Everything You Need to Know About Finding and Hiring a Business Coach
A business coach, or corporate coach, is a trusted advisor with industry management experience who can guide you through start-up challenges like hiring staff and paying taxes, as well as help you plan your growth strategy, make sound marketing decisions, and recommend software. Most also provide coaching to help you grow your personal leadership skills.
We’ll share tips in this article on where to find and how to hire a business coach, including how much business coaching services cost, and questions you can ask to ensure you find a coach that matches your needs.
Where to Find a Business Coach or Coaching Services
According to a Global Coaching Study by the International Coaching Federation, there are over 50K personal business and life coaches worldwide, and coaching has increased about 20% since 2011. A business coach can be a great mentor and help you achieve your business goals.
Here are four ways to find a business coach:
1. Ask Your Personal Network
According to the Alternative Board, 85% of business owners stated that they sought a business coach from their own network of other business owners, and that personal referrals were the best way to find a good coach. If you’re in business, and you have friends in business, those peers may know other business leaders who can provide coaching to help you grow your business.
2. Search for Coaching Services Online
Most professional business coaches have a web presence and you can find ones locally in your area by searching your web browser for ‘business coach, life coach, marketing coach’ or whatever particular area of coaching you feel most in need of. Here’s our review of some of the best business coaching services out there.
Websites like the ones below can also help you find a business coach:
Noomii – This site, which is the largest web directory of business coaches, focuses their search by zip code, and they’ll provide a list of coaches near you, ranging from business and finance to entrepreneurship. Noomi coaches have senior leadership experience across a range of industries. They will assign an account rep to help you find the best business coach.
Life Coach Hub – Choose the type type of coach you need and submit a detailed coaching request and they’ll match you with a coach. Coaches will send you personalized emails, and you can set up free initial calls with the ones you like.
MyCoachMatch – Browse all their business coaches by type, like leadership or creativity, or fill out a 48-question survey and they’ll match you with a coach based on your personality, values, and business needs.
You can also search for business coaching and certification schools that can match you with graduates of their proprietary coaching programs, like:
Coach Federation – This site is designed to provide coaching education and resources for business coaches. The site offers a ‘Credentialed Coach Finder’ for you to search for a coach with their certification.
International Association of Coaches (IAC) – This is a non-profit international organization that provides coaching certification. The ‘Find a Coach’ tab allows you to search for a coach by country, language, or type of coach — i.e. business, career, mentor.
School of Coaching Mastery – This website provides coach training based on positive psychology, in other words, “what makes people flourish”. You can find a coach based on location. But on this site, you have to create a login account before they’ll share options.
Another option is to look at schools that offer coaching programs. Of course, you’d have to contact the school directly to ask about potential coaches, because they don’t have a coach search option on their website:
Harvard Business School – provides continuing education for coaching leaders
Board Certified Coach – provides coach credentials and assessments
There may even be a coaching certification program or school in your area that can recommend a local business coach.
Another way is to search for ‘business coach’ on social media, like LinkedIn, or to ask your friends on social media, whether Facebook or Twitter, if they know of a business coach that might meet your needs.
3. Look for a Business Coach or Mentor Locally
One of my favorite ways to find resources, including a corporate coach, in addition to the local phone book is to attend local business networking meetings, like chamber of commerce meetings and ask members who they recommend. The BBB in your local area can also serve as a resource.
4. Go to the Small Business Administration (SBA)
It’s worth noting another option for business coaching is the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE, a non-profit, which no longer refers to itself as Service Corps of Retired Executives, but rather Counselors to America’s Small Business. Their services are free to small business owners.
Local Business Coach vs Online Business Coach
Although it may seem like a local business coach would be better because they know the community, can meet face to face, and can evaluate your business onsite, we find that many coaches, even local ones, are now offering their services online or by phone or video conference.
You may find that searching online gives you more options for finding and hiring a business coach than what you may be able to find locally, depending on how large your community is. Particularly if you’re looking for a coach that specializes in something particular or in a certain industry, searching online will open up your options.
Meeting your coach face-to-face, whether in person or via video conference is a good first step so that you can establish rapport. After that, whatever works best for you and the coach respectively is the process we recommend.