The time has come for you to take your business to the next level, but you may need some help getting there. You faced challenges when starting your small business, but that was only half of the battle. Now, keeping your business going is your focus. However, what about the next year, or three years from now or even 10? Where would you like your business to be, and how are you going to get there?
When hiring a small business coach that will guide you on this journey, consider asking these questions before hiring the coach of your choosing.
- Knowledge level – Being a small business coach or consultant requires skill that can only be obtained by an appropriate amount of job experience. Since small business coaching is not a regulated industry, just about anyone out there can consider him or herself a coach, even if they lack the necessary training and experience. However, by choosing a coach that has reputable training with a proven track record, you can feel confident that their knowledge and skills will bring about change within your small business.
- Experience – When it comes to small business coaching, experience matters a great deal. You will want to know how long the person has been a coach or consultant. Ask about how many clients they have experience working with and in which types of industries. Be sure to consider someone with a variety of experiences to determine if they are equipped to handle your situation and business needs.
- Two birds with one stone – By this, we mean ensure you choose a consultant who has skills in both business and in coaching. Coaching focuses on getting your business out of a corner by taking action, reaching your potential, and managing time wisely. While consulting focuses on brainstorming ideas and seeking advice in efforts of creating a solid business and marketing model, as well as implementing an action plan that helps your business excel.
- Continuing education – Learning new skills and techniques is just as important as proven results or past experiences. The needs of each small business will vary as many variables could impact your business. Therefore, keeping up with the changing trends and techniques regarding small businesses is essential when choosing your coach.
- Check customer reviews – Just like when choosing a doctor, mechanic, contractor or even a restaurant, customer reviews can tell you a lot about a company. The same is true when choosing a small business coach. Be sure to check online and scan through customer reviews or testimonies. Does the coach you are considering have experience in helping businesses similar to yours? You can check the website of the small business coach, as well as other online sources such as LinkedIn.
- Additional offerings – Small business coaching should not simply end with coaching. Instead, look to see if the coach offers other services such as classes, training, or training manuals that will prove useful for your business and team members. At Bryant Consultants, our small business coach Tyra Kendall can provide these resources to you through Dropbox or a removable hard drive such as a flash drive.
- Free consultation – It is always a good idea to meet with your prospective coach to see if they are a good fit for you. A free consultation is a perfect time to assess whether they will be able to offer services to meet your business needs.
- Good fit – Once you have had your initial consultation, how do you feel about the coach? Are you confident in their abilities, skills, and background? Do you feel positive or discouraged after meeting with them? What is their personality like – are you quiet yet the coach is energetic and talkative? Be sure that you are a good match. Does the coach give off a vibe that you can trust them? You two will be spending a significant amount of time together, so be sure that it “feels” right. Some coaches such as Tyra will even provide a free “Jump Start” session, which allows you to gauge whether their skills and personality will be a good fit for you and your business.
- Who your partner will be – Be sure to iron out details such as who will be working with you. Will you work with the main coach or consultant, or will there be a team of coaches involved? You want to make sure you are clear on who you will be working with so that you do not end up with someone that is unfamiliar with you and your small business needs.
- Prompting insights – Part of the goal of coaching is to enlighten business owners to give you what we call the “light bulb effect.” Does the coach ask you questions that help you understand yourself, your business goals, and even help you realize how you could be sabotaging the success of your business?
- Challenging – Does the coach challenge you and hold you accountable so that you can be the best business owner that you can be or is there no real change happening in your business?
- Availability – How available is the coach, and are they able to work with you when you need them? How accessible is the coach? Can they meet face-to-face? Can they be reached via email or phone? What are their operating hours? You will want to be sure that the coach will be available when you need them.
- Pricing – Be sure to get a clear understanding of how the coach prices their services. What is included in the services and how is payment to be made? Ask if there are any additional costs that you need to know about.
Bryant Consultants offers services that can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your business. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your small business so that you can provide exceptional service to your customers. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!