Search LinkedIn for a business coach in Melbourne and you’ll come up with no less than 29,635 results.
Great, right? You’re clearly spoilt for choice. Except, now you have two problems:
- There’s just no way you could possibly sift through all those profiles to find the right business coach for your specific needs
- While there are surely many qualified, experienced business coaches in Melbourne who have a great track record of getting results for their clients, it could be hard to find them amongst those whose qualifications are limited to having added the word ‘business coach’ to their business card
Here we’ll take you through the ways you can narrow down the options and find the business coach who is the best fit for your business
Perfect match: 8 ways you can find the right business coach in Melbourne for you and your business
#1 Be clear on your goals
Why do you want to work with a business coach? That question often turns out to be more difficult to answer once you’re putting pen to paper. It could be that you are not even that sure what a business coach could help you achieve; you just know you need some advice and support to get your business to the next level.
Start by writing down the key challenges you face in your business. Do you need to stabilise your cash flow? Increase sales? Reach more customers with a marketing strategy? Structure your business for growth? These are all things a business coach can help with. Having a list prepared will help you select a coach with the particular qualities and experience that can get you where you want to go.
#2 Gather referrals, reviews, testimonials and case studies
Asking for a recommendation within your network of business contacts could be a great way to begin your search for a business coach. This allows you to compile a list of coaches whose style and approach has achieved proven results for their clients. You should be suspicious of any coach (or any business, really) that doesn’t have any online reviews, testimonials or case studies available for you to read through; at best it suggests a lack of experience, at worst that they could be rogue operators.
#3 Look for a business coach with relevant personal experience
I’m just going to come out and say it: coaching is a largely unregulated industry. You don’t need a specific degree or qualification to call yourself a coach and this has led to a lot of people with little or no experience in actually growing a business to enter the market.
To avoid being taken for a ride, look for qualifications like an MBA or solid work history that includes leadership positions or senior experience in a particular discipline that you need support with (finances, marketing, systems and technology etc). Bonus points if they have experience in running and growing their own business.
Be sure to check that any potential business coach has experience coaching businesses of your size; it takes a very different strategy and approach to coach a start-up or solopreneur business with limited budget than it does to grow and scale a more established business with a team of staff and a few more resources to invest.
#4 Check for industry experience
In addition to making sure a business coach’s personal work history and qualifications stack up in a general sense, it may be that you need a coach who can offer direct experience building businesses in your industry.
This won’t be true for all businesses; sometimes a generalist can offer all you need. In any case, an experienced coach will have worked across a range of industries and sectors. But if you operate in a very niche market with unique regulations and customer needs or one that requires a high level of technical knowledge, more direct industry expertise could become a priority.
#5 Examine their business structure
Is your potential business coach a solo operator or part of a larger team? While there is nothing wrong with working alone, a coach who can draw upon the expertise, skillsets, resources and contacts of a larger group is likely better placed to tailor their advice to you and your business. Sometimes more really is more.
#6 Ask about their network
In the business world, it really can be who you know that makes all the difference. If you work with a business coach who is well-connected, they are much more likely to be able to put you in touch with the right people (from suppliers through to potential partnerships) that will help you grow your business.
#7 Scope out additional resources
Frameworks, marketing plans, tools, tactics, templates – these are all examples of things that an established and experienced business coach will be able to offer you. When you sit down to work on strategies with your business mentor, you want to be confident that you are going to walk away with something tangible. Ask what resources they have developed during their time as a coach that have proven successful for past clients. They shouldn’t be constantly reinventing the wheel; it’s a good sign if they’ve translated their good track record into repeatable processes that you can benefit from.
#8 Get a feel for the chemistry
At some point you really just need to meet with a potential business coach to get a feel for the connection and make sure you click. As well as mutual respect for each other, you and your business mentor should have a positive, honest and open relationship. You will need to be able to take their advice on board and they will need to understand how to work with you to help you realise your potential.
From 29,635 to ‘The One’ perfect business coach in Melbourne for you
With all the options out there these days, selecting a business coach may seem like a daunting prospect. However, if a potential mentor ticks off all the above elements, you can set out on your coaching journey with confidence. At this point, you should be clear on what you want to achieve and, at the very least, have a short-list of business coaches who are well positioned to help you kick those goals. What a great way to start a new business year!