’ve noticed that this question has been popping up frequently in recent weeks.
Especially in some of the Facebook communities that I spend a lot of time in. Perhaps it’s being prompted by the arrival of Q2, as entrepreneurs realise that their goals and targets are not quite working out as they had planned. Maybe the change in weather here in the northern hemisphere means that we’re all starting to come out of our winter slumber with a new sense of productivity – but we’re not really sure where to direct our efforts. So when do you know if it’s the right time to hire a business coach?
So, I thought it would be a good use of my time to give you some advice and the reasoning behind my answers.
First of all, the big dilemma you might be facing is – how do I really know if it’s the right time for a coach? By nature of what they do (and I’ll talk more about that later), we’re typically looking for some kind of coach, guide or mentor because we’re struggling with something.
Maybe it’s your business. It could be your health and wellness. Mindset or even your relationship could be tripping you up – there are so many different types of coaches out there but often, we’re in a bit of a sticky spot by the time we end up realising we need help. Plus, particularly if it’s your business, you may feel like you don’t have the means or the justification to invest in someone. Do you see how this can end up feeling like the ultimate catch-22?
How many of the above can you say yes to?
If the answer is none, then I would encourage you to pause and really reflect. Are you that content with your business that you don’t feel like it can develop any more, or you’ve totally and utterly nailed your future plans? You’re 100% confident in your route ahead and don’t need external input or support?
If so, then my goodness. Can you share your secret with the rest of us? I’m three years into my business and honestly? The thought of operating without a coach absolutely terrifies me!
It can be a scary thing acknowledging that you need help. Some may even see having to reach out for external advice as an admittance of failure or they’re somehow lacking. However, I believe it’s a brave move. It takes courage to say that we can’t do everything, and one thing entrepreneurs need to have in abundance is courage!
I invested in a coach before I was technically “ready”. I wasn’t even really earning enough money to fund my coach fully – it took some personal investment up front. But, it was hands down one of the best things I could have done for my business and my mindset. It still is today. It’s very unlikely that in the future, you’re going to find me without a coach of some sort.
Right now, it’s business coaching on a continuous basis, and I also have a health and wellness coach that I’ve been working with since December. I’m also part of several key paid-for communities where I also receive training and guidance. Is it a coincidence that I’ve lost nearly 12kg, feel like my relationship with food is healing for the first time ever, and we’re on track to hit our income targets early this year? I’d hazard a guess it’s not just luck. Yes, it’s bloody hard work on my part but I’m doing it with strategic, mindful guidance every single day.
Make sure if you choose to invest in a coach, it’s someone who understands you on a personal level and the work that you do. Ideally, they should at least have had their own business for 2-3 years, plus relevant experience and career knowledge. Online business and the coaching world is a largely unregulated industry. This means that anyone can whack a nice-looking website together and label themselves as a business coach. Don’t get me wrong, there are many reputable coaches out there but for every “good coach”, there are also their counterparts who are providing below-par business advice. That’s a topic for another blog – watch this space.
A decent business coach won’t offer the same “cookie-cutter” strategies for all their clients and will both see and hear you fully. They will work to help you find authentic alignment and sustainable growth. They won’t just suggest bog standard methods on how to get rich quick ie, how to “blow up” instantly on reels or other equally viral and gimmicky methods. If a coach is telling you things that feel misaligned or “icky”, listen to your gut. You’ll get a good sense of this from their content, before you even start working with them.
Working with a coach really is a big investment (both financially and emotionally) and therefore it’s one that should be decided with a great deal of thought. When you start your search, ask around your immediate network for recommendations. Is there someone a close friend or business bestie can wholeheartedly recommend to you, based on an experience they’ve had?
Or, you can search in places like business-focused Facebook communities or Instagram. You are likely to be inundated with comments if you pop a post out asking for recommendations as lots of coaches will directly pitch their services in the thread. However, I’ve connected with a number of 1:1 clients in Facebook groups, so they really can be an amazing way to reach the right person.
Follow them on socials for a little while, sign up to their newsletter and absorb their content. If you watch this person on Instagram stories and they make you smile, they provide great insight and you get a good vibe, you’re already starting to form a connection with them, which is key. I’d always encourage you to have a discovery or chemistry call with your potential coach too. Don’t book hundreds of calls – be respectful of people’s time and only speak with those that you’re seriously interested in working with. 2 – 3 calls would be ample.
In terms of how much you should or could spend, the answer to this one is wildly variable. You could pay anywhere between £100 – £1000 a month – and upwards from there. My coaching is £665 per month for context. You’ll want to thoroughly access the inclusions, the deliverables and what you can expect to receive for your investment. Some coaches (myself included) also offer extended payment plans, which means that your monthly cost may be reduced.
Quantifying the direct ROI of a coach is also a tricky thing to do. Ie, will I make back my investment, and then some? For me, I didn’t see the return on my investment immediately. The first three months of coaching I booked, I paid for and didn’t make that money back right away. However, three years into my experience of coaching, we’re now tracking for our first six-figure year with a team of three, soon-to-be four. That for me means my investment has been wholly worth it but just be mindful of this. Don’t expect overnight miracles.
Business coaches can help with things like mindset, business strategy, marketing, creative ideas, and accountability. I personally provide an incredibly collaborative and creative style of coaching. I get hands-on and involved – I get my eyes across your entire business and I’m not afraid to speak my mind to direct you as best I can. It’s coaching but with a giant heap of strategy and input. This is more “involved” than some coaches will be. Others will simply ask questions and guide you to reach conclusions by yourself. Both approaches are valid – you just need to think about what it is that you really want from the experience.
Forming a long term partnership is the best approach – your coach will be able to see the development of your brand, and help you every step of the way in your business journey. This is what I’ve been able to do and it’s literally been instrumental to our growth and success.
Avoid “coach hopping” wherever possible. Particularly if your coach is helping with things like marketing and visibility; you need to give it a chance before jumping ship. There is so much shiny messaging out there, it can be easy to think that another coach, program or course is your golden ticket to success.
It takes time to make changes, implement new strategies and see growth. Don’t work with more than one coach at a time UNLESS they are in totally different wheelhouses. As I mentioned, my two coaches are helping me in completely different aspects of my life and business, so there is no conflict in advice or messaging. However, I wouldn’t dream of working with a business coach and a marketing/visibility coach at the same time. Nor would I enroll in a group programme WHILST being coached. You’ll get overwhelmed with too many voices and your strategy is likely to become blurred. This is where coaching and training can actually be detrimental.
There was a great bit of research from the International Coach Federation that said of all the small business owners that they had gathered stats from who had invested in a business coach stated that:
On a personal note, when working with my coach, I’ve always experienced heightened levels of motivation, creativity and overall business progress and I know many of my clients have experienced the same.
And remember – you are worth it. You are worth the investment and you deserve so much success – and then some. If you’re looking for some key support in your business, it would be a total honour to work alongside you. You can find more details on the coaching I provide here.
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