The first two quarters of 2020 have been in a word, exhausting. As a business owner you have been tested like never before. You may have seen your business closed or heavily restricted. You may have had to lay-off or furlough employees and had to transitioned teams to remote working environments. You may have had the virus strike someone close to you or had employees infected. You are now facing the aftermath of both the viral pandemic, and the disruptions of the recent community unrest and protests. Small businesses are challenged with many obstacles but rarely have business owners been faced with so many disruptions in such a short time frame. Many business owners feel 2020 is just a streak of bad luck and have resigned themselves walk away to minimize their losses.

2020 started out of the gates with great hope for most who were riding the wave of positive economics outlooks world-wide. Just like a gambler on a hot streak however, most business owners saw Lady Luck leave the building abruptly. For some it was has been very dramatic and have been crippled by being dealt a series of bad hands. This turning of the tables has left small businesses globally grasping at straws. Some businesses were devastated due to forced closures and others due to the inability to handle uncontrolled demand. Businesses at both ends of the spectrum have left business owners battered.

To turn the tide business owners have turned to their financial and legal advisors, family members, peers and colleagues for advise. Advise has come from many sources.  Now, even more dazed by the fire hose of information, statistics, news and opinions,  business owners  are looking for a beacon of impartiality and expertise to turn to sort it all out. Face it, it’s time to get a COACH to get your back in the game.

Now is the time to turn 2020 around. Instead of resigning yourself to and accepting defeat, there is still time to save the year and your business. Keep in mind that hiring a business coach should not be relegated to businesses which are struggling or failing. Rather, businesses that are thriving and/or experiencing steady growth find hiring a business coach can manifest faster and an even more dramatic upward trajectories of their business.

With two quarters left, there is no time to waste. Go all in today. Double down on success and take bold steps to make 2020 a record-breaker for your business.

Now is the best time to get a BUSINESS Coach because there are so many opportunities. The best and most successful businesses people work with a coach. Olympic and professional athletes work with a coach. Why shouldn’t your business take advantage of expertise to propel your business forward so that 2020 is your best year ever! Why should your business get an edge?

How do you start? Do your homework.

A business coach is not a consultant. It’s not a short-term strategy to deploy to patch a hole in your operation. A business coach is a partner who will give you objective counsel and help you make lasting change in your business. A business coach will help you fend off pending threats and assist you in insulating your business from future disruptions. This is a long-term, business investment. Not unlike your legal and financial specialist which you rely on for specific expertise, a business coach is going to help you see opportunities in your business that you may have overlooked or been blind too.

Finding a reputable business coach requires research and vetting. It requires a willingness to be open to change. It requires fortitude and determination to see the long-term vision instead of focusing on short-term gains that will not last. Ultimately, finding the right business coach is key. You have to find someone that you can build a relationship with and one you can trust with one of the most important things in your life, your business.

So, what should you look for when vetting a business coach? Like interviewing a key employee for your business, choosing a business coach should be a measured and thoughtful process. Here are key areas to consider when determining which business coach to hire.

  1. A good coach is self-aware and is a student as much as a teacher.
  2. A good coach brings specific and well-defined issues to your attention without judgement or bias.
  3. A good coach is prepared for each session and models the behaviors they coach.
  4. A good coach treats individuals as partners and is candid and objective with feedback and input.
  5. A good coach knows how to assess the strengths and weaknesses within an organization and points out “sacred cows” that need to be questioned.
  6. A good coach makes expectations clear at the beginning of the coaching session so that agreements and plans stay on track.
  7. A good coach allows enough time to adequately discuss issues and concerns and fosters two-way effective communication.
  8. A good coach seeks out ideas, is open to input from all sources not just the leader in the organization.
  9. A good coach listens and observes; they don’t blame or criticize.
  10.  A good coach expresses encouragement and optimism when facing both easy and difficult issues.
  11. A good coach directly asks for a commitment to solution-based strategies before proceeding to another issue or concern.
  12. A good coach provides resources, authority, training and support. They are armed with expertise and solution-based systems and processes to implement change.
  13. A good coach offers support and assistance to those he or she is coaching to help them and works hand-in-hand to implement agreed upon courses of action.
  14. A good coach follows up on coaching sessions and measures results.
  15. When solutions do not turn out as expected, a good coach proactively helps to define alternative actions and doesn’t focus on failure.

Great coaches do all of the above and add creativity to the mix. They challenge you to think differently and don’t give you all the answers. They inspire, motivate and challenge. Great coaches understand that business life and personal life in today’s world are co-mingled and both have to be addressed to find lasting solutions to stick. Great coaches have fun and spread a sense of possibility into everything the do. Great coaches help you see what you have long struggled to bring into focus.

There is a misconception that business coaches have to have long and elaborate business pedigree. Sure, business coaches understand business fundamentals and processes, but what they are experts at building relationships and are effective facilitators. They teach more than the tell and they foster a sense of empowerment in their clients. Anyone can call themselves a business coach, but great coaches are proud to provide you a full resume which includes certifications and proof of professional training.

So, if you aren’t ready to cash in your chips and leave the table, get a business coach that can help you take command of the hand you have been dealt. A business coach will help you see your competitors’ tells, and evaluate the risks of trying to bluffing or raising the stakes. As the blinds get bigger and the other players fade, your business coach will keep you steady and get you to the final table.

Hiring a business coach isn’t a gamble. It is a wise choice to raise your game. It’s a savvy investment that will help you cash in on profits in 2020 and beyond.

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