Business Coach. I’m sure you have heard of them before.
Running a business can be tricky at times since every decision rests on your shoulders. When things do not turn out the way you plan, who are you going to ask for help?
Hiring a business coach can help CEOs get the personalized guidance they need to make the difficult choices necessary to create a successful company.
So, how can one become a business coach and what does it take for one to become a business coach? Well, in this article we’re going to analyze all that. Are you ready? Let’s dive right in then!
1. What is a business coach
First let’s define what a business coach is. The Alternative Board offers a great explanation on this. Let’s take a look:
Business coaches are typically expert entrepreneurs or executives who know how to grow successful businesses. They share that experience to help other business owners reach their goals.
A business coach helps business owners clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals. This allows the owner to understand the impact that reaching those goals will have on their life. If a business objective is not linked to the owner’s plans and aspirations, they are unlikely to passionately pursue it or, therefore, ever achieve it.
After clarifying the business owner’s vision, a business coach will assist in prioritizing the various goals. They can help owners see which items are just tasks and which are long-term objectives. From there, they may work together to determine which strategies will create the desired results.
Busy executives are so close to their businesses that they may fail to see the forest for the trees. As an outside observer, a business coach can more objectively see a company’s internal and external issues. They can help an owner better understand what may need to change, and can guide owners in crafting an actionable plan to create desired results.
The coach will also lead the client in creating key performance indicators (KPIs), or metrics by which you can measure success. KPIs allow a coach to track their client’s progress, which is something a business owner might avoid if they are on their own.
Accountability is a critical component of business coaching. A business coach typically meets with a client regularly, either weekly or monthly, to check in on commitments made during previous coaching sessions.
Again, a coach isn’t a consultant who will do the work for you. Instead, they will keep you focused on the end result and remind you why it’s important. They’ll motivate you to keep your commitments, act as a sounding board, and hold up a mirror to help you see your personal and professional blind spots.
2. What is Business Coaching
Business coaching has become a common practice for business owners who want to advance themselves and their companies.
Nevertheless, many business leaders and owners do not truly understand what coaching actually is.
To put it in plain words, business coaching is a collaborative relationship between a business owner or CEO and a professional coach, aimed at strategically developing a successful business.
A coach’s role is to help you design a vision for your business that aligns with your values and the goals you have for your life.
With that vision in hand, they provide you with the guidance and support that you need in order to achieve your goals, thus allowing you to take your business from where it is to where you want it to be.
3. What it takes to be a business coach
We talked about what a business coach is and what business coaching is. But how does one become a coach? Well there are a few steps to follow:
a. Finding your business path and discovering your niche
As an online business coach, your experiences, skills, strengths, and weaknesses should help you determine what type of coach you will be and what type of client base would most benefit from your services.
Some people have many different skills and concrete experience in various professional areas whose coaching niches can be split into many different niches. These people can expertly coach and advise on a wide variety of clients. Of course, this comes with more advanced coaching skills and experience.
For example, if you have a history of being in leadership positions in your life and are a previous business owner, you might consider becoming a small business coach whose niche sometimes spills over into executive coaching.
Your experience with a certain subject or business area directly correlates with who will hire you for your services.
A study done by the American Management Association asked business owners, entrepreneurs, students, and other individuals what their criteria were when hiring a business coach.
When selecting a coach, The majority of the people (as you can see below) revealed that they rely most heavily on the candidate’s personal and professional experience
These were the most important qualifications from most important to the least important
- Recommendations from a trusted source-59%
- Interview with a prospective coach-54%
- Consulting experience-52%
- Validated client results-48%
- Coaching credential-33%
- University degree in field-28%
- Counseling or therapy experience-24%
b. Develop and enhance your skills
A business coach’s job is to maximize their client’s abilities.
It’s very important to get some proper training and constantly push towards self-improvement to be the best coach you can be to your clients.
Here are some tips on how to become a top-rated coach:
- Emulate top coach qualities
Some of the top coaches worldwide seem to have similar qualities that have helped them become successful. Developing these qualities can help shape you into a successful business coach
- Simplicity — find ways to explain your business coaching philosophy in simple terms and concisely market yourself to clients.
- Accountability — accept that whatever has happened and will happen in your life was your own doing, not of some outside force.
- Courage — embrace challenges and always try to do what you previously thought impossible.
- Self-confidence — believe that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to, even if it takes years.
c. Upskill Yourself
Whether you’re an experienced business coach or just starting out, you should always be focused on continuously learning new information about your industry and consistently improving your coaching skills.
Invest in seminars, courses, or coach training programs relevant to your coaching branch.
You can never know too much information about your subject. The world is constantly changing, which is why you should invest in training or courses that keep you up to date on the advancements in your field.
Whether it’s a yearly conference on the real estate market, a training on intuitive mentoring, or an online course in social media marketing—it’s training that will go a long way for you and your clients.
Training programs usually offer certificates of completion, which are also great ways to offer tangible evidence of how well-equipped you are in certain areas.
d. Develop Your Coaching System
It’s critical to develop a business plan to present to your prospective clients—how you will take them from point A to point B, as Cocaptain correctly mentions.
Coaching services are intangible, so an effective coach must develop their own tangible system to show clients how their services will help them.
Your job is to build a coaching program that will break down all of the details and strategies that specify how you will help guide them through every level of difficulty to reach success.
Your business coaching plan should include these specifications:
i. Communication forms:
Decide how often you and your client will meet face-to-face, virtually, or through messaging. Consider using pre-recorded lessons, training webinars, or even create your own e-learning courses online; these programs are beneficial when you are short on time and have more clients to tend to.
ii. Creating tentative outlines on what will be covered in meetings and questions to ask and topics to breach.
Think about what kinds of questions you need to ask to better understand your client’s needs and goals at any given time.
iii. Personalize your plans
Each client will have different needs, and you may need to adjust your plan to accommodate each client’s goals.
- Defining your client’s goals
- Outline the necessary steps that need to be taken to reach said goals.
- Decide what learning strategies will work best for your client.
Your ability to create and implement a clear and organized coaching system will set you apart from the competition and give your clients more reason to put their trust in you.
4. Business coaching certification
So we talked about how to become a business coach and now it’s time to talk about what kind of certification a business coach should have and how to get certified as a business coach.
The world’s most respected coaching organization, the International Coaching Federation (ICF), offers three business coaching programs:
- ACC — Associate Certified Coach, requiring 60 hours of training and 100 hours of experience
- PCC — Professional Certified Coach, requiring 125 hours of training and 500 hours of experience
- MCC — Master Certified Coach, requiring 200 hours of training and 2,500 hours of experience
By June 2020, there was a combined total of 30,000 ICF-credentialed business coaches worldwide.
Another option is The World Coach Institute, where students can work through self-study, or online study to get their BCC (Business Coaching Certificate).
Colleges and universities in certain countries can also offer business coaching programs and allow you to participate in order to get your degree. Always check to see if the business coaching program is certified by ICF.
Becoming a certified business coach is always an effective way of proving to your clients that you have dedicated time and money to become the best coach for their needs.
5. Become a business coach for small businesses
First let’s see what a small business coach is and how they can provide assistance.
Coach Foundation has a great explanation about this. Let’s take a look:
A small business coach can help to get the beginning right.
Small business coaches offer business tips, advice, and strategies. With their skills and experience, they guide clients in the right way to proceed.
They set goals and create actionable plans to achieve them.
They also act as a bit of a counselor. Small business coaches help you to overcome limiting beliefs. Just as a life coach, who helps to realize personal potential, small business coaches help to realize business potential.
The core responsibilities of a business coach are to:
- Develop a business plan
- Execute the idea
- Help the business to make a profit and meet sustainable growth.
They know how to train individuals to:
- Become better managers
- Handle the stress that comes with the position of the business owner
- Best apply the resources
- Find extra revenue
- Overcome limiting beliefs
- Get the right clients on board
- Find new opportunities to boost sales
- Tackle failures and implement alternative ways
- Get hold of the market needs and face the reality
And how do small business coaches do that?
Well, every coach may differ in their service. But there are some common ways that mostly all the coaches follow. These are a combination of:
- Talking with individuals
- Asking great coaching questions
- Building a solid business plan
- Giving guidance-along with homework and checklists
- Reviewing the progress
- Modulating strategies and plans according to client’s comfortability and outcomes
Now that you know what a small business coach is and what he does, it’s time to take a look on how to become one:
Business owners have their own notions while hiring a small business coach. They are looking for some specific skills and qualities such as:
a. Must Listening And Asking Questions
Small business owners aren’t looking for coaches who give general tips and advice, they want a personalized plan based on their needs and goals. You can provide them that by simply asking questions and drawing them inside out. By listening to their thoughts, plans, and aims. You must know how to think from your customer’s perspective.
b. Having Experience In One’s Business
Every business has unique needs. A business owner may come to you for enhancing productivity. Others may approach to build client relationships.
Most business owners look for coaches who can help them to seize new opportunities. Since their needs are specific, they look for specialized coaches.
Coaches that have past experience aligned with their needs. They want someone who can relate to their purpose. A coach that can understand the dynamics of the business quickly.
c. Following A Solid Strategy/Business Model
Your coaching business model matters the most. Are you planning to take individual sessions? If so you should answer questions like:
- What would be the frequency of the sessions?
- What would you include in the sessions?
- How will you measure the progress?
Offer a blueprint to your clients. Creating a roadmap is a must. This can help your clients towards accomplishment through customized strategies and practices.
6. Coaches for entrepreneurs
So we talked about what a coach for small businesses does but what about a business coach for entrepreneurs?
Noomi offers an excellent explanation on this. Let’s have a look:
Entrepreneurs do not need to surround themselves with “yes men.” They need coaches who will hold them accountable and reveal the ugly truths about starting a business. Entrepreneurship coaches specialize in walking the line between being a cheerleader and a harsh realist, pushing the business owner to new heights that are sometimes uncomfortable but are necessary to grow and scale the business.
Too often an entrepreneur’s social and business circle is filled with people who sing their praises. These people are generally uncomfortable being critical for fear of bursting the entrepreneur’s bubble. The best entrepreneurship coaches know that bursting that bubble is a critical part of the journey and the only way to build a greater, more effective bubble beyond the wildest dreams of the business owner.
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. There is plenty of uncertainty, anxiety and loneliness in breaking free from the 9 – 5 and working for oneself. An entrepreneurship coach is sensitive to these hurdles because they have gone through them themselves, but they also know what’s on the other side.
So now you might be wondering, how is coaching different to training, consulting, therapy and mentoring? Or if you’re the expert, why should you need a business coach?
Well, we cover all this in an interview with business coach and co-founder of Travelpreneur Tribe Kate Bagoy. You can read all about this interview right here. We cover a variety of topics and it is helpful to someone who wants to know more about business coaches for entrepreneurs.
7. How much do business coaches make?
Small business coaches make anywhere from $50 to $500 per hour, depending on their experience and credentials. Coaches typically work with clients for a minimum of 10 hours per month, which would amount to a salary of $500 to $5,000 per month.
But the question you should ask yourself is how much should you charge as a business coach..
Generally speaking, there are 3 main ways that business coaches charge for their services:
- By session. For example, charging $200 for an hour-long coaching session.
- By month. For example, $2,000 per month which may include a number of coaching sessions and access to other valuable online content as a bonus.
- By package. For example, a 6-month package for $5,000 may include a number of monthly coaching sessions, valuable online content and a group strategy and planning day.
Charging by the package is perhaps the best way to charge your services as a business coach because it makes your income more stable and predictable, and clients who sign up for a package are showing you they are willing to make a commitment and an investment.
This means they are way more likely to take business coaching seriously, which will see them (and you) get better result
When creating and pricing your business coaching packages, it’s important you identify common challenges or goals you expect to see across the clients you want to work with.
Generally, a good business coach will charge according to the value their services will bring to the client.
Another great resource to look at is our article on how to price your services which you can find here.
The bottom line
So we talked about what a business coach is and what it takes to become one. I am curious though. Did you find this article interesting? Was there something (or somethings) that you knew before, or was it a completely new experience for you?
Let me know in the comments below and as always feel free to contact me for any questions you might have
Becoming a Travelpreneur Mentor
So we have talked about some of the things that are required in order to become a business coach as well as what a business coach is. But before you go I have something to show you.
At Travelpreneur Tribe, mentors are an essential part of our culture and our growing tribe of assets and resources. We strive to create a community that values learning to do things right and the proper development in all areas of entrepreneurship. Our goal is to create a global community of entrepreneurs, coaches, and mentors to connect, learn, teach, help, build, and belong in a much more beautiful, wonderful world of eCommerce.
But what does a mentor do exactly you might ask. Well take a look here and find out more information about what it means to become a travelpreneur mentor.
If you’re interested, I would love to hear from you!