Whether you’re just starting a business or you’re an established entrepreneur seeking to grow your business to new heights, there’s a good chance that you will at some point want to hire a business coach.
If you’ve worked with a business coach before, you’ll likely know that a good coach helps support your vision, facilitate strategic planning, and is great at holding you accountable to your business goals.
However, coaching businesses are booming and the options for hiring a coach have never been greater (and more confusing). While you might be ready to build your business with executive coaching, as an insider in the coaching industry, I want to share with you my best advice for how to hire a business coach.
First…What Is A Business Coach?
It may seem like a business coach is someone that works with you by assessing your business model or business plan, and then tells you what to do to create a successful business. But a coach is not the same as a consultant and does not simply give business owners a plan to achieve success, nor is a coach a day-to-day implentor of your business like an assistant.
Good business coaches understand you, challenge you, and hold a safe space for you. They understand your business and personal values and work to bring accountability, structure, and support to your goals.
My Tips For How To Hire A Business Coach
1. First figure out your goals and values.
As an example of values: for me, I know I value diversity, equity, and inclusion and I need to work with a coach that deeply understands those values, not just on their website but in practice. Are they doing the work? Are they willing to receive feedback?
As far as goals: when you have a clear vision of what your next big goals are, you can narrow down what type of coach would best support you. If you are a small business struggling to scale to the next level, is the coach you are speaking to focused on revenue, systems and marketing? Understanding where you need support helps you find the right coach to help you with it.
What are your absolute nos? It’s important to identify what type of coach you don’t want to work with. For example, maybe you come from the nonprofit sector and know that you do not want to work with someone who only has big corporate experience. (By the way, I have tons of nonprofit experience, and I find a lot of my clients have nonprofit/philanthropy experiences as well.)
2. Know where to start your search.
- Personal references are always the best way to find a trustworthy coach. Of course, your colleague/friend working well with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you will too, however, knowing someone personally that has chosen to invest in and build a relationship with a coach is a solid place to start in your own search.
- If you’re short on professional friends who have worked with coaches, Google is still a great way to start looking for a coach to help with your business growth if you are looking for a specific type of coach. For example, many people find me by searching “WOC business coach” and I come up as the #1 result.
- If a general Google search doesn’t result in exactly what you need, never overlook searching for your keyword directly in LinkedIn or Instagram (which is now SEO-friendly). And of course, when searching, always read their reviews, their full website, and sign up for a complimentary call.
Tip: Take your time to ensure they are a good fit. If a coach is trying to convert you right away, they are not a good fit.
3. Know what questions to ask.
Before showing up to an intro call with a coach, have a list of questions to run by them. Listen to their answers and decide if they feel aligned based on how they respond.
Some great questions to ask:
- Here are the challenges I’m facing, how can you support me through them?
- Can you share with me how you’ve supported other clients in a similar situation as me?
- Can I connect with 1-2 current or past clients to get their feedback on how it is working with you?
Are you looking for a business coach who values DEI?
My mission is to support WOC and allies to pivot to an aligned and purposeful lifestyle and legacy in their businesses and careers, while collectively creating a sustainable and equitable future.
Schedule a complimentary 30 minute Legacy Business Review where we will:
- Identify your personal + professional goals to create
- Review current pricing and packages, and see what needs to be edited to fit your dream lifestyle
- Receive 3 action-items
By the end of the call, if we’re a great fit to work together, we can discuss how it looks like to work together. If we’re not a great fit, I will refer to other resources or people so it’s a win-win for you. Remember, you have a choice of who you get to co-create magic with whether or not it is with me OR not.