How To Hire A Business Coach

A great Business Coach can help a business owner or manager make significant advances in their business in a relatively short period of time. However, not every Business Coach is right for your business or organisation. This article will highlight a few key questions that you should ask your prospective coach before your hire them!

A Coach Is A Coach Is A Coach…

Not all coaches are created equally. The first and most obvious assessment of a Business Coach should be a close examination of their coaching credentials. While there are many great business people who can be great advisors and mentors they are not to be confused with those who have trained, studied and have been certified as a qualified coach.

In my experience there are two key categories of Business Coaches. Those that have invested in a Coaching Franchise, and have been certified as a coach by their franchising organisation, and those that have trained as coaches and then combined their coach training with their prior business experience.

The former typically have an short “intensive” coaching training process, typically as short as 10 days in a plush resort while the latter group will have studied for many months before they graduate as a coach.

Given only this criteria, which coach would you trust the future success of your company to? Someone who has paid to be certified by the same organisation that has sold them a franchise or someone who has paid to learn to be a coach?

Now I am a fan of many of the Business Franchise organisations on the market. For many would-be business owners, investing in a franchise is a smart move – especially if the potential franchisee does not have a strong business acumen. Now here’s the rub. Do you want to put your business in the hands of a coach who does not have a strong business acumen? One who does not have the resources or ability to build their own business?

As a Business Coach, I am frequently asked – “If you know so much about business why don’t you run your own?” In truth my Business Coaching practice is a business, it’s surprising how many people miss this obvious fact, and aside from that I run a couple of small online companies.

This leads on to, in my personal opinion, the most important qualification of a Business Coach. Ask how many businesses they have run, how many of those have been successful and how many have failed. It is my experience that almost every franchise Business Coach has never run a business before. Let’s face it, if they really knew how to build a business why buy an expensive franchise? Where as the Independent Business Coach will have run one or more companies previously. This is their greatest qualification.

When looking at this business track record do not be put off by an apparent business failure. Typically people learn far more from their mistakes than they do from their successes. Obviously you do not want to hire a Coach with a track record of failures! A Business Coach with several successes and one key failure is probably the ideal advisor, as they will have been through thick and thin times and should have plenty of cautionary tales about what can go wrong and how, from their personal experience, the challenges can be met and overcome.