What is Business Coaching?
For many business owners, a business—whether small or large, local or international—represents the bringing to fruition of a lifelong dream. Owning your own business allows you to treat your employees the way you deem appropriate, provide a service that meets your own exacting requirements, avoid the hassles of daily interacting with a boss, and provide something of value to your community.
That’s precisely what we have endeavoured to do at Three Seas. Three Seas Counselling is a mental health practice, but it is also a business. We understand the challenges and triumphs of running a business, and we know that much of your identity, well-being, and sense of purpose might be wrapped up in your business.
That’s the problem. It’s tough to separate your business from yourself, which means you might not detect problems—or uncover new solutions—until your business is already in trouble. More than 60% of Australian businesses close within their first three years of opening. It’s in your best interests to do everything you can to help your business thrive. Coaching is an easy way to maximize your success without spending lots of money.
Why Businesses Need a Coach?
You wouldn’t take up a new sport or instrument without a teacher. But for some reason, people think they can run a business without any assistance. When you’re running a business, you’re charged with at least two tasks: 1) the actual work, which may include providing services or consumer goods, as well as maintaining your license or educational credentials; 2) all of the tasks associated with running a business, such as managing employee payrolls, overseeing daily operations, applying for loans, authoring grants, and managing public relations.
Few people can manage all of these tasks, and the knowledge of how to do them is anything but innate. Coaching equips you with the skills you need to manage all sides of your business. It can also help you admit when you don’t know how to do something, so you can find someone who does. For instance, few people are able to competently write SEO-optimized, professional-sounding web content. Outsourcing the work to someone who knows how to do it can save you time and money, while improving your business’s search engine rankings and public image. A business coach may draw your attention to this by pointing out that your website—which you thought was well-written and compelling—makes your business look bad.
What Coaching Offers?
So what can your business get out of coaching? Just as it’s hard to pin down what a baseball coach or piano teacher can offer your child, coaching is as diverse as the people who seek it. Your coach looks at the big picture, blending an astute knowledge of business culture and human psychology to encourage and inspire you to get where you want to be. Some of the benefits include:
- Assistance dealing with employee and managerial issues. Sometimes a little bit of compassion, an awareness of effective management styles, or an understanding of human psychology are all it takes to get better results from your staff.
- An unbiased perspective. It’s hard to be critical of your own business; it’s like your child. A business coach gently points to your weaknesses, empowering you to find ways to overcome them.
- The ability to build upon your strengths. If you’re not particularly assertive, then why waste your time trying to be a manager? Your coach can help you uncover your unique strengths, then outsource the work that you’re not equipped to do.
- Insight into what sets your business apart, and how you can help others see that which makes your business uniquely valuable.
- A friend, partner, and mentor for the good and bad times. Need to vent about an unfair supplier or a nightmare employee? Call your coach so you can avoid a screaming fit or bad decision that hurts your business.
Who Can Benefit From Business Coaching?
Business coaching can benefit every business, from small to large and new to old. Indeed, there is no business for which business coaching will be a net loss. Some signs that you could especially benefit from coaching include:
- Your business is failing, and you don’t know why.
- You’ve suddenly experienced high employee turnover.
- You have a lot of difficultly getting along with employees or suppliers.
- You have recently faced an economic downturn or decreased interest in your product.
- You feel overwhelmed and uninspired about your business.
- Your business is going through a major change.
- You are expanding or downsizing.
- You have just opened a business, or have migrated to a new market.
- You are struggling to make a profit.
- Your business is being sued.
- You’ve been subject to a slew of negative reviews.
Is Coaching the Same as Therapy?
Many small business owners are reluctant to seek business coaching, particularly from a counsellor. They worry that doing so will mean little more than endlessly ruminating on their feelings. In today’s cut-throat business climate, such as practice can leave some managers feeling weak and exposed. Moreover, it may be a privacy violation for businesses to require employees to undergo therapy.
Here’s the good news: business coaching is not therapy. Therapy gently guides you to explore your own psyche and arrive at healthy conclusions that then propel you toward actions that improve your life and relationships. Business coaching is a shorter-lived and more directive undertaking. You won’t be delving deeply into your own mind—or the minds of your employees. Instead, you’ll work with your coach to set clear, specific goals. You’ll then break the steps to achieving those goals into manageable actions. Your coach’s job is to hold you accountable, and to help you determine which barriers prevent you from achieving your goals.
Why Seek Coaching With a Counsellor?
Anyone can call themselves a business coach, but counsellors in Australia have years of training. At Three Seas, we’ve seen it all, from troubled marriages to disturbed children. This gives us a unique window into the human psyche. While coaching is not therapy, you can still benefit from our therapeutic expertise in the following ways:
- We can offer you insights into promoting a healthy, balanced workplace culture.
- We can help you understand how to more effectively relate to difficult people—something all business owners must do.
- We can help you identify how your own psychological concerns may be a barrier to your success.
- We can gently guide you toward embracing your desire for success and moving beyond shame, guilt, and fear of self-promotion.
What’s Involved in Business Coaching?
Every business coaching session is as unique as the businesses we serve. We truly believe that there is no one size fits all approach. Instead, effective business coaching takes into account your goals, current challenges, and unique skill set. We work with you to devise a coaching plan that works for your schedule, needs, and budget. During our first session we will:
- Get to know you and your business, ask questions about your current operations, and learn all we can about your particular niche.
- Explore your challenges and strengths.
- Ask you about your goals.
- Discuss your personality, how it interacts with your employees’ personalities, and what you’d like to do to improve your business.
- Set a timeline for future coaching sessions, including a tentative list of business goals and action-items.
How Long Does Business Coaching Take?
The short answer is that business coaching takes as long as it needs to. There is no set timeline. Some businesses thrive with just a single session. Larger, more complex, and more troubled businesses may need multiple sessions. Ultimately, it will be up to you. Our job is to work with your needs and budget, so if finances are a concern, please let us know.
How Will I Know Business Coaching is Working?
Whether you work with us or another business coach, we want you to get the most out of each and every coaching session. So how will you know if coaching is working? After all, there is no guarantee that any business will succeed. Some signs that you’re getting what you need include:
- You’re achieving more of your goals, and crossing more items off of your to-do list.
- You feel like you understand your staff better.
- You have a clear idea of the specific steps you need to take to achieve your business goals.
- You spend less time worrying about your business.
- You know why you do the things you do, rather than acting on impulse or emotion.
- You feel fully understood by your business coach.
- You begin to see your business as fun again.
- You feel a deeper sense of ownership and control over your business.
- You begin to develop creative ideas for how you would like your business to look and feel in the future.