Choosing Business Coaches:
How to Find the Right One for You

Business Coaches form an important part of an business owners advice team and support network so it makes sense to approach the hiring of a coach in the same way that you would recruit a new manager for your business.

Take your time finding the right one who has the right set of skills and knowledge that you need to help grow your business.

Before you start 'interviewing', think about what you really need first and what kind of person will fit with you and your team.

Looking for the right coach

Once you start looking around you'll find there are many different business coaches with very different backgrounds, training, experience and skills.

Since the industry is still relatively new, it is not regulated and there is no universal standard or certification. Currently anyone can call themselves a business coach so ask around for referrals and do your research. 

If you come across a coach that's ICF certified (International Coaching Federation) they will have met fairly rigorous standards and studied with an ICF certified training program. But there are probably many good coaches out there who don't have this accreditation.

The best approach is to interview potential candidates and get a free first session (most offer this anyway so you can experience how they operate).

At the end of the day the best coach for you is the one that you feel confident with, who you like working with, who makes you think differently and who really believes in you.

Here are some examples of what to ask them before you hire:

What to ask business coaches

  • How much specific coach training have you had?
  • Do you follow a proven process? Are you affiliated with a particular training school?
  • Are you certified by the International Coaching Federation or some other body?
  • What business experience have you had prior to coaching?
  • Have you ever run your own business successfully?
  • What results have you had with previous clients?
  • Have you coached similar business owners/similar situations?
  • Can I speak to some of your clients?
  • How would you describe your style of coaching?
  • What do you think is the main reason businesses may or may not be successful?

The most important thing is to work with someone with whom you have a personal connection. Most coaches should be able to coach any business owner although they will inevitably have their preferred client type.

What to ask yourself

  • Do I like this person and will I enjoy working with them?
  • Do I believe they have the resources and know-how to help drive my business?
  • Do they have a clear direction in terms of how we need to work together?
  • Am I ready to be challenged?
  • Am I prepared to put in the work that is required to get the results I want?

This last one is important because you will be the one making things happen. A coach does not do the work for you. They 'coach' you to achieve your own results in the same way that a Wimbledon champion is coached to success.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • What specific things do you want a coach to help you with?
  • Are you prepared to be completely open about what's really going on in your business?
  • Are you prepared to look closely at how you could improve your own performance?

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