When you decide that you want to get a business coach, you need to ensure that you find the right coach for you. Nothing is worse than hiring the wrong coach because it can be a large expense and you want to get a return on any investment that you make in your business. Therefore, if you do the research you need to do before hiring a coach, you’ll save yourself a lot of problems and missteps.
Before hiring any coach, they’re going to have you go through a lot of questions to make sure you are right for them, but you should also ask the questions you need to ask to ensure that they are right for you. These are good questions to ask, but remember to also keep in mind what’s good for you. You want a coach that challenges you, and pushes you outside of your boundaries; otherwise you won’t experience the wonderful benefits of hiring a coach.
While having coaching certification isn’t required by law, nor even required to be a good coach, the fact that someone spent the time and money on going through a program to become certified is a good sign that they take their business seriously and are devoted to making this profession their career. Listen to how they answer the question whether or not they’re certified; it will say a lot about how they deal with pressure.
This is an important consideration because if you plan to use a brand new coach you should pay a lot less since they aren’t experienced. But, if they’ve had training, that doesn't necessarily mean that they won’t do a good job if everything else comes together. The important thing here is to listen to their answer. It’s important to value honesty and hear how the coach deals with your questions.
The coach needs to be clear on who their target audience is if they want to help you be clear on where you’re going in your business. Do they work with only six figures and up businesses? Do they work with start-ups? What stage of business do they want to work with to best use their skills?
Do they like working with sole proprietors, or larger companies? A coach who is used to working with a corporation might not like working with a work-at-home mom, for instance. The answers are really important and if they don’t normally work with your size of business, you should follow up with asking why they want to work with yours.
Knowing what type of industry they like to work with is very useful. If your business works with authors, but they normally work with businesses who sell retail merchandise, they might not be a good fit for you. Hiring a coach familiar with your industry and what it takes to be successful is imperative, or they may not be able to advice you well.
The answer to this question should be something new over and above the insight you received from the above questions. They may be tempted to repeat their specialty, but dig deeper and find out what they’re really good at within that specialty.
When you are hiring anyone to help you within your business, it’s a good idea to always think about the numbers and which metrics you’ll study to find out if what you’re doing is working. If your ideal coach doesn’t know which metrics they can help you improve based on what you want to work on with them, you might want to question whether or not the expense is worth it.
If you need a lot of guidance in getting your business off the ground or to the next level, having a coach who brings other skills aside from typical coaching to the table can be an additional help to push your business to the next level of success. It really depends on what you need as to which answer you like best for this question.
The important thing is to be clear on what you need prior to interviewing a business coach. You may not be sure at first, but interviewing several coaches may help clarify for you what you want in a coach and what type of personality you’d work best with. Remember, as they interview you, you need to interview them as well.
Rich Thurman’s passion is helping small businesses realize their full potential. With twenty years of real world experience in both small and large business, Rich has worked for and with both global industry leaders and small-town family-run storefronts.
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