Have you ever found yourself caught up in a trend just because it’s the popular thing to do, only to realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be?
Hiring a business coach can be a bit like that.
On the surface, the idea of having a business coach seems like a great one. As a CEO, it can be difficult to navigate the challenges of leadership and development, and it’s easy to question whether you’re headed in the right direction. With the pressure to successfully scale your business, bringing in a business coach can appear to be a logical choice.
But business coaching is not a magic solution.
While changing mindsets, setting goals, and client-based development are all significant components of coaching, there’s more to it than that. Fixating on growth without having the proper foundation first can have disastrous results.
A company cannot properly scale if it doesn’t have the right foundations in place… just like adding additional stories onto a building that cannot support the load.
You should have your systems and processes dialled and documented, the right team – meaning the right people doing the right things, and the right tools all running smoothly.
I once witnessed a company that was seen as a success through a business coach. They had some shiny marketing goals, they were a seven-figure business, and on the surface, they looked like they were doing everything right. But on the back end, their operations were a disaster.
They didn’t have any processes written down or mapped out, so when their Project Manager had an unexpected medical leave of absence – the business nearly crumbled to the ground. I mean, they didn’t because the owners had to step in and work 60-hour weeks to try to keep the business even functioning.
They were trying to juggle all these goals that had nothing to do with their business specifically, yet they didn’t have the foundations worked out to support more growth.
I’ve also seen and worked on teams where the team (including myself) were groaning every time the CEO met with a ‘business coach’ because it meant more outrageous ideas that would then need to be implemented – STAT – but there were not enough resources or planning to do so.
In another case, when a CEO had to step down, it became clear that nothing was delegated to their team so that the transition could be smooth. The CEO had their fingers in all the pies, so from an operations standpoint, nothing could work without them. There was no one to answer any questions as the CEO was the only source of information.
If you want to scale your business, you CANNOT ignore the basics that lay a solid foundation.
It is important to remember that success is not just about achieving shiny marketing goals or hitting a certain revenue target. True success comes from having a solid base and strong operations in place that can support growth sustainably.
To support scaling, you must have a solid team with an onboarding system to align employees to your values and goals, and you must ensure your team members are being utilized effectively. Moreover, as a leader, it is important to have trust in your team and empower them to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This will not only create a more positive work environment and team culture but will also allow you to step back and work on the bigger picture, rather than constantly putting out fires and micromanaging.
You need to have systems in place and documented to streamline your operations, and most importantly, your business should not crumble if you completely unplug and go on vacation, or even if you step away from your business entirely.
While business coaches can be a great tool, only companies that are ready to scale will truly benefit. The CEOs have growth mindsets for creating new goals AND they have – or are willing to learn – the leadership skills to back it up. They are supportive of their team while implementing these goals, and most importantly, the entire company isn’t resting on the CEO’s shoulders, or rather – the CEO is willing to let go.
I’ve seen many ‘business coaches’ who do not get great results for their clients. I’ve seen many businesses who have hired a ‘business coach’ to then be no further ahead and instead down a lot of money.
And I say ‘business coach’ as there is zero regulation on the term or industry. Anyone can call themselves a ‘business coach’. In fact, I see many people who have successfully scaled their ONE business then turn around and offer business coaching simply on the reigns that they did it once and know what they’re doing… for their only niche and business plan.
How would that translate to your business? Well, unless you want to exactly replicate what they built… it won’t.
True business coaching is led by the CEO – not taught by the coach.
In other words, a business coach is not a one-size-fits-all solution to every business problem. They can provide guidance, but it is up to the CEO to take action and lead the company towards growth and success. It’s also essential for CEOs to have a clear understanding of what they hope to achieve through coaching. It’s up to the CEO to determine the specific goals and objectives for the coaching sessions. You will need to be truly honest with yourself about how your company is doing, and whether you have the capacity to set additional goals. You need to ask yourself if your business and your team are truly ready to scale in new ways. Without a clear vision, the coaching process may not be as effective as it could be and could leave you more frustrated than you were before.
Leading a business can be challenging when it comes to the pressure of scaling, and keeping up with the fast-paced demand of success. So from an outside perspective, it seems logical to bring in a business coach for additional guidance.
Business coaching is great when it comes to positive mindsets and developing new goals and strategies. But the truth is, if your business lacks the foundational support needed for scaling, a business coach can be far from helpful. The first step is to examine your operations, systems, and processes and make sure they’re running like clockwork. You also need to ensure your team has the capacity for new goals and that you are supporting them along the way. It’s key to know your business inside and out so the objectives you make through a business coach are effective. And always make sure your business can survive without you should you go on vacation or step away.
If you’re wondering whether you have a solid foundation and if your business is running as smoothly as it can be, I can help! Reach out to me to find out more!