Let’s be honest, there are many preconceived notions about business coaching out there. Unless you’ve had personal experience with it, business coaching probably is a bit of a mystery. Here are 5 most common misconceptions I hear that stop small business owners from getting the help they deserve.
1. It’s only for failing businesses.
Actually, it is just the opposite. Most of our clients are true leaders in their companies and their fields. They are typically looking for accountability and support from a business coach to achieve a result they can’t get on their own. Even a successful small business can hit some bumps in the road or find its growth plateauing. When you are so deep into the day-to-day operations of your business it sometimes can be hard for owners to see the changes that need to be made.
Many business owners use a regular meeting with a coach as a regular check-in for their business, touching base when things are going well to make sure they know how to stay on course when things get tough.
I also think that the media helps us perpetuate this myth. It’s easy for us to follow stories of successful leaders and think that they got there on their own. The reality is that behind all successful individuals exists a network of people willing and able to help. Their support network is generally some combination of mentors, partners, investors, and coaches. What may look like a lone wolf entrepreneur is actually a person with a vast network of support, assistance, and guidance.
2. My business is too small or new for a coach.
There is no size or length in business requirement for coaching! We work with companies of all sizes on the challenges that they face. People use business coaches for a variety of reasons, including to learn how to market them business better, to improve their business skills or to simply have a neutral voice as a sounding board when making big decisions.
The right time really depends on your business’s growth trajectory and your personal development. If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed, need some help with figuring out how to grow, how to best manage your time, effectively lead or just need someone to objectively chat with about your business then you are probably a good candidate for a business coach.
3. It’s hocus pocus.
Coaching is a new and unknown entity to many. Because you are unsure of exactly how it works it can feel a little overwhelming and scary. Let’s talk about what coaching is and how it works.
Coaching is typically weekly or bi-weekly for an hour with an hour or two of work between meetings. Coaching is focused on bringing the best out of you. Your coach will not typically supply you with the answers, they help you work through problems. Coaches typically work with clients for 18-36 months and will cover a variety of topics including leadership, strategic planning, personal and team effectiveness, money, and time.
Business coaching should be a tool you use to run a successful organization and lead a great life. It is a way to create the highest performance through reflection, planned action, measured risk taking, and ongoing personal support. Your coach should have a proven process and create a plan for you that helps you sort out what needs to be done, when, and how, all while keeping you on track to achieve your long-term vision.
Part personal advisor, part sounding board and part strategist, a business coach is specifically focused on you and your success. Having someone work directly with you to point out things you can’t see and keep encouraging and challenging you to achieve your greatest potential is invaluable.
4. It’s too expensive.
Coaching is an investment of both time and money and that is how you need to look at it – as an investment, not an expense. What you put into your coaching relationship will be what you get back out of it.
Think about other areas of your life? When you buy something that is cheap what do you get? Exactly what you paid for! I’m not saying you should break the bank hiring a coach but remember, you are paying for your coach’s expertise, skills, experience and tools. There is true value in your coach providing the knowledge and skills that you need to grow, achieve your goals, and stay successful long after you finish working with them.
If you are getting the guidance, support and information that will get you where you want to go, the cost should be worth every penny. If you could grow your business and free up more time, would you consider that investment worth it? Probably!
A business coach should offer you a map to speed up the process of growing your business, getting more clients, making your business run more efficiently and ultimately making more money. So, a business coach shouldn’t be seen as a cost. A business coach is here to help you grow your business, scale it, increase your profitability and ultimately give you more freedom. They will likely be your only advisor that helps you MAKE money!
5. I can get the same information from reading a book or taking a class.
You absolutely can learn many key principles from books or classes. The question is, what will you do with the knowledge you gain? The place that most people struggle is in the actual execution or application of the knowledge.
What happens when you come back from a training program? Usually, we are energized and excited by what we learn and then life and the day to day of our business happen and we go back to our old habits and ways of working. On average, people only implement 1 or 2 things they learned in a workshop or training. A business coach helps you build the plan and action steps and holds you accountable to doing the work.
What happens when you have questions, want to talk through options or need help? Who do you call? The book author? The person who led the training class or online webinar? Probably not.
Your conversations with your coach will uncover the most important action step for you to focus on. They will be there to act as your guide as you work to reach your goals, keeping you motivated and accountable so you can achieve more, in less time. That is where a business coach is different from a book or a class. A business coach isn’t just about giving you information. A good business coach will hold you accountable making sure that you are implementing everything you discussed during your coaching sessions.
Hopefully this helps clear the air and gets rid of some of the misconceptions you may have had about a business coach and what they do. If you still have questions on whether or not it could be a good option to support you and your business, please set up some time for us to connect at www.empoweredleadershipcoach.com/schedule.