How do you think that Steve Redgrave won his 5 Gold medals for Rowing in consecutive Olympics?
How do you think that Paula Radcliffe set the World marathon record for a female?
How do you think that Alistair Brownlee won his Triathlon Gold medal in the 2012 Olympics?
You could say they all have an inherent athletic ability.
You could say that they all trained hard over most of their lives.
How did they really attain their elite performance?
They had help, from a coach.
But do you have help to get your best performance from a Business Coach?
Google ‘business coach’ and you’ll probably get a similar response to this.
That’s 117 million results!
Thankfully there’s ‘only’ 128 if you narrow it down to “business coach+Surrey” but that is still a lot.
This suggests, to me, that many people think you should have a coach, as they’re are plenty of suppliers who would only supply to an active industry that is in demand.
But should you have a business coach?
If we discount opinion, there is plenty of evidence that shows how a coach can help you improve your performance. Just look at the names I gave you above, all elite athletes, all with coaches who helped them get there. But does elite level athletics coaching translate into business.
Well as an athletics coach and business coach, I’d say yes.
So ask yourself the question…
Why don’t you have a business coach for yourself, for your business?
As a British Triathlon coach I know there is a world of difference in the type of coach you have for a local club versus Regional Development Squad versus National Development Squad. And as a result, performance differs between these levels of athletes, tremendously.
At grass-roots level, generic fitness and basic technique is all that is needed. Whereas at National level there is swim stroke coaching, endurance coaching, run efficiency coaching and that’s before we even begin to look at bike techniques. Then outside of the physicality we have sports psychologists and nutritionists who are all part of the team that make an elite athlete.
Conversely, if I look at businesses and business owners.
Many don’t even have business coach, least of all one for their specific needs at their stage of growth.
Some business owners do read one or more of the hundreds of business performance books.
But like many sports stars, you need to know when you need a new coach to take you to the next level and what coaching you need to get there.
For example, the coach that gave you marketing advice to grow your revenue from £100,000 to £1m is less likely to grow your business revenue to £5m and is highly unlikely to help you attain £50m in annual revenue.
Likewise the coach that put together your first employee handbook, is less likely to know what to do when you have 200 employees.
In my business, I know how to help entrepreneurs to grow their business up to around £6.5m, sometimes more depending on the product or service. But after this there becomes a new set of challenges and whilst I know how to deal with them, I prefer not to.
I know I’m a round peg.
And I don’t try and squeeze into a square hole.
The other aspect to consider is the specialism of the business coach, be it industry or product. For example, I personally focus on working with technology, engineering, building, retail and hospitality sectors.
Because I’ve worked in and with these sectors for nearly 20 years and know these markets very well.
Obviously, we have other sector specialities within the team. But if you want my advice, I know where I can add a lot of value rather than a bit of value.
My expertise is obvious finance, but also operations and product development. Again, this is because I’ve had the experience working directly in these sectors. So if you want sales or marketing advice about a product in the financial services sector then sorry, you won’t work with me, but I can point you in the direction of someone extremely capable.
The stage that your business is in is also very important.
Expertise comes from knowing both the size of the business, the size of the opportunity and importantly where your business is in relation to this.
I’m sure you’ve heard about ‘business lifecycle ‘ and seen the journey your business will go on.
My point is that depending on the stage that your business is in a different set of skills are required. And a different set of skills comes from a different business coach
Hopefully your skills will mature and grow as your business does. But just like some entrepreneurs love the startup stage and can’t work in a mature company, they same is true with business coaches.
Personally, I love both startups and high growth businesses because I really enjoy working with driven entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to take a risk, to sky rocket the performance of their business.
Equally, I love the rebirth from turning around a declining company. But if you’re in a mature business who’s growth isn’t in double digits year on year and you’re happy with that performance, I won’t enjoy working with you.
Getting the right coach at the right time will work. It will help you unblock the blockages and that will really help your business to grow.
This is what I do with our clients and this is why I am one of the select few chosen by Richard Branson and his team to be part of Virgin Start Up.
Why was I chosen?
- To help to change the prospects of startups for good
- To provide guidance and help entrepreneurs, like you, to achieve their goals and realise their potential.
- To help entrepreneurs to understand problems, identify solutions and implement plans to overcome them.
But does having a business coach really work in business?
I wouldn’t be a Virgin Mentor, if I didn’t believe in it.
If you know you want to improve your business performance but are not sure where to start why not contact me for an informal conversation.