Is Business Coaching Actually Useful?

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Whether your business is heading in the right direction, or you’re currently going through a bit of a slump, the advice and support of an experienced business coach can help your business achieve sustainable growth. While not everyone is comfortable with the idea of bringing in a third-party to help, a business coach can really do wonders and help you identify key opportunities you may not have noticed before.

But what exactly does a business coach do? And how can they help you stay sharp and focus on the objectives that matter to you?

Read more to find out.

What is Business Coaching?

Perhaps the best description of a business coach is the one given by The Alternative Board (TAB) who describes it as, “… a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be.[i]

In essence, it involves a business coach engaging with a client who is either an individual (i.e. business owner, managing director or senior executive) or a team within a business. The purpose of business coaching is to help the client identify key areas in the business that can be improved upon in order to help them achieve their goals – either on an individual or organisational level.

By taking a ‘laser focus’ approach to key areas of the business, the business coach will analyse the existing company and recommend best practices to improve in areas such as leadership, goal setting, customer service, sales, teamwork and problem solving… to name a few.

To provide their services a business coach may either host one-on-one tuitions, group sessions or major seminars which may be hosted on a fortnightly, monthly or quarterly basis.

How Does the Process Work? What Outcomes Can You Expect?

Business coaching is a lot more than just serving as a ‘mentor’ to the client. Although sharing advice is a key element to the process, it’s only a small part of the bigger picture.

What the process really involves is helping clients define their business objectives and maintain a clear focus on how to achieve those objectives. This means coming up with a tailored plan that’s well-structured and organised in a manner that makes it easy for the client and business coach to assess as the process unfolds.

The kind of outcomes a business wants to achieve can be quite simple or complex. Some clients may need help with changing the way they manage the company. Other clients may want to increase their monthly revenue or level of customer satisfaction, learn how to maintain key staff for longer, or rebuild the entire message of their brand.

No matter what the outcomes are, the key aspect that ties all of the outcomes together is they are easy to measure and sustain over a long period of time. Plus, with their valuable insights and performance monitoring, you’ll know exactly what areas of the business are improving and what areas need to be focused on.

When is Coaching Not a Good Idea?

There are a few cases where hiring a business coach may not help a client achieve the results they want.

Personality conflicts are a common concern in this industry. To get the most from a business coach, you need to be able to ‘let go’ and put your trust in the advice being given to you. If you expect the coach to do all of the hard work for you, or if you feel their presence undermines your own position in the company – you may ignore their advice and jeopardise your own efforts to succeed.

Unrealistic expectations can also bring negative results. If the client is inpatient, they may be frustrated by the amount of time and effort involved in the process, and pull the plug on the whole operation before it has a chance to succeed. However, if you’re willing to take on-board the advice you receive and put in the extra effort to get the right results, then the outcomes will eventually speak for themselves.

So, will having a business coach solve all of your problems? Maybe not. But if you’re currently involved in a small or large business and looking for guidance to take your venture to the next level, an expert business coach will greatly improve your chances of success for the long-term.