Every now and then, your small business is going to run into challenges and obstacles. They are often best solved with the help of a business coach. But how to find a veteran-owned business coach who can fully appreciate the unique challenges you are facing?
Here’s a quick five-step guide to finding the perfect veteran-owned business coach. One with the right traits and attributes to guide your small business to success.
#1: A veteran-owned business coach who can change the way you view the world
Many business coaches start off with an inspirational pep talk. Hoping to get you excited about changing your business. But they often leave out an important part. How to actually change your business. Thus, the first thing to look for in a veteran-owned business coach is someone who not only inspires you. But also helps you change the way you think about problems facing your company.
What’s helpful about working alongside a fellow veteran is that he/ she shares many of your same experiences. And that means they will be able to frame your problems in terms that you can understand best. Rather than using business jargon that you may not be unfamiliar with. A veteran-owned business coach can use terminology and examples that tap into your own military experience.
#2: Someone who knows what makes your business unique
Too many business coaches try to offer generic business advice that might apply to many different industries. Instead of finding out what makes your business unique. They instead focus on telling you what you might already know. That’s why it’s imperative to find one who can understand what makes your business different.
There are several key areas to focus on: people dynamics, business processes, and the customer experience.
Take, for example, business processes. It could be the case that your business processes are markedly underperforming those of your competitors. Maybe your competitors have a much more effective logistics supply chain. And can avoid the type of inventory stock outs that you routinely encounter.
Or maybe your rivals have figured out a way to source materials at a much cheaper price than you. Those are key aspects of your business that are good to know and unique to your own industry.
Or, it could be the case that the customer experience needs to be improved. It could be the case that you are creating a great product. But it’s simply too difficult or complex for your customer to buy it. Your e-commerce website may need a refresh if customers are abandoning their shopping carts.
In this case, it would be helpful to find a veteran-owned business coach who can help with these specific issues.
#3: A coach who can advise on the implementation process
It’s one thing to hire a veteran-owned business coach who can advise on the top-down theory from a 30k foot perspective. It’s quite another thing to find a coach who can actually guide you through all the steps of implementation. In many ways, this is the difference between theory and practice.
Your goal as an entrepreneur is to get from Point A to Point B. And so it’s crucial that your veteran-owned business coach has a roadmap in mind. It’s rarely a straight line from Point A to Point B.
So where are all the steps along the way that are needed to get you to your final destination?
The roadmap for success will guide you through all the intermediary steps between A and B. Ensuring that you are on the path to future success.
#4: Someone who can propose realistic timelines
If you’re thinking that you’re going to fix your business overnight, think again. When there is a significant problem that you need to fix, it could take weeks. If not months, to sort everything out. So beware of any business coach who suggests that all necessary changes can be done in just a few days.
If that’s the case. It could be that the coach has not found the reasons your business is not performing as planned.
When you’re “selling” the solution to your team. You need to have trust that you are working with realistic timelines. There’s nothing worse than thinking that you’ve fixed a problem. Only to see a similar problem pop up within a few weeks.
Not only does this mean that you might not have hired the right business coach. It also means that you could be facing a credibility gap with your team.
#5: A business coach who can make unpopular decisions
Just as in the military, the best business decision is not always the most popular decision. There’s sure to be a bit of pain and dislocation involved as you fix the problem. It could mean changing the roles of people on your team. Or perhaps changing the way you do business.
That process of change is rarely comfortable. And also the reason why it’s so important to bring in an outsider with a third-party perspective. For all the same reasons why change might appear so hard to you. Change might appear very easy to an outside business coach.
For example, say that you have a long-time relationship with an important stakeholder in your business. This might be an investor or a key account. It might be very hard for you to take a dispassionate view of any problems. But a business coach can take the emotion out of the decision-making process.
Thus, as you can see, it’s important to hire the right veteran-owned business coach from the outset. The “right” business coach is one who can immerse himself (or herself) in your business. Advise on realistic timelines. Propose workable implementation scenarios. And guide you through the complex process of change.
By doing so, you will be able to emerge better and stronger than before. And you will have the groundwork in place to grow your business even faster.