Knowing what questions to ask a business coach is critical to finding the right coach for you.
There are many times in life you might consider hiring a business coach.
For example, when…
- You’re just starting a business and want support in the process
- You’re in the middle of a business transition
- You lack clarity on your next steps or your overall vision for your business
- You’ve been working toward your business goals, but you aren’t seeing results
- You want to take your business to the next level
- You need support on a very specific aspect of your business, including marketing or finances
- You want to identify any mindset blocks that might hold you back from success
- You’re passionate about investing in your personal and profession development
… just to name a few.
How to find a business coach
Your first step in finding a business (or any!) coach, is to do some exploration.
- Ask your network of business friends who they have worked with
- Look in business-related Facebook groups
- Search certified coaching directories, like this one
The first step in finding a business coach is to search for names and websites and reach out to those coaches you’re interested in learning more about.
Most coaches offer complimentary consultations to see if there is a good match between coach and potential client. Schedule a consult with at least three different coaches before you make a decision (and schedule more if you’re still unsure).
You’ll want to be prepared for your consultation by thinking of the questions to ask a business coach ahead of time.
Here are 10 questions to ask a business coach on a consultation
1. What are their credentials as a business coach?
There are coaching programs that will certify coaches according to standards by the International Coach Federation. Is your coach certified? What type of training does she/he have? Does the coach have experience in helping people with the same things you’re dealing with? (And you might be wondering, does a coach really need to be certified? Click here for the answer.)
2. What does the business coach specialize in?
There are marketing coaches, mindset coaches, sales coaches. Coaches for business owners just starting. Coaches for businesses who want to grow. When hiring a business coach, consider your goals and the type of help you need. Make sure the coach you choose is experienced in the area(s) in which you want support.
3. What is their coaching style?
Is this business coach more of a true coach (meaning, coaches you to find your own answers), or are they more of a consultant or advisor? Is the coach client-centered, meaning the client is at the center of the coaching arrangement? Does this coach work more on mindset or strategy?
4. How does this business coach work with clients?
Does this business coach offer group or individual programs? Is it online or in person? How many calls or meetings do you get each month? Do you get support between calls? (This can be extremely helpful when you have questions/concerns in between meeting times.) Do you get access to resources or anything else as a result of working together?
5. What types of clients does this business coach typically work with?
Business coaching is not one size fits all. All businesses are different. You’ll want to make sure that the business coach you hire has experience helping businesses in your specific industry. (I.e., if you’re a coach, you’ll want to work with a business coach who supports coaches, etc.)
6. What are the business coach’s values?
Shared values can make for a good working relationship. Think about your values and what are important for you to have in a coaching relationship. Is open communication important? Transparency? Honesty? Responsiveness? Be sure to share this with your potential business coach to see if it’s a match.
7. What is the business coach’s personality like?
It’s true that some personalities just clash. If you’re an introvert, you might prefer working with an introvert business coach because they are more sensitive to your needs. If you’re outgoing and action-oriented, you may need a business coach with a similar personality. The best way to understand if it’s a personality match is by scheduling a free consultation.
8. What end results does this business coach usually see with their clients?
This can be a tricky one, because many coaches only want to share their most positive results. But you want to know what the typical results that a coach’s client gets after working with them. Be sure to inquire about where their clients are at the end of working together to get a good idea of the results they can provide.
9. What does this business coach look for in a client?
Yes, this is an important one! The best coaching relationship is one that’s a YES for the client and the coach. You might ask the business coach what types of clients they love working with to get a good idea if you fit their client profile. This is a relationship and like other relationships, both people need to be equally committed for it to succeed.
10. When is this business coach taking on new clients?
It can be a letdown to get on a consult call only to hear that a coach isn’t taking new clients for the next 6 months. Whether you want to get started now or next month, be sure to share that information with your prospective business coach to see whether or not they can get started working with you.
The questions you ask a prospective business coach will help you find the coach that’s right for you.
The best thing to do is to prepare your questions to ask a business coach in advance. Share any and every question you might have with this coach, no matter how big or small. This can help you make the best decision for yourself.
In the end, though, when you have all the information, it is often a gut-check decision. Do you feel that this business coach understands you? Can they support you? Is it a YES on both of your parts? If so, it’s a good sign that it’s the right coaching relationship for you.
Are you thinking of hiring a business coach? I coach clients with a mix of mindset, strategy, and action, so they can build a business aligned with who they are.
If you want to learn more, sign up for a complimentary consultation.