What Does a Business Coach Do?
Lately, it feels like the word “coach” has become synonymous with one man: Ted Lasso. If you haven’t seen the Emmy-award-winning TV show Ted Lasso on AppleTV+, you’re missing out. Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, is an American football coach flown across the pond to coach AFC Richmond, an English soccer club, and save them from relegation (dropping down to a lower professional division).
Although the show follows the classic sports storyline, it defies expectations by bringing a true outsider to lead the team. Ted knows basically nothing about English football, but that doesn’t stop him from bringing the team together. He sees the strengths that already exist on the team, from the leadership of team captain and veteran footballer Roy Kent to the loyalty of kit man Nate. He also has a very clear view of the team’s weaknesses—mainly, star footballer Jamie Tartt’s giant ego.
The owner of AFC Richmond, Rebecca, expects Ted to fail because he’s an outsider, but it’s that outside perspective that actually benefits the team the most. Kindness, mutual respect, honesty, camaraderie, encouragement, team building—this is what Ted brings to the table, and it just so happens to be exactly what this team needs.
That’s also what a business coach can do for a company. Through curious questioning and directional feedback, business coaches can provide an outside perspective that is crucially beneficial for business executives and their teams.
What Is a Business Coach?
Simply put, a business coach can help you discover ways to make your business better. Business coaches have years of applicable business-related experience that enable them to effectively assist other entrepreneurs in their endeavors.
The goal of a business coach is to empower clients to develop their own long-term solutions, which will benefit all aspects of running their business—from daily practices to annual strategies to leadership refinement to time management skills.
Business Coach vs. Business Consultant: What’s the Difference?
Business coaches and business consultants both work to improve the processes and performance of their clients. The main distinction between the two is in their methodology. Business consultants provide diagnoses and solutions to issues, whereas coaches help clients develop the tools needed to solve their own problems through specific, thoughtful questioning.
Coaches encourage the long-term, well-rounded growth of clients. Consultants, conversely, are typically brought on for a specialized aspect of business that owners don’t have the time or resources to master, like IT, legal, or public relations.
At the end of the day, the difference is simple: Consultants solve problems for their clients. Coaches help clients learn to solve their own problems. A consultant is your star pinch hitter who can come up to the plate to save the game; a business coach spends the time training the entire team so you’re nowhere near losing the game in the first place.
Who Is a Business Coach?
Business coaches, most often, are former or current business owners. The knowledge that comes with prior experience in building, growing, and optimizing a company is crucial to providing clients with sound, implementable advice. Experience is by far the most important aspect of a business coach.
Coaches can acquire certain certifications to further demonstrate prowess in deciphering, understanding, and guiding organizations. For example, I am a certified StratOp facilitator. The training I’ve received on strategic planning goes hand in hand with business coaching, as a well-thought-out business plan is not only easier to execute but also more likely to result in exponential growth.
What Can a Business Coach Help With?
Business coaches can help with a variety of business-limiting problems. You should consider utilizing a business coach if:
- You’re unsure of where to take your business and/or how to get from “here” to “there.”
- You feel overwhelmed, and it is taking away from your professional progression, and even your personal life.
- Your team needs to be strengthened or restructured to maximize output.
- You know you could benefit from an outside perspective.
- You want to improve your leadership skills to more effectively and confidently supervise your team.
- You want an accountability partner that can deliver quantifiable results, ensuring you are meeting your goals.
What to Expect from a Business Coach
If you’ve never worked with a business coach before, here’s what you need to know:
- Availability: A business coach will be available on a regular basis depending on your needs, whether that is weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Some coaches may accept an unlimited number of phone calls, while others have set times at which they can be reached.
- Process: Coaches need to spend quality time observing and learning about your current processes, team, and problems. They should discuss your pain points, big dreams, obstacles, and reevaluate or help you to create a strategic plan if your organization does not have one in place—this is a crucial step in developing your company.
- Metrics: Coaches like myself care about real growth, and measurable data is integral to ensure your coaching experience is worthwhile. Together, we will create sustainable goals that serve as benchmarks, like revenue increases as a result of coaching implementations or work hours gained as a result of optimizing daily processes.
- Cost: Many coaches offer different forms of pricing, tailoring to each individual’s or company’s needs. Some coaches offer packages, which are based on a set number of meetings in an annual or quarterly period. Some situations are better suited by hourly rates or monthly retainers.
Why Business Coaching Is Important
It is an understatement that running a business comes with a lot of responsibility. Between serving customers, hiring new talent, maintaining a productive workspace, and all of the other daily logistics, taking time to reflect on how to optimize processes can fall by the wayside. A business coach can help make sure the important parts of running a business get the time, energy, and resources they deserve.
Benefits of Business Coaching
The benefits of business coaching are wide-reaching. Coaching can help you in:
- Gaining perspective: If you’re deeply ingrained in and emotionally attached to your company, it can be difficult to accurately assess your current standing, strengths, weaknesses, etc. The driving force behind business coaches is the desire to see you succeed. As such, they provide unbiased reflections that encourage you to clarify your perspective and vision.
- Establishing a plan: Without a solid, actionable plan, nothing in your business will change. A plan not only provides a useful framework for what needs to be accomplished but also is an accountability tool, ensuring those changes are made in a timely manner.
- Building business confidence: To best show up for your clients and team, it is necessary to develop skills that allow you to make confident decisions. A coach provides support in that journey, assuaging doubts and offering feedback that pushes you to grow—and doesn’t just coddle your ego.
Do I Need a Business Coach?
Wondering if you could benefit from a business coach? Consider the following questions:
- Is running your business a relatively new endeavor?
- Do you have a clear idea of where you want your business to be in five years?
- Are you struggling to find talent that suits your company’s needs?
- Do you have an accurate understanding of what your strengths and weaknesses are?
- Do you believe your productivity could be improved, but you aren’t sure how?
- Do you enjoy having someone to discuss big ideas with?
The answers to some (or all) of those questions should be able to guide you in the right direction. If that direction is, “Yes, wow, I NEED a business coach,” or even, “Hmm. Coaching might be able to help me… I think?”, contact me and I’ll lead you through a coaching conversation to help you decide.
Who Is Business Coaching for?
If you own a business and are committed to putting in the effort to sustainably scale and achieve your goals, the knowledge an experienced, passionate coach can offer is invaluable. Business coaching can benefit:
- Executives: As important as a stellar, cohesive team is, the executive is the leader who ensures all is not only running smoothly but propelling forward toward a clear goal. When executives are provided the tools to grow in their leadership abilities, everyone on the team—and the overall organization—can soar to new heights.
- Teams: Team coaching allows you to gain a deep understanding of the skills each member of your organization naturally brings, and how to most effectively utilize those strengths. Team coaching builds stronger bonds between colleagues, allowing everyone to come together and discuss the common goal(s).
- Startups: The most difficult time of running a business is arguably at the beginning—there are a lot of decisions to make, processes to build, and goals to create. Start off strong with the help of a coach. Together, we can establish practices that set you off on the right path with a clear vision in mind.
- Departmental managers: If you’re in charge of others at work, you could benefit from business coaching. Developing more effective communication strategies, learning how to thoughtfully delegate tasks, and figuring out what metrics are most important to your specific department all increase your team’s chances of success.
- Organizations of all sizes: Both large and small businesses can reap the benefits of business coaching—one-third of all Fortune 500 companies utilize some form of executive coaching. The objective feedback that coaches provide instills instrumental change, reviving a stagnant company through increased productivity, more effective communication, better customer service, and higher office morale.
How to Find a Business Coach
When searching for a business coach, prior business experience is paramount. NFL teams wouldn’t hire a coach who had never set foot on a football field, and you shouldn’t hire a coach that has never operated a business.
Other important factors to consider when selecting a coach that fits your organization:
- Reputation: If your potential coach doesn’t have reviews, there may be a reason why. Exceedingly satisfied clients leave positive reviews—use these to your advantage. Aside from speaking with a coach one on one, reviews can help give a glimpse into the value that they have provided in the past. Remember, experience trumps all, so check those reviews before signing the dotted line.
- Specialties: All coaches have specific areas of expertise. I focus heavily on strategic planning, and also greatly believe in the benefit of talent assessments to concretely identify the strengths of those in your company. When talents are leveraged properly, greatness becomes the norm.
- Intention: Some coaches undoubtedly enter this industry for monetary purposes, but finding someone that has “the heart of a coach” ensures you are receiving the aid of someone who cares. My intention is to get you to where you can be. Maybe you haven’t discovered your full potential—my expertise is in helping develop that potential, resulting in a more sustainable, successful business.
Get Started Today
Ready to discuss what kind of business coaching your organization could benefit from most? Send me a message today to schedule the conversation that marks the beginning of your company’s transformation.