Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram and you suddenly see a sponsored post with someone who talks about how he/she can promote your business? So have I, and I genuinely wanted to know,” What does a business coach do?” As many of you know, I run a side business as a financial coach, we’ll chat about that in another post, and I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Watson, no relation to Sherlock’s bestie, in an online forum. Ben was professional, had amazing content, and I jumped at the chance to get to know what happened behind the scenes.
What is a business coach?
A business coach is a person who supports new entrepreneurs. Coaches can help in a variety of ways such as individual or group coaching sessions which are predominantly done online or through the phone. Some coaches provide supplemental materials such as blogs, videos, worksheets, and other information to provide entrepreneurs with the building blocks to create a successful business. Business coaches are also “thought partners” which provide entrepreneurs additional opinions or considerations on a product, service, or marketing plan.
How do you become a business coach?
There’s really no certifications to become a business coach, but ideally your business should be flourishing enough financially to take care of your needs. Generally speaking, there is a high demand as well as influx of business coaches to meet the demand. But, don’t let that discourage you from becoming one. Business coaches can become very niche according to the needs of their targeted audience. Let’s look at Ben’s example of how he got started.
Ben was fortunate to have worked both domestically and internationally with businesses and nonprofits. He began to see a strong need to provide business founders who had a lot of great heart, but not a strong business foundation. He then quickly obtained a CPA license to work with businesses to help owners reach their vision. Ben continued to see the need for strong financial literacy programs so he decided to begin financial coaching as well, offering one on one and couple support to help overcome financial management.
“I started financial coaching after seeing the tragic need of true ‘financial literacy’ in the world today. Unless someone had money-savvy parents to teach them, [someone] could become a CPA, Financial Advisor, or banker and still have absolutely no clue how to manage their money…”
What skills and experiences are needed as a business coach?
Ben shares that with his variety of positions over the years, the most important skills he learned included communication, organization, marketing, accounting, management, and even international relations. Ben really knows his stuff as an accountant and business coach. More importantly, Ben really cares. It’s very evident from talking with him that helping people is his passion and accounting and business coaching is an art he flourishes in.
Best practices for business coaches
Every coach has a distinct and unique perspective and skillset. Ben highlighted several overarching skills that I highlight in the graphic below. I also added a few!
- Provide personal experience of business practices in action
- Market your business to your ideal client
- Guide business owners through the marketing process
- Understand and apply sound management techniques
- Highlight areas to improve to allocate time and financial resources
- Provide relevant knowledge on sales techniques
Advice for Aspiring small business owners
Starting a business is extremely exciting, but can be incredibly daunting. Ben offers several services that I would recommend which help to refocus your business and iron out the details including a 2 hour “Strategy Session” which helps to outline the big picture ideas to get your vision moving forward. With his extensive knowledge of finances as a CPA, he also provides financial coaching for individuals and couples. Additionally, Ben offers services as a remote CFO for more developed organizations. You can see his website here.
How do I get started becoming a business coach?
Assuming you have an incredible love for people and communication, are highly organized, and have a solid business background and management, business coaching might be for you. You can start by taking in a few “trial” clients and express that in exchange for honest reviews you will provide business coaching for a limited time, perhaps three months. I strongly suggest that if you do not have any business background running a business, this is not the position for you. Additionally, if you are not licensed as a CPA or CFP, please refer any client with questions about taxes or investment decisions to a professional, like Ben or my good friend Chris Ball over at BuildFinancialMuscle.com. As you learn from these clients, tailor your onboarding process and begin to take on “paid” clients and organize your services and fee structure. And while you are thinking of it, check out this awesome “Small Business Launch Kit” created by Ben and another CPA. You can find Ben at his awesome website www.fiscalfluency.com.
Perhaps you are considering your options to become a small business owner but you don’t have the financial ability to overcome pesky student loans or credit card debt. If that’s the case, don’t miss out on my Money Master’s challenge, a free 5 day course helping you refocus your intentions, values, and providing you with quick lessons and printables to help reach your financial goals.