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How to Choose the Right Business Coach

5 Steps to Choosing the Right Business Coach:

Step #1: Get clear on your goals

Step #2: Get clear on your WHY

Step #3: Focus on the next step

Step #4: Try a sample of their work

Step #5: Ask the right questions

Checklist to Keep in Mind Picking a Business Coach:

Start with their knowledge level.

Small business coaching and consulting are skills, and it takes a lot of education and practice to
master them. Because small business consulting and coaching are not regulated industries,
anyone can call themselves a coach, whether they've been trained or not.

By selecting someone who has attended and graduated from a recognized coaching school, and
choosing someone with several years' experience as a consultant, you have more assurance that
they are skilled and knowledgeable. After all, part of what you're paying for is the ability to pick
their brains and learn from them. Select someone who has experience, both as a coach and as a
small business owner.

How long have they been a small business coach or consultant?

How long have they been a small business owner?
How many businesses have they owned in the past?
How many clients have they worked with and in how many industries?

Look for someone with a wide breadth of experience so you know they can handle your unique

Know the size of your business and select a coach accordingly.

Some small business coaches specialize in coaching small business executives with more than
100 employees, while others specialize in coaching small, self-employed business owners and
solo entrepreneurs. Read through the coach's materials carefully to see if they indicate what size
business their client's typically own and run.

Choose a consultant who has both business skills as well as coaching skills.

Coaching is all about getting unstuck, taking action, living to your potential, and managing your
time. Consulting is about brainstorming and getting advice so you can create a solid business and
marketing model, and implement a powerful action plan.

As a small business owner you know how important it is to have marketing skills, business
strategy and planning skills, and good time management. If you need help in any specific
business skill, make sure your coach is an expert in that area, so that he or she can not only coach
you, but can advise and teach you as well. You'll want someone with both skill sets of a
consultant or coach.

Continuous learning:

In addition to learning new coaching skills, does the coach continue to learn new business skills
as well?

Check the testimonials:

Are the coach's other clients similar to you?

Does the coach have much experience working with business owners like you, in the industry
you are in? (Note: Beware of unsigned testimonials. Look for the name of the client and the
client's company name.)

Also check on LinkedIn to see if the coach has testimonials/recommendations there.

Expert status:

Does the small business coach speak, write and teach on business topics?

Is he or she a known expert in their field? Is the coach an expert on business topics: marketing
(both traditional and internet marketing), customer service, strategic planning, financial planning,
Additional offerings:

In addition to coaching, does the coach offer other products or services, like books, audio
programs, or classes?

Free consultation:

Does the coach offer a free initial consultation, so that you can get to know one another and see
if there is a good fit between what you need and what your coach can offer?

Good fit:

After your initial consultation, do you feel that it's a good fit, personality-wise?

Do you feel positive after speaking with them, or dragged down?

If you are an energetic person and the coach is quiet (or vice versa), is that a good match?

Do you feel you can trust the coach and have a good rapport with him/her?

Do you enjoy their company? (You're going to be spending a lot of time together, after all.)

Who you'll work with:

Will you work directly with the main coach or consultant in the business, or are there a team of
coaches who subcontract for the main coach?

You want to know exactly who you'll be working with so you don't end up with a coach whom
you've never spoken to and/or who you don't know their skills, knowledge and experience (or if
it's a good fit, personality-wise).

Prompting insights:

Does the small business coach ask you a lot of questions that give you "a-ha" moments of insight
and growth?
Part of a coach's job is to help you understand yourself, what you want from your business, and
where you may be sabotaging your own success.


Does the coach challenge you to step up to your greatness, to be accountable for getting things

Or does the coach let you get away with being less than you want to be?


Is the coach available to work with you, when you want and as often as you want? Some coaches
only have daytime hours, while others only work evenings and weekends.

Is the coach available via email between scheduled sessions?

Fees and programs:

Does the coach discuss their fees with you clearly?

Are you clear about what you'll get for the price you'll pay?

Now you have the points to check off and steps to take when finding the right business coach.
You will decide a nice fit for your business if you take action on this information.

Appreciate you taking the time to read this post,

Connect with Rajiv Talreja, India's Leading business coach

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