You have no doubt heard the phrase, “those who can, teach”. Yet have you ever thought about whether you could teach what you know? If you are someone who has been in an industry for years, with countless experience and skills, perhaps the next step in your career is becoming a business coach.
Maybe you’ve even thought about it before, but didn’t know where to start. What’s it really like being a business coach? What’s the best way to market yourself and your new coaching business? In this article, we expose what it’s really like to be a business coach based off a webinar interview with Ashley Thomson – an ActionCOACH franchisee who has been a business coach for 15 years.
Ashley has over 15 years’ experience in steering businesses in the right direction. His specialties include: succession planning, keynote presentations, mentoring, business growth.
What Exactly is Business Coaching?
When you become a business coach, you will likely be asked from friends, family and prospective clients, ‘What exactly is business coaching?’ According to Ashley, the easiest way to explain business coaching is like this:
A business coach is like the Board of Directors for small businesses that aren’t large enough to actually have a Board of Directors. Small businesses or businesses that are just starting out will unlikely have a CEO or Board of Directors to keep them accountable and to discuss strategies like a CEO would. That’s where a business coach comes in. A business coach will work with the small business owner to help implement and create a range of strategies, as well as help keep employees accountable.
Furthermore, business coaching is essentially a bespoke education. It’s the grand sum of a coach’s knowledge, delivered to a client in a customised manner. It’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. A business coach is someone the business owner can talk to about their business – someone who actually wants to listen, and help come up with unique and innovative solutions.
A business coach also provides accountability to businesses and helps speed up results. It’s easy for a small business owner to become apathetic when there’s no one keeping them accountable, and that’s where a business coach comes in.
Why is it Called Coaching and not Mentoring or Consulting?
There are a few distinctions between business coaching, mentoring and consulting. According to Ashley, business mentoring is an individual who has had a long career and sees their role as someone who guides the younger generation down the right path, offering wisdom and advice based off their years of experience.
Business consulting is where a consultant comes in to a business, takes on a certain project, and hands it back to the business when it is complete. It is more of a managerial role than a supporting and nurturing role.
A business coach works with clients on strategy, planning and problem solving, helping clients develop business skills and knowledge. A business coach guides businesses through different processes and gives them the room to learn and grow their skills and develop their own unique processes.
The Benefits of Business Coaching
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of business coaching is the personal growth you achieve. It’s also a highly satisfying career because you are helping a business owner achieve their goals. According to Ashley, a huge benefit is the job satisfaction. He says, “It’s all about the satisfaction. It’s being able to help a business owner achieve their goals, being able to see a business grow from 5 people to 25 people and knowing you’ve been partially responsible for the growth and employment of those people.”
Another benefit of business coaching is the diversity of clients and work. Business coaches work with a range of clients in a range of different sectors, so the work is constantly changing and consistently challenging. Furthermore, being a business coach tests every single skill you possess. You utilise every skill you have and in a variety of ways. For example, one day you might be using your skills in empathy and rapport while also using your skills in strategic planning.
On the other hand, becoming a business coach also highlights the skills you lack. Ashley says, “It shows the skills you don’t possess. There’s this vast learning curve and you’ve got to master a lot of skills at once.” When you first begin your career as a business coach, you need to master the skill of marketing to find prospective clients.
Then, you need to master the skill of sales in order to sell people your coaching plan. Finally, you need to master the delivery of coaching. Becoming a business coach under a reputable franchise is a great way to begin your journey as a coach as you have the framework already put into place, as well as the support of people who have been there before.
Another challenge of business coaching is ensuring you keep a positive mindset. Coaching can be an incredibly emotional career. In the same day, you might speak with a client who has doubled their sales thanks to your help, and you also might speak to a client who has to fire their 2IC due to budget cuts. You need to know how to keep yourself – and your clients – in the right frame of mind, no matter what’s happening at the time.
A Typical Week
One of the great things about becoming a business coach is the flexibility it offers. You are able to schedule and plan your week however you’d like. For example, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you might have back to back client meetings, which gives you Monday and Friday to carry out business administration work, catch up on emails, market to prospective clients and so on.
It all comes down to how you work best and what suits your lifestyle. Of course you need to consider your clients their schedule, yet for the most part you have plenty of freedom to plan your week however it suits you.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to hear the full interview with ActionCOACH franchisee Ashley Thomson, you can listen to and watch a replay of the webinar via this link. Click here to find out more about ActionCOACH Franchise opportunity.
February 15, 2024