I think one has to earn the title of coach or consultant. I do NOT take these titles lightly. And, it saddens me to see it used so haphazardly these days. Have you noticed that too?
In fact, I didn’t start to call myself a coach or consultant until ~3 years ago.
I’d already been in the workforce for close to 17 years and strategizing with business owners for 5 years through Sage Wedding Pros with an additional 4 years if you include my time with Deloitte. (And – this doesn’t include my time as a founder/owner of 4 businesses.) I simply didn’t feel that I had earned it. NO this wasn’t imposter syndrome. This was me working to add value to my clients before claiming experience of something I didn’t yet have.
These titles are thrown around so easily these days. It loses the importance of people who truly bring value to a business owner.
And, BOTTOM LINE: I see far too many people invest in services that do not pay off.
I want you to use this list below as your roadmap before you hire your next coach or consultant. There are so many great people helping small business owners these days! Do your work to find a great consultant or coach for your business and you will see IMPRESSIVE changes in how your business works.
4 Questions to Ask Your Next Coach or Consultant:
- What experience do you have that directly ties to the job I’ll be hiring to you to do?
Ask for concrete examples of how that consultant has created a marketing strategy – or whatever you are hiring them to do (not just for themselves but for other business owners).
- What outside experience do you have that gives you a unique perspective?
Being an entrepreneur is experience enough. But I always like to see that someone brings something unique to my business. I don’t want to be like everyone else in my industry. Therefore, I want to know my consultant or coach can help me see the big picture.
- Can I have a few references?
You want to get references for people who have done the SPECIFIC work you want help with in your business. They may have great references in planning a wedding, but maybe they’ve never helped someone with the documentation of their systems. After, you have those references, research those business owners (listed as a reference) too. Do those businesses look like they have a solid business? Do you think the coach helped them? Email them and ask them about the work they did with the coach.
- What will I get from working with you?
What is the coach or consultant’s style? Is there a structured format? Or, is it more of a loose support session? It helps to go in knowing what your expectations are and if this person will be a match for those expectations.
What do you think? What has been a good question you asked when you hired a coach or consultant? How did you do your research when hiring someone to help guide your business?