According to the World Economic Forum, women have started almost half of all businesses since 2021. With so many women claiming their space, it’s no wonder that the industry of women-led business coaching is booming, too. For many entrepreneurs, hiring a business coach is one of the most important investments they can make. Not only can a good coach guide you to practical strategies to launch and scale your business, they can even help you overcome mindset blocks and provide accountability throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
However, with more and more people claiming to have the key to your success, it can be overwhelming to sift through the noise and find the right coach for you. Below are ten steps to help you decide which business coach is worth your investment.
1. Determine why you want to be coached
Do you have a business idea but no idea where to start? If so, find a coach who specializes in first-time entrepreneurs. Maybe you’ve started but your insecurities make it difficult to promote your business. In this case, find a business coach who specializes in mindset and identity. Perhaps you’re well into your journey but are burning out or running out of ideas. Choosing a business coach who has a communal aspect built into their program may be the best for you. Whatever your situation, first determine why you believe a business coach is worth the investment.
2. Decide the type of program you want
There are two main types of programs: one-on-one and group coaching. While one-on-one coaches tend to charge higher rates, they can be worth it if you need highly-personalized support. Group coaching, which tends to be less personalized, still has its advantages. If you’re looking for a built-in community, accountability partners, and a cheaper program price, then this might be the right fit. Some coaches also offer “Masterminds”, which is usually a higher-level (and more expensive) group mentorship program. If you feel well-established in your business but still want a community that encourages you, then this could be for you.
3. Find a coach whose personal story resonates with you
Ever heard the phrase, “The messenger is as important as the message”? This is especially true when finding a business coach. Finding a coach whose background is similar to yours means they have been in your shoes and can respond with genuine empathy and advice.
4. Find a coach who walks the walk
This means two things. First, find a coach who can prove that they have a successful business. Do they run a jewelry company? Have they made sustainable income from a food blog? Are they a successful drop-shipper? Whatever their background, make sure that they actually have business experience and are not just a super-savvy advertiser. Otherwise, you might hire someone who rebranded what they learned from another coach but has no other practical experience or advice.
Additionally, you’ll want to find a coach who has been coached themself. This shows that they personally believe in the benefits of coaching. It also means that they understand what it’s like to be you, the client, and can teach you any new insights they learn.
5. Do your research on the coach’s businesses
Because you’re looking for a coach with legitimate experience, you’ll want to fact-check their claims. A quick Google search of the coach and their companies can usually tell you if they are as successful as they claim. Look for client or customer reviews and ratings, media coverage, and if the business has ever been sued or filed for bankruptcy. Even if the coach’s company has a complicated past, this could be fine as long as they are honest about their experiences and help you avoid their mistakes.
6. Think small
We often think that the only coach who can help us is the one with the largest, flashiest social media presence. But not always! This is not to say that coaches with large followings can’t help you. If you find a well-known coach that fits your needs, then feel free to pursue a program with them. But if you’re striking out with famous coaches and find a coach with a smaller, niche following that resonates with you, then don’t be afraid to work with them! A lot of times, lesser-known coaches actually have more time to give you personalized attention.
7. Apply social media advice to your business
In order to attract paying clients, most coaches first provide value through their social media platforms. A coach probably won’t give out all of their best tips for free, but whatever they do post, try and apply it to your own business. If it works for you, then this is a sign that the coach could be a good fit.
8. Attend a webinar or masterclass
Attending a webinar (usually free) or a masterclass (usually a one-time payment) can be another great way to get a feel for a coach’s teaching style. Like free social media content, a coach is unlikely to divulge all of their best tips and tricks in a free webinar. However, if you find that a coach is extremely vague while promising that their program provides everybody with spectacular results regardless of their circumstances, then this is a red flag. If the coach’s webinar or masterclass provides valuable information, makes their coaching style clear, and sets reasonable expectations from working with them, these are green flags.
9. Book a consultation call
The best way to know if a coach is right for you is to book a one-on-one consultation call. Whether they’re labeled as discovery calls or clarity calls, these conversations help you know if your personalities and professional styles match.
Instead of constantly pitching their services to you, a good coach will show empathy and understand your hesitations to pursue coaching. While they may encourage you to work toward the highest version of yourself, a good coach would not pressure you into anything you’re not financially or mentally ready for.
10. Address your mindset blocks
Even if you’ve successfully completed steps one through nine, the most important step remains. Make sure you identify any mindset blocks you might have. The most common ones are: “Can afford this investment?”, “Do I have time for this right now?”, and “What if I don’t get the results I want?” Examine why you feel this way, and you may be surprised that it’s not an issue of money or time, but rather of self-trust and self-belief. As long as you can afford the coaching service alongside your regular expenses, don’t get too hung up on the sticker price. Instead, focus on the transformation and your role in making this happen. After all, becoming a confident and capable business owner is truly priceless.