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Why Businesses need Business Coaches
Business coaching is all about supporting a business to raise their game and take the next step - perhaps by increasing profitability, enhancing the competitive edge, creating the ideal conditions for the business’ long-term success and raising the business profile.
So what is the difference between a business coach and any other type of coach such as personal or leadership coaches? The main difference is in the focus: business coaches focus on business performance, capacity and capability. Business coaches look at strategy, finance, marketing, operations, personnel, productivity and profitability as well as leadership, team dynamics and personal performance. They take a holistic view of the business to understand how each part is integrated with the rest, and where the pressure points are within the business.
1.04 per cent of UK businesses failed in 2010 and the number of business failures in Britain is predicted to continue in 2012 as businesses struggle with the economy. But the picture isn’t entirely gloomy: current figures show in excess of 20% of SMEs are using coaching as part of their growth strategy1 and research consistently identifies coaching as adding to bottom line business Performance2.
But it’s not always about the short-term bottom line. SMEs like to use business coaches because they help the business to build resilience and better manage the rate of change; to transform into a continuously improving and learning organisation for future performance; to support the business leader get out of their people’s way to allow them make better decisions; to support the SME to run profitably without personnel having to chase the leadership for each and every individual decision.
Sometimes, it’s about providing a safe space and time-out to enable the leadership team to step back from the day to day minutiae of the business and look at the wider picture. And sometimes it’s about giving them the opportunity to talk openly and get help and support without feeling guilty, and without it being taken as a sign of weakness or ignorance.
SMEs need business coaches who can help drive the business forward, who can earn their keep by supporting the ambitions of the SME and who have the credibility of personal experience, not just the theory. This is where real-life experience counts. Being able to bring knowledge and ideas from a variety of industry sectors, and across different business models, is extremely valuable for business Leaders.
Sarah Coleman is an award-winning High Growth Business Coach helping organisations develop capacity and capability for sustainable growth and performance improvement. She specialises in organisational strategy and planning, and has extensive experience working in and with leadership teams. She is a Director at Business Evolution.
1 Auerbach, JE (2005) “Seeing the Light: What Organisations Need to Know About Executive Coaching”.