Category Archives for Business Skills

Can Hiring a Business Coach Really Make a Difference?


hether you’re just starting a business or you’re well into your venture, the idea of hiring a business coach may have come to mind. But you may be wondering if a business coach can really make a difference for you. To answer this question, you need to understand what a business coach does, and how to choose the right one for you.

Business coaching provides a way to interact with a professional who has your best interests at heart and can help you be more effective building your business and balancing your life and your business. Business coaches are a good mixture of accountability partner, sounding board, cheerleader and even emotional support. The business coach specializes in ensuring that all aspects of your life work together with the ultimate focus on ensuring that your business works.

Even the process of hiring a coach can be beneficial to your business. The coach will want to assess where you are right now with your business and find out where you want to go. An effective business coach will help you determine not just the direction you want your business to go, but will also identity actionable steps to take to achieve the goals you and your coach set.

  • Accountability – Checking in with someone else on a regular basis to tell them and show them what you’ve accomplished since the last meeting will give you someone besides yourself to be accountable to. For many people this helps them act in their own best interests and not put off anything, since most people don’t want to disappoint others.
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    Sounding Board – Talking plans and proposals out with a third party who is also well versed in your type of business will help solidify each plan you make so that you’re not going down the wrong roads to start with.
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    Cheerleader – Running a business is hard and some business coaches make excellent support systems and cheerleaders. In this way, you not only have a good plan of action to make your dreams come true but also someone to share your success with who has your best interests at heart.
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    Emotional Support - Many business coaches understand how home life can affect your business life. They can often help you deal with your family and friends when it comes to pushing your business forward.

If you need help identifying holes in your business plan, ways to fill the gaps, and how to create an actionable plan to push your business forward, then a business coach can definitely make a difference. The trick is finding the right business coach for your particular business.

In order to find the right coach for you that fits your business type and personality, ask the right questions of any potential coach. Plus, ask others for referrals before hiring any business coach. Finally, buy some of the coach’s products and services and try working on a short-term project with them first. This can help you ensure that they are the right coach to push your business to the next level.

12 Things to Include in Course Creation

When you create a course, you will need to start with an outline. Outlines are for you and for your audience. The outline will help you avoid missing any part of what you need to teach to meet the objectives of your course, but it will also be of use to attract your audience to your course. It will give them a sneak peek into what they will learn and encourage them to sign up.

Here are 12 things that your outline should include:

Why You Should Teach the Course – Everyone wants to know why you are the right person to teach the course. What gives you the qualifications to teach the course you are going to describe? Who you are, what your credentials are, and so forth should be listed.

Course Description – Explain to the audience what the course is about in detail, but do not make the description so long that they no longer need to take the course.

Course Goals – What are the goals of the course? For example, will the learner know how to make a web page using a particular platform when the course is over?

Learning Objectives and Outcome – Once the person finishes the course, what will they know and how can they use it? Will then have a workable item they can hold when they finish the course? Perhaps when the course is over they will have a five-page website that they can use.

List of Topics That Will Be Covered in Each Module – You want to state exactly how many modules or sections there will be, along with a title and description of what is covered in each module.

What Type of Audio / Visual Materials are Included – State what formats the information will include, for example, if you will have audio, podcasts, video, and other types of material. This will alert the student about the requirements of their own systems.

Procedures for Accomplishing Objectives – Explain what you will do to ensure that the students accomplish the objectives. For example, a reminder will go out to all students each week.

Student Requirements – In cases where there are prerequisites for what students need to know, express them. Also if they will need to complete work that is turned in and evaluated, be sure to tell them.

Assessments (If Any) – Some courses will have tests and assessments to qualify for a certificate, and others will not. If yours does, say so.

Schedule of Activities – List the schedule of activities that are included in the course that the student will do, or that the instructor will demonstrate.

Reading List (If Any) – In some cases, a book might go with the course. If you have written a book that they need to purchase, or you are using a book someone else wrote, link to it so they can buy it.

Follow-Up Opportunity – A great thing to include in your course is a way for them to follow up with you and sign up for other courses you teach or participate in other things that you do.

The outline for an online course is only slightly different than if you were teaching a course in person. In both cases, you want to explain what is inside the course, what your audience will learn, and what to do after for more information or where to find more courses that you teach.


How to Make Improvements in Client Interactions

Nothing is more important than ensuring that the communication you have with your clients is productive. There are many ways to communicate with a client. They encompass words and actions. Sometimes the words are spoken and sometimes they are written. But for all communication, your actions speak volumes above the words that you use. Ensure that your actions back up your words for the most effective form of communication.

Here are ten tips that you should know:

Engage with Clients – There are numerous ways you can engage with your clients, from a private Facebook group, to open office hours, to weekly Skype calls, to answering emails quickly. The more you can engage with your clients and the more they feel that you are open to communication, the better.

Show Empathy to Your Clients – Sometimes, especially when a client is complaining about something, it can be hard to be empathetic. But, you must always put yourself in your client’s shoes and look at things from their perspective in every interaction. When a client reacts badly to something, do not respond to their poor behavior; respond to the actual problem. They will feel heard and it will help.

Ask Clients for Feedback – A great way to open up communication with your clients is to show them some of your half-finished work and ask their opinion on it. That might be scary because they might respond going in a new direction than you thought, but it can help make them more satisfied with your work.

Ask Questions Directly to Your Clients – Do not be afraid to ask your clients direct questions about anything you are working on with them. Ask them if they liked your work, how they would improve it, and what suggestions they have for future work together.

Solve Their Problems – Be proactive with your clients and when you see a problem that they have that you can solve, or you know who can solve it, share that with them. Clients want their problems solved and even if they do not take your advice, they will appreciate your knowledge and expertise.

Act as Educator – You are an expert in your niche and your clients should view you that way in order to have a good relationship. Feel free to educate them on the area you have your expertise in. They will appreciate your voice as an expert.

Create Better Contracts – If you do have contracts with your clients, then the best way to make your communication work is to work on perfecting your contracts. When an issue comes up with one client, be sure to take that as education on how to make the contract with the next client even better.

Be Free with Your Opinion – The worst thing you can do is not give your client your opinion. You want to work with people who value your opinion, so be sure to give it. Always state that it is your opinion with some facts to back it up. Make it clear that they can go in whatever direction they want, but this is your expert opinion.

Always Be Yourself – Do not try to put on someone else’s personality. Only you can be you, and that is who your clients hired. Keep being yourself always. Even if it is scary sometimes, and even if a client might let you go due to who you are, those who stick with you will be a joy.

Send Them a Survey – Follow up with your clients at least yearly with a survey asking them about your work, products, and services. Having this yearly feedback will help you do better in the future with them and other clients.

Taking some time each year to review past communications with clients, analyze how you could do better, and working on improving will go far in helping you become an even bigger success.