Congratulations! You have taken the first big step to becoming your own boss and going out on your own.

You know your industry, how to build a brand and are very creative about the details of certain business affairs.

However, many first time small business owner’s fall short of putting systems into place to get the business moving in the right direction from the gate.

This is where the smart business owner will save time, money and avoid inevitable pitfalls that plague many entrepreneurs the first time out by hiring a business coach.

What is a business coach?

A business coach is a lot like a personal trainer at the gym: A good trainer will begin by learning your goals, strengths and weakness in what you can do well and where you need assistance. A good coach is skilled in recognizing your skills and also your fears and areas where you need to build strength.

It is important to know that there is no certification required to become a business coach, therefore you want to be sure you connect with someone who knows how to work with your business and that you communicate well. A good business coach should be eager to see you succeed and be on board with your goals.

Some questions to ask are:

How long has this person been coaching?
How long did they own their own business?
Are they will to take on a small business?
What is their success rate?
Ask for references
What can the coach do for me?
A business coach will offer guidance, expect accountability for tasks assigned and offer encouragement to help you meet the steps to success.

Many business coaches offer help in their areas of strength.

They help business owners find what they want to do in a particular field. Many call this role a “business effectiveness” approach. Business effectiveness can span a wide spectrum of sales, customer service, human resources, sales, marketing, leadership, financial management, exit strategy, and succession planning.

When working with your coach, part of the process will be to establish a safe and trusting relationship. A good way to see if the working relationship can go forward is to feel you will be heard in the exchanges. A good coach knows that business coaching is not a one-way road. As the business owner, you have a voice in the transactions.

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