Individualism is a theme that runs strong in many countries, including the United States, and that’s one reason why starting one’s own business is encouraged and pursued by many.
From solo bookkeepers to food truck owners, very small businesses are an important thread woven through the economy.
However, the vast majority of small businesses need some help along the way, in terms of hiring professional services, borrowing capital, or asking for advice. Large enterprises have long understood the value of coaching because they have seen first-hand how coaching can lead to peak performance in top leadership.
Many small businesses, even when run by highly competent people, are nevertheless short on the resources necessary for learning how to manage, market, and grow more effectively. In other words, many solo practitioners and owners of very small businesses are on their own, without a sounding board for ideas or the reality check provided by someone with experience. Small business coaching can help.
From Passion to Measurable Results
It’s no secret that many people start small businesses to pursue a passion, whether for comic books, coffee, law, or small engine repair. But passion and inspiration don’t pay the bills. Because so many small business owners must play multiple roles to make their business operational, they may have trouble finding the right processes, the right people, and the right suppliers to optimize day-to-day operation.
Coaching forces the small business owner to step back and view things from a different perspective, and this can lead to insights that make the practical aspects of running a business clearer and easier to grasp. The small business coach knows their client has passion. Their job is to help the client turn passion into measurable positive results.
What Coaching for the Very Small Business Can Accomplish
Here are some key areas where coaching can help the sole proprietor or small business owner.
- Self-accountability – which can be aided by a third party (the coach) following up on a regular basis
- Identification of blind spots – which we all have, however competent we are
- A voice of reason – helping us see when obstacles are real or imagined
- Encouragement for networking – something all professionals should do
- Encouragement to leave the comfort zone – because sometimes setting big goals is more reasonable than we think
Helping Marginal Gains Add Up to Something Significant
Improving marginal gains can make a measurable difference in the health of a small business.
With the very small business, marginal gains can be disproportionately beneficial. For example, if you’re a sole proprietor, choosing a more cost-effective internet provider rather than sticking with the one you’ve always had can make a difference. Choosing different software or moving certain processes to the cloud can save money. Closely tracking expenses can lead to eye-opening discoveries about inefficiencies that need to be banished.
The right small business coach is aware of how expenses that may not matter to the large enterprise can be significant to the small business and is ready to help you root out inefficiency and maximize marginal gains.
Coaching and Small Businesses Initiated by Necessity
Not everyone starts a small business out of necessity. The explosion in the “gig” economy that began during the last recession had more to do with a major lack of jobs than it did with people pursuing their passion. The good news is that many people who started their own business out of necessity learned how to make it work and have no intention of going back to traditional employment.
These people can benefit tremendously from small business coaching. Maybe they have spent so many years in survival mode that they have a hard time seeing the bigger picture, and the right coach can help with that. In fact, the right coach can help turn what started out as a “gig” into a fully-fledged, satisfying career as a business owner.
Executive coaching and business coaching isn’t just something that huge enterprises do to ensure top executives perform well. Smaller businesses and even solo practitioners can benefit tremendously from the services of a small business coach. Yes, coaching is an investment, but investing with the right coach has a strong, positive ROI. You can bet that Amazon, Apple, and other giants wouldn’t invest in coaching if it didn’t.
If you’re a sole proprietor or small business owner, I encourage you to check out my books, as well as my speaking and leadership coaching services. Whether or not you pursue coaching, you’re welcome to look through the extensive collection of content on my website and in my books and learn from the experiences of other executives and business owners.