In Australia’s changing economy, business owners are looking for ways to increase the productivity, profit and value of their organisation.
For many business owners, this involves partnering with a business coach.
This article will help those considering using a business coach to understand what exactly is a business coach, what value they can provide and how to choose the right business coach for your needs.
BusinessSight is Australia’s most comprehensive and longest running business coaching service for trades and builders. This guide is built from the knowledge of Miles Primrose, who was the first business coach in Australia specifically helping trades and builders take their businesses to the next level.
What is a Business Coach?
The best way to think of a business coach is that they act as an entrepreneur’s psychologist, consultant, life coach, business mentor, and sounding board rolled into one. A small business coach can help you from a strategic level to develop a business plan, guide you through business growth, and help you make your business model profitable and successful. This person can also act as an impartial judge for your ideas and can help you diagnose issues within your organisation if and when they arise.
Fundamentally business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be.
A small business coach is a professional who knows the ins and outs of running a business. This includes (but is not limited to) advice about being a better manager, handling the stress of being a business owner, finding additional revenue, and sales presentation skills training to increase your businesses sales.
Coaching can be in a class environment, completely unstructured with no formal course – or anything in between. The format comes largely down to the coach’s communication and education style, and this will be important when trying to find the right business coach for your small business needs.
How Does a Business Coach Provide Value To My Business?
A business coach provides value depending on what areas you need to improve on and how the coach provides their expertise. In general a business coach helps owners to develop a vision for their business, and then build actionable plans which can make it a reality. Business owners with the drive and passion to succeed in life, understand the value in developing their business because of the immense flow of benefits to their personal lives. After all – fundamentally a business owner is in control of how successful their business is within the market, how large they grow and how much profit they make compared to their competition.
Once establishing the long term intended ideal position of the business with the business owner, a business coach will help develop what strategies can be used to meet the short, medium and long goals to reach that point. As this is made into a documented plan, a good quality business coach from here will meet regularly with the business owner in a structured or informal setting, to help keep them on track with their commitments made, measure existing successes since the previous meeting and determine the best course of action from that point onward. When determining whether a business coach is right for you – discuss how the structure of the coaching arrangement works so you can ensure you’re getting a professional who not only helps you with an initial plan, but helps you develop your business over time as you start to implement changes.
For example, BusinessSight’s coaching through the The Trades and Builders Business Program has a structured formal setting over a year which allows you to take in advice from presenters across a variety of professions – which in turn allows you to leverage the knowledge given from each session into the next, so you can maximise the value delivered.
This ongoing process of review and refocusing highlights the next key point in the value of a business coach and how to choose the right business coach.
Business coaches create owner accountability.
Key to any successful business coaching relationship is the ongoing support of your coach providing accountability in your actions. The role of the coach isn’t to be subordinate or seen as an employee, but instead an independent third party who can assess and provide input onto your ongoing business strategy and performance. The role of the business coach is to help motivate you in your business growth and to meet the commitments you’ve made in reaching your long term goals.
They act as a trusted sounding board who can help reinforce your positive traits and highlight your businesses blind spots that you might not see.
Business coaches track the performance of your business by creating key performance metrics (KPIs) that make the journey to reaching them measurable and transparent. The coach is there to keep track and measure progress that someone might avoid recording if they are on their own. When the journey is transparent, it makes the person that is in charge of reaching them very accountable.
How do I find the right business coach for my trades business?
Finding the right business coach isn’t just about finding the most visible or well-known business – but finding the right coach which fits your type of business, skills needed and personality type of the business owner and coach.
Our biggest tip is to use the recommendations from business owners who are in a similar niche as you.
Have they achieved the growth or income goals that are similar as to yours.
Read the reviews from past clients. Below is a testimonial from one of our clients who did our program 10 years ago and as his business evolved – He came back for another round of coaching to take his roofing business to new heights.
Read our latest article on how to find the best tradie business coach
Here’s some of the key tips we recommend when trying to determine who the best business coach for you:
- What is the business coach’s knowledge level? Small business coaching and consulting are skills, and it takes a lot of education and practice to master them. Because small business consulting and coaching are not regulated industries, anyone can call themselves a coach, whether they’ve been trained or not. Because of this – it’s essential to understand how the business coach has built their knowledge – whether this is through running their own businesses or within other organisations etc.
- What is their experience as both a business coach AND a small business owner? How long have they been operating as a business coach? Were they a small business owner and for how long? Have they owned successful a business in the past? How many clients have they worked with and in what industries do they focus on? Look for someone with a wide breadth of experience in both their capacity as a business coach and business owner – so you can ensure you’re getting the best value in your coaching relationship.
- Do they specialise in specific industries? Some business coaches will specialise in specific industries, so they can laser focus into the specific needs and challenges that business owners in that industry face. It’s worth considering whether to use a business coach who understands your industry, than a general business coach so you can receive the best advice. BusinessSight specialises specifically in helping builders and trades with business coaching – with decades of experience you’re able to get the understanding and expertise that only that BusinessSight can provide.
- Check their reviews: Does the coach provide reviews from current or previous participants? Receiving feedback from other businesses who use their services can help you understand the quality of the work they provide, outcomes and how genuine their business is. As testimonials and reviews can be fraudulent, it’s important to use trusted sources. Generally Google My Business Reviews and signed letterhead testimonials from clients is the best form of validation of the quality of the potential business coach. (You can check out BusinessSight’s 5 star review ratings here)
- Challenging: Does the coach challenge you to step up to your greatness, to be accountable for getting things done? Or does the coach let you get away with being less than you want to be?
- Expert status: Does the small business coach speak, write and teach on business topics? Is he or she a known expert in their field? Does the coach provide information on multiple topics, or do they have experts to give you this information?
- Additional offerings: In addition to coaching, does the coach offer any other products or benefits? Documentations, portals, online videos, networking opportunities?
- Good fit: After your initial conversation, do you feel that it’s a good fit, personality-wise? Do you feel positive after speaking with them, or dragged down? If you are an energetic person and the coach is quiet (or vice versa), is that a good match? Do you feel you can trust the coach and have a good rapport with him/her? Do you enjoy their company? (You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, after all.)
- Who you’ll work with: Will you work directly with the coach or are there additional staff to interact with? Are there other presenters or professionals you will interact with, or just a single operator? You want to know exactly who you’ll be working with so you don’t end up with a coach whom you’ve never spoken to and/or who you don’t know their skills, knowledge and experience (or if it’s a good fit, personality-wise).
- Prompts questions: Does the business coach ask you a lot of questions that give you “a-ha” moments of insight and growth? Part of a coach’s job is to help you understand yourself, what you want from your business, and where you may be sabotaging your own success.
- Availability: Is the coaching service only available during 9-5 work hours, or
- Fees and programs: Does the coach discuss their fees with you clearly? Are they clear about what you’ll get for the price you’ll pay?
Do you want to know more about the BusinessSight Trades and Builders Program?
Book a 12 minute call with Miles today a find out if our trades and builders program is the tool that you have been looking for.