Really, there are some significant reasons not to hire a business coach. That is not to say you should not hire an expert to help you with different aspects of your business, because you should. Never, in the history of mankind has anyone become successful without training, help, and support of others.
So want am I suggesting then? That there are key differences between a business coach and a business strategist. On the surface they look very similar.
What is the Difference?
Below is a graphic to highlight three key differences between a business coach and a business strategist.
The key here is the training. In coach training, coaches-to-be are told they are not required to ‘be’ the expert. They are there to help you identify what you need to do next, to get you unstuck and moving forward. Coaches ask powerful questions to create this movement for you but what you don’t know is what you don’t know and they are not there to teach, suggest or recommend business ideas.
Many people that call themselves a business coach are experts and may even be business strategists. Here are 5 questions you can use to find out if the person you want to hire is the expert you need.
How to Find a Qualified Business Strategist
- Do they have experience? In the aspect of business that you are focused on and hiring for, does the business coach you are looking at have the experience you need? For example, if you are looking for growth in your market, does the business coach understand your target market, pricing strategies, industry trends, etc.?
- Ask them who their ideal client is. Are their clients retail stores, large corporations, or small businesses in service industries? Are their clients new business or established? These all required different knowledge and experience to be considered an expert.
- What are your clients’ results? Ask for testimonials and get some hard numbers. If they are experts at marketing ask about the return on investment (ROI) their clients got from implementing a plan they helped them with. The ROI could be dollars, new clients, hits on their website, new prospects, etc.
- How many years have you been doing this? Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes around 10,000 hours of doing the work and improving over time to become an expert at anything. How long have they been focusing on business development.
- Do they have training and are they constantly being trained? This is where coach training, or teaching certifications and a mindset of a life-long learning are important. Just because someone has been a successful business owner does not make them a great teacher, coach, or mentor. There is a lot of skill required to be able to not only bring current, up-to-date business expertise to the table but to also ensure that they do not override the client’s agenda. It is your business after all and they have to understand what you want to do, teach what matches and make powerful suggestions on things that may not.
Like an athlete, having a coach to train with necessary. It is important that you get the expert that knows your ‘sport’ well enough to train you to win. When you finalize your relationship you should be sure you are getting the expertise you need to do more than you are able to do now and not just any business coach.
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