Business coaches for entrepreneurs – how can a business coach help you?

I’m a Business Coach. And that’s exactly what I tell people when they ask me what I do for a living. Except that often people look totally baffled when I tell them about my work! And do you know what? I don’t blame them. There’s so much confusion and conflicting advice around business coaching, and I find it quite funny if I’m honest. When we meet a football coach or a tennis coach, we know exactly what they do. Coaching is something we’re all fairly familiar with. But when it comes to business coaching, people get quite confused. So what do business coaches for entrepreneurs actually do? If you’re a business owner, how can I coach help you? 

What does a Business Coach do?

Obviously, I can’t speak for all coaches – you can find all types of coaches with their own unique styles and levels of experience and expertise. But here’s my own definition of how I think a coach may be able to help you.

A business coach works with their clients to enable them to achieve change. How that’s done or what that change may look like is different for each coach and for each business. In some cases, your coach may need to teach you techniques you don’t already know. Other entrepreneurs may need some help to come up with a plan of action. Or, all you may need is for your coach to give you a pep talk and point out you’re going off-target.

You should expect your business coach to ask questions, rather than switch on the monologue. I firmly believe that a good coach will get the client to do most of the talking. Because very often the client isn’t struggling with knowing what to do. They may just be lacking the courage or the confidence to take the steps they (deep down) know they need to take.

So let’s dig a little deeper and explore how working with a coach may look like for you.

A business coach can share tools and techniques with you

A good business coach will have a broad range of tools, techniques, and experience to draw on to help their client. So does this mean that by the end of the process, you’ll have the same exact skillset your coach has? That you’ll be ‘trained’ to do exactly what your coach did in their business and nothing else? Hopefully not, as I can tell you that’s probably not going to work. 

Because of my career background in project management and business development, I’ve worked in a variety of contexts – from solopreneurs to large organisations both in the private and public sector. I’ve seen a lot of businesses. And the most important thing I’ve learnt is that no business is the same. For me, retaining that sense of the individual in their business is the most important thing. A coach should want to work with you as an individual in and around your own context. The goal isn’t to turn you into them. A coach should never try to imprint a generic narrative onto you, and especially not treat you as a mini-me and push you down the path that they’ve chosen to take. 

A business coach can help you set (and stick to) financial goals

It always surprises me that a lot of business coaches don’t talk about the figures in someone’s business because for me that is just THE most-important metric to see how a business is doing. Of course, when it comes to building in priorities, I’ll always work into focusing on the things that are important to my clients, whether it’s profit, quality of life etc. But I honestly don’t see how you can add quality to a business without looking at profit margins, turnover, and business costs. These are factual measures of how a business is going.

Business Coaches for Entrepreneurs - how a business coach can help you. Photo of desk with a pink rose, a notebook, and a pencil. Jessica Fearnley Business Coach.

A business coach can help you work on your mindset

Mindset plays a huge role in how we view our businesses and how we feel about hem. As entrepreneurs, we tend to have a fixed narrative that can be really hard to change.

In fact, sometimes things can go surprisingly well in our business, and we can have a really hard time dealing with that. I’ve often said that in my business I’ve cried more when things are going well than when things are going badly! And I talked a bit more about this in my podcast episode: The Three Worst Mistakes I’ve Made In My Business: Going Into Debt. It may sound to you, but I think that when things are going badly, I have a category for that. When things are going well, on the other hand, that can be really overwhelming.

Often we don’t have the tools to deal with the fact that a successful business can indeed change us. And not always in the way that we expect. Money coming in can cause more overwhelm, especially if it happens quickly, and we feel we’re not ready to deal with it.

A business coach can help you hold on to your vision

Sometimes prospective clients approach me and tell me they need my help because they don’t know what to do. When I start digging a little deeper and working with them, I find out they often know exactly what to do. Except they don’t yet believe that what they’d love to do could be an attainable outcome or course of action for them. Often, as a coach, I find I have this overarching vision of where my client and their business are heading. But my client isn’t ready to see that yet. And my job is to hold tight to that vision for them because I can help them take the next steps to get where they want to and not get off-track.

The 3 goals I help my clients reach

If all of this can sound a bit theoretical, let me be more specific about the three main goals I help my clients with:

  1. Achieve more freedom.
  2. Make more money from your business.
  3. Find more of your ideal clients.

And I’ll tell you a bit more about what I mean by these, as they’re usually the reasons why my clients approach me for help.

Business coaches for entrepreneurs - how can a business coach help you? Jessica Fearnley. Business Coach.

Achieve more time freedom

If you listen to my podcast, The Business Club for Grown Ups podcast, or if you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know I’m very open about the fact that I suffered from burnout.

So it’s no surprise that dealing with (and minimising) overwork is one of the main reasons that brings people to work with me. I know how scary it feels to be overwhelmed by the burdens that your work puts on you. At the same time, you feel totally powerless about doing anything about it. The truth is, we’re never powerless. We always have a choice. And that’s especially true if you run your own business. Except that sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. So trying to work out a way that will help my clients work less hours and feel better about their quality of life is one of the key things I help my clients with.

Make more money from your business

Another aspect of running a business that I feel really passionate about is making money. And specifically, I help my clients make more money from their businesses. Because, frankly, when you feel and know you’re not making the money you should be making, it’s just soul-destroying. And not making money (or not enough money) isn’t sustainable for the long term. Let’s face it – making money is the primary function of a business! If you’re not bringing in any money, what are you doing with your time and your energy?

There are often a number of reasons why a business isn’t (yet) making enough money. The most common ones are that you’re not charging enough, you’re not selling the right product or service for the people in your audience, or your audience just doesn’t know about you yet. As a business coach, I find I can be quite clinical in diagnosing what the main issue(s) might be so that I can help my client to tackle them.

Find more ideal clients

One of the things I love the most is helping my clients find clients that are the perfect fit for their business. I’m sure you can think of at least one example that falls into this category – when you work with people who aren’t the right fit, you can experience all sorts of problem. Complaints, cancellations, disputes over invoices, negotiations over prices, etc. Working with people who get the value of your services, pay you on time, and give you brilliant testimonials is a whole different story! And the difference it makes to a business (and your morale) is huge.

Do you need my help?

When done well, business coaching can deliver huge results for an entrepreneur or business owner. I love being a business coach. I love doing the work I do and seeing the impact it has on my clients. And if you’re still not convinced about whether it may be beneficial for you at the stage of business you’re in, you can listen to my podcast episode What Does A Business Coach Do Anyway? Also, let me leave you with this short testimonial from one of my clients.

“Jessica is one of the few true business coaches in the world of business coaches. She has actual real-life business experience, which she puts to work in her coaching.”

So if any of the points in this post resonate or sound of interest, here’s an invitation. Would you like to work with me in 2019? Click here to find out about the ways you can work with me, and if you have any questions about how I might be able to help you, feel free to get in touch.