Business coaching is not something you should consider to save a failing business. Many small businesses run into trouble and decline to a point of no return. There are many reasons for this, such as, the business runs out of money, the growth has been too explosive and management cannot handle the operational aspects of that growth or poor marketing approaches.
A business coach should be called in when you realize that you want the business to grow and need outside guidance to achieve this. If you find the business plateauing or stagnating it may signal that you have hit the limits of your knowledge of how to move the business forward.
If you have a reasonable KPI (Key Performance Indicators) reporting system in place there should be a few triggers that will alert you to the fact that the business is slowing or declining. These KPI’s are best if they are showing daily or weekly figures – this will allow you to respond quickly to any variations. A good coach will help with your reporting as well as your marketing, while steering you away from some of the “Icebergs” that may sink your business.
It is better to engage a business coach earlier rather than later, after all they specialise in growing businesses, and may not be able to help bring an ailing business back from the brink.
Business coaching should be looked at as an investment, not only of money, but time as well. If you approach business coaching from the perspective of getting the best return on investment (as you should) you will prepare your information prior to taking on a coach.
Doing this will save you time and money as well as accelerate your results. Be proactive and draft up your goals for the business going forward as well as the issues that you believe are holding you back. This will allow your business coach to assess the best way of helping you grow your business.
Many business owners engage the services of a coach when the business has gotten to a point of failure. Better to start your coaching when you are at a stage where you are making a reasonable profit but you know you can do better, if only you knew how.
Knowing that you can, at least, cover your overheads allows you to focus on the activities needed to grow your business as opposed to worrying about paying the next bill! So, don’t leave business coaching until it is too late.
Consider it when you have a stable business to build on and require input to get to that next level.