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Diving Into What a Business Coach Is

Diving Into What a Business Coach Is

Professionals seek out business coaches for improved performance and career success. This article details what a business coach is — and isn’t.

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Whether you’re an entrepreneur just launching your startup or a seasoned business owner, running a business is challenging. Sometimes, the goals you set at the start have more roadblocks than imagined. And it’s nearly impossible to meet scaling requirements without error. 

A business coach can help individuals and teams meet their company’s goals. They’ll tailor roadmaps to a corporation’s unique needs and motivate those involved every step of the way. 

This article explores what a business coach is, including the benefits of business coaching for both the company and individual professionals.

What is business coaching?

A business coach uses their extensive business creation and management knowledge to help entrepreneurs successfully start and run their companies. These coaches typically carry a business management certificate or degree and started their coaching businesses from scratch. 

While business coaches are often hired by C-suite and founding executives, they can also be employed to help entire teams. An organization leader may hire a business coach to motivate their team, teach them new tools and strategies, and improve overall communication

Here are some of the things business coaches do to help both individuals and teams: 

  • Offer training: Business coaches can train individuals at every stage of their career, perhaps helping them improve specific competencies or teaching them how to run their first small business. Corporate executives might also hire business coaches to train whole teams or individual members on particular business best-practices such as certain management styles, communication cadences, and how to create action plans for projects.

  • Turn visions into actions: An essential part of any type of coaching is helping clients turn their goals into reality by defining action items and practical strategies. We must provide them with the tools necessary to reach their goals and help them move past obstacles along the way

  • Adjust plans: Because we work with unique interests and goal-setting daily, we know what’s achievable and what’s not. We can assess current business plans and offer suggestions for making impossible dreams possible, pinpointing blindspots and discussing adjusted outlines and alternate tactics.

  • Provide feedback: Effective coaching is all about feedback. Great business coaches offer strategic, thoughtful feedback on how the company and its team members operate.

The value of business coaching

Here’s why business coaching is important for both individuals and companies as a whole:

  • An outsider’s perspective: A fresh take on the situation is often what clients need to get out of a rut. Gaining feedback from their manager is one thing — but when a stranger becomes an accountability partner, it might better motivate clients to succeed. While they care about your success, business coaches’ opinions are often less influenced and biased, being outsiders looking in. This experienced, outsider perspective is invaluable and often just what an individual needs to take their career or organization to the next level.

  • Extensive experience: Business coaches often come from specific backgrounds, having been a part of or owned businesses before becoming coaches. They’re likely business experts — regardless of industry. They likely started their own business and will have some business-focused education. You can trust that they’ll use their years of experience to help you succeed.

  • Networking opportunities: Professional contacts are priceless when it comes to business success and personal career advancement. A business coach lives in the professional world. They understand how important networking is and have likely networked throughout their education, time running a business, and while helping clients. They can introduce their clients to important contacts that will help them meet their business goals. 

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Types of business coaches

A career in business coaching offers lots of flexibility. You can coach over the phone, on video calls, at your office, or on location at the client’s workplace. You can also specialize in different industries, like technology or health and wellness. 

Here are some specific business coaching types worth considering: 

  • Sales coaching: A client may have trouble closing deals or achieving quarterly targets. A sales coach evaluates the client’s current tactics and offers an alternative strategy to increase numbers, like how to be firm but not pushy. They’ll implement a check-in cadence to ensure whatever new method they’ve introduced is effective. 
  • Executive coaching: New executives may struggle with increased responsibilities, and seasoned C-suites may feel stuck in or overwhelmed by their current position. An executive coach can help business leaders of all types rise to the occasion and accomplish their professional goals. 
  • Performance coaching: Many factors can cause us to perform inadequately, like relationship troubles or significant life changes. For example, we may find it hard to focus at work because we’re planning to move at the end of the month. A coach will motivate us to implement habit changes to foster focus, like turning off our phone during work hours and scheduling time to organize details of the move after work. They’ll also act as our accountability partner, checking in and ensuring we stick to the new habits that help us move forward. 

Business coaching versus consulting

Business coaches and consultants are often conflated, but while both share the goal of helping a company or individual succeed, they take different approaches. 

A business coach focuses on motivating individuals, finding ways they can work more efficiently and working on strategies to help them accomplish their goals. A business consultant looks at overall business processes, like payroll management, marketing, and team dynamics to outline specific recommendations to improve operations. 

Here are a few more ways coaches differ from consultants:

  • Growth: A business coach focuses on the development of an organization’s people, like the client that’s hired them or the team they were asked to help. A consultant focuses on the business’s financial and scaling growth as a whole.

  • Balance: Business coaches help identify work-life imbalances and motivate their clients to conquer unhealthy work habits that lead to stress and exhaustion. A consultant cares about checks and balances, ensuring numbers are on target and processes are smooth. 
  • Involvement: While the coaching relationship is unique to each client, consultants tend to be more actively involved in an organization’s daily functions. This allows them to understand where processes are off and implement structural changes. A coach offers motivation and advice from the outside, often learning about issues qualitatively during coaching sessions with their clients.

Helping others succeed

If you’re just beginning your journey as a business coach, we’re excited for you. Business coaches enjoy exceptionally fulfilling work, helping others succeed professionally and teaching teams to create work-life balance. 

Start your business off right by using a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Practice allows you to communicate with clients, store important documents, and authorize payment — all in one place. Try it today.

Free coaching contract templates

We worked with our lawyers to create coaching contract templates, free for any coach to use. Plus, a couple of sample agreements.

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