4 Musts in Hiring a Business Coach or Consultant
The usual reason some business owners seek to hire a business coach is because their business is faltering. Typically, desperation has set in and they make a hasty decision to hire a savior.
At this point, they tend to use a loosey-goosey, Russian Roulette method in selecting a business coach. Sadly, this is likely the same method used presently by the owner to operate their entire business.
Namely, a “Mom and Pop” operation, where decisions are RE-active, rather than PRO-active.
Crucial Considerations in Business Coach Identification
1. Have they Owned and Operated a Successful Business?
It’s common knowledge that anyone can easily obtain some form of certification for business coaching and consulting. However, in my estimation, without years of real-world experience in Business Management, one is NOT qualified to lead others in the What’s, When’s, Where’s and How’s of systematic business process management.
Importantly, a business coach should have experience building a business from the ground-up, systematizing it and then watching it prosper.
2. Do They Know How to Systematize a Business?
It’s one thing to TELL someone how to organize and grow their business, but it’s quite different, SHOWING someone how to systematically organize and grow their business, using tried and proven methods. Consider: does the Business Coach have a “system” — a step-by-step method for coaching a business in systematic organizational management?
In addition, they should have the expertise of coaching a business to the point, whereby the owner has the freedom of NOT being onsite, overseeing the operation.
3. Have They Offered a “Fishing Pole” to The Business Owner?
You’ve heard the old adage about giving someone a fishing pole (a tool) and teaching one how to fish. As a result, instead of providing the person with a fish every day, the person can provide for themselves. In like manner, a business coach should have access to a great fishing pole — i.e., a business process management system.
In addition, a proper coach should teach the business owner how to use process management tools, so the owners can “fish” for themselves. The best solution is to provide them with knowledge and tools to sustain the new business systems, WITHOUT the business coach.
I understand business coaches need a monthly revenue stream. Therefore, I have no problem with retaining a coach for a certain period of time, OR indefinitely, IF the consulting investment is paying for itself. To be clear, having a good business coach/consultant can save years of wasted time reinventing wheels. In other words, the right coach has “been there, done that,” so you don’t have to start from scratch!
4. Does the Business Coach Understand the Owner’s Vision?
Having a good business coach can help any small business grow; however, the coach must have a clear understanding of, and be able to articulate, the business owner’s vision. More importantly, the coach must provide the business owner a timeline for success. In other words, a reasonable time for victory in achieving set goals.
When owners don’t see immediate results, they may become frustrated paying a coach a monthly retainer. So, to be fair to business coaches everywhere, business owners MUST make the commitment to do their part and stay the course in bringing order to their business.
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.