Do You Need to Hire A Coach for your Business?

How do you know if you need to hire a coach for your business?  I get asked this question a lot by entrepreneurs.  My response is most often something like, “Well, before I answer your question, can you tell me why you are thinking of hiring a coach?” Now, here’s where it gets interesting because the range of answers varies widely.  Some folks will kind of look at me with a blank stare and say something like, “Uh, gosh, I don’t know, I mean, my friend has a coach and she says that I should hire one too.”  Or another answer to my simple question is, “Well, I have this friend who is a business coach and she keeps bugging me to hire her.” And then there’s my all time favorite, “Because everyone else has a coach, so I think I may need one too!”

Ok, so my answer to all is this: “Have you made a list of things that you think you need help within your business?  If the answer is yes, I ask to see the list. The plain and simple truth is that most of us don’t need a coach as much as we need some practical advice with some specific aspects of our entrepreneurial endeavors. Let me give you some examples of what you may need help with.

The top of the list to my thinking is budgeting. After you have set up a solid business plan, look at what you need to buy or invest in for the first 6 months you are in business. This list can be a long one.  Do you need a computer for your business?  While a lot of entrepreneurs starting out may have a computer, it may be used by other family members, so it isn’t solely dedicated to their business.  Or you may have an older computer that won’t work for what your current business needs are.  Hint, if your computer is over 5 years old, you will need a new computer. Add on the cost of a printer, perhaps a new desk or workspace, business cards, marketing materials … well you get the idea. Here’s what I know for sure, most entrepreneurs start out with a very small budget for just about anything.  So, there’s your first real conundrum-how do you buy what you need to get your business up and rolling when you have little or no money to buy the things you need. What can you do?  Well, you can investigate securing a small business loan from a family member or a lending institution. Or you can charge what you need onto a business credit card but remember you will be getting interest tacked onto that charge unless you can pay it off within one billing cycle. 

The next thing that you may need is some help with the back of your business.  For instance, can you run a software program like QuickBooks? Do you need to do mailings, newsletters, send out samples of products?  If you are nodding your head yes, you may need to hire an assistant to do these tasks so that you can concentrate on securing clients through networking and marketing your business.  Sometimes you can do both, but if you are taking valuable time by running to the local Office Depot to make copies, mail samples and print flyers, when you could be meeting a new client, then your time management skills are askew.  Remember what job 1 is for you and concentrate on that and only that.

Finally, ask yourself and keep asking yourself this question until you have clarity: I started my own business because…?  Until you have a defined and refined answer to that question, you don’t need a business coach! You must have a clear vision and a clear set of business goals to set your entrepreneurial ship on its journey.  You and only you can create the vision and the goals! And while having a business coach may be helpful down the road (that is when you are making enough money to afford one), in the beginning stages, you need only you and a good head on your shoulders to figure out how you want your business to thrive!