Deciding that you want to work with a business coach is for most people a tremendous step in the right direction, however you need to ensure that you find the right coach for you. Nothing could be worse than hiring the wrong coach, not only because you’ll be sharing a lot of information about yourself and your business, but a good coach is a large expense you want to get right, the first time.
Before hiring any business coach, they’re going to ask you a lot of questions to make sure you are the right client for them, but you should also take every opportunity to ask the questions you need to ask, to ensure they are the right coach for you. You need a coach that challenges you, and pushes you outside of your comfort zone, otherwise you won’t experience the wonderful benefits of hiring a coach.
Which Certifications Do You Have?
While having coaching certification isn’t required by law, nor even required to be a good coach, the fact that someone has spent the time and money, going through an education program to become certified is a good sign that they take their business seriously and are devoted to making this profession their career.
Listen to how they answer the question whether or not they’re certified; it will say a lot about how they deal with pressure, especially those without certification who will either sell you on their skills here or not.
How Long Have You Been a Business Coach?
This is important because if you plan to use a relatively new coach you should pay a lot less than a more experienced coach. But, if they’ve had training, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t do a good job if everything else comes together. The important thing here is to listen to their answer. It’s important to value honesty above everything and hear how the coach deals with your questions.
What Type of Business Owners Do You Normally Work With?
Your business coach needs to be clear on who their target audience is, if they want to help you be clear on where you’re going in your business. Do they work with only six figures and above businesses? Do they work with start-ups / small businesses? What type of business do they want to work with that best use their skills, and which they feel they offer the most too?
What Size of Businesses Do You Normally Work With?
Do they like working with sole proprietors, partnerships or larger companies? A coach who is used to working with a large corporation might not like working with a work at home person, for instance. Their answers are really important and if they don’t normally work with your size of business, you should follow up with asking why they want to work with yours and be as direct as you can here because they are stepping outside of their comfort zone.
Which Industry Do You Specialize In?
Knowing what type of industry they like to work with is very useful. If your business builds houses for instance and they normally work with businesses who sell retail merchandise, they might not be a good fit for you. Hiring a business coach familiar with your industry and what it takes to be successful is imperative, especially if they experienced as you could draw on many years of experience gained from working with people in your industry, in other words it allows them to better advise you.
What Are You Good At?
This is what I call a telling question and the answer to this question should be something new, over and above the insight you received from the above questions. They may be tempted to repeat their specialty, but dig deeper and find out what they’re really good at within that specialty.
How Do You Quantify Results?
When you are hiring anyone to help you within your business, it’s a good idea to always think about the numbers and which metrics you’ll study to find out if what you’re doing is working. If your ideal business coach doesn’t know which metrics they can help you improve based on what you want to work on with them, you might want to question whether or not the expense is worth it.
What Additional Skills Do You Bring to the Table?
If you need a lot of guidance in getting your business off the ground or to the next level, having a business coach who brings other skills aside from typical coaching to the table can be an additional help to push your business to the next level of success. It really depends on what you need as to which answer you like best for this question.
Can you Provide the Contact Details of a Current Coaching Client?
Getting a second opinion is never a bad idea, so speak to someone already using your proposed business coach and ask them how they are finding things, how they are getting along and if their business has improved as a direct result of working with them. When asking such questions, most clients would give positive feedback however you should read between the lines as to what is often not said, as they can help you make your mind up.
The most important thing is to be clear on what you need prior to interviewing a coach, do your homework and be prepared. You may not be sure at first, but interviewing several business coaches may help clarify for you what you want in a coach and what type of personality you’d work best with. Remember, as they interview you, you need to interview them as well and you both have to decide that it’s a good match.