I bet you’re already thinking; this should be good! A blog about why using a business coach has viability written by a business coach! Well there’s a reason why I’m the one writing it and not reading it and it’s got zip to do with shameless self-promotion(although **coughs**I hear there is this amazingly warm-hearted and down to earth business coach in Perth called Spreading Roomers who specialises in the interiors / homewares / design niche doing great things??).
Now that I’ve managed to integrate one hair flick into proceedings I’ll move along and instead, I’m going to say something really off centre here and suggest that not everyone is cut out to use or need a business coach (cut the transmission!!!!!).
Pretty astonishing I know, but balls to the wall it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s OK for a variety of reasons. Business coaching by nature is viewed by many I think as being a superfluous service, a luxury if you will for cashed up business owners requiring efficient steering and switched up processes to enhance their bottom line. I’ve even heard some say they see coaches as a threat.
Viewed as an often unreachable resource, the pendulum to this suggested inaccessibility is that we are a combination of your graphic designer, branding expert, marketer, accountant, sales team, financial advisor, social media guru (for some reason I see Austin Powers when I think of this word and I have no freaking idea why!) and an armchair psychologist all rolled into one. All I’ll say to that, is if that’s the expectation of what we offer, then you’d better damned well be showing us the money (“Congratulations you’re still my agent”– look it up people, look it up)!!
Reality pales in comparison and in fact of the business coaches I know (and I know a few absolute diamonds) we spend most of our time working tirelessly on businesses that are not our own! We strategise for products we don’t make, we create marketing briefs to boost your brand exposure not our own, we create campaigns that separate you from your competition, we create relationships built for sustainability not just enterprise, we analyse your competition and provide insight into achieving more effective cut through, we find your target market and guide you on how to communicate with them, we build plans and projects in digestible terms that deliver in traditional yet epic results, and engineer more accountability and sound practice in your business than you thought possible to also deliver the holy grail to beat holy grails – work / life balance (or as close to it as we can muster)…..insert Mother Theresa here!!!
Now don’t get me wrong, first and foremost, we do it because we love it – you would have to, because the ‘cashed up’ scenario from up there simply isn’t in play. It’s not mega bucks and in fact, the next time you receive costs from a coach you’re keen to engage, do yourself a favour and consider all the areas I touched on above and work it backward. If you were to employ someone in each of these arenas you can go ahead and quadruple your investment – better yet, go put in on red at the casino. You run the risk of blowing the lot on a scatter gun approach that then lacks any real cohesion or direction…it’s a gamble not worth taking. We (the business coaches massive) take on board a phenomenal responsibility in articulating your requirements and I can tell you now it takes almost double the time we charge to do it.
Even knowing I will never be able to charge for all that I do; I still look for ways to accommodate small business owners during a variety of stages of their journey. It’s also the big driver behind my new group coaching program too – accessibility to great advice shouldn’t be restricted to anybody and for those not ready for the intensity of one on one coaching, this offers a really comfortable alternative.
We also mostly; flex toward one particular element of these aforementioned offerings as we know where our strengths lie and where they don’t. We’re good at outsourcing and recognising where to bring in other expertise (notice I didn’t say ‘experts’ – they are different and frankly this word is a crock). We become your entire team, confidante, foundation and support structure. Still unconvinced??
HERE'S MY TOP 7 GOLDEN REASONS YOU SHOULD HIRE A BUSINESS COACH:
1. Skill set. Unless you have approximately 672 hours in each day at your disposal, my guess is that you will attempt to have your finger in all of these multiple puddings and achieve at best varyingly poor to moderate success.
Doing it all is not having it all. Doing it all is exhausting just thinking about it yet without doubt every business owner will start out trying. The upside is that it should highlight to you where your strengths lie fairly quickly giving you opportunity to get someone in to assist YOU in making the right business decisions for you and your business before you turn into a crazy cat lady [We are there to help you make the right decisions for your business not to make them for you].
Keep in mind, the sooner you act the less chance you have of suffering burnout and the sooner someone can step into the business journey with you. There is huge merit in front end loading this and it’s an investment that will see you make it past the first 3 fraught years where so many falter.
2. Efficiency. Want to find the best DIY guide to PR? You can Google it and get 17,000 results all promising to show you how to take your small business to the front page of Vogue Living and the clincher, it will only cost you a shoestring budget of $59 a day! WTF!
Firstly; sometimes (don’t drop me from your search engine Googes) it’s best to stop playing with this search engine royalty. Much like self-diagnostics via Wiki has lead to many a false emergency visit, and general paranoia over white tail spiders, Google is about specifics not general get well or get rich schemes and it easily then becomes a double edged sword for many small business owners seeking slicker processes.
Efficiencies in your practice firstly need to stem from something un-Googleable ….YOU! What your business requires to function, evolve, and grow isn’t a search engine requirement it’s due diligence and learning where your priorities need to lie in the most dynamic way possible.
3. Longevity. In lieu of a cast of thousands, your business coach becomes a most trusted and protected species as they literally take on your journey with same passion and vigour as you do (sometimes even a bit more – just feed them occasionally and they put away their sparkly ‘let’s work all night eyes’ and simmer down!).
Put simply; we are in it for the long haul and with good reason. Personally speaking I’d rather have 6 full-time clients annually than 7,000 casuals jumping in and out of my highly organised waters. It’s about delivery and execution and frankly, much like raising a child, we are in it to see the fruit of our labors flourish. There really isn’t a more impressive champion for your business (besides you) than your coach (give me a why!!!).
4. Structure. To naked eye there are a thousand ways to perform a particular function but identifying how and why that particular way will benefit your business comes from hours of research and fine tuning.
Getting your structure right from the start is easiest way to halve your workload; at the very least it will see you not loose countless hours trying to ensure the plates don’t fall from the top of their wobble sticks and instead apply your focus to areas of necessity.
A good business coach is not afraid to speak freely and has a steely resolves when it comes to telling you the truth and this is a good thing. They are quick identifiers of structure and processes that will uniquely work for you based on the uniqueness of your offering and it’s not personal. We keep it real and it’s the best guidance system for any small business in lieu of ‘advice’ from multiple and oftentimes inexperienced channels (friends and family syndrome sufferers rejoice!).
5. Accountability. You did that SWOT analysis on local builders I asked you to do right? You followed up with that stockist in Sydney and negotiated an entry into their retail outlet? You’ve set new goals for the next quarter and know exactly how you want your architectural business communicate? NO???? OK then, time to roll some sleeves up.
We get it. Your team of you had a bad week. You got shot down by stockists in both Melbourne and Brisbane and you’re assuming the worst out of Sydney. You’ve decided that being an Architect in this market is a hard sell and you’re not sure anyone’s listening anyway. Stop it right now. We set this agenda for a reason and there’s no way you’re getting off the hook that easily. Slip me a $50 and we’ll call it even – FAT CHANCE.
It may not be part of our immediate schedule but OK, let’s do this together…and we do.
6. Support. In times of achievement or crisis, you need a stronghold that has your back no matter what the climate. Fair weather does not exist in this dojo and so, your business coach becomes a limb you didn’t even realise you had.
The beauty of this person is that their support is genuinely in play because they want to see you succeed. They do not feel the obligatory contribution felt by most family members who don’t ‘really get’ the small business journey, they are not ‘mates looking for rates’, nor the green eyed monster hoping to drop a subtle grenade and see you falter.
Importantly; they help you grow thick skin to deal with the negatives of business and champion your cause in such a frank manner that on good or bad days or even on good or bad terms, they just don’t waiver from the objective.
7. Authentic Growth. This one’s a big one for me. Growth to me becomes exponential when you allow yourself to be open to possibility. One of my personal primary tasks is to break down any traditional business, emotional or psychological barriers around coaching or business in general and turn them on their head.
In addition, you can’t really grow until you have accepted and trusted in your authentic offering. Growing authentically is different to growing financially and the former lends itself to staying focused on the ‘why’ and purpose of YOUR vision. Instead of letting self-doubt creep in, together we endeavor to explore all the opportunities to leap you into new pastures whilst always acknowledging and staying true to the core values of the business.
When collectively put together like this; it sounds impressive doesn't it – and it should. I can say hand on heart that I accomplish all of these objectives with each and every client I have the pleasure of working with.
On any given day my job is to ensure your business and brand are on song and each and every client has a whole different set of expectations and requirements that I am to perform and undertake. It takes considerable flex to adjust to their growing needs and to ensure that I keep up with new developments in industry at the same time. It’s certainly no small feat. If the small business owner is required to know how to do everything (although we accept that it is impossible to do so) then the business coach is there to ensure you don’t try and do that.
Happily; I niched my services from the start and I am so, so glad I trusted my instinct on that. I'm constantly overwhelmed by the support I receive from that industry too. Take these group coaching sessions - the lovely Gino Premici, GM of Home Base to the rescue allowing me ongoing use of the 'white room' as my new digs! Gino knows I am a natural supporter of the greater Perth interiors scene and so this by example, is how we take care of each other.
This niche also means I get to entrench myself in a professional platform I adore and separate myself from my cohort fairly comfortably. Because of this, my clients can approach me to undertake not just their business plan or marketing strategies but for some I extend beyond that and I put together their social media strategies, or plan campaigns. I don’t 'manage' them as authentic engagement is important but they see this as a real strength in me and I love the diversity it offers too. The majority however; continue to utilise me in an on-going capacity and honestly; it's in this space that we really flourish.
So; before you start to convince yourself that you can indeed to do it all – first ask the question, can I do it all WELL? Make a list of your strengths and where you feel you need the most assistance, then make your inquiry. Remember; you’re looking for VALUE. If you have a list of requirements that really underpin your prospective growth, you will get what you pay for. Equally; exorbitant costs are to be avoided and most of the diamonds I mentioned earlier are always happy to provide you with a breakdown of costs and offer you alternatives to start you off.
The most important lesson you will learn during this curve is making good decisions early on are vital to your success and growth. Investment in the right areas actually saves you more in the long run and having someone with visibility outside of your immediate bubble is often the most valuable road map you could ask for.