What Does a Business Coach Do and Does It Actually Help?Jan 21, 2021
In the age of internet gurus, it’s not hard to find a coach for just about every area of your life. In fact, they’re probably trying to find you. (We’ve all seen those awkward selfie video ads. Repeatedly.) If you have considered using a business coach, it’s best to have a clear understanding of what a business coach actually does, so you can decide if one will help your business with its unique challenges.
After all, every business coach promises to help you succeed. But it’s how they help that makes the difference. Let’s dive into what that means.
So, What Does a Business Coach Do?
A business coach strengthens your business by strengthening you - the owner. Most business coaches focus on helping you as a leader to:
- Clarify your long term vision for your business
- Set goals that proactively move you toward your vision
- Stay the course and hold you accountable to prioritize your long term vision
In my experience, I’ve consistently seen that an insightful business coach fills a critical need for many business owners who want to see more revenue growth. Business growth isn’t just about doing the small things right. It’s also about having a clear sense of direction and an intentional high level strategy that leads you where you want to go.
After all, it’s hard to stay on a straight line if you’re staring at your feet. Someone needs to keep an eye on where you want to go in order for you to stay the course--and that someone can be your business coach.
How a Business Coach Can Help You Grow
At Value Prop, we normally work with business owners doing between $5M and $30M a year in revenue. Time and time again, I’ve seen the same trend in these businesses: their operation has grown to a certain degree of maturity and complexity, but the owners are still heavily involved in operations.
They wish there were more hours in a day so they could get out of the weeds--but whenever there’s a spare moment, something else comes up and keeps them from focusing on their long-term growth. Does that sound familiar?
The truth is that a commitment to maintaining a birds eye view of your business can make or break your long-term growth. Without it, you’ll stay in the relentless cycle of weeds. And nobody wants that. But how will a business coach actually help?
1. A Business Coach Helps to Clarify Your Long Term Vision
If you’re a business owner, you probably have more ideas in a day than you could accomplish in a year. Everything from tweaking your homepage to launching a new marketing initiative. A lack of ideation probably isn’t your problem. Filtering those ideas might be.
A long term vision is not about having ideas for the future - it’s choosing a vision to commit to. If you don’t have a vision you’re dedicated to, you’ll waste a lot of energy pursuing goals that aren’t aligned with your vision. This is where a business coach can help you cut through the clutter and carve out a clear, confident grasp on your future direction.
As a business coach helps you to prioritize and consolidate your vision, you’ll be able to more effectively coordinate your efforts to succeed and grow. Think of a car - if all the wheels aren’t pushing in the same direction, it won’t be able to cover any ground. Even worse, it’ll be wasting fuel without a result.
An effective business coach will be able to help you get all of your “wheels” spinning in the right direction by pushing you to commit to the things that matter most.
2. A Business Coach Helps You Set Goals that Align with your Vision
Clarifying your vision is a critical step towards the long term growth of your business, but it’s only a single step. If you’ve clarified your vision but don’t have a plan to practically accomplish it, your vision isn’t worth much more than the inspired napkin you wrote it on.
This is the next way a business coach can help you accomplish meaningful long term growth - setting goals that form intentional steps toward your vision.
I like to think of it like this: picture you’re climbing a mountain, and you’ve set your sights on the peak. If you just start walking up the slope, you’re not likely to reach that peak. Why? Because the journey to the top is long, the terrain is unpredictable, and not every path reaches the top.
You need a guide who knows the mountain trails and can help you anticipate the challenges that may come up along the way.
This is where a business coach can help you make your long term vision a reality with a practical plan. Whether you're still at the foot of the mountain or stuck part way up, an effective business coach will help get you back on your way to the peak.
3. A Business Coach Keeps You Accountable to Your Vision
So you have a vision, and you’ve got a practical set of goals to help you reach it. The final hurdle a business coach will help you with is staying the course. We mentioned the vicious cycle of getting stuck in the weeds? Well, the weeds don’t go away once you have a vision and a plan.
You’ll find that you still need someone who can hold you accountable to not revert to your old priorities, neglecting the big picture. So, on one hand, be warned that a good coach will push you into and through the growing pains of reorienting yourself towards long term growth. On the other hand, be encouraged that this accountability yields results when you stick with it.
Besides, as any seasoned business owner has learned, growth is not a one-time directional change. It’s a constant process that will continue over the entire lifetime of your business. That’s why an effective business coach’s value continues over time. Accountability for what you’ve already established is important. Improvement over time is just as needed.
As the saying goes, “Always do your best until you know better. Once you know better, do better.”
Will a Business Coach Really Help Your Business Grow?
In a perfect world, every coach would deliver on their promises to help you grow your business. Unfortunately, there’s a good deal of coaches floating around who over-promise and under-deliver. So how do you get an idea of what to look for?
When it comes to cutting through the noise of marketing jargon, here are the three most important things I recommend you look for:
- An advanced business understanding - You should walk away from a conversation with a business coach confident that they can move your business forward faster than you could by yourself.
- A thorough, personalized process - A business coach shouldn’t rely entirely on useful, but generic, best practices. Their coaching process should also give you the time and attention needed to tailor a strategy to your specific business.
- A trustworthy body of work - Results speak louder than promises. It may be testimonials and reviews from business owners like you. It may be case studies. Look for tangible outcomes from businesses similar to yours in industry and scale.
If you’re looking for a business coach to guide you “up the mountain” of business growth, we invite you to put our work at Value Prop to the test. We provide a comprehensive, systematic approach to improving your revenue generation by helping you optimize 8 “growth-critical” dimensions of your business with our proprietary Revenue Throughput System.
Our process starts with an analysis of 48 dimensions of your business, so we can pinpoint exactly what is restricting your ability to grow your revenue. Then, we guide you through a step-by-step process to transform each of your problem areas, such as:
- Unclear targeting
- A lack of market differentiation
- Uncoordinated marketing efforts
- An inefficient sales system and staff
- Ineffective leadership strategies
- Under-leveraged resources and access to capital
- Inconsistent or underwhelming delivery of your products or services
- Weakness on order fulfillment and customer satisfaction
If your business could use an experienced voice at the table in these areas, let’s talk. We’re confident in our ability to help businesses grow, and we invite you to experience it for yourself.