Whether you’re a brand new business owner or have a few years under your belt, you may be thinking about hiring a business coach.
After all, the world of coaching has hit an all-time high. If you follow (or have ever liked a post from) a coach on Instagram, your ad feed is likely flooded with similar personalities and brands.
Here’s the thing.
Coaching is worth it if you’re ready to learn, AND you hire someone that’s a personality match, a fit for where you are now and a natural guide for where you want to go.
I’ve been coaching and consulting with business owners for over 15 years, and I’m constantly asked how to determine if hiring a business coach is worth the investment. Investment is an important term here…coaching is an investment of both money and time!
As business owners, we don’t have pantries overflowing with either, and we’re always mindful of how we spend it. I totally get that and respect it, so I want to share the three KEY questions you should ask yourself before you even schedule that free consultation call.
Three Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Business Coach.
1. Am I ready to learn?
A coach is a teacher. First and always.
Yes, she can be a friend, a cheerleader, and confidant. In fact, she should be all of those things, too. But primarily, she is there to teach you what you do not already know. She is there to equip you with the tools you need to succeed and guide you down paths you cannot yet see. Otherwise, she’s more of a counselor.
When you hear athletes, actors, musicians, etc., raving about coaches, you’ll likely hear them mention how they trusted their coach’s direction and how they benefited from their insistence on structure and perseverance.
As a business coach, I consider myself an educator first, and I look for lifelong learners who want to be in “class”, who are ready to listen, and who are willing to do the homework it takes to get the results they want to see.
If you’re a lifelong learner, desire instruction, and aren’t afraid of legwork, then hiring a coach might be your best next step. This type of learning is a great way to humble yourself, soak up the education you need, and knock out goals one by one.
2. Would I want to have coffee with her?
A good friend once said, “I’m not inviting anyone to my wedding that I wouldn’t meet for coffee.” Now, weddings can get complicated, but if you think about it, your business is kind of like a wedding. There’s so much planning involved, late nights, a little anxiety, lots of logistics, and it’s just plain exhausting.
Since a business coach should help you navigate ways to better organize your day-to-day, reign in anxiety, and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to create, you should make sure you enjoy hearing their voice—from what they’re sharing on social media, to their About page, to how they sound on the other end of that consultation call.
Remember the investment of time? You’ll be spending a lot of it with your coach, so partner up with someone who makes you feel at ease, converses with you naturally, and motivates you to show up and work hard for your dreams. If you can’t it make it through coffee, you won’t make it through a coaching session.
3. What kind of coaching do I need?
Business coaching, right? Maybe. One-on-one, right? Maybe.
This is a two-part question and arguably the most IMPORTANT one of the three.
If you do want teaching and guidance, you need a coach that best meets your needs now. Business coaches are best-suited for entrepreneurs who are actually going full-steam-ahead with their businesses. If you’re in the thick of it, if you’re living and breathing it, if you need help moving from a 24/7 schedule to a steady-paced day-to-day, then that’s when a business coach can really help.
They’re not best suited for individuals who need a business plan or help gathering marketing data. That’s a new business coach.
They’re not best suited for individuals who hate their full-time jobs, and sort of have an idea for a business, but aren’t sure if they love it. That’s a life coach.
It’s seriously confusing, and I highly recommend taking my free quiz to help pinpoint your needs.
YES! A Business Coach is right for Me! Now What?
If you do determine that a business coach is right for you, the next sub-question is what kind of sessions best fit your learning style and schedule.
1:1 coaching is for you if you’re someone who wants a customized coaching plan specifically built around your individual goals, or would rather have a one-on-one conversation with a friend than catch up at a table full of peers.
Group coaching is your thing if you’re someone who’s motivated by sharing stories with others, who thrives on multiple perspectives and insights, or who really wants the support of other like-minded business owners.
One-time intensives are the best fit if you have a crazy schedule and can’t commit to sessions over time, if you always scored best on tests by cramming, or if you work best by tackling an in-depth project in one day.
It takes all types of people to make the world go round. So it is with business owners and coaches!
Don’t make the mistake of letting someone talk you into what particular coach, type of coaching, or session style you need. Ask yourself these questions, give honest answers, and make the right choice the first time.