What You CAN Expect from Coaches and Consultants

Feb 17, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

coaches

I get asked the question a lot about how we are different from other coaches and consultants.  Many times, small business owners have had a bad experience with a coach or a consultant and they are hesitant to spend their hard earned money if it isn’t going to help them.

Here are some of the biggest concerns small business owners express about their past experiences:

  • The last coach I had just asked me a bunch of questions.  They really didn’t know anything about business but tried to convince me that I knew everything I needed, they just had to ask the right questions to pull it out.
  • Consultants come in and pretend they are reviewing your business, but then, give you the same cookie cutter suggestions they give to everyone.  It is nothing more than a high priced template.
  • I had a consultant who assessed my business, gave a bunch of solutions, and then they were gone.  They may have been correct but they didn’t stick around to see if we were capable of executing on them.

The list goes on and on where coaches and consultants are at one extreme or the other.  They either hang around to help and guide but do not have the technical expertise, or they drop off some plans and suggestions without any consideration to the company’s ability to execute.

Now, no coach or consultant can make a client execute or change things if they do not want to change.  We do not have that authority, nor should we.  However, there is a difference in helping you to execute when you do want to follow the plan.

When we were developing the coaching models for Crossroads, we read all of the coaching and consulting how to’s.  Honestly, I couldn’t pull off any of the suggested models as I had been in the place of the small business owner who was disgusted with consultants.  I didn’t want to be one of those consultants that the rest of the company dreaded coming in the door.

I also learned that many coaches would coach in areas they didn’t know.  That was disturbing on a whole new level, especially if you are calling yourself a small business coach.  The business owner expects you to have some business expertise.

What to Expect from Coaching

We are constantly evolving, but here are the important components to helping small business owners.  This is what you as a small business owner should be able to expect.

  1. Technical knowledge in the area the business owner needs help.
  2. People skills that will make your team feel supported and helped, not threatened.
  3. A full understanding of your business and the struggles and opportunities you are facing.
  4. The issues you have in executing change and the ability to help you through them.
  5. Follow through and commitment that if part of the plan isn’t working, they will be there to help analyze and adjust the plans as needed.

Many consultants sell a sure fire plan to fix your business and if it doesn’t work, then you messed it up.

Others tell you they want a relationship with you, at least until they drop off their report.

In my experience, we all could use a business coach to help us navigate our own business development. Even if you have a broad business background, it is important to have someone to bounce ideas off of and someone to talk through issues with.

I have used coaches and consultants myself.  And, just like you, if I experience the drive by cookie cutter business solution drop off, I am frustrated.

What to Expect from Crossroads

  1. We want to make sure we understand your vision, the long-term picture.  We know you may not be there yet, but we want to make sure we help you head in the right direction.  Understanding where you want to go is the key to making sure the solutions we recommend will be effective.
  2. We try to get to know your team.  The only way we can provide solutions that you will be able to use is by understanding and knowing the people that will make it happen.  If that is only you, then we need to understand the limitations on your time.  If you have a team, even a small team, we need to work effectively with them if they are to help you.
  3. We really execute like we are part of your team.  Every discussion is what can “we” do to take advantage of this or to fix that.  We are all in and fully committed and consider ourselves part of your “we.”
  4. We have a variety of technical skills on our team so we can fill in if you are missing a technical skill on your team.  We have experience and education in finance, marketing, recruiting, strategic planning, communicating,  employee relations, etc.
  5. It is important to us that your business is moving towards the long-term vision and that it is improving sales and/or profits.  Most business owners do not have a goal to make less money.  Even if that isn’t the main goal, a healthy business is financially strong.  We want to make sure you are growing or maintaining healthy financial metrics.  We measure our success by having your financial performance improve in excess of the cost of coaching in a reasonable period of time.

At Crossroads, we are committed to working with Christian business owners who want to follow God in their business and that seek to achieve His vision for their business.

We want true success and to us true success is seeing business owners find and follow God’s plan for their business.

In addition to business expertise, we are praying with our clients and looking to God ourselves for direction on how we are to help others.

Whether it is us or any other coach or consultant, review the lists above and make sure you will truly get the help you seek.  There are many others who have both the abilities and the desire to walk with you through the growth of your business.

And regardless of whether you have a coach or consultant at any given time, please know that God cares about your business, and seek Him for your vision and your support.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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