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Elevate Your Operations With a Business Coach: How to Find the Right Fit

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Entrepreneurs in every stage of business growth can benefit from new perspectives. For many business owners, that perspective comes in the form of a business coach. If it’s nearing time to enlist help, IPV Consulting suggests five ways to find the right fit.

Is It Time to Hire a Business Coach?

Launching a business can be invigorating and fulfilling, especially in the early days. As time goes on, though, you might find that entrepreneurship is more stressful than you anticipated.

If you’ve hit a point in your journey where you’re in one of the early stages of burnout or feeling stuck, now might be the time to hire a business coach. Whether it’s waning motivation or a lack of direction about what to do next, hiring a coach could be a game-changer.

Business coaches can help with multiple angles in your operation, from being a sounding board for your ideas to guiding you with strategic planning.

In fact, one of the best steps to start a new business is enlisting the help of a business coach to help you create a business plan. The plan should describe your company, its services or products, the organizational structure, and financial projections.

Your coach can also help with scaling up, supporting your skill growth, and outsourcing tasks. But how can you find someone you’ll mesh with who can elevate your business? Consider these five tips.

One: Search for Industry Experts

Tracking down a business coach is more complicated than choosing a restaurant for lunch or ordering a product online. Your business coach can impact significant change in your business, so going with the first name you Google isn’t wise. Instead, research experts in your industry to ensure they’ll have the knowledge and experience you need. Then, dive as deep as you can into their reviews, success stories, and case studies.

Two: Network with Fellow Entrepreneurs

Hiring a business coach is an important undertaking, and online reviews might not be enough to ensure a good fit. Networking with fellow professionals may lead you to a coach who knows their stuff. Insights from other entrepreneurs’ experiences can help you know what to expect, including the going rate; Coaching Online notes that business coaches generally charge $175 to $250 per hour.

Three: Don't Pay for a Consult

Business coaches who recognize the immense value of their services often provide free consultations. They know just as well as you do that a good working relationship is paramount for both sides’ success. That means they may not agree to work with you up-front. Instead, a free, no-strings-attached consultation should happen first. Then, if both parties agree, you can sign a contract and get to work. If it’s not a great fit, you’re both free to pursue other opportunities, and no harm is done.

Four: Get Real, Up-Front

A consultation is a great opportunity to see if you mesh well with your potential business coach. Personalities matter, and even someone with the highest-level credentials and a stack of good reviews behind them could turn out to be a poor fit. While your coach might be supporting your business in a consultation capacity, they’re also a guide for the person behind the company. Entrepreneurs are closely intertwined in their company operations, and a good coach will cater to both the business owner and the business.

Five: Establish Ground Rules

Ideally, your coach will be up-front about the way they operate and the parameters of your working relationship. By the end of a consult, you should know how you’ll stay in contact (and how often), what types of documentation they will provide (from business strategy outlines to monthly invoices), and where they can help elevate your skills. They should also give you the space to mull over the decision if needed — pressure should never appear in the relationship.

Many business owners struggle with roadblocks in their entrepreneurship journeys. The difference between a successful versus failed company comes down to how well you’re able to push back against challenges. With the help of a business coach, you can find new ways to move forward and scale up — if you hire the right person.

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Article written by Eddie Harmon, a serial entrepreneur. He started his first business in college and has been starting, growing, and then selling his businesses ever since. He created Better Biz Tips to share some of his expertise along with what he considers the best business growth resources on the internet.

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