Hi everyone! After I wrote this blog, I went live on Facebook to go deeper into the six things you need to know about hiring a business coach. Click here to see the video.

Recently, I came across a post in a Facebook group asking about business coaching – namely, how does it work and is it worth it? What started as my brief reply turned into a full-length essay, so here are six tips I want everyone to know about hiring a coach.

1)   Some business coaches dive deep into the mindset and internal aspects of being an entrepreneur or small business owner (doubt, imposter syndrome, etc.), whereas others focus on skill set development and external aspects (defining your niche, marketing, etc.). And of course, many coaches take a hybrid approach – myself included. Make sure you’re clear on what you want so you can find the right coach for you.

2)   The success of the coaching experience has everything to do with the relationship established between the coach and client, and with the expectations they have of each other. In your search for a coach, I recommend investing some time in an initial session. It will give you an idea of how that coach works with clients, what expectations s/he has of you, and what you can expect from him/her. Many coaches offer an initial complimentary session, including me. I find it’s a perfect opportunity for each of us to determine whether we’re a good match.

3)   Packages are a normal business model for coaches. This is different from other helping professionals, such as therapists, where clients usually pay by the session. Personally, I prefer to contract for 6- or 12-month packages, because it often takes that much time to establish a relationship, clarify your vision, create your action plan, implement it, evaluate your results, and make tweaks as necessary. Occasionally, I may offer a 3-month arrangement, but only if it’s appropriate for the client’s goals. This is one area where coaches vary, so it’s okay to ask questions about their approach.

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4)   Along with packages comes package pricing, and again, it’s a standard business model for coaches to require payment in full at the start. Some coaches offer a payment structure involving a deposit before services begin and then a certain number of additional payments over time. If you’re interested in coaching but unable to make the full investment up front, it’s okay to ask about a payment structure – but understand that not every coach will agree to it.

5)   Sadly, there are a lot of coaches out there with little training and experience in coaching, but damn, they sure know how to market and sell their services. This leaves potential clients open to exploitation, which angers and saddens me to no end. While I know some excellent coaches who are “self-taught,” my bias is towards coaches who are certified through the International Coach Federation. (And I am definitely biased on this, as I am an ICF Associate Certified Coach.) This credential indicates that a coach has completed an accredited training program, participated in mentor coaching, and also has a certain number of coaching hours under their belt.

6)   Trust your intuition. No matter how good the coach looks on paper, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not.

Full transparency: I believe that great coaches have great coaches, and I practice what I preach. My coach has been invaluable in helping me grow my business and develop my entrepreneurial mindset. It’s not an understatement to say that coaching has changed my life, personally and professionally, and I love helping others achieve that same transformation.

If you want to learn more about my coaching approach (and whether it’s right for you), then let’s talk. Click here to get on my calendar, and we’ll spend 30 minutes exploring what’s going on in your world today, and what future you want to create.

Don’t forget – if you’re more into videos, check out my Facebook live all about this topic!