What is business coaching?

By October 19, 2016September 20th, 2018Business Planning & Strategy


What is a business coach and what is it that they do?

The word ‘coach’ comes with lots of different connotations. Is it an old fashioned sports coach, shouting and blowing whistles at you from the track side? Is it a slick, suit and tie clad business type, pushing you to make more profit at the expense of all else?

For me, a business coach is something else altogether. It’s someone who can help you reach your full potential and someone to walk with you on the often challenging journey of running a business.

I come at this topic from two perspectives. As a business coach, I work with a range of clients on an ongoing basis to keep them focused on their goals. But I’m also a business owner and have used business coaches myself. So I know the benefits they can bring and the support they can offer the often overwhelmed and stressed out person driving a business.

What does a Generate business coach do?

In simple terms, we meet regularly with our clients to talk about the issues in their business – both the large strategic plays and the day to day operations. Then we plan and implement actions to pursue and improve these issues. The aim is usually two-fold; to make the business more profitable and to make life easier for the business owner.

According to our clients, we are: guides, therapists, teachers, mechanics… even physios. Translated, that means we keep working on solving the big picture problems and chasing the major opportunities, to help our clients feel better about their businesses every time we meet.

We also help get through the niggly issues that keep our clients awake at night, and facilitate the potentially awkward conversations with business partners or staff that need to be had. We also give you homework to carry on with between meetings (but we’re also very understanding when the dog eats it!)

Every time I meet with a client the discussions we have are completely different. Which makes sense, right? Because no two days of running a business are ever the same.

However, there are a few key outcomes and common benefits that clients have told me they get out of their coaching sessions:

Time to explore

  • As business owners, we are always being told to work ‘on our business’ not just ‘in our business’. The reality of this is much harder to do than that flippant phrase suggests.
  • A coaching session is a regular time to step away from the business and look at it afresh. It’s a space to shut out all the other distractions to really focus on ideas and opportunities. It lets you dream a little and remember why you got into business in the first place…
  • This is one of the aspects of coaching which is most rewarding for our clients: the breathing space it offers.

Keeping the dream alive

  • A business can sometimes feel as mad and unpredictable as a circus. Maybe there many plates spinning or maybe they’ve crashed to the floor. Coaching helps you gain some clarity on what is working well, what isn’t and most importantly, what to do about it.
  • When we start out in business we’re full of energy and ideas of how we see our businesses. The path never really runs that smoothly and there are always ups and downs.
  • Our aim is to smooth out those kinks. Make them more manageable. Put strategies in place to mitigate them if and when they occur. In short, we keep you on track and help you sleep at night.

Comfortable risks

  • We’re often asked for advice on taking risks. Running a business is inherently risky. You have to get comfortable with risk and get on board for the (occasionally vomit inducing) ride.
  •  What we offer is an understanding of your business to help you take calculated risks. And an objective opinion on what the pros and cons are of those risky decisions. A good coach is also an excellent sounding board.
  • Most of our clients concerns fall into the broad categories of whether to hire staff, take on a business opportunity or merge/sell up. Through some numbers work and considered discussion we are able to help you choose a path that works for you and have a backup plan if it doesn’t. After all, we are taking risks here, nothing is certain in business.

A safe space to talk

  • Running a business can be a lonely experience. When you’re the boss, you often have to take care what you say to your staff, to your partners, to your customers … to everyone. Often business owners feel there is no one they can talk to frankly about the challenges they face on a daily basis.
  • To be a good coach, you have to be a good listener and a confidante. And a good coaching session is one where the business owner can voice the concerns they can’t voice anywhere else. It’s a safe place to talk and to be heard.

In the business of business

We really love business. We love the challenges, the opportunities, the good and bad times.

For me, business coaching is a way to help others enjoy being in business. Your business can be small or large, but the principles remain the same. Having a coach is like having a trusted friend to give you honest advice and feedback. We’re on your side, cheering you on and supporting the failures just as much as the victories.

So think of us as not so much a business coach and more a business friend.

If you’ve got issues in your business you don’t seem to be able to get on top of, why not get in touch? Not only do we provide a full suite of bookkeeping and tax services here at Generate, but we’re also able to help with business coaching, strategy workshops, business plans and much more. You name the problem and I’m sure we can help.