Is Business Coaching for you?
If you are the owner and operator of a small to medium sized company, it can be incredibly helpful to have a business coach or mentor that you can consult with when you need to make decisions. However, you need to be sure that you are working with a professional who is an expert in the field. This guide will assist you in finding the best mentor for you so you can grow and advance your business.
Research & Investigate
You may already know someone who provides these kinds of services, either in your local community or through online forums. However, that is not enough for you to decide to trust this person with your affairs. You will need to research and investigate carefully before you decide who you are going to use. This will help ensure that you get the best advice possible.
If you do not know any, then you will need to make a completely fresh list. Otherwise, you can begin adding to it with a search online. Although you can get consulting from someone in another community, this is a service that is often better fulfilled by someone who is geographically close to you.
Consider a Coach who is Geographically Close
The importance of this will depend in part on the type of business that you have. There are likely many things in your community that influence your business that an outsider may not understand. You do not want to inadvertently make mistakes that hurt your reputation because you listened to someone who has never even walked the streets in your town.
For instance, there may be an annual event that is very special to the town and the people. When it happens, employers may close early, give employees days off, schedule a lot of overtime hours or a number of other possibilities. An advisor not familiar with how the event influences the psyche of the townfolk may recommend things that the employees and/or customers will not appreciate.
Another reason that you want business coaching services from someone who is in your area is they will have an additional set of ears regarding potential changes in the community. For instance, they may hear early on about a potential zoning change that will directly impact your expansion plans. The advice based on the upcoming changes can be invaluable.
Review their Entrepreneurial Endeavors
However, you need to have more parameters for the job than simply living in the same city! Take a list of four or five business coaches that are in your city and begin to research each of them. You want to know how successful they have been in their own entrepreneurial endeavors and if they have helped others to achieve success.
Read several reviews and go beyond the first page of the search engine results to be sure that you are getting a complete picture of each. If you cannot find sufficient information, you should move the person down on your list. If the info that you find is incredibly sparse and contains negative reports, you may want to scratch them entirely from you list.
Set up a Consultation Appointment
At this point, you have checked out their websites and general consumer reputation. Ideally there are at least two businesses or indivdiuals left on the list. Contact each of them to make a consultation appointment. Let them know up front that you are not going to make a decision that day because you have to complete the interviews and compare your notes first. If a person tries to force you to sign anyway, be aware that the aggressive behavior will continue throughout your work together.
During your interview with the business coaches on your list, you will need to see how well you and the person “click” together. Do they understand your vision and your business? Are they aggressive and controlling of the conversation and the business vision? Remember that you will be working closely with this person when making vital business decisions. You need to feel comfortable that you are getting the best advice and yet are free to make your own choices without judgement or berating.