Coaching is coaching. It is all about focusing you, helping you to move forward, deal with obstacles and persist with your dreams and goals. Business coaching is not that different, except the focus is obviously on business. So how is small business coaching different. Again it is just a continuation on this theme. However, the principles may be the same, but the approach and content will be different.
Small business coaching – the essentials
Firstly, it should definitely focus on the issues mentioned first – focus, moving forward, overcoming obstacles etc. However, for small business coaching to be successful your coach should have an understanding of business principles and issues. This understanding should include the fact that corporate business are very different from small businesses, which are often owner-operated, or at least the owner(s) have strong control over the business.
Secondly, the coaching needs to incorporate small business planning components. Small business coaching cannot succeed if you at least do not consider Sales and Profit, Customers and Markets which are often the focus on any goals. Then all the other planning components should be considered. Small business coaching should be merely providing you with a sounding board and someone who encourages you to success. It should help you uncover obstacles to success, related to key business planning components. An important consideration in my view, is that most academic and other training institutions focus on large, corporate businesses, and their education is therefore geared towards that. All of these are not appropriate for a small business, and it can even be damaging. Be sure that you do not use a coach that wants to ‘corporatize’ your business.
Thirdly and lastly, life is about more than money and business. Small business coaching therefore needs to explore some life coaching related issues. At the least the questions needs to be asked whether the person is living to work or working to live. In my view your business should help you lead the life you want to lead. You life should not be sacrificed so that you can achieve business success.