Whether they’re on the medal stand at the Olympics or standing in line for a hotdog at the recreation league cookout, great athletes always credit their coaches for instilling the discipline necessary to achieve a goal, offering helpful tips to sharpen their skills or providing encouragement during difficult times. Likewise, an entrepreneur can benefit from the wisdom and insights of an experienced business coach. Finding this unique individual is easier than you may think.
In just 60-seconds, we’ll show you how to select a qualified person to help you achieve your small business goals.
0:60 Define What You Need Help With
A business coach can assist with things as specific as making sales presentations or as broad as developing a long-term growth plan for your business. Determine those areas in which you need the most help, and make a commitment to finding a qualified expert.
0:46 Consider Crossover Expertise
The ideal scenario is to have a coach with experience in your particular trade or industry. That may not be possible for some specialized businesses, or in certain geographic locations. Don’t worry; the basic tools and strategies for success transcend all types of businesses. If you want to add franchises to your carpet cleaning business, for example, a coach with a background in the restaurant industry can guide you through the process of evaluating potential markets and structuring contracts.
0:34 Get an Objective Perspective
Entrepreneurs count on friends and family members for many things, but don’t expect honest criticism to be among them. Your business coach should be someone who is fair, reasonable and interested in your success, but also willing to tell the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
0:28 Find a Compatible Comfort Factor
Personalities don’t always click. You may discover that an otherwise perfect business coach is difficult to work with, or doesn’t fully understand your perspective. (For example, many female entrepreneurs prefer working with a coach who is also a woman.) Your coach should be someone who earns your trust and confidence, not intimidates you into following his or her advice.
0:17 Where to Find It
If you have visited www.score.org, you’re already well on the way to finding the perfect business coach for your needs. SCORE has over 320 chapter offices across the country where you can receive free, one-on-one counseling from experts who have done it all.
0:03 Take Advantage of Technology
You don’t even need to leave your home or office to work with a SCORE business coach. Just go to SCORE’s Web site, select "Mentoring" and identify the area(s) in which you would like some coaching. By browsing through the resumes of potential coaches, you’re sure to find one with the expertise and skills you’re looking for. An email to that coach is all it takes to launch a rewarding relationship that will benefit your small business.
Brought to you by SCORE, America's small business mentors, at www.score.org.