Running a business carries many highs and lows. It can be challenging to anticipate the future of your venture, and it can often feel extremely lonely. As with most things in life, a dependable mentor with extensive expertise is one of the most valuable resources available to any entrepreneur. From achieving milestones one day to feeling overwhelmed the next, running a business is a rollercoaster ride that’s familiar territory for entrepreneurs. But, eventually, every savvy business owner will reach that moment when they pause and ask themselves: "What now?".

Business coaches provide impartial advice and suggestions that can help your business become more successful. You’ll have an expert teaching you how to run your business better, increase sales, and improve your skills as a CEO or owner.

Is Business Coaching Ideal for Every Business Problem?

Even though having a coach who is familiar with all the ins and outs of running a company can help you solve challenging business problems, coaching isn’t always the most effective way to tackle every issue that you and your company face.

Sometimes, more specialised vendors can be the best way to come up with an effective solution. Consultants, agencies, and other third parties can be better suited to highly specific challenges – helping your business gain certification under an ISO standard, for example, or building a new website. Most business coaches have tactical skills too, but their most important role is looking at the big picture – improving core functions like your business

Six Signs You Need a Business Coach

A business coach is essential for almost every business, but, for small businesses and solopreneurs, investing in coaching can seem like a low priority. Here are six signs that you should start looking for a coach as soon as possible.  

1. When There's No Clear Path Forward

A lack of clarity can apply to many aspects of your business. Do any of these situations describe you?

  • You lack a clear understanding of your responsibilities as a CEO.
  • You are unsure of what your regular tasks should be.
  • The company's direction changes between months or quarters.
  • You don't have a written list of priorities or plans.

CEOs at the helm of startups are often faced with an endless list of tasks to be done and can find themselves struggling to transition from ‘founder’ to ‘CEO’. They tend to be involved in every aspect of their business and may struggle to break free from being absorbed by urgent task management. A key challenge for most founders is learning how and when it's best to delegate responsibility, freeing up time that could otherwise be spent furthering their strategic vision for the company’s long-term success.

Determining how each task contributes to achieving strategic goals will ensure that every action supports a high-impact result. A business coach can help you develop structure and focus for your role as CEO to achieve long-term goals; they’ll also help you give up control of certain areas, which will allow you to take a step back from micromanagement and distribute your energy more effectively.

2. When You Feel Overwhelmed

If you’re having trouble remembering your last vacation or leaving work on time, you could be overwhelmed with your current workload. Take a step back and ask yourself what tasks are moving you towards achieving goals versus those that may seem productive but are not leading to progress. Many business owners discover they have been spending too much effort on non-productive activities. Looking at your task list through different lenses can help you identify where we need to make changes.

When business is overwhelming, it can be hard to feel like you have anyone to look to for guidance. You might even shy away from using others as a sounding board, believing that it is better to trust your judgement. But this can often lead to constricting your business' potential. A business coach can help you reach outside of yourself and explore different options with an objective perspective.

3. If You’re Struggling and Feel Like You Aren’t Growing

Your business can be built from the ground up with the help of a coach who will walk you through the process of establishing your company, defining its mission and goals, and putting both long- and short-term plans into action.

Working with a business coach helps you overcome challenges and obstacles facing your company, such as scaling past a certain revenue bracket or number of staff. If your company has hit a point where you’re struggling to expand, hiring a business coach can help you determine how to take it to the next level.

4. When You Need a Confidential Sounding Board

In addition to boosting the management and growth of your business, a coach can also alleviate loneliness, making your journey less stressful. While operating your own business can be extremely gratifying, it can also be mentally and emotionally taxing. This is especially true if you are the sole proprietor of a business.

But, when you engage with a business coach, you'll have someone on your side who can help you get through the difficulties you'll unavoidably encounter and who can be a reliable source of experience and knowledge when things become tough.

A business coach has typically endured many of the experiences you have or will encounter in the future. That shared perspective means they truly understand what you’re going through – more than any of your friends, employees, or family.

5. When You need an Objective Bird’s-eye View

In a business, it is important to always have a bird’s-eye or big-picture view to make your company secure and successful. A business coach is the best type of support in that role since it can help you spot and determine the weaknesses as well as the possible opportunities of your company, that way you can maximize your profits.

A business coach can objectively view your company as a whole, enabling them to prioritise gains and prevent errors. Focusing on the objectives of your company is essential to avoid costly activities that fail to add value.

6. An Accountability Partner

As an experienced business operative, a coach can provide you with an overview of the current state of your company, keeping you focused on your long-term goals.

They’ll not only provide you with advice on the steps that you should take, but will also help you avoid pitfalls in the process. No CEO is flawless. Having an accountability partner works as damage control, curbing bad habits and promoting good ones.

Importantly, a business coach is the check that no other employee can be. It’s their job to say, “you’re heading in the wrong direction” and “this is an ego project, not something that’s helping your company succeed”. They’re your compass, and possibly the only person with enough objectivity to help you realise your full potential.

What If I Can’t Afford a Business Coach?

If you can’t currently justify the cost of a dedicated business coach, look for other ways to fulfil the functions they provide. Access free online content (like this blog). Follow business coaches on LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok. Explore free government workshops and training days. The important thing is that you’re promoting a systematised, big-picture approach to your business.

Programs like ActionMEMBERSHIP are also an affordable way for small business owners to access the benefits of coaching. As part of a weekly subscription, you’ll get peer-to-peer accountability meetings, monthly business education days, and quarterly strategic planning sessions, as well as access to digital resource libraries and exclusive events.

Importantly, ActionMEMBERSHIP and programs like it cost significantly less than a one-to-one coach. You get similar value at a fraction of the cost, with the ability to learn and grow in a way that matches your schedule.  


As a bootstrapped founder or a small business owner, it’s easy to get into ‘conservation mode’. You want to keep as much money as you can in reserve, because you’re used to scraping and saving to grow your business.

But it’s important to realise that there’s a time to conserve and a time to spend. If you’re experiencing any of the following scenarios, you need to seriously think about hiring a business coach:

  1. You don’t have a clear business plan or strategy.
  2. You’re stressed or overwhelmed.
  3. You’re struggling to scale and grow.
  4. You need a confidential sounding board.
  5. You need an objective bird’s eye view.
  6. You need help with accountability.

Each scenario represents a crisis point – a situation that will, if you don’t get help, sink your business or burn you out.

By hiring a business coach, someone who’s done it before and knows how to get through to the other side, you can accelerate your company’s growth and realise your potential as a leader. Remember: no-one wins alone. Success is determined by grit, by clarity of vision, and by choosing the right people to support you. Click here to find a coach in your local area.

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Written by ActionCOACH January 24, 2023
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.