Matt Saunders

What to Look For in a Business Coach

3 points to consider when looking to hire a business coach

The goal of a business coach is simple: to get you where you want to be faster than if you were to go it alone. I'm a big believer in that you can do literally whatever you put your mind to. But going solo can be demoralising and tough, causing us to constantly question our choices and lose faith in ourselves. It truly sucks that so many entrepreneurs give up simply because they lose their optimism and belief! These attributes are key to business success, and a good coach will not only support you through the hard times, they will also act as a springboard for new ideas when things are going well.

The goal of a business coach is simple: to get you where you want to be faster than if you were to go it alone

But what to look for in a coach? Here are some key things to look for that will make your decision easier when the time comes to hire a coach.

1. Rapport with your coach

First thing's first: the success of the coaching relationship relies on the rapport that you have with your coach. We each have a unique story and our experiences shape who we become. If two people clash in some way, that tension could be detrimental to the relationship. You should genuinely feel that your coach is on your side.

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A good coach will offer a "chemistry call" before asking you to make a financial commitment. The time on this call will be used to determine if you and the coach are a good fit. The coach will most likely ask questions about your professional history, and try to understand what is motivating you to make changes in your life at this time. You should bring an open mind to this call and be as transparent as possible. When we let our guard down, rapport can be more easily developed. You should leave the call feeling relaxed yet motivated and hungry to get started. If you have doubts, consider arranging another call with the business coach to make certain that you are a good fit for one another. A strong coach-client relationship can make you unbeatable.

2. Industry knowledge

Another factor to consider when looking for a business coach is how well they know your particular industry. Now, this is a slightly controversial point to make because industry knowledge is more important to some people than it is to others.

My niche is creative coaching, working with web designers and copywriters amongst others in the creative space. As a web designer and writer myself, I believe that by having an inside view of the industry I can serve my clients with an edge that non-specific business coaches cannot. That being said, coaching skills stand up on their own merit and a good coach doesn't rely on industry knowledge to offer exceptional value. For me, having sector-based knowledge or experience can simply help oil the wheels of the relationship. This point is more a continuation of the last point about rapport.

So, when looking for a business coach, how important is them having industry knowledge to you? What's your gut telling you?

3. Genuine accountability

This might sound like an obvious thing to suggest when talking about what to look for in a business coach, but hear me out: you want a coach who will give you real accountability. That doesn't simply mean checking up on you every week, it means challenging the beliefs you hold that have so far held you back in some way.

Coaching will help you to overcome the sorts of beliefs that have actually been sabotaging your efforts to move forward in life

You will undoubtedly have opinions about yourself, your work, your peers, your industry or the world that are unhealthy. Every one of us has received millions of messages from friends & family and from the wider culture that are faulty and ripe for challenge. A good coach will listen out for these deeply-held assumptions, often said in passing, and pick you up on them. Expect to be challenged frequently on your beliefs about money, self-worth and your relationships with others. The idea is to help you overcome the sorts of beliefs that have actually been sabotaging your efforts to move forward in life. Sometimes, it takes an outsider to notice and challenge this problematic thinking.

When hiring a business coach be sure to look for accountability not just of your commitments, but also of your attitudes and mindset as well.

Explore what coaching can do for you

Now you have a better idea of what to look for in a coach, perhaps now is the right time to start the conversation. If you work in the creative sector I'd love to chat with you about your business goals and aspirations.

Start your coaching journey by booking a call with me today.

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