What is a Business Coach?

The best way I can address that, is to answer, why am I coaching?

I asked myself that question years ago, and I continue to test my reasons on a regular basis.

My answer is, I sincerely want to help small business owners and CEOs get the best possible outcome from all the work and risk they put into their businesses. I know how hard it is to start and run a successful business. I’ve done it twice, and have learned what to do, and what not to do.

In working with numerous clients, ranging from $3M to $50M in sales, over the past 14 years, I’ve seen commonality among the management relative to problems as well as opportunities.

  • Most don’t have a plan, or worse yet don’t understand the need for a documented strategy, or how to properly develop one.
  • Many lack confidence and a belief that they can impact their business or market in a meaningful way.
  • Many don’t know what they don’t know, so they stay busy with the day to day tasks that they are comfortable with, resulting in “treading water”.
  • Many can’t take advantage of opportunities when they are presented because of infrastructure or cash resources.
  • Many are frustrated and have lost their enthusiasm from dealing with the same issues without change.

These issues result in the same set of problems regardless of market or industry.

  • Flat or declining sales
  • Shrinking profit margins
  • Too much dependence on a single account or customer
  • Currency of product or infrastructure
  • Cash or credit availability limits options
  • Inability to attract and retain excellent people

I realized all of the above are the result of trying to stay with what worked when they became involved with the business, and not changing ahead of  market shifts. That change certainly includes products and services, but starts with changing the how the CEO looks at the business and how he or she leads.

Many of these folks were in a position where they began to think about transition and retirement. Some had waited too long to address the items above and where not going to have good outcomes when a sale was completed.

My sole purpose, or the purpose of any coach, is to help the business owner or CEO have the best outcome possible.

A good business coach is a trusted advisor and confidant.  Someone a leader can discuss an issue or opportunity with, and get meaningful feedback and discussion while working toward a solution.

The coach should challenge the CEO to look at the business and market as an outsider and question the why and how of what he or she is doing.

The coach and CEO should have the same goal, a better outcome for the business owner as well as the employees of the organization.

Do you need a business coach? Only you can answer that question.

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