6 Tips To Hire The Right Business Coach For You

In previous articles I covered the what and the why of business coaching, so today I’m going to share the how with you.

You do know that the how always comes last, right?

Most people try to make the how the first step and then they walk away; head hung in despair, because tackling the how didn’t achieve the desired results. Sound familiar? I digress, but I wanted to make that point. Just a friendly reminder: Answer the why and the what first, please, then get on with the how.

Ready?

Alright, how do you hire a business coach? And not just any business coach. How do you hire the RIGHT business coach – the person who is going to take you from second gear to supersonic speed easefully and joyfully? How do you find the perfect coach for you and your business growth?

The simple answer:

Ask.

Yep, just ask. First, ask the universe. Say: Hey, infinite intelligence (or something along those lines), I need your assistance here. Could you please place the right person in my path so that we can make magic together?

Then when it feels right, ask your colleagues (you know, other successful entrepreneurs), about their experiences. And be open to discovery.

For you list lovers and detail divas, here are some of the key (and often overlooked!) fundamentals to look for when hiring a coach. Here is the short list to ensure you hire a business coach who is the perfect match for you:

1. You need to like them. Look for someone you would want to be friends with in your personal life. Feeling comfortable talking to your coach will lighten the tone of conversation and make you more apt to divulge important details that will maximize your improvement process. You want this to be a productive relationship, right? So you’ve got to like your coach.

You want to enjoy talking with them, spending time with them, and you want to look forward to your coaching sessions. You don’t need another “to-do” or “should” in your day. So be sure to hire a coach you want to spend time with and with whom you can be your authentic self. You’ll get more done that way and it will be a lot more fun, too!

2. You need to trust them. You’re heading into the trenches with this person and you’ll need to trust them whole-heartedly with your business and to some extent, your personal life. If you want to realize your greatest success, you must be willing to be completely vulnerable and reveal the nitty gritty about your business and life to your coach. Hence, the trust factor needs to be at an all-time high.

Knowing your coach truly cares about and respects you, as an individual, is paramount. Knowing your coach cares about your success and whether or not you reach your highest goals can be the difference between accomplishing them and staying put.

3. You need to admire them. Your perfect coach is someone you admire. They have a business style that you admire. Their values are in alignment with yours. You respect the way they conduct themselves and their business. Their philosophy and outlook match yours. You find yourself thinking, “I want my business to be like theirs.” You know what I mean. Your right business coach is someone you want to emulate – and not just because they’re successful.

4. You need to feel heard. An ideal coach listens more than they speak. YOU know your business dreams better than anyone else. Your coach will help you achieve those dreams. And if they’re going to do that well, they need to be able to tune into your goals – not theirs. You want them to listen to your preferences in order to develop personalized solutions and strategies tailored to your business.

But none of that will happen if they’re preaching to you the entire session or ignoring your input or worse yet, working toward goals that make them feel successful as a coach instead of concentrating on what makes you feel successful.

5. They have proven results and success stories. The coach you hire should have a long list of successful coaching experiences. Ask around – word of mouth might get you exactly the right person to work with. Find people you can speak with about their experiences. Make sure the coach you hire has current testimonials in addition to those from years ago and those from their own coaches promoting how great they are (you know what I’m talking about here, right?).

6. They are on fire with inspiration and energy. You’re not going to get pumped up about making changes and doing the hard work of building your business if your coach isn’t enthusiastic. Look for that sparkle – that something extra – that makes your coach stand out from the rest and has you saying, “Yes, yes, this is MY coach!”

Your perfect coach will motivate and inspire you. They will meet you right where you are with compassion, not judgment, and see you through with their energy and commitment. They will find the options and action steps that are right for you, enabling you to go farther, and faster, than on your own.

Once you’ve found the right coach and have wisely invested your precious resources – your time, energy, and money – you will find that you look at everything from a new and broader perspective. You will have a newfound confidence, and your style of thinking will be bolder and more creative, providing you with ever increasing opportunities for business growth.

Now is the time to ask yourself:

Am I ready to become serious about developing my business in a way that optimizes my potential?

If you answer YES, then you are definitely ready to hire a business coach.

A Money Plan and Your Creative Business – More Than Just Figures

If you are a creative-artistic entrepreneur – your need for a Business Money Plan (or commonly referred to as a Budget) is a necessity for your best business creative good. This isn’t just for reasons of some business advisor or accountant telling you that you need it – you should want to need and rely on it as part of your “creative stream.”

While I know it sounds like a cliché to “have a budget for your business” but all too often it is not clearly understood why a money plan for your creative business money needs to be in place.

Consider some of the more profound reasons of why a business money plan should be central to your entrepreneurial path and your creative well-being… please especially note that it goes beyond just the actual figures…

Allow yourself to experience the fulfilling aspects of your business money plan to allow yourself to:

Connect with having enhanced confidence about handling your creative business money

It is challenging to have confidence about something you know little about – right? Planning, whether personal or business is so misunderstood but it truly is one of the most important.

In order to have real, true confidence, you need to should have the business skills that will make your creative business run smoothly – your money plan is one of those facilities that you should have a basic understanding of.

Bring about command of your business destiny through understanding proper money handling practices

While many creative and artistic entrepreneur’s cringe at the idea of “bookkeeping, accounting and anything number related” it is through these systems that you keep your business on a good course. Proper money handling practices is part of this. How do you intend on dealing with a payment system in terms of accepting payments, matching them to billings and reconciling the bank every month? It sounds easy enough, but to put a system in place that is manageable, practical and that can be kept up on a regular basis, takes an awareness that needs to be learned.

What you have set-up for money systems in your business are primary to enable you to get the information out of your business that you require. This will greatly help your ability to make operational decisions, allow for the proper filing of various tax returns while placing you in a strong position to best make future (strategic) plans for your business.

Achieve better money and financial results

It is important to be able to measure how your creative business is performing financially. It is impossible to keep it in your head! In order to see if you can improve, you need to know exactly what progress the business has made over time for both the benefit of short and long term decision-making.

Become faster at making decisions in your business

You can make more expedient decisions if you know the optimal earning point for your business along with the types of spending and investments that are being made along the way. In order to assess different vendors, suppliers and other players (stakeholders) in your business, you need to know your numbers and be able to place your hands on this information at any time. Also in order to take advantage of opportunities – you need to have quick and accurate access to the financial performance of your business.

Cultivate the feeling of being in control of your money

You can’t feel in control until you are actually in control. You can’t just make believe “control “, it has to be the result of actually having a money handling plan that is tailored to your business. It must take into account your aspirations, risk tolerance and other aspects of your being in business. The money skills that you learn are instrumental in moving you along to really knowing your money and connecting with the number aspects of your business. Once you have determined that, then you are truly in control of your money and can start to gain momentum and the true feeling of control.

Have the time to create and promote your entrepreneurial offerings

As a creative-artistic entrepreneur, you have many hats to wear (oh goodness!) and to that end you need to balance your time between the management and strategic side of your business, together with working on your creative offerings and marketing and promoting what you have to offer. While this sounds exhausting, it doesn’t have to be once you have enough in place to feel at peaceful about your business and its money dealings.

Encourage your creativity through not worrying about your business finances

If you have a money plan in place for your business, then you have a course to follow. You can find peace in knowing that you have a strategy in place and this can help you creatively. How? You can relax and encourage your creativity and not be so pre-occupied with what is occurring with your business finances. If you can’t do this – then something needs to be fixed.

These are just some of the more important aspects. I don’t want to insult your intelligence by listing the obvious, however they are worth mentioning and repeating:

  • Keeping your expenses down to improve your bottom line
  • Earning to your business potential
  • Pricing strategies
  • Identifying opportunities

This is just to name a few, but these are all gleaned with your business money plan. I want you to think beyond the traditional number reasons and consider the intrinsic and in my view, ultimately more persuasive reasons for having a business money plan.

Remember, as I have said: This is not just one of those “need to haves” ideas that entrepreneurs are told by every money and business guru, it truly is one of the few important items that should be created as early as possible in your creative business.

Why You Should Outsource Logistics for Your Small Business

Running your own business requires sacrifice. It can both rewarding and stressful in equal measures. While most small business owners enjoy having control over their professional life and pursuing their passions, some major stress factors such as not having enough personal time, feeling like you can never be away from your work, and having to wear so many different hats can take a major toll. Choosing a 3PL for your companies logistics needs can help ease the burden of running a small business and provide several advantages to your company.

Outsourcing Saves You Time

One of the biggest sacrifices small business owners make is their personal time. Many business owners feel that they cannot be away from their work and miss out on valuable time with their friends and families. Outsourcing your logistics services can take a lot of tasks off your hands that may be eating your time. For example, a 3PL will handle the paperwork, billing, training, and staffing that go along with shipping your products.

Outsourcing Saves You Money

Tracking expenses can be a huge stressor for anyone who owns their own business. Outsourcing your logistics services will eliminate extra expenses such as investing in warehouse space, technology, transportation, and additional staff. Using a 3PL can also help keep small business shipping costs to a minimum by lowering transportation rates and reducing the risk of costly mistakes such as returns and lost sales.

3PLs Keep You Up-to-Date with Technology

Keeping up with the latest advances in logistics technology is a constant struggle for many small business owners. Choosing to work with a 3PL is a great way to ease this burden. 3PL’s are highly knowledgeable about the industry’s best practices and stay up to date on all the newest technologies. 3PL software is capable of handling advanced reporting, inventory maintenance, and provides visibility so the entire process can be monitored.

It Takes Responsibility off Your Shoulders

Another major issue that many small business owners face is that they have to act as a Jack of all trades and often spread themselves too thin. Outsourcing logistics can help take some of the responsibility off your hands and allow your company to focus on its core competencies. By leaving this part of the business to the experts, you can relax and have peace of mind knowing that your logistics needs are being taken care of by professionals.

You Can Trust the Professionals

Trusting your employees to run things without you can often be difficult when running a small business. When you outsource your logistics to a 3PL, you can rest assured that your freight shipping solutions are being handled by professionals. Third party providers constantly monitor performance to ensure that the risk of damage or loss is minimized and that bottlenecking does not occur. 3PL’s often produce quality service that keeps customers happy.

Running a small business can mean lots of stress and challenges. Outsourcing your logistics needs to a third-party can take some of that weight off your shoulders. Choose a 3PL today and start focusing on your company’s future.