Why Use a Business Coach?
This blog post is a bit different from the typical The First Click blog posts as it doesn't directly relate to digital marketing. However, our goal here is to help small businesses grow and a big part of that is solidifying the messaging, purpose and goals
As we come up to the first anniversary of our business, it's fun to reflect back on the growth, change and ideas we started with and where we are now. As a business, we utilized a SCORE Mentor when we first started to help guide and shape some of our goals.
Is a Business Coach Right for You?
When people start a business, you typically think your idea is amazing and everyone will love it. As you move through the process you may find that not everything is in perfect alignment. Pricing is not correct, the product offering is not selling as well as you thought, people are not visiting your website. All or some of these things can happen if you have not gone through the steps to define your audience, product offerings, etc.
Using a business coach is a great way to gut check yourself. For The First Click, Ed (our SCORE mentor) did a great job of taking a look at ideas and sharing with holes in the plan, validating the great parts, and challenging us to do better. Business coaches typically have experience dealing with lots of different businesses in different markets and can bring a level of awareness to your idea that you might not be able to on your own – a change of perspective if you will!
Beyond that, help with legal tools, financial planning and setting business goals are great uses for a coach. I started my own business because I wanted to help people with their digital marketing. Just because I chose to start my own business does NOT mean that I know all the things that should be defined to ensure its success.
Types of Business Coaching
- Free Coaching. You might be thinking – I'm just starting my business, I don't have money to pay for a coach. As I mentioned earlier, we used a SCORE mentor for our coaching. This is a great option because it is a free option. They are sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA) and coaches are volunteers that come from the business world. They match you up with a coach based on your goals and business needs. Another great option is visiting your local library. They often have education sessions or links to resources you can utilize to get your business going.
- Paid Coaching. Maybe your business has started and was going well but now it's starting to plateau. You need some guidance in a particular area (creating systems or financial or marketing) to help take you to the next level. If you're looking for someone that can make a substantial impact
inyour business then the best advice is to ask around. Hiring a business coach is like finding a best friend. You are giving them access to all parts of your business and trusting that they have your best interests at heart. You might not always agree on decisions or the best course of action all the time, but they are there to provide you with a different perspective and challenge you.
- Masterminds. Masterminds are growing in popularity and can be free, or paid. They can be small groups that meet locally and help each other with growing their business needs and experiences, or they can be paid programs that meet in person, virtually or a combo of both. Paid masterminds are typically on a particular topic. The key thing is accountability and taking active steps in your business.
- Online coaching. Online coaching programs are similar to masterminds. They often have forums or Facebook groups attached to additional networking and community. The key difference here is that they are typically taught by one expert as opposed to group sharing of information. Not all coaching programs are ongoing, several are a short-term program to get knowledge on a particular topic or may require a longer term commitment. For example, The Marketing Laboratory is a 12-month coaching program that we have created that works entrepreneurs and small business owners through the foundations of marketing. You can find them on everything from growing your email list to copywriting to defining your business strategy.
So what option should you choose?
That all depends on where you are in your business and your budget. Masterminds and online coaching programs can be expensive and time-consuming. But if you put the lessons you learned into action they can make a big impact. Personal coaching is just that, more personal and can leave you with specific deliverables for your unique business.
Some of our favorite Groups/Masterminds:
No matter what you choose, don't be afraid to keep learning and growing your business.