Do you aspire to become a small business coach?
Do you know the hurdles that small businesses face?
Are you confident that you can help them to get through?
Starting a business is not at all easy. Neither running it with ease is everyone’s cup of tea.
This needs smart planning of resources. The application of shrewd strategies and approaches becomes a must.
Several times people build plans which do not work. The they switch to alternative plans.
This all may need a second opinion.
Several people have ideas but they are not confident enough to implement them.
Here comes the role of a small business coach.
As a small coach, you help in developing the business plan before the launch. After the launch, the coach guides people towards the best way to skyrocket the growth.
Once an individual sets up your shop, the coach helps in refining your business practices. Along with this, the coach makes sure that success is sustainable.
A small business coach can assist at any stage of your business.
I know that there might be several questions hitting your mind at this moment.
Why would businesses hire you?
Who can be your target audience?
How can you prove your expertise? etc.
We will come one-by-one on all these questions. By the end of this article, you will get a wholesome idea of a small business coach.
First of all, let’s discover in detail the role of small business coaches.
What does a small business coach do?
The beginning is very important for any venture. As they say:
“Well-begun is half done.”
The small business coach helps to get the beginning right.
An individual who kick-starts a new journey has a lot of questions in mind:
Am I capable of doing this?
How will I plan my resources and finances?
Will I succeed in my business?
How should I set my goals and achieve them?
Are the challenges real or imaginary?
A small business coach’s role is to provide all these answers.
Small business coaches offer business tips, advice, and strategies. With their skills and experience, they guide clients in the right way to proceed.
They set goals and create actionable plans to achieve them.
They also act as a bit of a counselor. Small business coaches help you to overcome limiting beliefs. Just as a life coach, who helps to realize the personal potential, small business coaches help to realize business potential.
The core responsibilities of a business coach are to:
- Develop a business plan
- Execute the idea
- Help the business to make a profit and meet sustainable growth.
Such coaches know the ins and out of running a business. They know how to train individuals to:
- Become better managers
- Handle the stress that comes with the position of the business owner
- Best apply the resources
- Find extra revenue
- Overcome limiting believes
- Get the right clients on board
- Find new opportunities to boost sales
- Tackle failures and implement alternative ways
- Get hold of the market needs and face the reality
And how do small business coaches do that?
Well, every coach may differ in their service. But there are some common ways that mostly all the coaches follow. These are a combination of:
- Talking with individuals
- Asking great coaching questions
- Building a solid business plan
- Giving guidance-along with homework and checklists
- Reviewing the progress
- Modulating strategies and plans according to client’s comfortability and outcomes
I hope the role interests you. Now, let us gain some more insights into small business coaching. This will help you to discover the different roles that a business coach plays in an owner’s life.
How does small business coaching work?
The starting point can be like life coaching.
As a life coach you teach the person how to run the show instead of producing the show itself.
And what do you mean by running the show?
This would include (but not limited to):
- Improving staff and supplier relationships
- Solving Time issues
- Learning the art of delegation
Small business coaching may include various other elements like:
- System the coaching tips into mentoring and consulting
You will have to take various roles during the small business coaching process.
These may be that of a:
Here you will help the client in their ability to run the operation. You will guide your clients about how to deal with day to day challenges. You will provide them the direction to set the business relationships right. You may also help clients with family issues and maintaining a work-life balance.
As a mentor, you will draw out your own experiences to face the issues. You would analyze and evaluate the situations. Your key role as a mentor would be to identify the options and build plans to overcome hurdles.
As a consultant, you would help the clients with the implementation.
Do you think you would be able to perform these roles?
Do you have enough experience and coaching skills?
Have you been a mentor or consultant to business before?
Do you have your own business story to share?
If, yes then this would prove an extra advantage.
You might not hold sufficient business experience.
Don’t worry! In that case :
Are you confident about your analyzing and evaluating skills?
Do you have the ability to look from a perspective that others might not be able to?
Do you love facing business challenges? Can you make the best use of limited resources?
Does words like – ‘startups’, ‘business revenue’ etc. interest you?
Why not build business experience then?
Why not meet people who are into ventures and learn?
Study 5 common challenges that small business owners face to understand better.
Get some initial beta testers. Invite your friends or family members who may want to start a business venture.
Do some training to understand the need of clients. Only in this way, you will be able to build a credible understanding of the issues.
Why do people need a small business coach?
The WHY part is very important.
Before you build your marketing strategies you should be aware of your clients’ needs. You should know what are there pain points.
Why would people need you?
How would hiring you make their work easier?
Let me help you out!
There can be various cases where an individual may find the need for a business coach.
There is no single perfect answer to this. The client’s needs may vary from one to the others.
Some may want help during the conceptual stages. A small business coach may come handy to get their companies off the ground.
Others may need a small business coach to handle operations. Better management may be the requirement of some.
Sometimes even your client may not realize that he/she needs you.
How would you emphasize your importance then?
There are a few signs that you can see in your prospects. This will reveal that they need a business coach like you.
Let’s have a look.
The person looks stuck
It may happen that your prospects are going through all the motions of business. They may try a lot but things won’t work.
It may seem difficult to get the desired results. This is a signal that external support is needed. A business coach like you can help them realize what is not working and why.
The person is unable to come with a plan
The onset of a business, demands once concentration on many things. This requires a perfect plan. It can be hard to know what to do from day-to-day. The lack of a perfect plan can increase confusion and decrease efficiency. Such people may need your assistance to keep the ball rolling.
The person is overwhelmed
Some business may be overwheming for people. They may feel discouraged or burnt-out. Prioritizing tasks are crucial here. Such people may require a helping hand to set the right order of things. At the same time, this also builds a professional and personal balance. As a business coach, you can help such types of people to identify options and excel.
The person needs accountability
Many people have dreams but only a few are committed to fulfilling them.
Some may choose to sleep in. Others may binge-watch Netflix.
This may result in non-completion of goals. Not everyone can make them realize this. Here lies the role of a small business coach. He /She makes the clients realize the importance of sticking to the action plan. He/She boosts the clients’ determination and will power.
The person needs to expand his/her knowledge or skillset
Some people may want to expand their learnings.
For instance, one of your prospects has learned the basics of Pinterest. Now he wants to leverage the power of pinning. At the same time, many may also want to get better at negotiation/delegation.
Your skills can complement their knowledge. This would give you a reason to approach them. Meanwhile, after you prove your expertise, they will get a reason to hire you.
How does a small business coach help people?
By now, you know how can you identify your ideal prospects.
After this, the next stage is to convert your client into paying clients.
How would you do that?
By reciting the benefits of your services.
And if you want to sell high-end coaching packages, you must have solid reasons for people to trust you.
So, now let’s discover how does a small business coach help others.
By identifying the issues with the business
Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is necessary. This helps one to find out why things are not working. Family and friends may share bias opinions sometimes unknowingly. The need is for someone who can show the mirror.
Why are things not working?
What is required to get things to work?
Are limited finances the reason?
Is the business lacking a solid team?
Is the owner’s approach and attitude demanding a transition?
Whatever the issue be, a small business coach helps one to understand and overcome the same.
By building confidence
A new beginning always takes time to mature. Fresh entrepreneurs face a lot of hurdles initially.
There can be various issues that one would have to deal with.
- Attracting investors
- Getting funding
- Managing resources
- Building the right team
- Building the prototype
- lead acquisition
- client relations
- managing customers
- or building the right kind of staff
Lack of confidence can break everything. This can compel the owner to leave his/her idea and look for alternatives.
A small business coach helps in boosting confidence. He/She does this by making the clients realize their strengths. Such coaches help to boost an individual’s beliefs in himself/herself and in the business.
Such coaches challenge your thinking. This helps one to see more options and avoid limiting beliefs. They help individuals to see the bigger picture. With their help, people can do and grow more than they think.
Act as a sounding board for brainstorming and feedback
Small business coaches are best for sharing ideas and providing feedback. They can provide factual and realistic feedback. That too in a positive way. Small business coaches have the expertise to harness ideas or give tweaks to old ideas. They help one to see which ideas are worth prioritizing and pursuing.
By building accountability
People may not know how to prioritize tasks. This creates a mess sometimes. The coach sets a perfect routine plan and calls the client on it if the client doesn’t follow through. He/She helps one with time management strategies. The coach sets the right environment to boost one’s excellence.
Become a HIREABLE small business coach!
Till now you know the signs to identify your ideal prospects.
You also know why how you can help small business owners with their issues.
You are ready to become a small business coach!
But wait for a second!
Are you ready to become a HIREABLE small business coach?
Is that different?
Business owners have their own notions while hiring a small business coach. They are looking for some specific skills and qualities.
Do you want to know what they are?
Let’s have a look.
The coach must listen and ask questions
Small business owners aren’t looking for coaches who give general tips and advice. They can buy a book or a course for this.
Then what do they want out of a coach like you?
A personalized plan based on their needs and goals.
And how do you provide them with this?
By asking questions and drawing them inside out. By listening to their thought, plans, and aims. You must know how to think from your customer’s perspective.
Crafting meaningful questions and deep listening helps to conduct wonderful coaching sessions.
The coach must have experience in one’s business
Every business has unique needs. A business owner may come to you for enhancing productivity. Others may approach to build client relationships.
Most business owners look for coaches who can help them to seize new opportunities. Who can give them a leg-up with developing business basics like revenue projections?
Since their needs are specific, they look for specialized coaches. Coaches that have past experience aligned with their needs. They want someone who can relate to their purpose. A coach that can understand the dynamics of the business quickly.
The coach must follow a solid strategy/business model
Your coaching business model matters the most.
Are you planning to take individual sessions?
If yes, then what would be the frequency of the sessions?
What would you include in the sessions?
How will you measure the progress?
There are various coaching models that deal with various aspects of coaching.
You should use coaching tools to track the progress and for management.
Offer a blueprint to your clients. This is not a therapy, it is coaching. You need to create a roadmap. Then help your clients towards accomplishment through customized strategies and practices.
References are always an extra advantage
Small business owners are themselves in a risky position. They would be least interested in making experiments. This is the reason that they look for inputs about the coaches. They may interview your past clients. This is to assure you that you are capable enough and have a proven record.
If you are new, get your initial clients fast by charging low.
Once you have some testimonies it would be easier to attract high-end paying clients.
At the same time, don’t underestimate yourself. You never know that a big opportunity might be waiting for you.
Does coaching certifications matter?
This is the confusion of most of the coaches.
Does a coaching certificate really matter?
There are very good coaches that have no official training. At the same time, there are coaches who are certified but aren’t excellent in their services. The ability to offer guidance is an innate ability than a teachable strategy.
Though certificates sometimes give you an edge, they aren’t mandatory.
What are the possible niches that a small business coach can explore?
As we discussed, the clients’ needs may vary. You can develop the various needs into your coaching niche.
Let’s have a look at them.
Many times people lose interest in their jobs. They wish to begin their own show. Such people may come to you for guidance.
As a business coach, you can coach them with:
- Getting clarity on business
- Identifying the challenges
- Choosing the best path
- Validating the idea which they have in mind
- Goal planning
- Managing the resources and process
Some clients may excel in business. They may be enjoying growth but lacking in proper management.
They may be switching to new levels like:
- Taking on staff
- Moving to bigger premises
- Outsourcing services etc.
Such clients may need your help.
First of all acknowledge the success which your clients have achieved. Then you help to build plans and take action for achieving the next milestones.
Maybe the business has become stale. It is not making profits anymore.
The owners might need your expertise to identify possible reasons. After this, you would plan towards putting solutions into place.
This may include guiding your client through SWOT analysis.
It may also include reviewing the vision and mission of the company. There may be a need to revise marketing strategies.
I suggest you go through some of the coaching case studies with small business owners. This will help you to understand your role as a small business coach in a better way.
Online business coaching
You can diagnose the challenges and needs online. Thereafter you can guide your clients by suggesting appropriate paths and directions.
The only disadvantage is that you may not get a chance to visit the place and meet the owners. Some important details might get missed this way. Still, this is a great way to get a hold of both local and international clients.
So, finally, we have come to an end.
I hope this was an interesting piece.
Business owners are waiting for coaches like you. As a small business owner, you get a chance to earn a handsome amount. At the same time, your life becomes adventurous and meaningful.