Business coaches can help small-business owners establish processes, set priorities and develop strategies to help take their business to the next level. They can help vet ideas, test assumptions and try new approaches. To find that perfect match, consider the following steps.
Assess your needs
Be clear about what you are trying to achieve in your business and how a coach can help you succeed. ‘You are looking for someone who understands your industry, your discipline and the challenges of a small-business owner,’ for example. There are also different types of coaches and styles, such as one-on-one executive leadership training or team coaching, where an entire business group works with a coach.
The best way to find a coach is to ask other entrepreneurs who have hired one and had a positive experience. There is nothing better than positive feedback from a satisfied customer.
Do your due diligence
Request a complimentary coaching session – to know whether or not we can work together, don’t be shy about asking questions when interviewing coaches, such as, “I’m facing this challenge. How have you helped other small-business owners with the same type of challenge?” Choose someone who listens well and challenges you and the way you think and operate.
Create a contract
Once you select your coach, request a written plan that outlines the terms of the relationship: how often you’ll meet, how long each meeting will last, the length of the coaching assignment, and the fees. Expect to meet at least every two to three weeks and pay anywhere from $150 to $1000 per hour. Some coaches may propose a flat rate ($2000 to $12000) for a specific period of time (6 months to a year). You should also confirm whether you have access to the coach between sessions by phone or e-mail and ask how canceled sessions are handled. Finally, build in some sort of target goals to reach so you can measure and assess progress.
Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Chairman and CEO of eMBC, Inc., a national firm specializes in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Surya has over 26 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.