Mentors, networking groups, and training sessions; there are plenty of resources to help small business owners and entrepreneurs reach their next level of success, but perhaps none quite as popular as the business coach. A good business coach will help you put everything into focus, guide you to new solutions and be your accountability partner. That said, there are a million coaches out there and finding the right one can be challenging. If you need some help, you’ll want to tune into my latest podcast with Doreen Rainey, the RADICAL Success Coach.
Doreen opened her coaching company 10 years ago. She has helped countless small business owners and entrepreneurs define what success means to them and develop the guts to go after their dreams. We covered MANY topics in the interview, so you should listen to it in full below!
5 Tips for Finding the Right Business Coach
Coaching is important because it allows you to discover things about yourself and your business that you otherwise would not have discovered. They can help with accountability, support, and sometimes be the kick in the butt that you need. Here are Doreen’s tips for finding the right one.
1. Figure Out Why You Need a Coach
“I need a coach to help me build my business” is too general. Are you challenged with marketing? Not sure how to set up systems and operations? Struggling with financials? Burdened by something else? Determining exactly why you feel you need a coach is the first step.
2. Target the Right Type of Expert
Next, decide if you need a business coach or if you need something else.
- A coach is someone who helps you understand more about who you are and why you do what you do. On this path of discovery, they help steer you in the right direction by figuring out what steps you can take to move forward.
- A consultant is someone who will look at your situation and your business and tell you what you should do, i.e., you should do this with your marketing, you should do this with your sales. It is more directive advice.
- A trainer is someone who will teach you how to do something. If you are weak in a particular area of business, you can hire a trainer to learn more.
Of course, there is overlap, and a coach can often assist with consulting and training too. However, you should identify your main goal first and hire the appropriate person.
3. Don’t Rely on Google
There are many business coaches to choose from today, and when you search online, you will be overwhelmed with results and might even be led down the wrong path. As Doreen reminds us, with the technology available today, anyone can make a fancy website! This does not necessarily mean that they are good at what they do and that they can help you with your specific needs.
4. Narrow Down the List Through Referrals
Instead, get names from people who can personally vouch for that coach. If you belong to a business organization, ask around to see whom other members recommend. If you see a peer whose business seems to be taking off, ask them who has been helping them. A business coach who excels at what they do will likely have customers willing to sing their praises. This will help you create a list of names to research further.
5. Interview Potential Coaches
When you’ve narrowed the names down to a short list, Doreen highly recommends interviewing the coach personally to see if it will be a good fit. Ask them how they think they could help you, based on where you are right now in your business. The interview will also allow you to find a business coach with whom you feel comfortable and can develop rapport.
A good coach may interview you too. Let them! They should be just as interested in finding the right clients as you are in finding the right coach. The relationship should work for both parties.
Click Play above and listen to the full interview to also learn:
- Three questions to ask before pursuing your business ideas.
- Why you should view your employer as your “biggest investor.”
- How to know when it is the right time to leave your full-time job.
- Why being good at what you do is not always enough.
Doreen is also the Vice President of Operations for Act Like a Success, a Steve Harvey company. In the interview, she tells us about that business, plus the upcoming Act Like a Success Conference, which takes place March 31-April 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. I have my ticket, and I hope to see you there!