Business coaching is a luxury

ducks-and-seagulls-in-kensington-gardensI was talking to someone at a networking event this week whose opinion is that business coaching is a luxury and as such when times are hard it is dropped.

I used to face similar objections from business owners who would want to stop all advertising when the economy was weak. I would point out that awareness should still be maintained, albeit at a reduced level, in order that when the market returns consumers would think of the client’s business first.

Business coaching is not dis-similar to advertising in that there are fundamentally two reasons why a business owner will be motivated to buy – a want of something better or a fear of something worse.

If you think about why we buy, everything that motivates us to do so will fall into one of these categories. We buy a new TV because we want 3D or better functionality than our existing TV provides, we by an insurance policy because we fear losing something through theft, loss etc.

When we make a business decision it is no different, however it is important to recognise that in the case both advertising and business coaching, the investment is made because of a want or a fear – an opportunity or threat.

We invest in advertising because we want to sell our products to more people or to new markets but on the flip side we may be investing to head off a move from either an existing or a new competitor.

We are as likely to invest in business coaching for help with planning, marketing and growing our business as we are for help with getting our business into better shape – some of my clients have simply needed help to diversify after experiencing a decline in their existing business.

Many business owners started their business because they were good at what they did when they worked for someone else and thought they could just as easily work for themselves.

If they are really good at what they do they will have two of the three traits required to be a successful business owner. They will be a good technician and entrepreneurial (after all they have set up their own business) however the third trait is essential if the business it going to thrive. They have to be able to manage.

Management skills are something that can be learned. A good business coach will understand how the management process works, whether it be developing a vision, setting objectives, getting the marketing mix right etc.

Learning is an on-going process and in my view business coaching can be used on an on-going basis or in short bursts to get to grips with a management issue.

The old adage in advertising is ‘always shoot when the ducks are flying’ advertise when the market is thinking about buying your product or service. With running a business the ducks are always flying – if they’re not then we are in danger of missing out on a great opportunity or not spotting a looming threat.

There is never a bad time to seek the help of a business coach. When the economy is doing well cash isn’t an issue but time is. When it’s in the doldrums however it’s the reverse.

My advice would be seek help while things are going well and you may find that you spot when things are likely to slow down early and are able to take action to mitigate the impact on your business.

Used in the right way a business coach is incredibly important to your success and certainly not a luxury. Get in touch with E Business Coaching today.

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