Coaches aren’t just for Fortune 500 CEOs and executives. The small business coach can be a valuable asset for the business that is just starting out or that is intent on improving growth.
Success requires the right attitude, attention to goals, and accountability.
When a business starts out, there’s no way to anticipate every detail of an average day. Hence, a lot of time is spent reacting to things. While this is good and necessary, it’s not the same thing as running a business that flourishes. When you spend much of your time reacting and wearing the many hats required of a small business owner, it’s easy to lose sight of goals and purpose. A small business coach can be ideal for helping such a business gain footing and move forward. Here are four reasons small businesses need a coach.
1. To Help You Clarify Purpose and Goals
Before you started your business, what was your self-talk like? You may have thought something like, “I want to design smaller homes for older residents,” or “I want this town to have a styling salon that keeps people from having to drive to the big city.” You probably didn’t say, “I want to fumble my way through the bureaucracy of gaining a business license and then being surprised by how my taxes changed.”
Yet early days may be disproportionately spent doing things you have to do to exist as a business. The small business coach, however, helps you put your purpose and goals at the forefront, and helps you regularly remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.
2. To Assist in the Transition from SME to Entrepreneur
Being a subject matter expert is not the same thing as being an entrepreneur. In fact, being an accomplished SME may be seen as a necessary, but insufficient requirement for running a successful business. However creative your business may be, it must be run like a business. The small business coach can offer great insight and help you develop smart habits and best practices so that your business can succeed while you still get to engage your subject matter expertise. It’s a balance that is difficult to strike for many SMEs who want to start their own business.
3. To Aid in Expansion of Emotional Intelligence
Don’t make the mistake of thinking of emotional intelligence as a “soft skill,” or as “touchy-feely stuff.” Emotional intelligence can be the single defining difference between a business that succeeds and one that does not. It doesn’t matter how outstanding your products and services are.
Emotional intelligence and maturity are closely linked.
If people can’t stand to deal with you or your team because you don’t listen, you make tone-deaf declarations, or you act like you know what’s best for them, then any success you experience will be short-lived. Enlisting in the services of a small business coach for the express purpose of developing your emotional intelligence can be one of the wisest investments a business owner can make.
4. To Help Establish and Promote Accountability
Maybe you and your entrepreneurial team started your own business because you felt stifled and constrained by your roles at previous jobs. That’s perfectly understandable, but don’t lose sight of the importance of accountability in making your small business succeed. The small business coach is frequently called upon to assist clients in learning how to get into the habit of self-accountability, and how to insist upon accountability from others.
It’s hard enough succeeding in business with everyone on board and accountable, let alone when team members (or a business founder) plays fast and loose with accountability. Remember, accountability isn’t about constricting your scope. It’s about doing what you say you will do and building a stronger foundation for your business to grow as you want and need it to do so.
I can tell you from my experience as a long-time business coach that the skills and attributes of the successful CEO or executive are the same whether the business employs five people, or 5,000. Running a small business isn’t easier because it’s smaller. In some ways, it is harder than running a big, established business.
Small business owners who enlist the services of a small business coach aren’t spending money on non-essentials. Rather, they’re investing in becoming the best business leader they can be and developing skills necessary to ensure the best performance of individual team members and the business as a whole.