Meet Catherine… an insurance professional who’d only been in the business around six months when I met her. She had 25 years of retail experience, but she’d never had to go out and bring the business in herself.
As you can imagine, when she wasn’t meeting the right kinds of people for her business, she started feeling frustrated.
That’s when someone told her she should contact me for business coaching as well as purchase my book, Intentional Networking.
In this post, you’ll discover why…
What Is Business Coaching Anyway?
If you attend very many networking groups these days, you’ll likely meet a coach. A lot of people call themselves coaches these days. Many even refer to themselves as “business coaches.”
But what does that mean? It sounds simple enough — sports coaches train others in sports, life coaches in life, and business coaches in… you guessed it. Business.
The Institute of Coaching gives us more detail:
“A coaching engagement is typically set up for a limited period of time and focuses on four specific areas:
- Defining goals
- Formulating a plan that will use the client’s skills
- Holding the client accountable for progress
- Providing structure, encouragement, and support”
Business coaches are typically experts in business who can offer advice on effectiveness in business ownership, sales, or executive leadership.
The professional relationship between a business coach and clients is designed to help the clients achieve their personal and business goals.
The coach works with them to:
- Identify what they want to achieve
- Create an action plan to get there
- Provide support and accountability to help them stay on track
How Does Business Coaching Work?
That’s business coaching in a nutshell, but how does it work? Generally, the coach and client meet several times a month. The coach provides guidance, support, and accountability to help clients move from where they are to where they want to be.
Coaching is not therapy, mentoring, or consulting, by the way. It’s a specific type of relationship designed to help clients achieve their goals. A process built with clients in mind.
Who’s Business Coaching For?
Business coaching is for business owners, sales professionals, and other business leaders who want to achieve more success in their businesses. If you’re responsible for the revenue in your company, coaching can help. It can help you improve business performance, increase your profits, and build the life you want to live.
I like this article in Forbes magazine that talks about signs to pay attention to. The author says when you’re experiencing any of these things, a business coach can help:
- Your workload feels overwhelming — whether you’re a CEO or sales professional.
- You’re not sure which direction to take in your business.
- You find yourself falling short of reaching your goals, and you need accountability.
- You feel stuck in your business.
- You know you need to develop new skills, and you’re ready to.
Business coaching is for organizational leaders who are driven and not afraid to put in the hard work necessary to be successful. It’s for those who understand there’s a financial investment to effective coaching. And for those who are willing to take a deep dive into working on themselves.
After all, for business leaders to experience lasting greatness, they’ve got to have a strong mindset. And that’s something business coaching can definitely help with.
Who’s Business Coaching Not For?
Business coaching is not for individuals who are looking for employment or career advice. It’s also not for people who are looking for someone to do their work for them.
For example, someone came to me looking for coaching. Or so they thought. They were actually looking for a done-for-you sales package. This sales professional wanted me to be on all his sales calls with him, write all his sales copy, and more. Business coaching was not for him.
It’s not for someone who doesn’t want to do the hard work it takes to build a successful business. I’m happy to lead, but my clients have to be willing to follow.
Another great example is the client who showed up for coaching calls but had every excuse in the book why she could never finish any of the steps we’d laid out in her action plans. Business coaching? Not for her.
It’s important to know that business coaching is not a “magic pill” that will make all your business problems disappear. It’s more of a collaborative process that requires both the coach and the client to be fully committed to making changes and seeing results. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort, business coaching is not for you.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Business Coach?
Here are some statistics that really show off the benefits of coaching:
“80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment on coaching and more.”– Institute of Coaching
Let’s talk about how a business coach can help your business:
Benefit #1: Getting organized and setting goals
A business coach can guide you in deciding what steps to take to achieve your goals and create action plans to keep you on track. The coach can also help you with time management and effective use of resources, and provide you with support and accountability.
Benefit #2: Improving productivity and efficiency
Having a business coach to support you can also help you improve your productivity and efficiency, identify and eliminate any bottlenecks in your business, and find ways to streamline your operations. A business coach can give you valuable insights and advice on how to manage your staff, take care of your finances, and make the most of your resources.
Benefit #3: Improving communication and teamwork
Have day-to-day issues with the team that need attention? A business coach can lead you to improved teamwork and better communication by working with you and your team members to identify the challenges you’re facing. Together, you can design solutions that will improve the function of your team and improve your business operations.
Benefit #4: Increasing profitability and growth
Because business coaches work to help you identify and capitalize on new opportunities, the guidance and support they offer often leads to business growth and increased profits.
These are just some of the ways a business coach can help you. Here are a few more:
- Addressing limiting beliefs and negative mindsets
- Generate more leads and sales
- Create a business plan and set goals
- Improve your marketing and branding
- Reduce costs and save money
- Manage and motivate employees
- Handle challenging situations
- Deal with difficult customers or clients
- And more!
And don’t just take it from me. Check out this study published by International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring. The author reported on the positive results clients had in their business coaching experiences:
“The overall finding is that the experience of coaching was reported as supporting the development of female leaders in many and varied ways, including enabling the development of skills and capabilities as well as progression in their roles… Additionally, the female leaders also emphasized that the coaching supported them with self and personal identity development, relational ability, and transformational learning.”
How Long Do I Need to Work With a Business Coach?
It’s generally recommended that business coaching engagements last for a minimum of six months. That gives you and the coach a chance to get used to working together, put some new strategies and systems in place, and start seeing results.
A shorter time period often means you miss out on the results you’re hoping for because you needed a little more time investing in the new ideas your coach offered.
The truth is that it can take more than a month or two to work with a business coach effectively. Because they work with clients on a lot of different issues — getting your business off the ground, improving your sales and marketing techniques, setting and achieving your business goals, breaking free of negative mindset patterns — you may begin a coaching relationship by working in one area and continue working in other areas as the months and years go by.
Misconceptions About Business Coaching… Busted!
Ever heard these misconceptions about business coaching? Maybe you’ve event thought them yourself:
Myth #1: A business coach can help you in only a day or two…
The truth is you can accomplish breakthroughs in your life and business in just a day or two, but it takes longer than that to really make the most of an investment in business coaching.
Myth #2: A business coach can do all the work for you…
This is a myth many are still falling for. But a coach can only guide you. The work is up to you.
Myth #3: A business coach can’t help you if you’re just getting started…
If you’re just starting out, you actually may need business coaching even more, depending on how experienced you are in your industry and in business ownership.
Myth #4: A business coach can’t help you if you’re already profitable and want to keep growing…
The truth? Business coaching can help you at every stage of your business journey.
Myth#5: You only need a business coach if you’re struggling…
Not at all. I’ve coached successful business owners who want to get better, continue growing, and build their businesses so one day they can sell them. It’s not just struggling owners who benefit from coaching.
Think about this.
Every collegiate and professional athlete who’s ever found success has worked with a coach for the entire length of their careers.
Why should it be any different in the business world? We hire business coaches because they’ve been where we are and can help get us to where we want to be.
If you’re struggling, working with a business coach for six months or a year can be a great way to get back on track. But even if your business is running smoothly, a coach can still be a valuable asset. Business coaching will guide you to continue improving how you run your business so it will fund the life you want to live.
Here are some success stories (aka testimonials!) to get you excited about the possibilities that business coaching offers:
Joe Novara has been my business coach for over 4 years now, and he’s helped me grow my network, taught me better time management and delegation skills, and continued to keep me on track with my business and push me to be better. I couldn’t be happier with the business growth we’ve experienced!”
– CEO in Rotary Die Cutting Machine Manufacturing
“I was out of my comfort zone when I tried to incorporate techniques to increase my sales. And I have to be honest, when I first started working with Joe Novara, I wasn’t doing the work because it was so far outside where I was comfortable. But in 2020, when the pandemic hit, I decided to apply some of the techniques Joe had tried teaching me. And they worked! During the pandemic, I increased my closing rate to 13%. Then in 2021, I doubled my 2020 revenue. Joe is a part of the success I’m still experiencing in my business today. He saw it coming before I could see it myself. Not only is Joe Novara a great person, but as a business coach, he helped me successfully transition from corporate employee to profitable franchise owner.“
– Franchisee of Residential and Commercial Painting Services
“Joe’s been my coach for the last three years, and he’s helped me tremendously with goals, networking, and marketing strategies. With his guidance, I’m thrilled that I reached my business and income goals even through the challenging months of the pandemic. I really value the way Joe challenges me to focus my thoughts and energy, and the results have been significant for my business.“
– Estate Planning Attorney
What Happened to Catherine?
Wondering what happened with Catherine, the insurance professional at the beginning of this post? Someone had told her to contact me, and she did.
After a couple of short meetings to determine if I could offer her value (and to determine if she was coachable), Catherine hired me to help her. Her goal was to become a star networker — a skill she had little to no ability in.
While Catherine has a very strong personality, she’s also a very kind and caring woman. There are different styles of networking, and I wanted to teach Catherine how to network effectively for her personality.
Easy, Repeatable Action Plan
Over the next couple of months, we developed an action plan that she was able to execute easily and repeatedly.
That’s one of the important things about coming up with a plan, by the way. The level of difficulty and the ease of repeating it. I wanted Catherine to be successful, and I wanted to be sure she wouldn’t quit due to the plan being too complex.
It’s been over 4 years since I worked with Catherine, and I am one of her biggest fans to this day. She’s amassed a wonderful network in the local business community that’s an endless supply of referrals to her business.
Thriving Networking Community
Based on my coaching, she also created a networking community both online and in person that is catering to over one thousand professionals. On a side note, I call her my friend today rather than just a client, and I certainly look forward to the many great things she’ll do in the coming years.
When I Needed Coaching
Catherine, the insurance professional, along with the estate planning attorney, franchisee, and manufacturing CEO — all are in different industries, but they have one thing in common. They hired me, a business coach, to help them with some aspect of their business.
Did you know that even as a business coach, I have a coach? Actually, I’ve hired multiple coaches through the years.
- Early in my coaching practice, I hired a coach who worked with me for a period of time on developing a marketing strategy for my business.
- When I wanted to get certified as a Strategic Intervention coach, I hired Robbins-Madanes Training to coach me on that particular modality.
- When I wanted to set up my practice effectively, I hired a coach that only works with other coaches in helping them to set up a successful practice.
There have been other times I’ve hired coaches over the past ten years, and each one has served a different function towards improving my coaching practice and helping me become a better coach for my clients.
Is business coaching worth it? Absolutely! It’s been worth it for me in every business I’ve owned, and it’s worth it for you.
Whether you’re looking to clarify your vision and accelerate your business or simply get help setting goals and having the accountability to reach them, reach out when you’re ready for business coaching to take your business (and life!) to the next level.