Home – New Forums Starting your journey Opinions on hiring a business coach to accelerate a new startup?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #983443
    Felle
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi all,

    I have done a search on how to hire a suitable business coach to help your new startup, but haven’t quite got a close match to the information that I’m looking for. So I thought I would post a thread here to ask for opinions.

    Background
    I have just started my own bookkeeping practice 3 weeks ago. I specialise in small businesses.

    As we all know, a business doesn’t exist just because you have got an ABN or registered business name. A business really exists when you have clients bringing in the revenue stream.

    The Issue
    Like all new startups, I run on a very careful and prudent budget. I have tried learning the essential new skills from books and articles.

    I had success with networking using LinkedIn, and have got my first client signed up for my service just 3 weeks after startup. Thanks to the books I have been reading and my strong commercial accounting experience, I was well-placed to impress the client with my professionalism and knowledge at the meeting.

    I know I have no problem with my presentation once I get the opportunity to meet the prospect face to face to discuss business.

    But I am looking for better opportunities to meet with business prospects. A friend of mine suggested using a business coach who specialise in networking, so that you can get introduced to suitable prospects quicker at networking events.

    Question
    What are some of the criteria you would look at when hiring a business coach to help bring in business prospects?
    Is there perhaps a business coach who may be specialised in bookkeeping practice?
    Would the cost of hiring a business coach justify the benefits that will bring to your business?
    Since I have already read a few books on how to market my services and how to bring in clients, how do I ensure that the business coach is not telling me the exact same things? (I’m guessing it might work if maybe the business coach can better advise the execution of these methods)

    Would appreciate to hear from your experiences :)

    #1142340
    Melanie Miller Biz Coach
    Member
    • Total posts: 90
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Felle,

    All business coaches work differently so the first thing you will need to know is how they coach:

    Do they used a set system for every client or do they customise a program

    Contracting a business coach to help you network in my opinion is a bad idea and a waste of your money. A business coach is the best value to you when they can assist you in setting up marketing plans, identifying the correct sales funnel, Setting up KPI’s with you etc.

    The main role of a business coach is to push you and keep you accountable to your goals. There is no doubt you will meet your goals a lot faster with a good business coach.

    In answer to your questions:

    A business coaches role is not to help you bring in prospects – they will help you look at strategies and keep you accountable to your prospecting efforts

    There are most definitely specialist business coaches available. The positive is that they know a whole lot more about your industry and have great knowledge
    The downside is they may also be working with all of your competitors and you may find you have a business run to system that does not suit you

    Justifying the cost depends on the business coach you find! Some are fantastic, some are awful!

    There is a very good chance the business coach will be telling you the same thing – once again, the value is in accountability. You will also have someone to bounce idea’s off, someone to get creative when you are stuck and someone who is not emotionally or financially invested in your business.

    #1142341
    CindyK
    Member
    • Total posts: 155
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Felle,

    What is your motivation for finding this person who can help you? I would pinpoint that first. And, I also agree with Melanie.

    Firstly: Are you wanting to expand your network? Learn how to network? Be exposed to more networks?

    Secondly: Do you hope that this person will teach you skills? Share networks with you? Help you convert acquaintances to sales?

    In my experience it takes a little while to get going in the industry you have chosen. Most of your clients will probably be word of mouth or from networking, which you have identified, but I am interested to see why you have decided you need a coach?

    There are many networking groups that you could benefit from including your bookkeeping industry group, Chamber of Commerce, Flying Solo, Toastmasters and networking groups like BNI. Also the networking groups from accounting softwares etc.

    If you are nervous meeting and speaking to people, you might need a coach, but not a business coach – also on your budget I would research more about networking skills and just get out there and meet people.

    Looking back I would say I could definitely have done more networking at the start up stage of my business, but putting money into how to do the networking wouldn’t have been particularly good, the asset is the actual networking. You need to find your own feet, know yourself and your product and then get out there.

    #1142342
    Jenny Spring
    Member
    • Total posts: 597
    Up
    0
    ::
    Felle, post: 162769 wrote:
    Hi all,

    I have done a search on how to hire a suitable business coach to help your new startup, but haven’t quite got a close match to the information that I’m looking for. So I thought I would post a thread here to ask for opinions.

    Background
    I have just started my own bookkeeping practice 3 weeks ago. I specialise in small businesses.

    As we all know, a business doesn’t exist just because you have got an ABN or registered business name. A business really exists when you have clients bringing in the revenue stream.

    The Issue
    Like all new startups, I run on a very careful and prudent budget. I have tried learning the essential new skills from books and articles.

    I had success with networking using LinkedIn, and have got my first client signed up for my service just 3 weeks after startup. Thanks to the books I have been reading and my strong commercial accounting experience, I was well-placed to impress the client with my professionalism and knowledge at the meeting.

    I know I have no problem with my presentation once I get the opportunity to meet the prospect face to face to discuss business.

    But I am looking for better opportunities to meet with business prospects. A friend of mine suggested using a business coach who specialise in networking, so that you can get introduced to suitable prospects quicker at networking events.

    Question
    What are some of the criteria you would look at when hiring a business coach to help bring in business prospects?
    Is there perhaps a business coach who may be specialised in bookkeeping practice?
    Would the cost of hiring a business coach justify the benefits that will bring to your business?
    Since I have already read a few books on how to market my services and how to bring in clients, how do I ensure that the business coach is not telling me the exact same things? (I’m guessing it might work if maybe the business coach can better advise the execution of these methods)

    Would appreciate to hear from your experiences :)

    Hello Felle

    Good questions!

    When I started my other business 10 years ago, I hired 2 businesses coaches. There were very good at accountability coaching and keeping me on track, and I definitely progressed when I worked with them. This is what a business coach does.

    I started my current business 12 months ago because I felt a big gap between a coach and what I thought I needed at that time. That gap is the skills required to drive a customer-driven startup.

    Here are my concerns for your startup (and it sounds like you are already realising these).

    To be a business owner, you need to develop your skill-set, as well as your drive to run your business. This skillset is extensive, and includes a strong working knowledge of your customer base, your product set and how it solves problems for these customers, how they will buy, what, when and so forth.

    A startup uses a set of hypotheses when building their business. However, if you set your hypotheses without guidance from someone who has a strong business background then you have a 30% chance of failure.

    There are new thought leadership for startups, and they are around the ability to drive to market quickly and effectively.

    In my consulting practice, I work with many small and micro businesses, and I’ve realized that although they call me a ‘coach’ I’m not. I’m an advisor.

    I think as a startup you have many questions, and you need answers. From real live business experience. It doesn’t have to be another book-keepers. Because most book-keepers you will find are self-employed, not business owners.

    I’m not at all dismissing the role of accountability coaches, far from it! But from what you’ve described you don’t have those needs.

    As I’m running a consulting/advisory company right now, my thoughts here may seem biased. However, they are based on what I experienced for 10 years, and also on what problems I solve for my current small business customers.

    I hope this helps.

    Jenny

    #1142343
    WendyC
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hello Felle,

    Well done on utilising LinkedIn for your business development. I think it is a great channel for anyone providing services such as accounting.

    Reading your post, my immediate thoughts are that you seem to be a self starter who likes to research business literature to learn and apply a broad range of business & marketing skills. So I see how you don’t wish to hire a coach to simply repeat what you already have learned.

    Having ran a business for many years, I certainly can identify with that, so I tend to view a business coach more as s person who will:

    • keep me accountable
    • be a soundboard
    • offer an alternative viewpoint

    In terms of criteria to look for, in your case, I would try to find someone who:

    • has experience coaching micro business and particularly accountants or other professional services
    • can demonstrate in a quantifiable way how other business have benefitted from their coaching services
    • will offer you a (free) introductory session so you can see whether you feel comfortable with him/her and confident he/she can assist you

    You say that your issue is that “you want to find better opportunities to meet prospects” which I would view as building a pipeline (a core marketing activity). You obviously are confident about your ability to “pitch” and I assume this is why you are hoping to meet prospects face to face at networking events. Have I understood that correctly?

    If so, it sounds like you are looking for someone who can help you plan and execute strategies which will help you build and nurture a pipeline of prospects. Networking is just one way of doing that. I actually wrote an article titled “new world networking for traditional professions” which you might find of interest.

    In terms of hiring a coach I would start by defining or articulating what you would consider a great outcome of hiring the coach (and I would be very specific about it including specifying a quantifiable objective and a time frame within which you want to achieve that outcome).

    Felle, I hope this is helpful. Just one final comment about LinkedIn.

    You say have already successfully used LinkedIn to find new prospects. Perhaps you should find out how you can use LinkedIn to generate more leads. For example by posting interesting articles and/or responding to other people’s posts as well as joining groups where you can interact and engage with prospects in a “non salesy” way. Think about helping others and adding value. Used correctly, social media networking can really help you build your profile, establish yourself as a thought leader and gain trust.

    Apologies for the rather long response. I hope it helps and wish you every success with your new business.

    Kind regards,
    Wendy Coombes
    Brite Kite Marketing

    PS I also noted on your web site that you don’t yet maintain a blog. I would recommend you learn a bit more about blogging and how you can use it in your marketing efforts. Posting great articles on your blog, is a great way to help you demonstrate your expertise.

    #1142344
    Gizmo
    Member
    • Total posts: 731
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hello,

    I would rethink it all.

    Do you need a business coach?
    Or a marketing company?

    To me sounds like you need more leads, more leads to me is marketing advisors/companies.

    #1142345
    AgentMail
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,741
    Up
    0
    ::

    I tend to agree with Gizmo. I really can’t see how a business coach can assist in the early days of your business. If I look at what my ‘thoughts’ were on my business in the first couple of weeks, compared to at the end of year 1 or 2, the differences are polar opposites.

    Can you really afford $1,000 a month for a sounding board and some accountability – At this stage, you would be better off finding a business associate, or someone you can meet up with on a regular basis, that wants some accountability themselves and have a structured one on one catch up. I have done this with great success.

    If you want to drive more sales, you need to get busy – pick up the phone, leaflet drops, networking events, advertising and on and on.

    You sound very switched on anyway, and you should harness the motivation that a new business gives you and blaze a trail.

    All the best.

    P.S. None of the above is meant to be an attach on business coaches, who I believe fill a very important role, and was meant only as my opinion based on my own experiences

    #1142346
    Jodie McLeod
    Member
    • Total posts: 345
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Felle,

    We asked your question on Facebook, and it received heaps of interesting responses. Check them out here.

    Best of luck!

    Jodie

    #1142347
    Burgo
    Participant
    • Total posts: 2,104
    Up
    0
    ::

    OK fr what its worth, Business Coaches can be great in helping you develop your business.

    Your a Bookkeeper why dont you go and visit all the accountants in a 10 klm radious leaving your business cards.

    Accountants these days are usually too busy to do bookkeeping and outsourse, go for the small operstions not the large firms and let us know how you go

    #1142348
    SheInspires
    Member
    • Total posts: 247
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’ve worked with business coaches and it’s been great for me and my business. I look for one with a wealth of their own experience – and it doesn’t have to be in my area or field – and someone who is a lateral and creative thinker.

    Personally I’ve found working with individual business coaches to be better than the franchise groups but that’s because I want the thinking out of the box not routine things. I like working with business coaches for the creative solutions, the smart ideas that help me grow.

    As for networking I think it is a great thing to do for your business and ideal for you to find out directly who your real customers are and what they are looking for – letting you hone your pitch. Listening is so important and that’s done best face to face.

    Here are some tips on networking http://www.sheinspires.com.au/business/9-top-networking-tips that you might find useful.

    Do remember, if you are out or short of business cards to take some other printed collateral along with you – there’s little worse than a missed opportunity or looking disorganised with cards.

    I think Burgo’s idea is great too – connecting with your local accountants. Building up relationships with them is ideal.

    #1142349
    winnersignite
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    Up
    0
    ::
    Melanie Miller Biz Coach, post: 162941 wrote:
    Hi Felle,

    All business coaches work differently so the first thing you will need to know is how they coach:

    Do they used a set system for every client or do they customise a program

    Contracting a business coach to help you network in my opinion is a bad idea and a waste of your money. A business coach is the best value to you when they can assist you in setting up marketing plans, identifying the correct sales funnel, Setting up KPI’s with you etc.

    The main role of a business coach is to push you and keep you accountable to your goals. There is no doubt you will meet your goals a lot faster with a good business coach.

    In answer to your questions:

    A business coaches role is not to help you bring in prospects – they will help you look at strategies and keep you accountable to your prospecting efforts

    There are most definitely specialist business coaches available. The positive is that they know a whole lot more about your industry and have great knowledge
    The downside is they may also be working with all of your competitors and you may find you have a business run to system that does not suit you

    Justifying the cost depends on the business coach you find! Some are fantastic, some are awful!

    There is a very good chance the business coach will be telling you the same thing – once again, the value is in accountability. You will also have someone to bounce idea’s off, someone to get creative when you are stuck and someone who is not emotionally or financially invested in your business.

    Great to read this honest open thread, in particular it is not the position of the coach to bring in prospects…..

    One of the greatest areas I see small business needing coaching in is how to connect online then bring in the clients from this area … Let’s face it all your clients will go online to check what value you are adding..

    It is here learning how to connect and market yourself online which will generate more followings …. and to do that be coached by some one who is already making it happen online.

    You could also look at developing your own mobile app to share and add value for your prospective clients.

    #1142350
    Stuart Ayling
    Member
    • Total posts: 19
    Up
    0
    ::

    Felle, in your post you are asking all the right questions. Just make sure you actually ask potential coaches/advisers the questions and listen to their answers before you make a decision.

    From what you say you are seeking specific type of advice, so you’ll need to look closer than just asking for a ‘business coach’ as coaches come from a variety of backgrounds.

    #1142351
    OnlineMarketingPrincess
    Member
    • Total posts: 15
    Up
    0
    ::

    Felle

    I would highly recommend you speak with Linda http://www.athenacoaching.com.au/
    Linda ran a very successful bookkeeping business for many years before becoming a business coach. Check out her site and even call her for a quick chat. She can give you very specific advice regarding your business.

    Good luck!

    #1142352
    coreytopp
    Member
    • Total posts: 22
    Up
    0
    ::
    AgentMail, post: 163003 wrote:
    I tend to agree with Gizmo. I really can’t see how a business coach can assist in the early days of your business. If I look at what my ‘thoughts’ were on my business in the first couple of weeks, compared to at the end of year 1 or 2, the differences are polar opposites.

    Can you really afford $1,000 a month for a sounding board and some accountability – At this stage, you would be better off finding a business associate, or someone you can meet up with on a regular basis, that wants some accountability themselves and have a structured one on one catch up. I have done this with great success.

    If you want to drive more sales, you need to get busy – pick up the phone, leaflet drops, networking events, advertising and on and on.

    You sound very switched on anyway, and you should harness the motivation that a new business gives you and blaze a trail.

    All the best.

    P.S. None of the above is meant to be an attach on business coaches, who I believe fill a very important role, and was meant only as my opinion based on my own experiences

    Totally agree, to begin with all you need is someone who you can meet to keep each other accountable. I meet with an associate once a month who is amazing for business systems and productivity, but needs help with his online marketing. It’s a match made in heaven, we give each other so much value and it’s all for free.

    You should be able to find a similar partnership. If you don’t know anyone maybe put the word out on social media or even on these forums.

    Good luck!

    Corey

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.