Creative, smart strategies for self-employment & small business.
If you’ve never worked with a business coach before, you probably wonder: What exactly does a business coach do, and what do I do as a coaching client? The following business coaching tips should give you a clearer vision of the process and how to get the most from the coaching engagement.
1. Understand and embrace your role as a business coaching client. There is nothing passive about being a coaching client! By hiring a coach, you’re embarking on an intensely active period in developing your business. Your role is to be actively engaged in the coaching process, which includes:
- Being prepared for coaching sessions with questions and news to share.
- Being open to advice and asking questions to clarify anything that is confusing.
- Making active efforts to achieve the goals set in coaching sessions and following through with action items established in sessions.
- Staying organized and tracking your own progress between coaching sessions (with my organizational help).
- Reporting your progress honestly.
- Communicating openly, even about business topics or issues you find difficult or that make you feel insecure.
2. Understand my role as your business coach. My role as your coach is to give you direction, advice and support in starting or running your business. I can’t do it for you, and I can’t perform magic. What I can (and will) do is:
- Help give structure to your ideas and to your existing practices, with an eye to developing streamlined business systems.
- Advise you on a broad spectrum of issues that are crucial to business success (i.e. developing a target market, drafting a business plan, managing finances, hiring and managing staff, doing business online, etc.).
- Offer suggestions and guidance for how to build a business that supports the life you want to lead, and how to maintain work/life balance.
- Listen to your ideas, plans, approaches and practices and give you honest feedback, including suggestions for how you can make improvements.
- Help you set goals and develop effective habits for pursuing and achieving them.
- Help you stay organized by providing summaries and action plans after each coaching session.
- Support you in between our coaching sessions by answering your questions via email.
- Support your networking efforts and help you build your network by suggesting people you should meet, and making introductions when appropriate.
3. Please be on time for coaching sessions. This is important whether the coaching session is in person, by phone or by Skype. Remember, this is your time — make the most of it!
4. Be willing to be challenged by the process. While it’s not my style to aggressively challenge you or your beliefs, you may find some of my advice challenging, either to accept or to implement (or both). I encourage you to voice any concerns you may have or questions about my advice — I’m happy to discuss whatever you want to discuss. But I also encourage you to challenge yourself to try things that may not be in your comfort zone.
Also, please communicate openly with me about any reservations you may have about my advice or my coaching style. I want you to be comfortable and will always do my best to adjust my approach to meet your needs.
5. Ask a lot of questions! Don’t hold back because you’re afraid a question is obvious or for fear it will reveal that “you don’t know what you’re doing.” No one knows what they’re doing all of the time! Even the savviest, most successful businesspeople have their blind spots. Our coaching engagement is your chance to ask about anything — really anything — you want to know. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll tell you. More often, I’ll either have an answer or we can figure it out together.