What exactly is a Business Coach? How do you know if this person is right for you? Is he a visionary or just another salesperson? Can a business thrive on its presence? This post answers these questions and more as we delve deeper into the idea of a business coach.
A business coach is a person who assists business owners with the development of a “swipe file” of their business vision. (That’s a fancy way of saying that your vision is documented in computer files so that others can see it.) The goal of the swipe file is to help the business owner create a vision that is focused, clear and concise. The vision should be rooted in your strengths and interests. It shows others where your strengths lie, how you can use those strengths, and why those strengths are relevant to your business goals. If a business goal isn’t directly related to the business owner’s aspirations and plans, they’re unlikely to fully achieve it or, therefore, passionate about it.
So, what are some of the goals that business coaches help develop? First, they help business owners identify their biggest short and long-term opportunities. They help them think about how those opportunities can grow and connect those growth opportunities with the realistic expectations of the individual or the company. Without that vision, there’s no drive to grow the business.
Next, the business coach keeps the executives accountable for those “best ways” to do their jobs. That means encouraging the owners to set performance goals that reflect their unique capabilities, talents and reputations. The best way to do that? Setting personal accountability. Once the executives set personal accountability, they can work towards their success even when their capacity may be lower than the group’s performance. The accountability creates a culture of success where people know what they need to do and when to do it to get the results that matter most to them.
In addition to personal accountability, a business coach also helps owners create a vision for the future. In the corporate environment where everyone is always looking for the latest and greatest, the only way to keep afloat is to continually come up with new ways to get ahead. In the meantime, however, the leaders who don’t get distracted or sidetracked by visions of the future risk seeing their efforts as a failure. Business coaching services to help owners avoid that by enabling them to keep their focus and attention on the current opportunities and challenges, on getting the team to work together and make a plan to achieve those goals.
Finally, the business coaches help their clients achieve measurable outcomes. That means action. There are many different kinds of measurable outcomes but the common ones include financial or profit gains, customer satisfaction or customer retention, and positive business cycles. The focus of business coaching is to create ways for the teams to focus on bringing about these desired outcomes.
A vision is really more of a mission statement than anything else. A vision is defined by someone (a client) talking about what they want for the company, for themselves, and other people (coaches) to see. It often involves creative thinking and incorporating passion, although the focus should be on achieving measurable goals. For example, a Vision for the Company might include creating and delivering new products, increasing sales and market share, increasing profitability, building partnerships, and driving growth. The focus should be on the goal(s) you have set in the Vision, which are then brought into the company through effective coaching.
Business coaches work with business owners to develop an accountability system and to develop and promote a vision and a mission for their client. Business coaches are there to support their clients in achieving their goals. When a business owner becomes accountable to his/her coach, trust and respect for the coach grows. This is an important aspect of coaching people- they too need to feel they can talk to their coach and get their problems resolved.