Business & Finance Small Business

How a Small Business Coach Improves Your Business Performance

A small business coach can add value to a business owner.
The coach brings their personal attributes to the intervention with the aim of helping the business achieve their potential.
Coaching is commonplace in sporting activities, but less usual for businesses, despite similarities between the competitive environments in which both sportspeople and entrepreneurs perform.
The principles on which coaching operates include mutual respect, a personalised approach and commitment from both parties.
Just as the business owner must respect the coach, so the coach must respect the owner of the business.
The respectful environment permits the free exchange of ideas and frank communication.
Taking a personalised approach means that the coach must adapt the coaching to meet the real needs of the person being coached, taking account of their present life circumstances as a whole.
Coaching is not a one-size-fits-all application, but an intervention to move the person being coached towards their goal, from whatever place or point they are currently at.
Commitment to the process requires that the coach and business owner give priority to coaching by scheduling time for it, carrying out any preparation required and executing follow-up activities post-event.
While both persons involved must adhere to the principles, it is the coach who should take a leadership role in terms of negotiating and agreeing the ground-rules which will underpin a successful intervention.
It is also the responsibility of the coach to monitor the process and schedule a discussion on any unforeseen hindrances as soon as these arise.
For example, if a business owner fails to attend for a coaching session, this needs to be raised as an issue by the coach.
Research indicates that people learn in different ways.
Some learn through reading, some through hearing, some through experiencing.
A coach with a variety of ways of delivering training will be most likely to be successful in transmitting learning to the business owner.
Ultimately what a business owner wants from coaching is increased personal performance that makes a bottom line improvement to their business..
Regardless of business sector or the topic of the coaching, which could cover any or all business topics, the business owner wants to be empowered to achieve better results.
The traits which make for a great coach are those which you may remember of your favourite teacher: challenging but kind, disciplined but adaptable, knowledgeable but without arrogance, simply wishing to transmit their knowledge so that you can use it effectively for your business.
Being responsible for managing the process of coaching, the coach needs to address the coaching in a systematic way.
This means discerning what the business owner really needs, documenting a plan with measurable targets and time-lines, and monitoring progress as the coaching is underway.
It should be clear from the monitoring that the coaching is delivering results.
It is important to document the process; even the recording of progress can act as an incentive to better performance.
Many business owners work alone, others employ a small number of workers to whom they are the boss.
Unlike any other contact, a small business coach can provide both the supportive listening and the objective advice which are of immense value to the business owner.

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