When you want to make some progress in your business, it’s pretty common to seek out the support of a local business coach, or in this instance, a Brighton Business Coach
Getting it right is easy when you know what to really look for!
Here are 5 things to ask when meeting your potential new coach:
- What coaching experience do you have?
- What system do you use with clients?
- Are you independent or part of a franchise?
- How do you keep your professional knowledge up to date?
- Can I speak with a client or two about your work with them?
These questions are all about them, their capability, and the experience they are providing clients with.
The coaching experience question (note not qualifications) will guide you on how many businesses they have worked with, what type of companies, scales, and situations. This will help you identify relevance. Lots of highly qualified coaches gained their qualifications whilst working within corporate settings, and whilst strong on paper, actually can really lack an understanding of how the SME sector works; hence why experience is as important as qualification.
The system question will uncover if they actually have one! It is amazing to discover that many coaches are not operating to a structured business growth model as a fundamental base plate for their work with you. Professional coaches will be able to show you an over-arching structure, and likely several different models and resources that they use with clients. Where a system is absent, it is highly likely that the coaching process will be a meandering, random series of individual interventions, and in our experience, less likely to generate meaningful results.
The independence question raises both pros and cons for both answers. Whilst franchise coaches undoubtedly have access to well-established frameworks and extended resources, those resources are often a little dated (as it’s hard to roll out new material to everyone quickly without breaking the franchise model itself), and the expertise of the individual coach is supplemented by the core model and training received; but how experienced are they really as an individual where it counts?
Independent coaches can be great, but you need to dig a little deeper to uncover their experience, system and approach. Experienced coaches will likely have developed a number of their own resources, and are therefore extremely competent in using them!
The professional knowledge questions are important. Whilst many coaches do make great effort to maintain and progress their knowledge, many have a tendency to rely on what they already know from their ‘life experience’. Whilst undoubtedly valuable, a core tenet of coaching should be an internal drive to constantly learn, develop and ‘stay a step ahead’! Good coaches either have a coach of their own, or will be learning regularly in some other way.
The ‘client experience’ question is obvious, but don’t just settle for a chat. Write some sensible questions to ask the client to really understand the relationship, working reality, and experience as a whole.
About the author of this blog, and how to get more guidance
Tim Rylatt is a Brighton business coach; with 12 years of direct experience in coaching business owners, and a history before that in training Police Officers.
He is the author of two business strategy books, and a shareholding director in two Sussex based marketing agencies.
Tim has worked with over 200 business owners on a 1:2:1 basis, both as part of the largest business coaching franchise, and now independently through his own practice; UK Growth Coach. He is known for his straight-talking approach, and insight, and enjoys helping company owners make the leap from ‘owning their own job’ to ‘owning a business that can operate independently and profitably’.
If you’d like to learn more about business coaching, or explore how Tim may be able to help you in your business, you’ll find useful answers here.