Knowing how to choose the right business coach can add to the challenges that you’re already feeling in your business as a woman entrepreneur. When you’re looking to grow your business, a coach who specializes in the challenges you are facing is going to help you get the results you desire with the most ease. After growing three businesses to six-figures and multi-six figures, I have learned that while it is possible to grow your business on your own, it’s 10x easier (and often faster) when you choose the right business coach to support you.
As a Business and Mindset Coach myself, I’m going to share the 7 things you need to consider before you choose and hire your business coach. These are the traits, qualities, and certifications that I look for when I am personally hiring my next business coach. Coaching is a collaborative process so you’re not just looking for someone to guide and lead you, but a business coach is more like a partner in your business that walks alongside you.
Do your research
Business coaching is a very broad industry that isn’t regulated so just about anyone can call themselves a business coach. This is why being intentional, mindful, and doing your research is very important before choosing the right business coach for you, your goals and where you desire to take your business. It’s crucial to look for a coach that has the specialized education, training, and experience that align with your goals and business.
For example, if you desire to work on your mindset, you would want to ensure that the business coach that you hire has education and training in working with the brain. Experiential wisdom is not enough to help you make sustainable changes in your mindset, and will leave you falling back into your old patterns.
An experienced and professional business coach will support you in improving personally and professionally by asking thought provoking questions and providing tools to create the results you desire with intention and a set framework / process. They will share openly and vulnerably about their mis-steps and lessons learned that will be relative and of value to your experience.
7 steps to take to help you choose the right business coach
Confirm their certifications, training and education
Anyone can call themselves a business coach as there are no set standards or regulations. In my opinion, this step is the most important when choosing the right business coach, especially if you’re wanting to work on your mindset. A coach’s lived experience isn’t enough to help you get real and sustainable results in your business. If you desire to learn a skill, you’re best to look for a mentor or educator instead of a coach.
A trained and educated coach has a different set of skills that allows them to ask you powerful and potent questions that support, lead and guide you to the desired outcome you have for yourself and your business. This skill takes training, education and experience to develop and hone over time. As these three things improve over time so will the coach’s ability to get you better results, in less time. Ask your potential coach who they have learned from, where they were certified and the education they’ve taken to grow their skillset.
For example, I have worked with a Master NLP Coach Sophie Kish; been certified by Yes Supply Co. as an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, Life Coach, and Hypnosis & EFT Practitioner; have taken Amanda Frances’ Money Mentality Makeover course; am currently being trained in behavioural psychology through The Midas Academy / a coach with a M. Pscyh and am learning from one of the industries top coaches Joel Brown.
A coach who knows what questions to ask, why they’re asking them and what tools will help you navigate the challenges you’re facing will support you in creating exponentially greater results than one who is relying on regurgitated wisdom from their coach and their own life experience.
Look into their business experience and expertise
A lot of business coaches have never actually run a successful business. On top of that, a lot of business coaches haven’t built a business from the ground up with nothing but the initial idea. When you’re interviewing or learning about your potential business coach, ask about their business, how they started, what experience they have etc.
For example, I have run three successful businesses over the past 11 years. I’ve built a wedding photography, brand photography and now business and mindset coaching business. Along with pivoting industries twice, I’ve also moved my business across the country from Ottawa to Edmonton (that’s like New York to Montana if you’re from the US). I’ve worked with women entrepreneurs who span across 20+ different industries. Some of which include beauty professionals, retail owners, product designers, digital marketing specialists, digital designers, light workers and birth care professionals.
Speak to their past clients
On a business coach’s website or Instagram, you may be able to learn about some of their clients in more depth and detail that would allow you to reach out to them personally on Instagram or through their website. If not, ask your potential coach if they can give you a list of clients you could speak with about them and their client’s experience. I personally believe that the greatest source of information you have to choose the right business coach comes from those their past clients.
For example, I share a handful of the clients and businesses I have supported on my private 1:1 coaching page to make this an option for any potential client. That way if they see a familiar business name / owner, they can reach out on their own terms. I also tag a lot of my clients during their coaching experience and after when they share updates, if they are open to it, via my Instagram stories. Lastly, I acknowledge and welcome all of my clients who join my group coaching program, The Magnetic Manifest-HER, with a dedicated two slide IG story to celebrate and promote them.
Ask about their process and frameworks
It’s important to know how your potential coach will support you in getting from where you are to where you want to go in your business. What processes do they use? What are their signature frameworks? What tools do they use and teach you? How do they help you learn how to become self-accountable?
Having the clarity, confidence and understanding in how your potential coach will help you make the progress you desire is crucial to know before signing anything to work together. Experienced and trained coaches will often have a signature and proven step by step process that they take their clients through to create the results you see on their website. They should be clear, confident and excited to share this information with you and help you understand they’ll support you in getting from A to B.
For example, I use a combination of psychology, neuroscience, energetics, and strategic planning to help my clients create their results as it’s how I have done the same in my business. I call this the Freedom Framework as I specialize in supporting women entrepreneurs in creating freedom-filled businesses.
Ensure they genuinely care about you and your success
This one is often felt through an energetic exchange whether it’s chatting in the DMs with your potential coach via voice note or connecting on a Clarity Call. You can feel when someone genuinely cares about you and your success by the words they say, their tone and their body language when you’re on video.
Ask yourself: How do I know that this coach really cares about me and my success?
For example, I often tell my clients that I care about their success like it’s my own. This isn’t however what actually shows them that I do. Your potential coach should be asking you questions about you, your goals and what you hope to achieve if you decide to work together. You should feel seen, heard, and understood in your experiences and desires. I also want to personally get to know my clients on a deeper personal level. I joke that most of my clients become friends because it’s true!
Understand your goals
Before you choose the right business coach for you, know what your goals and expectations are for yourself and your business. Map out your top goals and keep them front of mind when doing your research. An experienced business coach will ask you this when connecting with you so they can ensure they’re able to support you in achieving your goals.
For example, I ask my clients a lot of questions to help me understand what’s going on for them, the challenges they perceive they are facing, what they have tried to solve their problems, what they believe they need to solve their problems and more. I personally love to connect with my clients over a Clarity Call or Instagram DMs so we can chat in depth. The more that you share with me, the clearer I am in if we’re going to be a good fit.
Look at the results they have created for themselves and others
Testimonials are okay, but case studies are even better. If your potential coach doesn’t offer case studies on their website, ask them about the specific internal and external results they have created with their clients. Understand if the results that they have created in their own business and for others align with your goals. Even better, ask if you can reach out to the specific clients they mention to talk in more detail.
You want to ensure that your potential coach is a living and embodied example of the life and business that you desire to live and that their clients are too. Knowing how the coach achieved these results and the challenges that came up will help you understand if they will be able to lead you towards your goals.
Get to know them, their personality, their strengths, their values and the ethics they hold themselves to
Spend the time to really get to know the coach that you desire to work with. My favourite way of doing this is to follow their Instagram stories. It’s typically where business owners will give you a peek into more of their day to day lives and behind the business details. From there, decide if you feel like you like them and could see yourselves connecting.
I like to use the qualifying question of, “Could I imagine myself going on a coffee date with them and really connecting?”. This doesn’t mean that I need to love everything about them. My goal is to ensure I feel that I can build a relationship and be my most authentic self.
Go through their website, Instagram, blogs, past client results, podcast and any other information you can to get an understanding of who they are, their strengths, what they value and the standards that they hold themselves to.
For example, when I initially took Amanda Frances’ course I didn’t love everything about her but she activated me and pushed me to an edge of expansion that I was ready to meet. I also knew what she valued, her strengths and the standards that she held herself and her business to from engaging in her content.
Hiring a business coach is an investment in yourself, your business and your overall success that you shouldn’t take lightly. Knowing how to choose the right business coach for you is a process that can take some time and research. In the end, you’ll always be grateful that you invested the time and asked the right questions!
Last but not least, here are few questions to ask yourself to see if you align:
- Do you feel seen, heard and understood?
- Does the coach have experience in getting results that align with your goals?
- Do you resonate with their overall message and mission?
- Do they have proof and case studies of client results?
- Do they have experience working with clients in your industry?
- Does the life and business they have align with the one you desire to have?
If you’re interested in being supported by a coach and resonate with what I’ve shared, I’d love to connect. You can schedule a Clarity Call here where we will get to know each other, talk about what you’re looking for, explore the challenges you’re facing and see if working together is aligned and the right fit for you.