Running a business is hard work. You aren’t just an expert at your trade; you’re also a leader, a strategic planner, a salesperson, an accountant, a marketer, and the list goes on. With so many responsibilities, it can feel like more than you can juggle. After all, one person can’t know everything there is to know about building a five-star business!
If you want to move your business forward, you need to seek outside help. It’s not a bad thing—in fact, any company that hopes to grow will reach a point where they need the extra support. In some cases, this may come in the form of hiring employees to work with you to grow the business.
Yet, when a business owner recognized that their limitations are in strategic elements, they need to hire someone to support those visionary and tactical pieces of the company. In larger corporations, this may be a CEO or CFO that is brought on to help with a growth strategy. Of course, this avenue doesn’t make much sense in a small business when you make up the whole C-suite.
So, how can you build your own skills as a CEO? Hire a coach!
A business coach is an experienced professional who can help you think more like a CEO that is well-equipped to move the business forward and grow in new ways.
Why do I need a coach?
When you are the only strategic thinker in your business, it’s easy to end up in an echo chamber of ideas. You don’t know what’s viable and what isn’t, so you guess at your next moves. You might succeed, or you might fail.
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A coach helps to provide you with validation that you are doing things right and shows you the path forward when self-doubt starts to creep in. They are experts in business strategy and will guide you towards marketing, operational, and financial solvency. They aren’t just providing you with mindset suggestions; they provide concrete how-to support in moving your business forward.
Experienced business owners have a million responsibilities and just as many ideas running through their heads. A great coach will clear the noise and help you find clarity to focus on what matters most: earning more money.
How do I hire a coach?
The very first step—even before heading to Google—is to take a full inventory of your business. Audit your internal and external operations to identify the areas that hold you back. What do you need to move your business forward? Try to pinpoint the root cause behind your biggest problems. For example, if you are struggling financially, you may believe it’s due to a lack of financial understanding. However, when you shine a light on your business, you may realize it’s actually because you’re lacking in sales, thanks to a subpar marketing strategy.
Go through each of the four foundations of a business meticulously: company culture, marketing strategy, operational structure, and financial planning. Peel apart the layers to identify the strengths and weaknesses in each area. You might find that there are several areas you need to address, but start with the one(s) that are presenting the biggest impediments to your growth.
When you’ve determined your key areas for growth and improvement, you’ll have a better idea of who you need to hire to get you on the right track. If you’re specific about your needs, it’ll be easier to find a coach that can help you where you need it most.
Once you have found several frontrunners, ask them a few questions as you would anyone else you’re hiring in your business. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Have you worked with other businesses like mine?
- How have you been able to help other business owners that have faced similar challenges?
- What is your approach with clients? How do you work?
- What structure will you provide?
- How will we know that we are making progress?
The right coach will be able to answer these questions without hesitation because they are experienced and knowledgeable about your areas of need.
A note about personal wellbeing
The pandemic has led many of us to go soul-searching and seek out our purpose in life. This is a natural human response to such troubling circumstances. However, if you need help working through the trauma of the last year or need personal guidance to improve your wellbeing, please seek a counselor or therapist. These challenges go beyond what is happening in your business and should be addressed before pursuing any growth opportunities.
If you aren’t yet able to move forward past personal traumas, it’s OK. Everyone heals on their own timeline. However, recognize that a business coach is not equipped to help you in this regard. Many consultants promote a mindset-first philosophy, but those who face depression, anxiety, and other mental hurdles that hold them back in business would benefit greatly from working through it in a more clinical setting. Your business can always grow later, but entrepreneurs must prioritize their mental health and wellbeing first.
But, if the only thing impeding your path to success is a lack of knowledge, experience, or motivation, a business coach is your answer! You will find the clarity and confidence you need to lean into your business fully and push it to achieve its full potential. Everyone needs a little nudge from time to time, so don’t be shy—go out and ask for it.