Yes, it takes courage to start a small business! There is a risk of not succeeding and thus facing the possibility of losing the startup investment. I am speaking about another type of courage, the courage to change direction, to ask for help when things aren’t going according to expectations.
Asking for help does not automatically brand you as a failure; it brands you as one who is smart and courageous enough to do the right thing. Several questions are usually in the minds of small business owners when it comes to seeking help:
- How do I know I am selecting the right person?
- Can I afford to have a coach help me?
The answer to the first questions is using common sense:
- Ask for references and call those references
- Look at the past work experience of your prospective coach
- Look at the type of coaching experience the person has. There is a lot of difference in working with a startup or small company and working within a large corporation. Large corporations are more open to the use of consultants and have a different need than a small business. (For this discussion a small business is under 100 employees).
- The needs of most small businesses fall in several categories: budgeting, marketing and business planning. Not all coaches are versed in all three areas. For example, a coach who is also a CPA may be able to help set up your books but may be very weak in marketing.
- Last but not least is how a prospective coach works with you in the implementation process.
The answer to the second question presents different options.
- Most coaches charge either on a per hour basis or a monthly retainer. Other fixed charges include the development of a business or marketing plan. (The development process does not include ongoing implementation support.)
- Like most businesses, a coach cannot charge a very small fee and make up the difference in volume. Perhaps the quoted hourly fee sounds very high, but figure that that there is preparation time prior to your meeting and then writing up the results of the meeting. A two hour meeting with your coach may be a four or five hour time frame for the coach.
- Some coaches will occasionally take on a new client for a percentage of the firm or a percentage of future profit. When this type of arrangement is available to you, take advantage.
In summary, have the courage to find and employ a coach. By doing so, you are giving your business the best chance for profitable growth and a bright future.
Take the attitude of a student; never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new. Og Mandino
Nick J. Petra CFP You will never know until you call how we can help grow your business. Reach me at www.strategicduck.com.
Make it a Successful today!