Business Coach: What Is It And How Can A Coach Help Me?

Do you think kids soccer teams benefit from coaching?

Do you think the All Blacks benefit from a coach?

Today we will talk all about how a business coach can enhance
your business success.


What a Business Coach Does For You the Small Business Owner
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Business Coach?
What Is Most Important in a Coaching Relationship?
What Are Some Signs of a Successful Coaching Relationship?
What Are the Stages of Coaching?
Prescriptive Stage
Persuasive Stage
Collaborative Stage
Confirmative Stage
How Does Coaching Work?
The Startup Session
Continuing Coaching Sessions



A Business Coach is a professionally trained coach with a
background in small business issues who oversees, assists and
guides you—the small business owner—in developing, starting,
and growing your small business. The Business Coach helps
you clarify your business goals and objectives and helps you
develop the skills and acquire the resources needed to operate
a successful enterprise.
Your Business Coach meets with you on a regular basis, either
in person or over the telephone, to discuss the current and
future business and life issues you are facing. This structure
keeps you and your business on the track you have set —
continuously moving forward toward your goals and objectives.
The results are that you experience clarity of what success
means to you, and the means to create success.
Typically, Business Coaches work in one of the following areas:
• General Planning — This Business Coach works with you
on stabilizing and developing your Strategic Planning,
Marketing and Promotional Planning, Financial Managment
and Planning, and general Administration and Personnel
• Marketing and Promotional Planning — This Business
Coach specializes in helping you develop and implement
your Promotional Action Plan, Advertising Plan, and Public
Relations plan.
• Financial Planning — This Business Coach specializes in
helping you understand Financial Statements, Cash Flow
Management, Pricing Strategies, and Employee
Compensation plans. However, this Business Coach is not
a tax advisor.

What a Business Coach Does For You, the Small Business Owner

Business owners seeking the expert guidance of Business Coaches typically look for coaches who not only are successful

Business Coaches and professionals, but who also have a genuine interest in assisting them. Your Business Coach:

• Helps you look at the big picture for your business and life.
• Guides you in enhancing your business skills and intellectual development.
• Provides candid feedback to you about your strengths and weaknesses.
• Helps you identify business opportunities.
• Links you with professionals and organizations that can assist you in solving problems.
• Helps you through the transitional periods in starting and growing a small enterprise.
• Assists you in balancing your personal with your business life.
• Listens to the problems you are facing, helps you set goals and develop a plan, and requires you to carry out and implement your plans.
• Encourages and motivates you, building your sense of self-worth and confidence.


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What Are the Characteristics of a Good Business Coach?

The following characteristics are crucial traits in a Business Coach and can make the difference between the success or failure of your partnership with your Business Coach. A good Business Coach is:

• Professionally trained in coaching skills

• Experienced in identifying and solving the issues facing small businesses, particularly in the areas of small business in which you are seeking assistance; able to offer guidance on the resolution of the issues you are facing.

• Supportive of your business needs and aspirations, encouraging you to accept business-related challenges and to overcome the difficulties of operating a small business.

• Patient and willing to provide adequate time to interact with you to ensure the success of your business.

• Respected by other business professionals and business owners.

• People-oriented with a genuine interest in people and a desire to help others and knows how to effectively communicate and listen actively.

• Good motivator who inspires you to reach your fullest potential through encouragement, feedback and effective guidance.

• Effective teacher who helps to manage and guide your learning — that is, actively recognizes and uses teaching and learning opportunities to enhance your performance in operating your small business.

What is a Business Coach?

• Self-confident and appreciative of your developing strengths and abilities; enjoys being involved in the growth and development of your business.

What Is Effective Business Coaching?

Your Business Coach helps you learn and master specific business management concepts and techniques for overcoming performance difficulties.

An effective Business Coach does the following:

• Clarifies the business management skills you want to acquire.

• Reminds you why these business skills are important.

• Works with you to determine in detail how to approach a business task/activity.

• Observes your performance.

• Evaluates your performance by giving feedback.

• Ensures your growth through challenges, requests, and homework.

What Is Most Important in a Coaching Relationship?

The key to an effective relationship between your Business Coach and you is commitment by both parties. Both must be willing to devote their time to establishing trust and nurturing a good rapport.

Other essential traits which enhance the relationship are:

  1. Respect – established through the recognition of the coach’s knowledge, skills and abilities and your desire to develop your capabilities and experiences.
  2. Trust – built through communication, availability, predictability and loyalty between the coach and you.
  3. Partnership building – established through the recognition that the coach and you are professional partners. Natural barriers that the partnership can face include miscommunication or an uncertainty of each other’s expectations. Measures which can be used to overcome these challenges are:
  • Maintaining an open line of communication
  • Resolving obvious problems
  • Forecasting how decisions may affect business goals
  • Monitoring action plans
  1. Realistic expectations – established as the coach encourages you to set and meet realistic, attainable business goals.
  2. Time – recognized as perhaps the most crucial of all elements in a coach/small business owner relationship. You both set aside a specific time to meet, initially as often as once or twice weekly; as the relationship develops less time may be needed.

What Are Some Signs of a Successful Coaching Relationship?

  • You, the small business owner, are open to change and transition, to exploring business possibilities, and to learning from others. Both you and your Business Coach are inspired by the relationship and gain a great deal of satisfaction from it.
  • There is a commitment to understanding and growing, and to confronting and working toward solutions to business problems that may arise.
  • You feel a bond or connection with your Business Coach, experiencing the relationship as one of value in which mutual interest, respect and straightforward communication are constants.
  • Your Business Coach brings to the relationship his or her experience, skills and success. It is through the guidance and support of your coach that you acquire the in-depth knowledge and skills to operate a successful enterprise.
  • You bring a desire to succeed to the relationship and have a commitment and willingness to learn from your Business Coach.

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What Are the Stages of Coaching?

Coaching consists of different stages that reflect your learning and growth needs as an owner of a small business. Each stage may require your Business Coach to assume different coaching roles. And each stage blends into the other. As described next, roles of the coach are not exclusive to any particular stage, but indicate when coaches are most likely to be performing that role.

The four main stages of coaching are:

  • Prescriptive
  • Collaborative
  • Persuasive
  • Confirmative

To determine at which stage to begin the relationship, you and your Business Coach must consider these issues:

❏ What are your knowledge, skills and abilities relative to operating a small business?

❏ What is your level of business experience?

❏ What type and amount of business-related guidance and support do you need?

These questions are answered through ongoing sessions between you and your Business Coach, usually on a weekly basis.


What is a Business Coach?

Coaching relationships may follow all four stages or only several of these stages. In fact, there is such a fine line between each stage that frequently it is difficult to tell when one stage ends and another begins. The Business Coach continuously reevaluates the coaching relationship as it evolves to determine when it is time to alter coaching roles. The perceptive Business Coach is aware that the relationship will stagnate if the coaching style remains in a stage that the small business owner has outgrown.

Prescriptive Stage

In the first stage of coaching, you usually have little if any experience in owning and operating a small business. During this stage the Business Coach directs and advises you, assuming the role of both teacher and motivator and aiding in building your self-confidence. The Business Coach devotes more time to you in this stage, focusing on providing detailed information to you on business-related issues and on business management concepts and techniques. Your coach shares many of his or her own experiences, trials, approaches to and solutions for operating a successful enterprise. Examples of how he or she and others have handled similar business issues and problems, and the consequences of these approaches, are shared with you.

Persuasive Stage

The second stage requires the Business Coach to actually persuade you to find answers and seek challenges, rather than getting them from your coach. At this time, you usually have some experience but need firm direction. You may need to be prodded into taking risks. Your coach accomplishes this task by suggesting new strategies, questioning and challenging— pushing you into discoveries.

What is a Business Coach?

Collaborative Stage

In this stage, you have enough experience and ability to work with the coach to jointly solve your business-related problems and to participate in developing and implementing new business strategies. You actively work with your Business Coach in business planning strategies and in the day-to-day operation of your firm. During this stage of the relationship, your coach encourages you to work more independently. He or she allows you to handle each situation with little guidance from the coach. Should a problem arise which you are unable to handle, your Business Coach is there to assist by guiding you through the situation.

Confirmative Stage

This is the stage in which you have acquired a lot of experience and have mastered the principles and techniques for operating a successful small business. In this capacity, your Business Coach works with you in defining future goals, objectives and the direction of your business. He or she also provides links to business and industry experts and resources. Your coach may continue performing many of the previous roles, but most important, the coach is a sounding board and empathetic listener. The Business Coach gives encouragement in a nonjudgmental manner about business decisions and assumes his or her most significant role as a champion for you.

How Does Coaching Work?

The coaching partnership begins with a lengthy startup session in which the coach learns all about you and your business. Following that, you and your coach will meet on a regular basis, either in person or on the telephone, to assess the changes that have occurred, to set strategy, to clarify your current problems and goals, and to set your goals and objectives.
The Startup Session
Your Business Coach will schedule a startup coaching session in which the coach will ask you many detailed questions about your business and your life. You can expect this startup session to last at least two hours. Some Business Coaches will provide you with a list of questions, a contract, and other tools prior to the startup session. This session sets the tone and style for the coaching partnership. This is the session in which you set the goals and objectives for the coaching partnership.
Continuing Coaching Sessions
On a regular schedule, you and your coach meet to:
• Check in on any homework assignments or agreements you made in the previous session.
• Identify and clarify the goals and objectives for you and your business for the next coaching period.
• Create a plan for meeting your goals and objectives during the next coaching period.
• Check in on your work/life balance.

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Common Business Coaching Question

What should I expect from a business coach?

A business coach is a type of consultant that provides an outside perspective for you and your business. They will help you address not only business issues, but issues of a more personal nature, like finding career fulfillment and figuring out what’s most important to you.


This is a multiple-choice question. Please answer honestly. 

What do you actually want from your business?

a: More money

b. More organization

c. More time

d. More freedom

e. All of the above

Growth Matters can coach you and your business to all of the above. Don't miss out on your chance.

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