Many business owners that I have met have a misunderstanding of what coaching is all about. They argue that many of the business coaches do not run a successful business at all and do not have extensive business experience.
I do agree to a certain extent. However, let me clear up some misconceptions first. I would like to use an analogy which is written in the The Little Book of Big Coaching Models. In the book, the writer differentiates the different roles of that of a consultant, a counsellor, a mentor and a coach.
A consultant will advise you on the most appropriate car to drive.
A counsellor will try to address any anxieties that you have about driving.
A mentor will share their own driving experiences with you.
A coach will encourage you to get in and drive the car correctly.
Along our journey as a business owner, we would need the a mix between a consultant, a mentor as well as a coach. For instance, we need some help on marketing strategies for the business, we therefore engage a marketing consultant. We place mentors in our advisory board to help us make sound business decisions. We work with coaches to get clarity on our business issues as well as its solutions.
So, when is the appropriate time to engage a business coach? I sincerely believe that at any point of your business, you should have a business coach to work with you. It can be just a one-off session, or even for a few sessions. However, coaching requires time for the coach to build trust with the client, as well as have an understanding about the client and his business. As such, I would recommend my clients to work with me for a minimum of 6 months to a year, with the time between sessions made out to be between one or two weeks.