For forward-thinking companies and managers keen to evolve, grow, and achieve their goals, business coaching has become an important and increasingly common practice. However, not all professionals are aware of the full potential of these services.
In this article we will explain exactly what business coaching is, what it is for, and the benefits it can bring.
The definition of business coaching
A business coach is a type of consultant who specialises in business growth. Their work centres on helping business owners set and reach their business objectives.
In general, a coach’s work involves sharing ideas, advising, and helping their clients design growth plans to increase their income and boost their professional careers.
They may also play a role in establishing a clear business direction and offer observations, tools, and their perspective to help a company stay on track. A good coach will not simply tell you what you need to do; they should be someone trustworthy who will help the businessperson find the right path for themselves.
Hiring a business coach is like having an extremely experienced partner alongside you to navigate business management.
What is business coaching for?
It is easy to lose yourself on the path towards business growth and forget the reasons that brought you to this point. The coach’s job is to accompany and guide you towards the right decisions.
They should also challenge business owners to develop their strengths, identify and reduce their weaknesses, as well as encourage them to grow as individuals. The coach will stress the importance of leadership to shape the organisation’s vision and create a team allied to these ideas.
So, we should expect a business coach to:
- Ask lots of questions to dig up helpful information.
- Deliver valuable advice for the growth of the business.
- Provide the tools the business owner needs to become a good leader.
- Build trust to enable them to work on the business’s real needs.
How much do business coaching services cost?
Business coaching services can cost between £85 and £425 per hour. The cost varies depending on experience, the specialist area, the agreed objectives, etc. However, the average price is around £220 per session.
It’s also worth mentioning that many coaches with regular clients may negotiate a monthly retainer fee. This will cover regular contact, sessions scheduled in advance and more personalised guidance.
The benefits of business coaching
So, is it worth investing time, energy, and money in business coaching? The process can certainly bring significant benefits both for the business owner and the company:
- Improve confidence: the support of a good coach, who encourages while giving the business owner space to overcome challenges by themselves, will provide a confidence boost.
- Providing perspective: with a fresh pair of eyes and broad experience, the coach will mitigate the blind spots. They will do this through questioning and encouraging critical thinking.
- Help to move away from the comfort zone: it’s very easy to use the excuse that “we’ve always done it that way”. However, a coach will always look to offer new solutions to the same old problems.
- Improve leadership: the coaching process allows the business owner to get to know themselves better, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and evolve professionally.
- Foster productivity: focusing on what you know best significantly improves efficiency and motivation. A coach will inspire the business owner and the company as a whole by using this rule.
- Help to make more money: a coach will help a company clearly set out their objectives, design a solid strategy, and identify the key actions to accomplish this. This will lead to increased profits and more money in the bank.
Types of business coaching
It’s important to say that business coaching can be divided into three categories, which depend on the objectives it is working towards:
- Executive coaching: focuses on developing the potential and leadership skills of the business owner and/or directors. According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the goal is to create awareness, generate action, and facilitate learning and growth.
- Team coaching: in this case, the coaching aims to nurture the team’s talent as a whole to improve performance. This will consist of reinforcing the relationship between team members and helping them all work together. If the working environment improves, so too will productivity.
- Organisational coaching: lastly, organisational coaching takes a wider perspective to help the organisation develop a culture that is aligned with the company values and in turn achieve the strategic goals. In this case, the client is the company as a whole.
6 business coaching techniques
Coaching is a work methodology, so they will use certain tools and a variety of techniques to achieve the agreed objectives. Here are a few examples:
- Preliminary questionnaire: the coach sends out a questionnaire to be completed before the first session. Each question is related to a certain topic, and the responses help to establish a basis to start from.
- Open-ended questions: the coach needs to know what to ask to ensure the best decisions and conclusions will be found among the responses.
- Active listening: paying attention to what others are saying in order to maintain a fluid exchange and extract valuable information.
- SMART goals: creating specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals is a technique that helps create clear objectives and pinpoint the actions necessary to achieve them.
- The tree of life: this exercise encourages self-awareness and self-reflection. It is a visual representation of all the events that have influenced the team members’ lives and helps to understand certain emotions.
- Group motivation: this increases the engagement between team members, which improves productivity and the work environment. It is achieved through promoting professional growth, implementing flexible hours, etc.
6 tips for hiring a business coach
Are you looking to hire a business coach? Bear in mind these tips during the selection process.
- Define your goals and put them in writing: spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve from the coaching process and put it in writing. If possible, quantify the results so you can measure the return on investment later.
- Interview the candidates: try to obtain details about their experience, who they have worked with previously, what methods they use, the results they’ve achieved, etc. Look for someone you feel you can trust and that you like.
- Choose a local coach: working with a famous international coach may be thrilling; however, the daily dynamic will be much more fluid if you hire someone close by. Also, at a legal level it will be much simpler.
- Place value on experience: the longer they’ve been a business coach, the more likely they are to have a solid system that delivers results.
- Find someone who shares your vision in the medium-term: it is important you and the coach are on the same page. This helps target decision-making towards the final goal.
- Don’t hire a clone of yourself: don’t hire a coach that is too similar to yourself. Look for someone you can trust, respect, and listen to. Thinking differently brings new perspectives and challenges.