Consider the state of the (business) coaching industry today. It's saturated. Business coaches may be finding themselves in "Red Water," as it is sometimes called, because there are many sharks trying to feed in one area.
And there's ample opportunity out there for a good coach to land several great clients. But how do you stick out from the crowd in such an environment?
It can seem daunting at times.
If this is you, it helps to take take the clients perspective on this. What are they considering when hiring a coach like yourself? What questions should they be asking? What are you looking for as a coach looking for a coach (because we need them too!)?
Below are 7 tips to consider, from your clients perspective, that you should be able to answer for any prospect knocking on your door.
As Professional Business Coaches with PBCA Canada, we uphold a higher standard than the rest. We want to be committed to our clients and help them see undeniable change and progress, and that comes from ensuring we understand what it means to be a great coach and what they need as business owners. These 7 considerations are a great reminder of what they're thinking coming into the engagement with you.
7 Things to Consider When Hiring a Business Coach
1. If the coach isn’t currently being coached themselves, you may want to disqualify that person immediately. It’s important that people “practice what they preach.”
2. Don’t get caught up with “razzle-dazzle.” Choose the business coach that you feel a connection with and who you enjoy being around. You’ll invest a lot of time with your business coach, so choose someone you like and respect.
3. Make sure that person understands business. There are a lot of coaches out there who are “life coaches” who choose to work with business owners, but they may or may not have the necessary business skills required to help you achieve your objectives. Ask business coach-candidates about their own personal business experience and be sure you’re comfortable that that person’s talents and abilities are a match with what you’re looking for.
4. Check References. Ask to speak with current clients, and/or former clients.
5. Ask what professional affiliations the business coach-candidate is involved in and how that translates into value for you.
6. Don’t lock yourself into a long-term contract. Business transformation takes time and you should not expect “quick fixes.” You should be committed to your business coach relationship being an ongoing, long-term commitment. That said, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your business and to yourself to make sure you have an “easy out” if you ever want to terminate the relationship. I would be concerned about the integrity or skill level of any person who felt a need to “lock me in” with a long-term contract without providing me an easy-out provision. A business coaching relationship is important and valuable, but it should always be a mutually voluntary relationship.
7. When you hire a business coach, take it seriously. You can have the best business coach on the planet, but if you aren’t willing to live up to your end of the bargain, then it won’t work. Conversely, if you’re committed to change and are driven to get the results you’ve always wanted, hiring a business coach can make all the difference for you. Business coaching works extremely well, but a good coach won’t “carry you.” You have to be committed to doing the work and leaving your comfort zone from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, you’re ultimately calling all the shots! A good coach won’t push you into doing anything you don’t want to do. You should never agree to or execute a plan you don’t personally support. But when you make a commitment with your coach to do something, you have to deliver. Good intentions alone are meaningless without the follow-up execution. Your coach provides the benefit of clarity, focus, encouragement, different ideas or perspective, and someone to continually challenge you to be better at your job and in your life, but at the end of it all, the success of this relationship depends on your commitment to the process.
Having read the above, how will you stand out among the crowded coaching industry?
Elio Cozzi is an award winning Certified Professional Business Coach with the PBCA. He's an accomplished business leader with over 37 years diverse management experience in corporate and entrepreneurial roles. Elio currently provides business coaching and consulting services for small to mid-sized, growing businesses in the Calgary and surrounding areas, focusing on one-on-one and group coaching sessions for business owners and their leadership teams.
Are you thinking of becoming a business coach? Do you want to be part of a larger community of highly experienced and trained professional business coaches? If you want more info on becoming a PBCA Certified Professional Business Coach, contact us here and get started!