Small Business Professor: Hiring A Business Coach

By Bruce Freeman
The Small Business Professor

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) What exactly does a business coach do and should you hire one? Bruce Freeman, an adjunct professor and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant” shares his thoughts on the subject.

The Small Business Professor

Q: The financial services business I recently started got off to a good start but has of late been floundering, and I’m not sure what direction I want to go in. A friend suggested I retain a business coach, but I have no idea what one would do for my business or would wind up costing. Please advise.

A: A business coach can help in many areas of business, including the following:

-Vision: How do you envision your company in the future?

-Business objectives: What are your business objectives as related to revenue for the first year, first three years and first five years?
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-Company goals: What are your goals and how will you generate revenue over those same time periods?

-Values and principles: What are your values and principles? In other words, your rules for running your business you’ll never violate.

-Mission: Why are you in business, and what is the driving force that makes you do what you do?

-Team: Who has to be on your team as employees or contractors to support you and your company?

-Marketing: What will you do in terms of in-bound marketing and networking to go into the market place?

-Financials: What budgets do you need to grow your business and sustain your lifestyle.

Al Turrisi, an experienced business coach, recommends a careful self-examination of your business. The success of your business is based on how you see yourself and what you do each day to grow your business, so ask yourself the following:

-How you would describe your ideal prospect opportunity?

-What is the quantity and quality of leads you have in your sales pipeline?

-What are the criteria you use to measure the quality of your leads from suspect to cold to warm to hot to close?

-What do you do on a daily basis?

-What is the length of your sales cycle? The sales cycle is the time it takes for you to have first contact, qualifying your prospect and closing.

-What is your close ratio? You can calculate this by looking at the number of prospects you are working on, how many are qualified or disqualified, and how many of the qualified prospects you close.

-What is your sales process?

-What is your value proposition?

Expense of business coach services is dependent on how much you expect from your coach and how much coaching and training you need. Many business coaches provide a complementary consultation.
Bruce Freeman, an adjunct professor and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant” (Random House), is president of ProLine Communications.

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