When many of my clients first come to me for support, they really are at the end of their tether – they are stressed because they are putting loads of effort into their business and the return they are getting, just doesn’t reflect all that effort. Sometimes clients are seeing having a coach as a last ditch attempt to make a go of their business before deciding whether they should chuck it all in, as they had never anticipated that owning their own business would be that hard. A few months down the line, most of these clients are saying they wished they had come to me sooner, before they ever got that way as coaching had helped them and their business immeasurably.
So how can having a coach help your business?
1. Clarity and focus
One of the biggest first wins, is gaining clarity for my clients. Often my clients really can’t see the wood for the trees. They come to me because something in their business isn’t working: they may not be getting the clients, earning the level of income they want, working too hard, not having work-life balance, lacking time… sometimes they’re not even sure what the problem is – they just know it’s all too much.
Owning a business is such a responsibility and people go into business with the expectation that it’s going to work – so when things aren’t going right, it’s stressful. Admitting that your business is failing, is like admitting that you’re a bad parent: that baby you’re looking after and are responsible for, is not thriving and turning out to be what you had in mind. It’s overwhelming at times, and those small problems can easily escalate into feeling like HUGE problems. Therefore, helping my clients to understand what the problem is, is so rewarding. And often, it puts everything into perspective, that it isn’t so huge: it’s one small (or lots of small) problems that can then be managed in a focused way.
Of course, understanding the problem is the first part. The second is then deciding what the outcome needs to be; and then setting manageable tasks that will deliver that outcome. This creates that focus needed to make things happen. And guess what? When you are clear on the outcome and what will drive you towards it, you are more likely to be focusing on the tasks that will get you there: making you more effective, more time efficient and more likely to achieve!
Understanding the power of connection and alignment is really powerful. Often clients do not know why their business is important to them; or what they need to achieve from it.
I help my clients understand why their business is important and therefore, what it’s purpose is for them. In order to do this I help clients to understand more about themselves and the lives that they want. Business and home life are completely linked when you’re a business owner so ensuring that your own personal values and goals are connected, is important. This could be about using the business to drive a personal ambition e.g., often it’s having a successful business to fund a lifestyle of children; or to get personal recognition. Getting to the root of this purpose is critical because then we can ensure that the business can achieve it for you.
It’s often enlightening for someone to truly understand their reason ‘why’ (or purpose) and connecting this to their business. But once a client has truly connected their purpose with their business vision and the activities within their business, the magic really begins to happen.
3. Time and space
It’s surprising how many people don’t take time out from working in the business to work on developing the business. Having a coach will give dedicated time to focus on how to develop the business and make it grow and /or work for you. Furthermore, I have some clients who take time out to work on their business but have no idea on where to start. A coach can help with this by giving you the time and headspace to think about what’s important and then to help you with getting the clarity and focus on what you want to achieve – and of course, most importantly how to get there.
So often, my clients say that having the time and space to talk and think in a challenging but supportive environment has enabled them to move forward so much more quickly than if they had been trying to work on it on their own.
Having a mindset that drives you forward is one of the biggest determinants on success. Often my clients know exactly what they need to do but they either don’t believe they can do it, or they lack the confidence to do it. Either way, it holds them back.
Being able to identify exactly what is holding a person back and supporting the client with their mindset so that they can move forward with absolute certainty that they will achieve, is so powerful.
When you’re a business owner it’s so so easy to talk yourself out of doing something, or to put something off. But of course, if you are regularly putting off those actions that will make a positive difference to your business, the only person missing out, is you! A Coach acts as an accountability partner and will ensure that the actions you set for yourself are achievable for you; and will challenge you to make sure that you achieve them. So if you know that being accountable for your actions is something you struggle with, a Coach will definitely help you to take your business forward.