What the heck does a business coach do?

I get asked this question a lot…  I remember an ad on TV a while ago, there is a scene of a few families having a backyard BBQ and a discussion starts with one woman asking a guy – so what do you do?  He replies, I’m a banker!  Suddenly the whole scene stops, everyone looks at this guy, even the dog drops a ball from its mouth.  Stunned silence permeates the entire scene…

He turns to announce that it’s OK he works with (St George) Bank and all of a sudden the scene returns to normal – suggesting that he was different and all of a sudden it was OK because they understood that he was different…

The same thing used to happen when I first started this game. People used to say “your a what”, or “WOW – a business Coach [pause] what do you do”.

Well here it is, this is what a business coach actually does in plain and simple terms.

Lets say you are a business owner, my first questions to owners is – who are you accountable to?  Their typical response is “ummm, well…. my customers I guess”\, some say their staff, themselves and my response to each of these answers is “no your not”.  The only person / organisation you are responsible to as a business owner is the tax office, be it the IRS, ATO, Inland Revenue etc.. This is the one organisation you are accountable to on a quarterly basis, the one organisation that keeps you honest!!  not much fun eh!

As a business owner myself, I was running a small business working long hours and not making much in the way of profit.  I was really on accountable to the Tax Office to pay my taxes.  The clients didn’t hold me accountable neither did my staff.  I couldn’t even hold myself accountable either.  So, in short, I couldn’t have a business partner in the Tax office, so I sought out a Mentor, someone who I could share my pans with, someone who understood me and my challenges and someone to guide me in the right direction.

I knew what I wanted to achieve and I’m guessing most people actually do know this.  Sometimes it’s a matter of sitting with a complete stranger to get it out of you.  You see not even your significant other (wife, husband, girlfriend…) can do this.  I remember the effect that my wife has in getting me to eat healthier, she has no chance, yet when I cross the street and visit my favourite sandwich store, the cute 24 year old behind the counter will say – “do you really need butter Mr Harris”, this one statement from a relative stranger has way more impact than the reminder from my wife, the woman I love and respect!!  Strange isn’t it?

So relative stranger can hold you accountable – that’s cool.  That’s not all a great coach will do for you, lets get back to the start of my blog, what does a coach do?

Well first off your coach will help you get CRYSTAL clear on your goals.  I mean crystal clear as the clearer you get the more chance you have of achieving that goal.  I look at peoples personal goals first.  The reasons being that once this is clear this answers the question WHY.  Why am I doing this, what’s this all for?  Once you get this out the rest is a lot easier.  So what do I mean personal goals, goals in the areas of finance, material things, spiritual goals, health, happiness, balance etc… I look to get real granular on this, right down to the feel and smell of the leather on the seats of the specific car you want to own, or the look on the face of the family you sponsor when you show up one day to say hi and dig a well in their village – whatever turns  you on in other words.

Once this is clear then we look to the business.  What does it need to look like in order to deliver on the personal goals we just outlined.  Lets face it, the business you are in is the vehicle to achieve your personal goals.  Why not make it run on all 8 cylinders, that way you will get to the goal faster and in style.  So we set out the 12 month goals, break it down to 90 day chunks and then set out the key goals and create action plans for the achievement of each goal.

That was the fun part of the program, now the hard work starts.  This si where the proverbial rubber hits the road”.  I meet weekly with clients and that’s where the results start to show up.  Each week we work on specific projects towards the achievement of the goal, we assign responsibilities across the team (where applicable), set KPI’s and then we are into the coaching cycle.

Every 90 days we stop and review the process, results, progress, achievements and outcomes.  we get the financials on the table, the test and measure results from every aspect of the business.  I want to be able to set this up so I could run it remotely.  I want to help the owner get the business to the point that he / she can see the key numbers and act accordingly.  I want systems in place, predictable profitability is the key, I want all staff or team members aligned to the goals of the company and the business delivering consistently.  This is where all the hard work starts and the journey from owning an expensive job through to becoming an entrepreneur begins….

In the next post I will give you specifc examples of clients so you can get your head around this process from real life people who have gone before you, rememer success leaves clues, I’ll give you the clues.


4 thoughts on “What the heck does a business coach do?

  1. great answer! i was just googling “what is a business coach” as I am trying to figure out what my niche for my coaching business really is. You hit the nail on the head! You have to have a personal goals map to know where your business goals fit in there because when you work for yourself they are not separate at all!

    • Hi Julia, looks like you also need to get clear on your AVATAR or ideal client type. This will include, age, gender, location, size, likes and dislikes, fears and frustrations, industry….. Once you get clear on this the rest (marketing and delivery) will follow. It is really worth the time to get this really clear. Good luck on your coaching journey.

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