When do you need a business coach?
It is said that becoming a business owner is one of the best and worst thing that you can do to yourself. When times are great you feel great… when times are tough, they feel like it will break you. Even when things are going well, as an owner you often feel alone and unsure on how to continue to advance your business in the right direction. The question is, when is it time to find outside help and why would you hire a business coach?
Over the last 25 years, I’ve opened, owned, managed, and closed businesses. I’ve owned and partnered in these businesses, as well as coached clients through these processes in their own businesses. I’ve had times where I had built up my business and was at the top of my game, and times where the rug was completely pulled out from under me resulting in total freefall with no sense of a bottom. Both ends of this spectrum and the crazy swing in between them is where I learned the most about owning and operating businesses and what I bring to my clients. One of the primary reasons that I started coaching business owners was because I wanted to help my clients not only succeed, but find happiness in the business process and ultimately, their lives.
The challenge for many business owners is when and why to hire a business coach. Although the reasons vary greatly, and are sometimes very personal, there are a handful of common reasons that a business coach can be a great investment. I’ll cover a few that have been a consistent thread over my career of business coaching, as well as the reasons that there is often resistance.
Let’s start with the common reasons for resistance toward hiring a business coach…
Asking for help is hard…
It often takes business owners far to long to hire a coach, because most of us don’t like to ask for help. For some weird reason, as humans we have this tendency to think that asking for help makes us less capable or that we are lacking in some way. Yes, asking for help can be hard. This being said, arguably all great business owners have had help from others. No one does it alone. Yes, admitting that you don’t have all the answers can be tough… Get over yourself… ask for help.
A case of the shoulds stacked on lack of knowledge…
I should know how to do this. I should be able to find the answer. I should be strong enough. I should be organized enough. Should… is what causes the challenge in asking for help. As an owner, it is easy feel that because they made the decision to start a business, this means that they should have all the answers or knowledge to be fully capable no matter what comes up. This is one of the first epiphanies I had when I opened my first studio. I looked back at the business plan that I wrote before I opened this studio after four or five years of being in business. Let’s just say ignorance was bliss. When I was writing the business plan, I truly thought I’d thought of everything. This was far from the truth. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. The problem however, was that I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
I don’t have the time… and things need to happen now.
As an owner of a small business, you wear many (if not all) hats. It seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day to fit in a coaching process, and all the things that need to happen need to happen NOW. You become the quintessential chicken with your head cut off. We’ve all heard that as a business owner you need to take the time to work ON your business and not just IN your business. This is one of the hardest things to do when you fall into the absent headed chicken syndrome.
And the biggie… It’s expensive.
Easily the biggest resistance to hiring a business coach is the perceived cost. Although coaching costs require a financial investment for a business, very often the coaching will pay for itself. The changes implemented in the coaching process will and should either increase revenue or decrease expenses. Often times the business will be in a net positive by hiring a business coach and implementing the changes that are made with issues that are addressed.
Although there are the resistance scenarios mentioned above, the reasons TO enter into a business coaching relationship greatly outweigh the reasons not to. Often times transition points in a business lifecycle cause business owners to enter into this valuable relationship. Let’s look at some scenarios that may fit your situation and benefit of utilizing a business coach.
Opening a new business.
Making the decision to open a business is an exciting time. This excitement can often turn to overwhelm with the realization of how many things there are to decide and responsibilities you are taking on. The overwhelm is often related to the fear of the unknown and the lack of experience of navigating through decisions of a new lease, employees, systems, marketing and client acquisition. The experience of good business coach can help make easy work of these key business decisions.
Major Business Transitions.
Whether it be transitioning from Independent Contractors to employees, opening a second location or selling your business, major transitions are often another point of overwhelm where business coaching can help calm the waters by providing a compass to navigate through tricky times.
Business Systemization and Growth.
It is not uncommon as businesses progress to have growing pains. Usually the challenge as a business hits growing pains because of the lack of systemization and structure. The simple truth is “what got you here, won’t get you there”. In other words, what worked when you first started your business might not work when you double or triple your income, employees and clients. Growth like this is good, however as this happens infrastructure must change. As the saying goes, “you can’t build a ten story building on a five story foundation”.
It’s just not quite working.
By far, the most common reason I work with clients and their business is because things just aren’t quite working. Something needs to change… as the owner you’re stressed out, losing the love of the business, and maybe even almost ready to throw in the towel. Hiring a business coach when you are in this place can be invaluable not only for your business, but for your health. From systemization to marketing to employee management, those things that have warn you down can be fixed with a pair of fresh and experienced eyes. What you think isn’t working probably can and just needs some tweaking.
In my experience almost every business owner at one time or another has very valid reasons to hire a business coach, not only to help the business, but also to re-find their own passion and happiness. I have talked with far too many people that are not living the life that they could be because they are struggling in silence. Don’t be fooled by the businesses that look like they have figured it all out. Many businesses that look successful on the outside are struggling behind the scenes. If any of the above fits your situation, know that you are not alone and there is help if you choose.
To find out more about how Dragon KOI Coaching might be able to help your business or to schedule a free introductory consultation session, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly at 928-325-0155.