Whether you're struggling to get off the ground or trying to scale a successful business, you may reach a point when "leveling up" requires extra support. An objective third party, such as a business coach, can speed up the process by identifying areas for improvement and offering guidance in your own areas of weakness.
While hiring and working with a business coach requires time and money, many professionals who take this leap find that it's an extremely worthwhile investment. Below, a group of entrepreneurs explain the key advantages of hiring a business coach, and how extra support gave them a boost in their own journey.
You'll learn from an unbiased viewpoint.
When you lead a business, there's always room for improvement. However, without an objective source of feedback, it's easy to get lost in your own head. This is where a business coach helped Serenity Gibbons, local unit lead for the NAACP.
"I needed to have an outside opinion to ensure my thinking and perspective weren't too skewed toward how well I thought I was doing," says Gibbons. "I needed someone who could push me on those points I knew I had to improve, but had been avoiding."
You'll gain a break in your routine.
Routines are important for consistency, but after a while, you run the risk of becoming stagnant. This was the case for Rana Gujral, CEO of Behavioral Signals, who worked with two different coaches who helped provide a much-needed break in the routine.
"I was too comfortable," Gujral says. "These coaches pointed this out and helped me find new ways to continue to grow."
You'll hear constructive criticism.
Kristin Kimberly Marquet, founder of Marquet Media, LLC, has launched and grown multiple businesses in various industries. Throughout these ventures, she has partnered with different business coaches who provided constructive criticism on the areas of the business that needed improvement.
"I hired a consultant to help with the launch of one of our digital media brands," Marquet says. "Without her insight, we would have never thought to partner with influencers."
You'll have new networking opportunities.
One tremendous benefit of hiring a business coach or a similar mentor figure is the expansion of your professional network, says Bryce Welker, CEO of The Big 4 Accounting Firms. To help him in his entrepreneurial journey, Welker reached out to a retired accountant who started working as a professor.
"Not only did he give me excellent insight into my own business, but he also helped me connect with like-minded professionals as well," Welker explains.
Your business and personal goals will align.
Dalip Jaggi, principal and founder of Devise Interactive, emphasizes the importance of allowing a coach to intimately understand you. This, he says, allows for a true outside perspective to help you align your business objectives with your personal ones.
"Entrepreneurs tend to be multi-faceted, with many objectives and ambitions," Jaggi says. "Coaches will help pull the brakes where needed and stay hyper-focused in certain areas."
You'll be held accountable for facing your fears.
Coaches challenge their clients to step out of their comfort zone and take the appropriate risks in their business. For Daisy Jing, founder of Banish, working with a coach has forced her to have fierce and tough conversations with her team members that she had been putting off for a long time.
"My coach holds me accountable," says Jing. "Because I pay to talk to her, I feel guilty if I don't follow through with what I said I would do."
Your shortcomings will be confronted and addressed.
A leader's team members and colleagues may not always feel comfortable questioning the person who signs their paycheck. Jared Weitz, CEO of United Capital Source Inc., notes that your coach won't just tell you what you want to hear -- they will actively push you to question yourself and confront your shortcomings in a positive manner.
"This will get you out of your comfort zone and find growth that can be translated into your business," Weitz says.
You'll find clarity.
If you've hit a rut in your business, it can be difficult to know where to turn or what to do next. Zachary Burkes, director of Predictable Profits, recommends seeking a coach to help you identify your next steps.
"A business coach worth their weight will help you find clarity, break through any barriers and change for the better," says Burkes.