Running a business is a dynamic endeavor. There are ups and downs, highs and lows, and long stretches of plateau in between. Fortunately, even when you find yourself in a rough stretch, there’s always a way up and out.
Oftentimes, the best approach for identifying the root of what’s holding you back is engaging an outside perspective. Business coaching services offer an unbiased view of your company, giving you the insight necessary to help you overcome your business’s greatest challenges. As professional service providers, their success is your success, which means they have a high stake in helping you get it right.
If you’ve been considering hiring a business coach, there’s a good chance you already need one. If you’re still feeling hesitant, here are eight telltale signs your business needs coaching services:
- Your direction changes from week-to-week. The single most important thing you need to run a small business is a unified vision. This is especially true if you’re not the only captain of the ship.Even if you’re running solo, it’s important that your vision remains constant. If you find yourself waffling between business models or markets, or if you’re always wondering whether your product is good enough, it may be time to consult a business coach.
- You don’t have a clear set of priorities. Without clear priorities, it’s impossible to get where you want to be. A business assessment tool can help you identify weaknesses in your operations, so you can position them for additional attention. While an assessment tool has the power to diagnose gaps in your business model, it cannot find solutions. That’s where a business coach comes in.
- You don’t have a strategic plan. Do you find yourself at your desk in the morning wondering what to do for the rest of the day? When choosing between multiple important activities, do you have a basis for picking the most crucial one? Do you feel like you’re fighting fires all day long rather than working towards a greater plan? If you are steering the ship without a compass, it’s time for you to focus on where your business is going. A coach can draw on years of experience developing long term strategies for businesses just like yours. While you may be fluent in your business’s day to day operations, they’re more equipped to help you see the bigger picture.
- You aren’t getting things done. No matter how proactive or industrious you are, there will be tasks you’ll want to put off and moments of near burnout. Chances are, those are the times you most need to pull through for your business. Whether you find yourself procrastinating from day to day or need help sticking to big picture goals, a business coach will hold you accountable to getting things done.
- You can’t remember the last time you took a vacation, day off, or had a 40 hour work week. If this sounds like you, there’s a good chance you aren’t delegating properly. According to The Alternative Board’s 2014 Work Life Balance Pulse Survey, 82% of entrepreneurs are working over 40 hours a week, but only 44% want to be. Why? Because business owners feel there are certain tasks only they can handle.A business coach can help you identify tasks that can be assigned to someone better suited to handle them in a timely manner. Even if that person doesn’t exist at your company, a coach can help you find the perfect person for the job. After all, if you are doing tasks that someone in your position should not be doing, you are likely working below your pay grade. There are many ways to get out of this cycle – a business coach can help.
- You can’t tell the difference between a hashtag and a retweet. In the 21st century, the Internet is where small businesses go to thrive. With an active web presence, your business builds reputation, partnerships, and most importantly, sales. Between SEO, social media, and paid advertising, there are countless avenues for your business to make a name for itself. A business coach can help you determine where and how to most effectively spend your business’s marketing budget, while providing you with the tools for maintaining an ongoing strategy.
- You feel stuck. Business owners are an ambitious bunch. Even when their businesses are maintaining smooth operations and a healthy revenue stream, they are always seeking to expand. Disrupting your business in order to create growth can be costly and scary for you and your employees, but it is a necessary step if you want your business to reach the next level. Business coaching services are an excellent route for smoothing the transition. Your coach can assist you in devising and implementing a strategic plan for easing your company forward.
- Your company has grown out from underneath you. While growth is the ultimate goal of any company, it can often come on too fast and all at once. Suddenly, your staff, processes, and perhaps even physical space have become too small for the demands of your customers. This is a dangerous situation that can quickly lead to overworked employees (and costly turnovers) and poor customer service. A trusted adviser can help you rethink your strategy to accommodate your growing needs.
According to the IFC, 70% of small business that hire a coach see improved work performance, 67% experience better work-life balance, and 86% see a return on investment -- and virtually all entrepreneurs (99%) are satisfied with their decision to hire a business coach.
Business coaching services come in many shapes and sizes. Corporate consultants, personal mentors, and peer advisory groups are all viable options for taking a second look at your business. TAB’s peer advisory model puts you in a room with non-competing business owners who’ve faced the same challenges your business faces everyday and allows you to learn from their experience. If you feel your business can benefit from the power of business coaching services, contact your local board for an introductory consulting session.