The most frequently asked question I hear is, “so, how does business coaching work?” Embedded in that question are several layers, not the least of which is, what kind of impact will this have on me and my business – more succinctly referred to as ROI. On my website, we describe the variety of ways that we work with clients and the categories that we typically cover: organization – the processes used to deliver what you think of as your ‘secret sauce’, accountability – the structure used to empower and foster a sense of ownership in every team member, and communication – including the way you onboard employees, maintain the culture, and articulate core values to employees and customers.
Let’s back up a half-step and actually start with WHY potential clients contact me about coaching. Broadly speaking, Leader’s Cut works with entrepreneur-minded business leaders that are either running an organization they founded or working in a large company at the executive level. In either case, their commonality is one of mindset: the personal ownership they feel for the people they lead that are in their care and the results they have committed to producing. They are seeking a coach for one or more of the following reasons: 1) they are losing people they would like to keep or tolerating people they would like to exit, 2) they feel they have hit a ceiling of sorts in that their previous efforts do not seem to yield the same results (growth, profit, career advancement, etc.), or 3) they are feeling a sense of isolation because it is indeed ‘lonely at the top’. Add to that the imposter syndrome that can sometimes dog the most experienced leaders and you have the individual we are proud to serve every day.
What is Business Coaching?
Whether working with an individual, the entire leadership team, or advancing the organization’s presence on LinkedIn, our work is a series of efforts that begins with a meeting, defining progress, creating an action plan, and then implementing. We then can assess, revisit, revise, and implement again, reinforcing the elements that are most effective to continuously grow.
Not surprisingly, the best metaphor for the “define – plan – implement – assess” methodology is that of a fitness program. The time spent working on your physical fitness pays dividends with consistency, effort, and adjustment. Similarly, shortfalls in reaching goals occur when we skip workouts, take shortcuts, don’t challenge ourselves, or quit altogether – often before the first pounds have melted or muscle is visible.
In every case, we see the most progress when we take the time to articulate the ‘secret sauce’, document how we deliver that ‘secret sauce’ to our clients, establish the process for getting the right people in the rights seats, and make sure every single person is 100% on the same page with the overarching strategy as well as the tactics to get there.
Coaching is an upstream solution, and often difficult to quantify what our efforts may prevent in terms of bad hires, poor investments, or avoided distractions. In an article summarizing coaching outcomes, multiple sourced studies found:
- An average ROI of 5.7 times their coaching fee. At Leader’s Cut, our clients report 5-8 times their fee corresponding to additional data reporting a $7.90 return for each coaching dollar spent.
- Executives with a coach increased productivity by 86% compared to a 22% increase by executives who received training without coaching.
- Not only has coaching delivered quantifiable business results, but 61% of owners also report increased job satisfaction.
- And this benefit extends as 67% of business owners and executives report increasing their teamwork skills thereby positively impacting at an exponential rate.
Adding these quantifiable benefits to the notion that we are also preventing issues from ever occurring, demonstrates that, like the elite, champion athlete, coaching moves companies into rarified air both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Is a Small Business Coach Different?
The human body has 206 bones, absent illness or injury, yet every one of us is a unique individual. In crafting a coaching plan, there is a foundational process we follow to discover and personalize an engagement that gives the proper tone and texture to every client engagement. The bones are always the same, yet the timeline, pace, process, and menu are unique by the client.
What is decidedly different in a small business is that it is often the brainchild of one (or a few) built with sheer force-of-will and unabashed work ethic. That is until it reaches a point where those same efforts no longer yield the ROI. Perhaps because more employees are onboarding, sometimes without a clear training plan, or maybe the market is shifting and the business isn’t as responsive as its competitors. The common denominator in these cases is often the necessity to pause, step back, and work ON rather than IN the business.
Coaching a small business is about leveraging the ability to actively pause, plan, and choose differently to create new momentum to move forward.
If you would like to explore how working together can move your career, business, or team forward through coaching individually, implementing a structure, or creating a LinkedIn Presence that magnifies, let’s begin by meeting one another to see if we click (15 minutes, no strings attached). If by chance we’ve met or you’re ready to seriously kick tires, then the Breakthrough Strategy Session is for you. We will spend 90 minutes together to debrief your Talent Dynamics Profile, establish a Business Plan outline using the Leader’s Cut Mindset & Momentum tool, and demonstrate what a complete coaching experience looks, sounds, and feels like. You will leave this complimentary session knowing which offer serves your need and if I am the coach to deliver for you. Again, no strings attached.
Ken Kilday is an Entrepreneur, Executive Business Coach, Business Strategist, and LinkedIn Expert.