Understand your business
01 December 2015
4 min read
At Banjo, we appreciate that the right business coach can add real value to your business, acting as a mentor and helping to develop new revenue lines, drive profitability and introduce better business processes. But it’s important to work with a coach who has demonstrable ability assisting previous clients to grow their business to ensure you get the biggest benefit possible.
Peter Horsfield, a financial planner with SMART Advice is one business owner who has used a coach as a business consultant to help improve his enterprise.
“During my youth I had a swimming coach and through commitment, following instructions and building momentum I improved. Over time I rose above my competitors and in doing so felt more empowered and successful, evidenced by my results,” says Horsfield.
“Every great athlete has a coach and if you want to be the best in your field you need a business coach. In my youth I liked to swim. In my career I like to help people reach their goals and coaching helps me achieve that,” he adds.
Accountability makes good business sense
Horsfield says having a business coach ensures his clients gets the highest return possible from his advice. “Clients and my business coach hold me accountable to delivering value.”
When it comes to choosing the right coach he says the first step is to find the best coach relevant to your needs and budget. “Then, do some research into their style. Find out about fees, results, testimonials, their processes and the support they will provide. Many will offer a free first meeting. Take this opportunity to find out more and see if there is a personal fit between you and the coach,” he says.
Then, identify and document what’s important to you, your business’s current position, your personal goals and the milestones you wish to achieve. The coach will help you tailor activities you can control and be held accountable for to help build your business.
“I flew to the US quarterly for two years for intense five-day coaching events with other advisers. I was held accountable with calls every two weeks reviewing activities and my benchmarks,” Horsfield explains.
In terms of results, he says he now has more meaningful relationships, not just with his clients but with everyone who is important to him. “I have learnt to focus on what I can control and let go of what I can’t.”
In addition, his bottom line has increased by more than 200 per cent since he started coaching, while working fewer hours and achieving greater flexibility thanks to embracing technology.
“I have been able to better focus my time and energy to do more of the things I receive a direct benefit from, including more time to exercise and more time spent on my relationships. This is one of the biggest benefits in having a business coach because I have learnt how to delegate, which has freed up my time. Every great athlete has a coach and if you want to be the best in your field hiring a business coach makes perfect sense,” he adds.
Banjo’s top five tips for working with a business coach
If you were a top athlete you’d work with a coach and if you want to be a top business owner it’s worth seeking advice from a mentor.
- Use a coach who has proven experience helping others. Ask for references before agreeing to work with a coach and check them. You can also see if they are registered with the International Coach Federation to ensure they are reputable.
- Find a coach who has previously worked with business owners in your industry.
- Have a goal in mind before you start working with a coach so the process allows you to develop something tangible.
- To get a feel for the cost of a coach seek quotes from at least three people.
- Above all, you will need to have real rapport with your coach. So make sure you have this before you start work with a business consultant.