What is a Business Coach?

Finding a Business Coach London who is right for you, can be a time consuming and hard task.  Now you’ve made the decision to have business coaching, but you aren’t quite sure what to expect or how to choose or find a Business Coach.  Business coaches have different styles, skills, qualifications and personal & professional experience.  For example, are you happy with the performer or active listener type?  What areas do you want guidance and support with?  Does you coach need to have certain skills or qualifications to satisfy your business coaching needs?

A good business coach is an external eye and ear.  They challenge and motivate, push you out of your comfort zone and keep you on track to achieve business goals.  At the same time, they are a sounding board for ideas and decisions, based on their area of expertise and industry experience.

Business coaching helps you develop, improve, grow and succeed.  To what extent, depends on you and your input, the relationship you and your coach build as well as whether you’ve chosen the right coach to support you and your business goals.

Whether you’re thinking about setting up a business, already an early stage start-up or ready to grow your business, a coach can help you achieve your full potential and become a successful business owner.

Before finding a Business Coach London

Deciding to hire a Business Coach does not define you as a failure.  Far from it, these days, it is taken as read that having a business coach can make you more successful.  Before finding a Business Coach London, ask yourself the below questions to help you make the right decision for you.

The important questions to ask yourself are:

  • What made you think about getting a business coach in the first place?
  • Did someone advise you to get a coach or is this something you’ve decided will help you?
  • Have you had coaching before and how was that experience?
  • What are your business goals and plans that have made you think about business coaching?
  • What are you expecting to achieve through business coaching?

First and foremost, coaches can’t fix us.  Equally, having coaching doesn’t mean we are broken.  Coaches help us become better, whether that is a better manager, leader, communicator, planner etc.

Ultimately, choosing the right coach, one with professional expertise, relevant industry and sector experience, can make us better and more successful business owners.

Bill Gates, speaking in a Ted Talk presentation, believes “Everyone needs a coach.”  In other words, coaching isn’t just for athletes, professional football players etc., but everyone can benefit from coaching and receiving feedback.  After all, isn’t that how we improve?

In corporate organisations, including Financial Services, executive coaching is quite common because the benefits and value from a coaching relationship, helps make better leaders.  More importantly, aren’t we responsible for managing our own development and improvement?  If you agree, business coaching is right for you.

Choosing the right Coach

If you don’t have a coach, now is the time to find the right Business Coach London for you.  It’s a sign that you are open to becoming and even better leader, not a sign of weakness.  We can all improve and become a better version of ourselves.  It’s about being humble and realising that we are all human and have the potential to change and grow.  What do Business Coaches offer and how do you find a Business Coach London that is right for you?

It is important to understand what a coach offers, their expertise, skills and experience.  Choose the right business coach for you and your needs.  Remember, ultimately you have the final say on the decisions and/or plans you make.

Choosing the wrong coach can be a costly experience and it is important that you trust yourself as much as the business coach you decide to work with.  For example, if you have a clear vision, but your coach doesn’t understand it or listen, following their guidance could be damaging.

The wrong coach could be financially damaging to your bank balance.  As a start-up, this cost comes out of your personal pocket, savings and/or a loan.  Therefore, you want and need to find a Business Coach that is effective from the day you enter into a contractual coaching relationship.  A good business coach will add value and demonstrate a return on your investment.

Coaching, whether through a professional, specialised business coach or friend, someone you’ve worked with, person from a networking event, a book, video etc. is vital to your development, improvement and growth.

Finding a Business Coach that’s right for you and your business

Use your network, since peer referrals are a good place to start, but don’t stop there.  It’s important to weigh up all the pros and cons and compare these with a general online search.  Make sure you check a coach’s reviews and star-rating.

Just because you’ve asked your peers or someone from a networking group you signed up with or attended, doesn’t mean it’s a full-proof solution.  We are different, with different wants, needs and ways of working.  A trusted recommendation could be a far better solution when compared with an internet search.  Equally, when searching online, coaching organisations and individual business coaches that appear at the top of a search, including the prioritised adverts, do not necessarily mean it’s the best business coach for you.  After all, many of those paid to get to the top of the search engine list.

“It’s not easy to identify great coaches from the poor ones…” writes Helen Townsend, author of ‘The Go-To Expert’, 2014, Pearson Educated Limited.  Helen believes that you can make the best choice by stalking your selected coach(es) on social media.  It’s important to see if a coach walks their walk and talks their talk.  In other words, do they write relevant posts, blogs and/or articles that reflect their online brand and what they say they do?  You need to choose a business coach that shares high quality insight, posts videos, tips and information, which helps you achieve your full potential.

One of the most important factors in choosing a business coach has got to be the initial connection and relationship between the entrepreneur and coach.  Without a good connection, how can you respect and trust the coach?  As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve learnt that it’s about trusting your instincts, listening to your gut and getting a good feel for things.  Make sure yours and your coach’s values are aligned, not just from a business level, but personal level too.  If they’re not, the business coach isn’t right for you.