26March

Befriend the trend and seek a business coach

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by Fergus Ferguson

The business trend globally for 2014 is to hire an “uncomfortable friend” in the form of a business coach.  As more and more businesses fail, a business coach is not a nice-to-have – it’s a business necessity.  Coaching doesn’t cost long-term because the fees are absorbed by the increased profits resulting from this form of business education.

When talk turns to business coaching, many business owners have the perception that it’s only for businesses that are struggling or failing. This is a common misperception and couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s why:

business-coachingA coach can see the wood as well as the trees. They see your business from the outside in and are trained to put business, marketing and sales systems in place which, in our experience, most business owners are not trained to do. They listen, make you focus on the game, make you run more laps than you feel like running, tell it to you like it really is and give you ideas you haven’t thought of.  They are able to provide perspective, accountability, companionship, quality advice, be a bouncing board and ask the hard questions that often need to be asked in order to create growth.  In the relationship, the coach is the educator, mentor and your long-time partner. You are the player and it’s up to you to take the field.

When we think about coaching and who benefits from investing in it, a good starting place is to think in terms of sports. Ask yourself why Olympiads (who are arguably at the top of their game) invest in and value their coach. Even though they are champions in their field, they recognise three key things that we in the business world can learn from:

1. It’s not failures who look for a coach, it’s those who show the most promise and the greatest commitment to being a winner. Eric Schmidt of Google and JP Garnier of Glaxo SmithKline have coaches and they already run two of the most successful global companies.

2. Being great at something does not mean you are good at everything and that’s okay. The brutal truth is that market conditions for businesses have shifted and developing responsiveness to the changes are non-negotiable if business owners are to successfully get to the next level or survive for another year.

3. Business owners who want to build resilient businesses need to be investment-minded rather than cost-minded. It’s not about what’s put in but what you get out of it that counts.

The laps that a business coach will make you run to get fiscally fit and to build entrepreneurial muscle are so worth it in the end as you see your vision for your company materialise.  It’s possible to survive without business coaching but it’s difficult to thrive.

Note: Fergus Ferguson is a Franchisee of the global business coaching company – ActionCOACH.  He is an accredited Business Coach who assists business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills.

To find out more about Business Coaching or to receive a complimentary consult and a business health check, call 082 6500867 or visit www.actioncoachsa.co.za/fergusferguson