Looking for a change of pace? Want to start a career as a business coach, but you are not completely sure what is business coaching? This guide will work you through all the basics, from what a business coach does, to the leadership skills and certifications you’ll need to get started!
What Is Business Coaching?
Business coaching is a service that helps business owners drive change and reach their goals with an ideal utilization of company resources. Coaches help connect an owner’s vision of where they want their company to be to the reality of where it is now.
For the most part, coaching helps prevent owners and leaders from getting lost in the day-to-day tasks of running a company. Ultimately, the job of a business coach is to help your client achieve their long-term goals by adding perspective and valuable insight.
What Would You Do as a Business Coach?
Your primary objective is to help the owner devise a game plan using consumer analysis, growth projection metrics, and open communication. Once you’ve worked on setting these achievable goals, the next step is to provide support and encouragement. This helps keep the owner and management accountable, thereby ensuring focused action in the organization.
A coach is not a consultant or mentor. Your job is not to brainstorm solutions for problems or share your own skills and knowledge. Instead, a coach’s job is to improve the owner’s leadership ability and help them achieve their maximum potential.
That includes pushing for decisive decision-making, serving as a sounding board to help the client work through ideas, and providing motivation when they’re losing sight of their self-assigned goals.
Chart a Path for Company Growth
In the initial meetings, you should sit down with the client and discuss the specifics of what they’re hoping to achieve. This can include brand identity, target customer profile, marketing strategies, profit margins, scalability, and any other factors that pertain to the client’s business. The goal is to identify what type of growth the owner is shooting for.
Act as an Accountability Partner and Motivator
Once you have an answer to this question, you can chart a path to business success using SMART goals to measure time-based, achievable, and realistic progress. As a coach, your ultimate job is to keep the client bound to these steps that will eventually help them actualize their long-term goals.
Helps Businesses Discover and Clarify Core Values and Vision
Sometimes business owners struggle to nail down their vision and core values, especially if they’ve recently taken over a company. By helping the client gain a clearer picture of where they see their company heading, you can help them revamp their brand identity. Often, a new approach can help boost a company’s profitability.
Provide Customized Coaching and Expertise
Business growth is not a one size fits all formula. A coach’s expertise is in their ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a business and help create a customized plan for progress. This helps give a business a market edge over its competitors.
Allow a Safe Space for Vulnerability and Growth
As the head of the company, owners often lack informed yet objective employees to discuss their ideas. A coach fills that gap by allowing their clients to have the important discussions necessary for growth while providing feedback and criticism when needed.
This allows the client to be vulnerable with a professional who understands the details of how their business runs. The discussions that are had between a coach and a company owner can be invaluable.
What Types of Coaching Clients Would You Work With As a Business Coach?
It can also help to think about the types of companies you would want to work with as a coach. This includes niche and customer type, but also scale and resources. Working with a small business that’s trying to scale up its enterprise is a lot different from working with a multi-national corporation that wants to expand its reach to a new customer base.
What Specific Problems Would You Solve as a Business Coach?
The best way to narrow down your ideal field as a business coach is to ask questions about the specific problems you want to solve. Are you interested in rebranding or expanding? Do you want to work hands-on with successful companies owner or correspond with one department in a large corporation?
It all comes down to the question of personal goals and what work style and environment you envision for yourself. For this, you need a solid action plan to move forward with.
How Long Would You Work With Companies as a Business Coach?
Timing also plays a big role. For small businesses with a clear goal in mind, 6 months to a year is the ideal duration. But large companies may need to work with the same coach for 2 to 5 years before they can start seeing results in their long-term goals. You will definitely need to factor this into your calculations.
Who Can Become a Business Coach?
Anyone with good managerial skills and a strong understanding of business can become a good coach. Other qualities include an eye for detail, strong observation skills, enthusiasm, and good communication skills. When you’re shopping for clients, experience is one of the first things that business leaders look for, followed by a big-picture attitude and expertise in their field.
If you check at least a few of these boxes, you can succeed as a business coach. At the end of the day, clients want a coach who understands their vision and has an eye for the future. They want to know that you can visualize the goals they’ve set for themselves and have a game plan to get them there.
What Are the Qualifications To Be a Business Coach?
You need proper certification to become a business coach. This includes attending workshops, receiving training through a reliable business coaching program, and individual mentorship from an established professional. Once you have the certification, you’ll need to start working on your resume and collecting experience.
As a skilled business coach you can work with clients who are:
- Not generating enough profits
- Struggling to expand their business
- Unable to meet their long-term goals
- Trying to increase employee productivity
- Looking to rebrand and target a new audience
- Confused about whether they need to hire more staff or restructure their organization
- Unsure about their business vision and identity
What Skills Do Business Coaches Need?
Some of the key skills for business coaches include goal setting, emotional intelligence, good communication skills, and the ability to hold the client accountable. To succeed as a coach you’ll need to first communicate with the business owner and gain a deep understanding of their personality, vision, goals, and ideals.
The ability to actively listen and understand another person on this level requires a high level of emotional intelligence, because they may not necessarily know what they want. Then you need to break these long-term goals into short-term achievable benchmarks. Finally, you must hold your client accountable, and make sure they stick to the plan.
Ultimately, it comes to supporting the emotional and personal needs of the client as well as their business goals. Coaches must have the ability to prioritize their clients’ goals over their own and understand that at the end of the day the client is the one in the driving seat. If that sounds like something you can do then coaching is for you!
Business Coach vs. Business Consultant
The difference between a coach and a consultant is in the type of value they add to an organization. Coaches focus on the individual development of the business leader, helping them grow and develop important skills they may be struggling with. These include goal setting, time management, self-esteem, decision-making, and confidence. Coaches make sure that every step a client takes is in line with their larger ideals and long-term vision.
Consultants on the other hand offer technical expertise and a hands-on problem-solving approach. A coach will not brainstorm with a client but rather help them work through various ideas to come up with a solution. A consultant will try to fix the problem for the client. And therein lies the difference.
What Are the Steps to Becoming a Business Coach?
To become a business coach you must identify what type of clients you want to work work, develop a niche specialty, and receive the appropriate certification from a reliable coaching institution.
Together these steps will help gain the clients and experience you need to make a name for yourself in the business.
Get Started on Your Path to Becoming a Business Coach Today
You can start your career as a business coach by signing up for one of NLP’s business coaching sessions. This crash course will work you through all the basics and teach you the skills you need to find clients and start your own business.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and get the early bird discount!