Business coaches are a lot like personal trainers. People turn to them when they need help reaching their goals.

Hard work means a lot in business, and it can get business owners pretty close to where they want to be. Most often, it’s the final small step toward success that is the hardest. A coach can help you get there.

Compare this logic to your health and fitness goals. Yeah, you’re cutting the fats and carbohydrates from your diet and you’re hitting the gym three times a week, but you can’t seem to lose those last five pounds.

A personal trainer will work with you to make sure you maximize your gym time and perfect your diet. Success. You reach your ultimate fitness goal.

Just like gym visits, business-coaching sessions aren’t always easy and they can be a little painful. And just like a personal trainer, a business coach can only help your business if you’re ready for change and willing to admit fault

The coach’s job is to show you the mirror. People often know when something isn’t right, but they choose to look past it. A business coach can help you identify your problem and push you to succeed because they bring a professional, outside perspective, honest feedback and tested strategy to move you to the next level of success.

Before hiring a business coach, there are five important questions to ask:

  1. Can this coach do what he says he can do? – Talk with the business coach about his or her abilities, and then ask to talk with his or her clients. Their feedback will give you a greater sense of the coach’s abilities.
  2. Will this coach actually do what he says he will do? –  Research the coach’s prior clients and look for a track record of success.
  3. Is this person someone I want to work with? – Plan an in-person meeting with your prospective coach to make sure you jive. If you hire him or her, you’ll have to work together through challenging discussions and situations to build your team and your business.
  4. Does this coach serve my genre? – Find a coach who has experience in your business type. Not necessarily industry-specific, because often times lessons can cary from industry to industry, but more so size specific. Some coaches, like me, focus on entrepreneurial businesses while others work with large corporations. What works for a small $5-20 million business may not apply to a multi-billion dollar corporation.
  5. Can I afford the time and money required for a coach? – Prepare to invest in your company’s success. Some coaches charge hourly and cost between $300 and $500 an hour. Others charge monthly and cost between $24,000 and $60,000 a year.

The cost varies by the amount of contact you receive. Some sessions with your coach may only be an hour long while others last all day. Some coaches meet monthly and others prefer quarterly meetings. Figure out what works for you before you price it out.

Overall, look for coaches who put the client first.

In my experience that means he or she doesn’t:

  1. Charge for your service until after the service is performed
  2. Require you to sign a contract
  3. Force you to pay what’s on your invoice unless you feel the service warranted the price.

Author and motivational speaker Anthony Robbins said: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

That statement is especially true when discussing reaching business and fitness goals. A coach can help you do more than what you’ve already done, but you must be willing and ready to grow.


This article was originally published in Business News Daily.

Photo credit:  <a href=””>Chris Hunkeler</a> via <a