The 2010s seems to have been the renaissance of business coaching, an educational process that’s meant specifically to increase business gains. Recent statistics from the International Coach Federation cite that a company’s profit margins can go up to 46% when they invest in a business coach for their top brass. Business coaches prove especially valuable to budding entrepreneurs, though even the most seasoned businessmen can benefit from hiring a mentor.
Though business coaching differs from counseling and life coaching, it shares the qualities of mentorship and guidance with these two. The framework that a business coach offers is one that’s goal-directed and focused on action. While they are in a position to guide and mentor, a business coach can also do the following: 1.be a voice of reason to an entrepreneur; 2. be a sounding board for the best (as well as the worst!) business ideas; and 3. be an advocate for the business’s success and wellbeing.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s looking for a change of pace—or a shift in your leadership paradigm altogether—hiring a business coach could be your best decision yet. Here’s a guide on what a business coach brings to the table, plus some personal qualities that you would expect to see in your own business coach.
The 5 Qualities of an Exemplary Business Coach
Before looking forward to planning, mentoring sessions, and other constructive activities with a business coach, you’ll of course need to find the right one. The market is rife with people who claim to be coaches, as it’s a fairly lucrative and prestigious kind of livelihood. Given the nature of the scene, how will you find a real business coach who can contribute to your endeavors? How do you sort the pros from the self-titled charlatans and money-grabbers out there?
These 5 qualities are essential in a business coach. If all five are embodied by your would-be coach, then you can feel confident that they’re the real deal.
Dedication to their craft.
The ideal business coach is one who takes their field seriously, and who has the reputation and the credentials to back it up. They shouldn’t be shy about the degrees, certifications, and positive testimonials they’ve received in their quest to become an excellent business coach. This should prove that they aren’t riding on a trend to get your cash.
Expertise in your industry.
Coaching isn’t the only field that your mentor should master. They should also be well-versed in your industry, knowledgeable of its jargon and its key players, and be aware of the unique issues that your business will encounter from day to day. If that is guaranteed, then so is the quality of the business advice they will give you, as it comes from a place of experience, and therefore it will be a solid basis for your future decision-making.
It goes without saying that your business coach should have great leadership skills. But what abilities in their skill set should stand out? A business coach who is an effective communicator, understanding listener, who knows how to navigate complex issues, and who manages resources wisely is the ideal mentor for you.
A business coach should also be in touch with their creative side. After all, it’s creativity that drives businesses to innovate, and therefore stay competitive. A great business coach will advocate thinking out of the box—and eventually push you to do the same so that you and your business can grow.
Gift of connecting with others.
As an entrepreneur and/or part of the business’s leadership, you are only part of the equation. The right business coach understands how important it is to get along with and engage with your team. They should be attentive, sensitive, and be able to connect with people from all walks of life. They’ll know that their coaching work extends past you, and down to all the employees of the organization.
The Top 5 Benefits of Having a Business Coach on Your Side
Once you’ve found a business coach who embues all these key traits, it will be just a matter of time before you make good on your investment. Here are 5 ways that a business coach will positively impact you, your coworkers, and your business environment.
The business coach will customize its’ approach to tailor-fit it to your business.
No two businesses are completely alike in vision, market, and company culture. A great business coach is aware of that and will adapt their time-tested methods of coaching to a singular leadership approach. It will be unique to your company’s size, industry niche, goals, and culture—and the success you’ll soon achieve won’t be comparable to anyone else’s.
You’ll receive expert business advice.
uffice to say, you’ll be learning a lot from your business coach. This is your opportunity to get a hold of specialty industry knowledge, changes in the business climate, and a lot more from your mentor.
You have additional leadership support.
Leading a business isn’t easy, and the traditional hierarchy dictates that your staff depend on you. But you, in turn, can depend on your business coach to build your confidence as a leader. They’ll know what you’re going through, and they’ll provide some valuable support to deal with any new problems, make hard calls, and mediate within the organization.
You’ll have a sounding board for the ideas that work, as well as the ideas that don’t.
Some ideas that you have for your business will be brilliant; some, not so much. But what a business coach can do for you is give you honest feedback about your ideas, in ways that your peers and other employees cannot.
Your business coach will introduce you to a wide network of fellow practitioners.
The most successful business coaches have built a network around their good name. Having access to their network of fellow leaders, experts in your field, and other important people may open new doors for your own business. Your mentor should be happy to help you connect with them!
Profits aren’t the only thing to be gained from hiring a business coach. The work of a seasoned, dedicated, and hands-on business coach could trickle down into the business’s culture—in ways that will benefit every stakeholder in the long term.