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If your business is doing well in this competitive market, congratulations! You must be doing something right. The question is, is business as good as it could be? A good way to test that theory is to bring in some outside business counsel to scan the landscape and see if there is more you could do to expand and grow even more.

Why would I need a business coach?

If your business is doing well in this competitive market, congratulations. You must be doing something right. The question is, is business as good as it could be? A good way to test that theory is to bring in some outside business counsel to scan the landscape and see if there is more you could do to expand and grow even more.

That opinion is usually comes from a business coach. The art of business coaching expands your field of vision. An objective and outside assessment from another professional may see things from a different perspective. The value in an effective coach can help an entrepreneur see optional approaches to business issues that may be found in other industries. These “crossover” options can bring in some new creativity in marketing. It’s the broader perspective a business person can’t always find on their own, according to Geoff Williams at American Express.

What will a coach do for me?

Few high achievers reach their goals without someone who has been there and help guide and way to success. Great coaches offer their experience, and ask a lot of questions. Part of the coaching process is to encourage their clients to think about their business in new ways and new lights. Not all business enterprises benefit from coaches. In some cases, individual contributor operations have found business coaching to be helpful. Phoenix, AZ sculptor, Kevin Caron, hired a business coach when his art just wasn’t gaining traction. His coaching really paid off.

“I’m probably the last kind of business owner in the world anyone would expect to have a business coach,” the artist said. He admitted his business would not have taken off the way it did without the vision his coach brought to him.

How do I choose a coach?

In order to choose a coach, you need to be ready to work with one. That means asking yourself what you need and want help with.

• Define your goals. A business coach can offer specific or general advice. Determine those areas in which you need the most help, and make a commitment to finding a qualified expert.

• Consider someone with a mix of backgrounds. You don’t necessarily need someone in your exact business, but you also don’t want to go too far afield. Sometimes a parallel background can offer some interesting insights.

• Get someone outside of your immediate circle of friends and family. While you have people around you that wish you the best, it is better business to hire someone who is not your friend or in your professional circle. Keeping the relationship purely objective is best. You want your coach willing to tell the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

• Make sure you can communicate comfortably. Not all personalities click. You and your coach don’t need to become friends, but you do need to be able to communicate comfortably, openly and with respect. Personalities don’t always click. At the same time, neither the coach nor the client should feel intimidated by the other.

• Don’t be limited by geography. With the current technology, you can take advantage of having a wide range of choices for the best fit for you and your business. References and browsing through the resumes online can help you find a coach with the expertise and skills you’re looking for.

Smart business people understand the need to look for outside perspective. It is important to remember that good business coaching is a process. You and your coach will work closely together to refine your objectives.