Why would you need a coach? Someone who has been through the process of starting and running a business. Someone who has built up the experience, skills and knowledge and will help you to optimise your business while avoiding the mistakes and pitfalls that await the novice.  A good business coach can save you a great deal of time and pain.

But real success is about more than that. As a life coach will help you with your mind-set and personal relationships and a business coach will do the same with your business, a great coach, a mentor in fact, will do both. They act as a transformational guide helping you to work on your own growth at the same time as developing your business. They can show you where the possibilities are for your path ahead.

Now, it is simple and cheap to go to a bookshop, browse through the hundreds of books on self-help and learn quite a lot from reading some of them. However, that is no substitute for having someone who will help you as an individual with your specific needs, giving you personal feedback. The books will reinforce your coach’s advice.

Your coach will know and be able to guide you to do the things you need to make progress. They will help you to understand why you need to do those things and make sure you take action, supporting you to overcome your barriers. They will find out why you are doing any task, keep you focussed on your goal, assign you tasks and monitor your progress.

A good coach will have a network of useful contacts; suppliers, other coaches and potential clients for your business. They should have the confidence and trust in you to recommend your products and services regularly.

Find a coach with a proven track record in your field with similar clients and aims to yours and the size of business and turnover you aspire to. Their paper qualifications are less important than their verifiable success. They should understand your market as well as current and future trends, including what effects technological developments may have on your business. They should be up-to-date and proficient in best systems practices like target setting and quantifying results.

Talk to recent clients who have given your prospective coach testimonials, research their social media accounts and websites, read their books and brochures. You are investing in a partnership and you need to be confident that you are working with someone who understands you and your values. Ask what guarantees they offer. A guarantee with well defined terms and conditions implies integrity and decreases the perceived risk.

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