I’ve been coaching people for about 15 years throughout my career in learning and development and I’m now in my third year as a professional business coach covering Peterborough and the surrounding areas. The power of coaching still amazes me every day. Seeing the difference, it makes to entrepreneurs, business leaders, teams and business performance is genuinely inspirational.
Who needs a business coach?
These days coaching isn’t just for Olympians, the rich and famous and top-level executives. It’s for anyone who has the self-awareness to know they and their business have the potential to grow and develop and realise that the goals they have wanted to achieve for a while are closer to reach than they think.
Coaching is ideal for those looking to set up a business, existing self-employed business owners and leaders of small start-ups, right through to larger organisations employing large amounts of employees.
What is business coaching all about?
Business coaches provide you with the opportunity to assess where your business (or you) is currently at, the areas that you’re happy with and those you’d like to enhance. A coach will work with you to create and work through goals that will help you and your business to achieve success.
Coaching is 100% about the future. It’s not about spending lots of time looking back, but about setting clear goals to take forward. Coaching helps you to prioritise what will have the biggest, most positive impact on you and your business and creating a step by step plan to get there.
What can a business coach help with?
As a coach, I work with leaders in areas including; building self-awareness, career development, creating business strategy, developing company values, competencies and behaviours, building team energy and motivation, leadership skills development, developing teams and increasing business and team performance.
How does business coaching work?
You’re probably super passionate about your business. That’s why you set it up and why you’re doing it, right? After spending some time getting to know you and building an understanding of what your business is all about, it’s successes and its challenges and making sure the expectations and logistics of the coaching relationships are clear, the first thing a good coach will do is get you to think about what you want to achieve.
You might already have an idea of what these are.
A good business coach will want to meet you for a coffee to explore how they can work with you. They will want to understand more about you and your business and will want to invest time and effort in doing so.
They’ll offer suggestions on logistics before you commit – they will also want to make sure they are the best person to support you and make a recommendation to another coach, if they can’t help in certain areas. This meeting is your chance to make sure that you feel comfortable and will be able to build a relationship with them, Ask about their background, experience and their coaching style.
If you want to do a bit of self-assessment and start thinking about the areas that you should be focussing on, drop an email to email@example.com to receive a mini business audit – It’s a great tool to get you thinking!
Once you have your goals, your coach will help you to explore what the current business reality is. Expect questions like; why is this so important? How far away from your business goals are you? Are they realistic?
What’s going well? And what’s been stopping you so far? It’s about building your awareness of the current business situation.
Next, you’ll explore all of the options that you have to move forward. Coaching isn’t just about deciding on one solution but coming up with as many options as you can. You can explore the advantages and disadvantages of each and then identify the action that will have the biggest impact.
Once you have identified a clear goal, explored what the current reality is and explored the options, you can commit to action! Don’t expect your coach to tell you what to do. It’s their job to get you to come up with your own plan of action and execute it!
How long does business coaching take?
It’s really dependent on what you and your business need. As a guide, I work on the framework that 2 x sessions get a course of action going and starts to build goals, 4 x sessions start to see and feel progress and 6 x sessions embed new approaches and start see a difference.
Most coaches also offer one off coaching sessions for you to either try it out or top up when you need it.
Over the course of your coaching relationship, expect goals to be tweaked as you and your business evolve and develop, and you experience new approaches, feelings and emotions – your coach is there to support you through those changes.
How much will a business coach cost?
You can expect to pay between £120 – £300 per face to face session if you are looking for a business coach. If you are looking for corporate or executive coaching you can often look at doubling, sometimes trebling those amounts.
Of course, you can find coaches for less, and much more. That’s why the connection is so important – don’t pay £80 for a session if you don’t feel that the coach is experienced enough in what you need or you don’t gel with them…that said, if they offer just what you need and you feel like they are the person that truly feels right to support your journey – why pay £300?!
Is business coaching worth it?
Think about what you pay for office cleaning, an advert in the local paper or to join a local networking group. You probably wouldn’t think twice. Think about the real changes that a coach could bring to you and your business …I reckon you’d see a pretty high return on your investment if you put a value on it!
Shaun leads ‘Inspire-Ignite’, a coaching and training business based in Peterborough and surrounding areas but covering the UK.