You’ve no doubt heard the old expression, It’s lonely at the top. After all, it’s been around for a very long time. You can even trace a variation on that theme back to Shakespeare’s Henry IV quote, “Lonely is the head that wears the crown.”
As the boss, everyone looks to you for the answers, but where do you look? Who do you go to when you need answers? The solution could be a business coach.
Felicia Shanken of Philadelphia Women’s Network Connection has a mission, and that is to create a friendly, supportive community that, among other things, nurtures valuable relationships that enrich career satisfaction. She understands the benefits entrepreneurs have of drawing strength from each other. That’s why she’s eager to share some tips with you on how and why you should seek help from a qualified business coach.
If you’re not sure if now is the time to hire a business coach, ask yourself if you’re experiencing any of the following.
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Needing someone to bounce ideas off of
- Wanting to develop new skills
- Feeling stuck/frustrated
- Seeking a strategic plan
A good business coach can provide an entrepreneur with advice on new strategies and how to implement them. They hold their clients accountable with realistic goal setting and frequent check-ins. They can help their client develop a comprehensive business plan for tracking progress and as a tool for obtaining loans. They’ll help you see your blind spots and offer an unbiased third-party perspective. In short, they can put you on the right track and help keep you there.
When you’re looking for the right business coach, the first step you’ll want to take is to speak to others in your same field and see who they use. A business coach who helps entrepreneurs in one field may not have the same set of skills to be helpful to someone in a different line, so, like anything else, one size does not necessarily fit all.
An online search that includes reviews is another way to find the right consultant for you. So is checking with any business-related social media sites you’re a part of, like Facebook or LinkedIn.
Ask if they can do a complimentary consultation. Get references and ask for success stories they can share with you.
If the time isn’t right just yet for you to hire outside help. Or if your finances cannot support that expenditure at the moment, there are a few things you can do to streamline your business practices that are simple to do and either free or inexpensive to use.
- Structure your business as an LLC. This can be done yourself, without having to pay attorney fees. The process is all done online, costs a little less than $50, and takes about 15 minutes to complete. An LLC business has a lower tax burden, requires less paperwork and best of all, it separates your business expenses from your personal ones.
- Use a process map. Much like a flowchart, process maps outline the individual steps in a process with assigned tasks, goals, and timelines. You can find sources online that allow you to plug your own information into a ready-made template. This ensures you’re not missing any key details. It’s a helpful way to keep everyone on task and meeting deadlines, including
- You can accomplish a lot of your own marketing just by going out and networking. Any chamber of commerce event, industry trade show, or community organizations fundraisers going on are places you should be promoting yourself and your business. There is no better way to do that than with the time-honored tradition of exchanging business cards. Use a free business card maker so you can save the expense of hiring an outside designer and put that money into printing as many as you can. They’re easy to use too. You choose the style, color, and design, then just enter your text and images!
Whether you hire an outside business coach or take on those duties yourself, remember, it’s not a sign of defeat. After all, it’s called growing pains for a reason. Now go out there and grow!
Article written by Guest Blogger Derek Goodman