space free from meetings, email and the telephone which clients can reliably and consistently devote to themselves and their business, and arrive at the outcomes they’re looking for.
If a client has initial doubts about the value of coaching, then a trial session is available to see how it goes. The client always sets the agenda.
Sessions need to be regular and should be designed to get to the root of the issues facing the business, set clear objectives and agree an action plan of who’s to do what.
They are certainly not empty talking shops. Business benefits are set meeting by meeting and we don’t move forward unless we’ve achieved what we agreed to work on.
As with any business discipline, the entire process is value-driven and quantifiable.
Peter Miller-Smith is an accredited Business Coach and Mentor with 25 years commercial experience, and a proven track record of running businesses and leading teams in the UK, Europe and USA. He works with managers and business owners wanting to improve their business and personal performance.
Peter is also accredited to use a range of psychometric and behaviour tools – so beware!