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Business Basics: What Exactly Does a Business Coach Do?

You Need New Skills

I have some great clients. These are people who know a ton about their work. They’re excellent coaches. Dynamite consultants. Respected attorneys. Killer copywriters.

You know what they’re not - experienced business owners.

And, really, why should they be? Their proverbial “10,000 hours” of deliberate practice were pointed in another direction. It’s what makes their expertise so valuable.

The problem is they’re now out in the world, on their own. They each run a business. And there’s a whole slew of new skills they need, but don't have.

That’s why they needed a business coach.

Business coaching for entrepreneurs is something that can look like a luxury from the outside. And yes, I realize this is sort of a commercial for what I do. But I feel strongly about the value of it.

Business is hard. Marketing is overwhelming. Sales in uncomfortable for a lot of people. Strategy is not straightforward. It’s a moving target.

So yeah - even if you don’t hire me. You should probably think about hiring your own business coach if you’re new to running your own business.

What’s the ROI on Coaching?

In 2016, Frontiers in Psychology published a study that looked at the impact of individual and group coaching vs. self-coaching. Guess what the punchline was?

Coaching produced a significant reduction in procrastination. Way more of the coached participants hit their goals. And they came away from it with a truckload of relevant experience on how to run a business.

Results for the self-coaching group showed that even when they're doing the exact same exercises“without being supported by a coach [it] is not sufficient for high goal attainment.”

But why should that be? I mean, what does a business coach even do? What are they good for?

The answer is…it depends.

A good business coach will tailor the collaboration to your needs, habits, goals, and overall context.

Some areas they can work with you on are:

  • Mindset

  • Accountability

  • Lead Generation

  • Sales

  • Marketing

  • Relationship with Money

  • Social media

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Imposter Syndrome

  • Procrastination

  • Goal Setting

  • Grit

  • Strategy

  • Scaling

But this is what makes answering the question of “what does a business coach do” kind of tricky.

The best way to think about it is this:

A good business coach helps you fill in the knowledge gaps. They co-create an adaptive plan and guiding vision. They polish your sales and marketing tactics. They focus you on the next few steps, tweaking as you go, and…they might kick your butt a little. In a nice way.

In this blog, I want to introduce you to what you can expect when you hire a business coach.

Let’s talk about what’s in it for you. It’ll be a broad-brush approach, but it might give you, at least, a little window into what that collaboration can mean.

Nuts and Bolts, Training and Planning

If you’re starting a business from scratch and you don’t have an MBA, you might be at a loss for how to begin. This is a good first stop for your business coach.

Co-crafting your business strategy - including your pricing strategy - helps you orient yourself in the marketplace and hit the ground running.

There are a ton of counterintuitive lessons in business. A business coach will crack that code for you, instead of you taking 5 years to learn it through trial and expensive error.

Things like refining your niche and getting a grip on market segmentation. All those weird practices that may seem - to the inexperienced - confusing ideas.

Your business coach can mentor you through that. And set you on paths that get you to profitability and impact way more quickly.

The Vision

Wishing is easy for people. Goal setting is another story.

A lot of times I have new clients who struggle with creating a goal that’s compelling. The result is they sort of walk in circles. They make a little bit of ground. Then they ease off. Then…they wind up back at square one.

It’s. Awful.

They think they know their big WHY. But it’s way more complicated than that.

See, the stuff that shows up in daydreams isn’t necessarily the stuff that moves you forward.

There’s a good chance that - at this moment - you’re struggling under the wrong goal. It’s pretty common.

A good business coach will tease out your true goals. Not the goals you inherited from your parents, from the culture, or even from some older version of yourself. They'll insist you crystallize real ones. The ones that make a difference.

I can tell when my clients finally unearth the thing they really want. They’re usually a little embarrassed to say it. But when they do, a light goes on. And we can get to work.

A business coach also co-creates the vision for your next few steps. That means how and when to scale your business, how to increase your authority in the marketplace, and the inevitable course-correcting that comes with progress.

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

Marketing is so intimidating when you’re a solopreneur.

And while digital marketing has made things more accessible, it’s also increased the sense of overwhelm. Both for the user and for the entrepreneur.

But there’s no way around it. 55% of marketing is digital. There’s social media, organic marketing, digital networking, branding, and let’s not forget your website and SEO. A business coach is going to help you get the word out.

I have clients who livestream, podcast, blog, teach, speak…it’s not a one size fits all situation.

It’s more about what works with each individual - to bring them into the online conversation consistently and authentically.

Consult with your coach to build a nuanced marketing campaign - one that’s not all about buying ads. The two of you can do a/b testing, learn from the data trail and use it to define your brand.

Sales, It Doesn’t Have to Be Gross

Selling is just flat-out uncomfortable for some folks!

In fact, it’s precisely the people who care the most about their work that are the absolute weirdest about asking for money.

And if we set a premium price on their work - which we absolutely will - forget it. They almost faint at the thought!

But - selling is a part of business. So sales coaching should be part of having a business coach.

And let’s be clear - sales coaching does not mean learning how to manipulate people into doing things they don’t want to do. Not with a good, grown-up business coach.

Sales coaching is about how to use your own voice without hesitating or cringing. It’s about connecting your work’s value with the price tag.

A good coach should help you learn how to do a discovery call with less terror, how to close a sale, and how to smoothly convert all those leads into happy clients.

You’ll Have to Do the Internal work

Do you have:

A weird relationship with money?

Trouble with work/life balance?

Severe risk aversion?

Imposter syndrome?

Procrastination struggles?

No follow-through?

Well, good news! Almost everyone has these issues. And any business coach worth their training will address them, head-on.

Let’s be clear. A business coach isn’t a therapist.

Let me say that again - a business coach is not a therapist.

But there’s no point in banging your head against a wall.

If internal issues and emotional triggers are what’s keeping you stuck - and they usually are - a business coach should be able to help you name the problems. Then navigate them.

There’s no magic bullet for anyone’s emotional baggage. But there are ways to get your work done and ways to feel better about how you spend your time.

Business coaches deal in results. They should be there to help you work, proactively, through failures, rejections, and also big wins (which come with their own challenges).

On Being Coachable

Look this is just the tip of the iceberg. I almost regret starting this blog, because now I can see all the stuff I’m leaving out.

But I feel like you need some kind of window in - so here it is.

All that being said, I want to be transparent about one more thing. I don’t guarantee anything when someone wants to work with me. Nothing’s going to change if you don’t come in ready to change.

My free advice to you? Before you hire me or anyone, ask yourself if you’re ready to face a lot of stuff that - right now - you may not even know about.

Get ready to learn new skills. To take off all masks. To fall on your face and build new muscles. And finally...get ready to move forward.



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