Entrepreneurship is most often a bumpy and sometimes overwhelming road. It takes time, patience, and mountains of learning to grow a small business. However, like choosing a 4x4 for an off-road path, that same road could be smoother and brighter if you have the right resources to leverage.
To keep with that metaphor, you can still traverse much of the off-road in your Camry, but a 4Runner’s 4WD enhances your abilities. By adding a business coach to your team, you’re essentially upgrading your business to acquire that 4WD capability. They bring the experience and tools essential for speeding up a small business's growth.
Let’s face it, you likely will never have ALL the critical components figured out as a lone wolf. Chances are infinitely high that you’ve already sought out advise or aid along your journey. Those are likely the same moments in time that you came to ask yourself "should I hire a business coach?"
Those moments are not few and it may be hard to determine at which point would the answer to that question be “YES!” Choosing which moment to hire that asset can be a bit confusing. However, it is beneficial to remember that the sooner you get the help to take your business off the ground, the better. Why wait, right?
Luckily, we have a few questions to help you decide. If you can relate to any single one of these 9 signs that you need a business coach, then it might be time for you to pull the trigger.
1. You Have a Hard Time Delegating
Every startup CEO wears a plethora of hats early on while growing their business. But you may find yourself being caught in a rut where the habit seems unbreakable. While being the jack of all trades has the clear cost benefits, it's also one of the primary items holding you back from success. For every moment you’re spending on a lower tiered task, that’s a moment that you’re not actively growing your business at a higher level.
It is absolutely imperative that you discover the role of “Leader.” You are the lifeblood of the business and every task you take should be more about long term vs the day-to-day operations. Are you performing tasks that you could be better off delegated? Do you have clear responsibilities that guide your day and align with your strategic plan?
When you next go to take on a task, ask yourself if your time would be better served elsewhere. Or another way to look at it is to assign yourself a hypothetical hourly wage. What is an hour of the business owner's time worth? If you find yourself doing a task that is not producing the value to the business that it's costing in that wage then you should not be doing it!
When you start realizing these tasks, we ask that you be mindful of the feelings you have when you go to delegate. What is fueling those feelings. Are you worried the employee won’t meet your high standards? Are you the only person in the business who knows how? What are you doing to resolve those feelings?
The impulse to control everything as a CEO is one sign of when to hire a business coach. A business coach points out your key roles and helps you create an effective delegation plan. They may also help you create a daily schedule that connects to your periodical goals.
2. You've Been Breaking Promises to Your Business
First and foremost, you should know that it is perfectly normal to experience phases of low performance or a lack of focus. But losing sight on the goals you’ve set for the business coupled with the declining focus can turn into procrastination. If your goals seem too unrealistic or unobtainable then now is the time to review your goals to ensure they are designed in the SMART Goal model.
The goals you set forth for your business are the promises you’ve made to grow and foster its health. If you find yourself constantly breaking those promises, then there is a solid chance that you may eventually succumb and begin feeling dejected.
9 times out of 10 the breaking of promises has far more to do with your strategic planning over that of any weakness of execution. Typically, small business owners shoot for the moon or otherwise struggle to come up with realistic, obtainable objectives. Which is again why SMART goals are so important to the health of your business.
With that in mind, perhaps having a guide to help you create a more realistic growth plan for your business can help you avoid the pitfalls of disappointment. Plus, self-motivation may help but if you want top results, it’s best to have an accountability partner. This is where a business coach comes in and provides someone to push you for higher performance.
3. You're Just Flat Out Overwhelmed
Piggybacking off the previous two items, let’s be straight: Overworking yourself is not doing you or your business any favors. Don’t fall victim to thinking that just because you’re working sunrise to sunset that you’re creating growth.
You’re not Super-Woman, an overworked business leader makes the same mistakes as every other human. For instance, you may waste a lot of time going around in circles due to a lack of direction or just plain exhaustion.
When was the last time you had some time off or went on a vacation? Take a moment to breathe, sleep in a little, have a nice breakfast with the family. Recharging your batteries, even if only for a moment, is a proven method to coming back stronger and more effective.
Hiring a business coach can help you set your priorities and systems in place. This helps you to escape the constant need to work in your business and allow you to work on it. You can gain the clarity you need and start to reduce the stress and overwhelming dread for good.
4. Your Company Has Outgrown Its Structures or Processes
Companies that grow too fast tend to experience their systems and structures becoming outdated that much quicker. This is mostly because what worked in the beginning isn't always going to work when you have more to manage.
Perhaps one day you looked up and things that used to work like a well-oiled machine suddenly operate like a mid 70’s clunker. Believe it or not rapid growth can actually be a natural hinderance to your business’ success.
A common example of this would be payroll. Early on in the life of a business payroll is generally executed from within by the business owner. As you grow and bring on board more employees this task can easily suck away time like a parched vampire draining the business of its more vital item: YOU. The solution for this scenario is to bring on board a payroll company.
Do a systems maintenance check: are processes are slowing down, customer complaints becoming more frequent, do you have product shortages? These are worrying signs of an overwhelmed staff or ineffective system.
They also happen to be things that business coaches tend to spot right away!
5. You Want to Scale and Expand Your Business
Businesses of all sizes struggle to expand or even market their products while scaling. Small business owners may have much less experience, resources, or brand identity to venture into new markets or expand their product line. So if the big conglomerates struggle, then you should expect to, right?
Don’t forget that being smaller means that you have more freedom and flexibility. You can enter and leave markets at significantly less costs or risks. Leverage that advantage! If you plan on being successful and eventually becoming a big business, you should enjoy this flexibility while you can!
However, having the knowledge necessary to do so is the catch. If you have no idea how to even begin building out marketing strategies for a new market, this is the perfect time to hire a business coach. They can show you how to sustainably scale and expand your business, giving you the tools to reach next-level goals.
6. Sales, Growth, and Progress Seem Too Slow
The thing about building a business is it's a lot like a living creature. It needs things like customers and sales to continue to grow and progress the company forward. Without certain sustaining items, you'll feel like your business is a bit unhealthy.
But first, it is important to remember that where you feel the business should be has more to do with your expectations of the business than what’s realistic. It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to have expectations of spontaneous and stupendous growth.
Of course, a business mentor can help you establish a more reasonable growth trajectory. We have the knowledge and years of experience to tell you that your disappointment in your growth is unfounded. Perhaps your business grew much slower than you hoped, but you didn’t stop to realize that all your competitors retracted while you still grew. It's all about perspective!
If things are a bit direr than that, i.e. you've gotten to a point where your dipping a toe into the red, then it is absolutely the time to seek help. Business coaches can help to pinpoint where the problem is in your overall business strategy that is causing low sales and lack of progress.
7. You Need an Extra Push
As an entrepreneur, you're always exploring new ways of personal growth. But sometimes it might feel like your efforts just aren't cutting it. As we said before, it's common for business owners to go through phases of low motivation and self-doubt.
If you've been stuck in a rut and need some external motivation, a business coach is a great solution for you. They've been in your shoes and know exactly how to speak to ambitious high performers to get them (re)motivated and back on task.
Sometimes it comes down to simply having someone hold you accountable. As small business owners, we all get comfortable being at the top of the mountain. We are the masters of our own domain. This is one of our greatest strengths; it takes a special kind of person to start a business. But it can also be an Achilles heel.
What we are alluding to is complacency. Just typing the words gives us the chills. Complacency is a small business killer. A business coach is the vaccine. Being held to a higher standard and having someone harping on your for accountability can ruffle your feathers, but the alternative could be the death of your business.
8. Need Direction for Implementing Tasks
You know what you need to do but implementation is perhaps beyond your skills and know-how. It's OK to have out of the world ideas but struggle to see them through. But you don't want to waste time and your resources guessing your way through. Trial and error can escalate costs in the blink of an eye.
A good parallel is within the enterprise level software world. Think about it, the software they are selling is often expensive, but that cost usually pales in comparison to the amount they charge you for implementation.
This price differential showcases both the complexity and value of proper system implementation.
A business coach is able to help guide you with practical advice for executing tasks or teaching new skills. They will not only be able to help you launch your process, but they will also be able to deliver the right process for the task. Their professional advice may also help in shifting your thoughts and viewing your issues from a different angle.
9. You Feel Lost, Lonely or Unmotivated
Committing to growing a business can be exciting but it can also be a lonely road. It's rare that family and friends understand your struggles as an entrepreneur because it's not their journey. Having no one to share with or get advice from can be demotivating.
If you look over many of our blogs, you’ll notice one of the central themes is about happiness and relaxation. We can assure you this is for a critical reason. We know first-hand the impact and personal costs associated with running a business. We wholeheartedly believe that taking a moment to relax or express yourself to a trusted friend can revolutionize your life as well as your business.
Did you ever wonder why many business coaching firms also have a life coach on board or are at least partnered? This is it.
You have to find someone who understands what it takes to grow a business. A business coach can provide you with an honest, compassionate outlook.
We can’t speak for all coaches, but within our firm we make sure that we not only take business case information to heart, but also the impact and strife the owner goes through. It is not uncommon for clients to liken us to a business therapist!
Have You Decided You Need to Hire a Business Coach?
It's normal for an entrepreneur running a business to feel like an emotional roller coaster at times. You might be experiencing a few of these signs right now. If so, it might be the best time to hire someone that can help cut your worry in half. Again, why wait?
Hiring a business coach is the next step towards helping your company unlock its full potential. Out of the Box Advisors can be the ideal partners you need to push your business' growth. To get started, book free a consultation with us today.