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Business Coaching That Counts

Nov 17, 2007
It seems as though the title changes but the support remains similar. It was the rage to have a mentor; but this was usually perceived as free support. So the business coach was born. Coaches felt free to charge a fee for what support they offered.

The problem for a business operator is deciding which individual coach can give them the best support. But should they put all their eggs in one basket? Rather than one mentor or one business coach, it would be preferable to have a team that can provide a strong mix of skills to make your business life easier and growth more sustainable.

Business coaching has become an overpopulated industry where anyone and everyone who has some knowledge in business is trying to capture the market. Once we used to say if you were a consultant that meant that you were retrenched and were trying to make a living by hiring your services out. Now it is the same with business coaches. They are a dime a dozen and any network meeting you attend is likely to have a predominance of this industry. And there is a great deal of evidence suggesting that many do not have the skills or experience needed.

Does this mean that it is not advisable to have a business coach? Definitely not. A good business coach is worth their weight in gold. They will guide you, provide a strong network of skilled professionals to assist you; give you confidence; help you to think outside the square and will generally act as a sounding board for you.

The trick is to find one that is highly skilled with a ton of actual business experience that suits your needs. I am amazed at how many coaches offer their services when they have never run a business; let alone a successful business!

A business coach suitable for the corporate sector will probably not be suitable for a home based business. There are three major areas that you need specific skilled personnel to help you (and you are unlikely to find all three in one person) IT, Marketing and Finance require very different skills, so your coach must have support experts within their network so that you can draw on their experiences.

The solutions is to ask as many questions as possible:-
1) Do they have an Industry Accreditation?
The answer will let you know how seriously they take their professional standing in the community.

2) Can they assist you to receive an accreditation?
If they understand your business they should be encouraging you to increase your kudos by also becoming accredited.

3) Have they ever won an award?
Being prepared to have a third party assess their business is a sign of confidence and ability.

4) Have their clients ever won awards?
If they understand the importance of Awards as a marketing tool, they would have encouraged clients to enter awards.

5) What is the area that they have the most experience in?
You need to know if their strength is in Marketing, IT or Finance

6) What size businesses do they specialise in helping?
This is an important area of consideration; too big and they will not have an understanding of the specific problems and needs of Micro/HBB

7) What type of businesses do they have as clients?
If their business was as an artist; I would not recommend using them if you are an artist as you need a wider scope of skills for a business coach. But if they specialise is assisting artists; then I would use them.

8) Do they have meetings and phone and email support?
You need to be quite clear as to what they offer in the way of communication and ensure that it suits your needs.

9) Do they have some working templates that you can use to help organise your procedures and measure outcomes?
A business coach who has lots of tools to give you to make your lot easier, is a great advantage.

10) What Network organisations do they belong to?
If they do not belong to a networking organisation where they can develop relationships, then it is going to be difficult for them to give you good tips and introductions.

11) What Industry associations do they belong to?
All businesses should belong to at least one Industry Association and I would be very wary of any business coach who did not.

Once you think you have found the right person to be your business coach; then go for it! Just remember to measure the outcomes; you need to know just what specific support and results you have received for your capital outlay.
About the Author
Barbara Gabogrecan is a renowned presenter, artist and author, winning many awards. http://www.mbnsolutions.com.au
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