What are the benefits of working with a business coach?

- Simon Buck
Business Coaching: A Guide to Everything You Need to Know | Brian Tracy

In this blog, we look at why business leaders make the decision to work with a business coach, the benefits, what to look out for and what type of support they can offer the ambitious entrepreneur. 

Far too many businesses still fail in their first 5 years or fail to unlock their true potential. In fact, of those that do succeed only a small percentage ever get to sell their business and realize the dream and the financial rewards from the blood sweat and tears invested in their business. 

Business coaching was once reserved for those businesses that were struggling, needing help, but over the last decade, as the quality of coaching has improved, more and more business leaders have realized it’s no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Coaching is now focused on those that have real unlocked potential or keeping the top performers at the top of their game. 

With the increased challenges of running businesses in today’s fast-moving and ever-changing landscape the ability to take time out and work ON the business, with a second set of eyes supporting your decision-making process, is the new essential for business owners that want to perform at their best. 

What is a Business Coach?

It’s an often-debated topic, are you a coach, mentor, consultant, for us it really doesn’t matter what you call it. Ultimately it’s someone who will hold you accountable and support you to perform at your best, whilst having an outside perspective from other areas of the industry to focus on best practice and world-leading strategies. Simply put it’s a bit like having a critical, but supportive friend, pushing you and challenging you to achieve the goals you set for yourself and the business.

The best analogy for comparison is sports performance coaching. The world’s best athletes are undoubtedly talented, but it’s the addition of their coach that often brings out the best performances. They push them harder, faster, and further than they would alone. They focus on their mindset and stretch their comfort zones. Help them see the small changes they can make that make the biggest difference, and when they are at the top of their game, they don’t get rid of their coach, because they help them stay there. 

Business is no different, in fact, it’s often a tougher environment, less clarity of success, there aren’t always the scores, the times, the results to know if you’re at your best. It’s why the industry has seen a huge increase with more businesses than ever turning to a coach with wide industry experience to bring out their true hidden potential. 

What Services Do Business Coaches Offer?

Here at Chalkhill Blue, our coaching practice offers a wide range of services for every business leader, wherever they are on their entrepreneurial journey. Sometimes that calls for consultancy around strategic planning or exit, and sometimes a business might require some training in sales or leadership, but the bulk of our work focuses on coaching. 

Ultimately there are 2 key decisions to make based on the desired speed of your growth or learning and they will determine whether you are ready for 1:1, the fastest and most intense form of coaching where you and your coach are focused exclusively on your outcomes, or group coaching through our online or face to face sessions where there is a real mix of education, peer to peer learning and coaching.  

The Benefits of a Business Coach

Ultimately people work with a business coach for the results. Those results might be your leadership style and getting the best from those around you, more time back, greater enjoyment from your role and the business or clear hard financial results of improved cash flow, revenue and bottom-line profit. For many, it’s the ability to step back from their business and build a plan so they can see over the horizon and share the vision with those in their team and others that can influence it. A great coach will challenge their vision to ensure they deliver more than they might have personally believed possible. 

Grow Strategic Thinking Skills

As each business moves through the SWIM, RUN, JUMP and FLY stages of growth the need for greater strategic thinking increases and the risk associated with those decisions multiplies. Having an independent view and someone in your corner who has no vested interest other than your success can be refreshing, to say the least. A coach helps bring clarity to the decision-making process and a clinical review of the options available. Taking time out to strategically think, rather than tactically reacting allows you to see what’s coming over the horizon at each new stage and plan for it, rather than it creep up and surprise you.  

Create an Actionable Business Strategy

Too many businesses write plans which sadly aren’t implemented. Either they aren’t looked at or actioned or they were for the bank or for the launch of a business and rarely looked at since. A Business coach not only helps you build a plan but holds you to account to action it. Breaking it down into manageable chunks across the business so there is real ownership and accountability across the departments. 90-day planning is a stable of our coaching process as it’s long enough to do something significant within but short enough and outcome-based to keep people focused. Combining the above with KPI’s (key performance indicators) so everything is transparent and results-focused ensures everyone knows what success looks like.  

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

We all ultimately want and need to develop strong teams that perform well, but often people challenges are difficult to address, particularly if they have been with us for a while or if they are part of a family run business. Having an outside perspective can therefore address some of the more personal challenges that might exist and allow for “the difficult conversations” to take place and be addressed. Tools such as DISC behaviour profiling and ensuring teams are aligned with the company strategy will all help unlock a team’s full potential. Again, it’s often about having a fresh set of eyes in the business that can identify where these strengths and weaknesses lie and see how to address them.

Provide Objective Advice and Support

Ultimately whatever your business is and whatever stage you are at on your journey the need for objectivity is one of the key reasons a business coach will be engaged. The independent view, with no emotion or politics, can bring clarity to the thinking that is often lacking when advice is sought from other senior team members. We have all been in situations where we have looked at a business and asked ourselves, why are they doing that? From the outside in, things are much clearer, solutions more obvious, challenges can be overcome, and opportunities exploited. We all need someone to challenge our thinking or support us in our entrepreneurial journey, it’s all about finding the right coach for you and your style.

Improve Profitability

Ultimately The most important point is how business coaching services can help increase business profitability. At its core, business owners need to see ROI and profitability from utilising this service. With every business we work with, we are focused on the bottom line and what return on investment we can deliver. Coaching, whilst not instantaneous must deliver results. One of the benefits of having multiple coaches in an organization is whilst you may meet and work with one coach more regularly, there are others available to support your business through any challenge. We consistently measure the results we get for the businesses we work in terms of revenue growth, bottom-line profit, work-life balance and business asset growth.  

Summary

A business coach is no longer a luxury, it’s an essential part of any successful business model bringing objectivity, support and challenge for business leaders and their senior teams. A great coach will ensure you make the shift to lead the business you will become, and realize your full potential. If you want to learn more, or if you’d like to speak to one of our coaches, please contact us and we look forward to helping you unlock your true potential.

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