So, you have decided to start a business or have been running a business for a while and need help moving forward. Running a business can be very rewarding, but it can also often feel like a very solitary pursuit. However, having an experienced business Coach or mentor that you can rely on is one of the most valuable resources available.
Coaching is performance driven, designed to improve the professional’s ‘on-the-job’ performance. It tends to be for a shorter period of time and follows a structured and formal approach.
Mentoring is development driven. It’s over a longer term and based on mutual trust and respect. Mentoring is more focused on creating an informal association between the mentor and mentee.
When you start a business, you need to make sure the foundations are in place for stability and future growth. A business coach (like an accountant) should pay for themselves, whether this is in advice; making sure you do the tax aspect correctly or by helping you to increase your marketing reach. Pushing you out of your comfort zone and setting challenges to help you manage your business better.
Apart from the importance of ‘getting on’ with your coach, it is vital that they have experience in starting, running, building and selling companies. They may also have knowledge in how to create duplicate models, whether it’s for franchising or opening new branches.
Find someone that can speak from real-life experiences and prepared to share with you the lessons learnt.
Ideally, this person will have failed and succeeded. Their insight will help you avoid making costly mistakes and increase your chance of success.
One of the great reasons to use a coach is to be held accountable to someone to get the job done. Your Coach should outline what they can offer and what they need from you. No one wants to waste their time; they want to be productive so should set the expectations up at the start.
A good coach will be willing to customise their program for you, because one size doesn’t fit all. Can they dedicate the time to help you? What is their schedule and availability like? How many other projects and commitments do they have? Does this person care about your problems and concerns?
Working with a coach remotely is a great way to have a relationship that is not overly intrusive but still easy to access. Our changing world means that online working is more important – are they geared up for this? Do they have the technology to be able to support you remotely?
A great coach will have longstanding relationships with experts in a variety of industries who could benefit you and your business. Contacts that can help you in all areas of running your business whether it is accounts / HR / marketing and systems etc. Sometimes it is about who you know.
An ideal coach is very patient, but also persistent and determined. They will be respectful to you and the challenges you face. A business coach can be a great sounding board for new ideas, having someone with experience, but one step removed from your business allows them to give an impartial view and be able to play ‘devil’s advocate’.
How a potential coach treats you from the very beginning of your interactions is a good indicator of how he or she will act over time. You need a coach who is considerate of your time, likewise, be respectful of theirs – always be on time for meetings.
You may hear things you don’t like or disagree with; a coach should be able to give constructive feedback without worrying that you may get upset. Both parties should be respectful of each other’s opinions, ideas, thoughts and feelings. Ultimately your coach is there to help you and should only give information with the best of intentions.
Integrity is the quality of having strong ethical or moral principles and following them at all times, no matter who’s watching. A person with integrity acts with honesty, honour and truthfulness.
You need to trust your coach like you do your accountant. They can’t help you if you are not open and honest with them about your challenges, fears and goals.
Ethics establishes rules, principles and values on which we can base our conduct. Your Coach should encompass; great ethics, reliability, dependability, dedication, productivity, cooperation, integrity, sense of responsibility emphasis on quality, discipline, teamwork, professionalism, respectfulness and determination.
If you’re lucky enough to find a coach that is on the same wavelength, you will make a great friend for life. They will enjoy sharing in your success and feeling like they were part of it.
Together with a strong financial background we are able to support you and your business, bringing your ideas to reality. With 25+ years’ experience in starting, building, growing, franchising and selling companies we provide training, advice, support and guidance to businesses either starting up or established firms that look to grow their service/product range or improve an area to help the company grow and we do this in a friendly and approachable way. For more information please visit www.whitleymorgan.co.uk or call us on 01284 335562.