Business coaches are like real estate agents. You can find them anywhere and there are thousands of them.
Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a business coach these days. So how the heck do you know who to use or trust?
Use your existing network
Reach out to people you know and trust who might be able to recommend a good coach they know or have used. This is your optimal route!
You want someone who comes recommended and someone you trust has had experience with. A couple good questions to ask the person referring a coach:
Even if you get a recommendation from a friend, look the business coach up (online and offline). Once you feel comfortable, have an introductory call with the business coach and see how you feel about them.
Do they offer advice for free? Do they get your business (or have experience in your market)? Are they willing to work on a trial basis to see how it goes?
Use networking events
If you can't find anyone in your existing network, get referrals from people you've met (or could meet) at networking events. You can find local events for business owners at your local Chamber of Commerce, Meetup.com and Eventbrite.com.
Some questions to consider asking strangers who've used business coaches:
You probably won't be able to talk about the financial side of things, but you want to know a business coach is awesome before wasting your time on an introductory call with them.
You get what you pay for
If you're only paying someone $50 for a weekly call, and doing a month of calls, you shouldn't expect much from that. But if you're spending a couple hundred bucks per call and the person you're talking to has a great track record (that you can see or hear about from others), then it's totally worth it and will pay off for years to come!
All good business coaches should be able to help you set goals and milestones together. If you hit those goals and milestones you should keep working together. If not, time to move on.
As someone who does some business coaching, I would never want to get in a relationship with someone I didn't think I could help. I always make sure I have an idea of what someone is trying to accomplish, so I know they'll be happy and I can help them execute their goals.
Good luck finding your business coach and feel free to use these same steps to find a great real estate agent too!