If you wanted to seriously compete in, say, a local talent or sports competition, you may decide to work with a coach. That coach could help you develop the best stride for an upcoming marathon, or help you develop a certain range of your voice so you could make the most of a song you planned to sing.
Likewise, if you want your small business to successfully compete with others, you may also consider working with a coach – a small business coach. A business coach is not the same as a business consultant. Karyn Greenstreet of Passion for Business explains the difference like this: “A business coach will help you understand how and why you ride a bicycle, help you to determine what’s holding you back from riding properly, and jog along next to you as YOU ride. A business consultant will explain why one bike is superior to another, teach you how to ride the bike, and if necessary, ride the bike for you.”
Coaches focus on strengths and developing them. Yes, your business must perform several functions well, but those are just the table stakes. A small business coach can help you determine what other strengths you bring to the table so you can build on them and build your business in the process. Here are 4 advantages of small business coaching.
1. Small Business Coaching Can Help Small Businesses Increase Profits
A small business that wants to focus on the bottom line must first focus on developing the business itself and the staff. The small business coach can help determine which business functions are in good shape and which need work, as well as what type of hiring will be best to bring in necessary skills. By helping small businesses evaluate what’s strong and what needs improvement, the small business coach can help keep employee turnover down and profits up.
2. Small Business Coaching Can Help Raise Productivity
Sometimes a small business can raise productivity by automating processes. Sometimes fundamentally changing processes is required. Increases in productivity may be accomplished through technology, or through better collaboration. The small business coach can help identify which techniques will be most beneficial to raise productivity, and help develop a plan to make the necessary changes, staying around to make sure changes are well-managed.
3. Small Business Coaching Can Help Improve Customer Service
When a small business has problems with customer service, changes are necessary to avoid catastrophic long term results. Small business coaches can assist with identifying customer needs as well as evaluating how well they’re being met. Where is customer service excelling, and where are opportunities for improvement? As new customer service processes are rolled out, the coach can help ensure employees use those processes to their best advantage.
4. Small Business Coaching Can Help Businesses Learn to Cut Costs
If there’s one thing coaches are supposed to be good at, it’s helping individuals, teams, and businesses work smarter instead of harder. The team that doesn’t know how to work smart will defeat itself, no matter how much energy they put behind their strategies. Small business coaches are a natural fit for helping businesses learn how and where they’re working smart, and how and where they could be working smarter. Smarter teams are more efficient and productive, and less stressed, so better results are almost inevitable.
“But Small Business Coaching Seems Like a Waste of Money”
Does your payroll software seem like a waste of money? After all, people handled payroll in ledgers long before software was available to do it. But the fact is, using the software reduces mistakes, makes it so you can hire fewer people, and ultimately represents a return on investment. The same is true of coaching. The experienced small business coach knows what small businesses are doing to raise productivity, cut costs, and collaborate better, and he or she can bring that knowledge to you and help you apply it to your specific situation successfully.
I strongly believe that small businesses can benefit from small business coaching, perhaps even disproportionately so. I invite you to check my blog and read regular updates rich with information on how you as a small business leader can best go about working smarter and using your unique strengths to differentiate your business from competitors. Small business coaching is about taking a number of elements and learning how to put them together so that they’re greater than the sum of their parts, and I would be happy to help you as you pursue that process.