What is Coaching for Small Businesses & Startups?
Building a business or a startup is no small task. From developing products or services to delivering them to the client, there are plenty of bumps in the road that you can encounter along the way. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that small businesses and startups face is their own team. Whether it’s communication, training and development, accountability, building a cohesive team continues to be a top challenge for business leaders.
Often, a team coach is the perfect solution for small businesses and startups to develop their team. Coaching can provide the help groups need to elevate their impact, rally around a common purpose, and willingly commit to team accountability. As a team coach, my objective is to guide a team from a taskwork mindset (what I do) to a teamwork mindset (what we do together) by fostering open communication and a radically supportive climate. This will help develop a more effective, innovative, and empowered team; this will, in turn, ensure that your business is more successful and productive.
Who Needs Coaching?
Everyone can benefit from coaching, whether it be individual or as part of a team. In the niche of small business and startup team coaching, there is still a large number of individuals who would benefit.
- Business owners: Whether your business is owned by just one person or several, coaching provides significant benefits to any business owner. With today’s business leaders facing ever-growing stress, coaching helps them create healthy boundaries. Implementing a more focused strategy through coaching has been proven to lead to higher productivity rates.
- Entrepreneurs: As an entrepreneur myself, I understand how important it is to be set up for success. I still utilize coaching to keep my business focused and on point.
- Business teams: Business teams could be departments or project-based to committees. Coaching for business teams is an excellent way for business leaders to help their people get organized and feel invested in.
- Executive teams: A business coach can act as an objective third party, serving as both an accountability partner and an advisor to help executives stay laser-focused on improving. They can also help executive teams stay united and decisive on important matters.
- Individuals: Life coaches can help individuals establish and achieve goals, overcome challenges, and make the changes necessary to live an intentional, fulfilled life.
Differences Between Team Coaching and Team Building
Team building is based on the idea that creating stronger bonds amongst team members will, in turn, create a more cohesive and productive team. Methods of team building consist of social activities, exercises that require high levels of collaboration, and more. Often, team building is just a one-off activity that only produces surface-level, short-term benefits.
Team coaching, on the other hand, focuses on people both as individuals and members of the team. While it is more involved, team coaching can build better results and long-lasting effects for both the team as a whole and the individuals involved.
Importance of Team Coaching for Startups and Small Businesses
Trust, efficiency, and accountability are vital to any team. However, they are particularly important to the teams of startups and small businesses. Often, because of the small size of the company, there is only one team and it consists of every employee, owner, and executive. Because of this, it can be easy for one small conflict or miscommunication to have a tremendous negative impact. Team coaching is an excellent way to provide tools and frameworks that help teams to avoid such effects, create lasting relationships, and implement peak productivity.
Benefits of Team Coaching
Team coaching has many benefits for individuals, teams, businesses, and more. These benefits include:
- Identifying areas of strength and improvement for each individual, as well as the team or organization as a whole.
- Improving productivity through strength identification.
- Effectively managing conflict through relationship building and productive communication.
- Aligned thinking on business goals, as well as increased organization to meet them.
- Switching your teams’ mindset from taskwork (what I do) to teamwork (what we do).
What to Expect from Team Coaching
Your experience with team coaching will vary depending on the coach you choose to work with. However, here is a list of techniques or activities that you can expect:
- Behavioral Assessments: In order to get a full picture of what kind of people are on your team, many business coaches will have everyone take an assessment that maps out their personality, strengths, weaknesses, areas of improvement, and more. These assessments range from commonly known assessments such as the DISC, Meyers Briggs, and the Enneagram to lesser known ones that your coach may have created on their own.
- Conflict Resolution: In order to improve conflict resolution, some team coaches may turn to team building activities; others will focus on identifying the conflict management styles of the team. By doing so, your coach will be able to foster conversation surrounding how different individuals respond to conflict, how to avoid conflict, and how to respectfully and productively address it.
- Communication Improvement: If your team agrees that communication is something they have had difficulty with, your team coach may choose to focus on communication improvement. They will likely look at the different communication styles that your team has, which could be shown through their behavioral assessments. Using this information, your coach will be able to lead your team through creating an environment in which individuals can voice their concerns, be heard, and work cooperatively towards solutions.
- Setting Measurable Goals: When it comes to working as a group, it is important to be on the same page about the goals of your team and organization. The team will work together to brainstorm and set goals, as well as hold each other accountable to those goals.
- Adapting to Organizational Changes: When it comes to structural changes within an organization, some employees may have a hard time adjusting to their new roles, the new roles of their coworkers, or new individuals who may come in. Coaches can help ease the transition for an organization, as well as assist the newly-shaped team in working together efficiently.
What to Consider when Hiring a Small Business and Startup Coach
If you’re ready to take the next step and invest in your team by bringing in a coach, it’s important to do your research in order to ensure that the coach you choose will be a good fit for your team and your business.
When to Hire a Coach
A common mistake when working with a team coach is not starting early enough. Team coaching should not be a last resort, nor should you wait until something catastrophic happens to hire one. Bringing on a team coach early can help you avoid team disasters before they even happen.
What to Look For in a Coach
When looking for a coach to come in and assist your team, there are a few characteristics that you should consider. When looking for a team coach for your small business or startup, look for someone who…
Has the heart of a coach
Finding someone who is driven and passionate about seeing people transform and succeed in the workplace is your first step in finding a business coach.
Has experience in small businesses or startups
Team coaches who have worked in – or own – a small business or startup have invaluable experience and knowledge that a coach who has not worked with companies similar to yours do not.
Has a positive track record
Reviews can tell a lot about a team coach. Make sure you take a look at testimonials, reviews, and more left by previous clients to see if they would make a good fit for you.
Shares your values
Finally, look for a team coach who shares your company values. No matter how much experience someone has or how good their reviews are, nothing will replace a team coach who truly understands what your business is all about. Finding a team coach who shares your values, vision, and mindset can create a more cohesive and productive relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Coaches Cost?
Depending on what you’re looking for, a business executive or team coach can cost anywhere from $175 per hour to upwards of $400.
Why Do Startups Need Coaching?
Coaching gives the startup leader an opportunity to avoid pitfalls that others have fallen into. From learning how to be a leader within your business to finding the best opportunities for your startup, coaching can help pave a faster road to success.
For more than 20 years, I’ve helped executives at businesses, non-profit organizations, and ministries reach their goals, create productive teams, and strategize for the future. I’d be happy to set up a time to chat, and help you get to where you want to be. Let me know if I can help you build a better team for your small business or startup.