If your business is ticking along nicely, you may be wondering how business coaching could benefit you? But did you know that the world’s top entrepreneurs all have a business coach or mentor? 9 Benefits Business CoachingSir Richard Branson of Virgin had Sir Freddie Laker, Bill Gates of Microsoft has Warren Buffet and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn had Steve Jobs. I gained a new client, Paul Sullivan of London based inbound marketing agency Modedaweb, after he watched a video I showed during a presentation about why Bill Gates values business coaching.

[shareable cite="Paul Sullivan"]When I discovered that Bill Gates had a business coach, I figured that I should get one too![/shareable]

So What Is Business Coaching?

Business coaching has a lot of similarities with sports performance coaching. The key role of the sports coach is to help the athlete set goals and put together a winning game plan. S/he pushes an athlete to achieve their optimum performance. S/he motivates the athlete to train longer and harder than the athlete would if left to their own devices. But s/he also listens, advises and provides support when they’re exhausted or lacking self-belief. And a great sports coach doesn’t shirk from giving tough feedback if this is needed.

A business coach performs many of the same functions as a sports performance coach. Their aim is to help the business owner to create a successful and profitable business that delivers their vision as well as their lifestyle goals. Like the sports coach, s/he provides the business owner with wise counsel and a confidential, listening ear. The best business coaches have significant experience of growing a business. They have the business acumen to spot and diagnose issues that the owner may otherwise miss or under-estimate. In short, a business coach is a ‘business owner’s best friend.’ This excellent article from Harvard Business Review explains what a business coach can do for you.

The 9 Benefits of Business Coaching

The reality is that running a business is hard work. Depending on which studies you read, start-up failure rates are 50 to 70% in the first two years alone. And many of those businesses that do survive simply aren’t profitable. Here are 9 reasons why I think business coaching enables businesses to succeed whilst others fail:

  1. Hard results - greater productivity, increased turnover, bigger profits.
  2. Deeper learning about yourself, your blind spots, where you can improve and how others perceive you.
  3. Faster action – completing projects faster and with greater focus.
  4. A greater awareness of the perspectives, beliefs, and attitudes that may be holding you back.
  5. The confidence to "lean in" and make bold moves.
  6. Clarity about what you stand for so that your decisions are ‘on brand’ and in accordance with your values.
  7. The truth that others won't tell you!
  8. A confidential space to get emotional support, wise counsel and encouragement.
  9. Help developing new skills – team building, managing employees, communication, delegation, negotiation, conflict resolution and so on.

What To Consider When Choosing A Business Coach

I’ve worked with a number of business coaches and mentors – both as a CEO and latterly as a business owner myself. I firmly believe that working with a business coach is one of the best decisions you can make for your business, putting you on the fast track to business success and helping you to accelerate ahead of your competition. But not all business coaches are created equal. There’s a low barrier to entry currently. But there are signs that the profession is starting to mature.

Go to any networking event and you’ll see what I mean. You’re likely to meet several business coaches, many of whom have no direct experience of running a business, other than their coaching practice. Go figure! Even having senior management experience in no way compares to being in the trenches as a CEO. If you’ve been a CEO, your understanding of business is very different to somebody who has never led a company. The buck really does stop with you, and ultimate responsibility for the success of the business rests on your shoulders.

[shareable cite="Denyse Whillier"]If you’ve been a CEO, your understanding of business is very different to somebody who has never led a company.[/shareable]

So how can you tell whether a business coach has the skills and expertise to help you to deliver your business strategy and meet your business goals? I recommend you consider these 4 factors when choosing a business coach:

  1. Know what kind of assistance you’re looking for. Is it help with your business direction and implementing your business strategy? Or it more specialised coaching on how to become an effective public speaker or write a book for example?
  2. What were they doing before they became a coach? Do your research and find out what they were doing before they started this business. It’s so easy to become a business coach or mentor these days. I never cease to be amazed at how good people pay serious money to coaches who have no track record of ever having run a business, other than their coaching practice. Does s/he have a clear track record of growing a business? Their LinkedIn profile is a great place to start your research.
  3. Know exactly what you’re going to get before signing up for a programme or a 1:1 coaching package. What results do their clients get? How many sessions will you get? How long does a session last? Will you get email support in between sessions? Do you get access to online learning material and if so, for how long? What’s the overall cost?
  4. Are you ready to dedicate time and energy to growing as a business owner? The benefits you receive from business coaching will correlate directly to the time and effort you put in. Are you ready to make the commitment needed to grow as a leader, an entrepreneur and a person? Your coach may suggest books for you to read, conferences for you to attend and webinars for you to watch. Similarly, you’ll need to be prepared with topics to discuss before each session to get the most out of your sessions. So you’ll need to be willing to set aside time to take action between coaching sessions.

[callout]Would like to find out how I can help you to master the art of being a CEO and take your business to the next level? Over on my business coaching page, I set out 4 different ways in which you can work with me. If you're interested in business coaching with me, let's arrange an informal chat over coffee. You can email me directly on denyse@denysewhillier.com.[/callout]

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Question: Have you had business coaching and what were the benefits to your business?

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About Denyse

Prior to becoming a business consultant and coach, I have 25 years’ experience in business, including 8 years as a former CEO. This experience is backed up by training at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. With experience in business planning, financial management, risk management, building strategic partnerships, product development, marketing (including PR) plus leading and developing staff teams of up to 150 people, there’s very little I haven’t had to deal with or experienced.

You can find out more about working with me HERE. Or alternatively email me on denyse@denysewhillier.com to arrange an informal chat over coffee. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether business coaching or business consultancy would be a good fit for your business, the results you can expect and how to get started.