• What should you look for in a startup coach?

    Startup coaching can be invaluable in the early stages of your business. It can help you to establish what needs to be done and how. It can also support you in setting goals and getting a roadmap in place.

    This ensures that your business has the best chance of success and allows you to grow as an entrepreneur.

    That being said, if you’ve recently started your own business, you might be thinking, hang on a minute, in addition to sorting goods or services, marketing, employees and other important business functions, now you also have to consider investing time and money in a startup coach as well?

    Well, in this article we’re going to answer the following questions:

    What is a startup coach?

    Why do startups need coaching?

    What should you look for in a startup coach?

    And in doing so, we hope to create a compelling argument for why you need a startup coach. This will help you to choose the perfect person for the job, someone who can help to drive your business forward and set you on the path to success.

    What is a startup coach?

    Let’s start by looking at what a startup coach actually is and what they can do for your business.

    Essentially, a startup coach is a sales consultant, but one who specialises in helping and supporting new business owners.

    To do this, they use the experience and expertise they have gained from starting and growing their own businesses.

    Typically, they will get a process in place to deliver a strategy in several phases. These phases will include growth tactics, contacts for investors, networking and general business support.

    Why do startups need coaching?

    Now we understand what a startup coach is, let’s look in more detail at why you need one. We’ve briefly touched on how they can support your growth, but they also do so much more than this.

    In this next section, we’re going to take a look at why you should consider a startup coach for your new business.

    Startup coaches can create a roadmap to achieving your goals

    A coach will work closely with you to help you set out your overall business goals. They will also help you to break these down into smaller objectives. And these don’t just have to be business-related; they can also be about your personal life too.

    Armed with this information, they can help you to create a roadmap for the business. This helps you to hold yourself accountable and to keep checking in on how your business is doing and whether you’re reaching your goals.

    Startup coaching creates an environment of confidentiality and motivation

    In theory, anyone in business could just sit down and reel off a list of advice and things you should do. But this isn’t always helpful.

    Instead, a startup coach aims to bring engagement and create an environment of confidentiality. This is a place without judgement and is about listening to one another and asking questions.

    Many business owners aren’t aware of startup coaches

    This might seem a little strange, but one reason your business needs coaching is because so many neglect this part of the process.

    With so many unaware of the coaching framework or convinced that they’ll get enough advice from their investors, they don’t seek out any more help.

    So, in getting a startup coach, not only will you have support and advice, but this could also give your business a competitive edge.

    What should you look for in a startup coach?

    If the benefits we’ve shared so far have convinced you that it’s time to get a startup coach for your business - that’s great!

    However, this isn’t a decision you want to rush. You need to make sure you know what you’re looking for in the right coach.

    The good news is, we can also help to advise you on this as well. Below, we’ve outlined the five key things to look out for in a startup coach and why.

    1. Someone with experience

    One of the most important things to consider when choosing a startup coach is their experience. After all, how can they advise you and support your business if they’ve never actually walked the walk themselves?

    As such, you need to make this one of your top priorities on your search. Be sure to look out for someone that has:

    Real-life experiences that they can share

    Has both failed and succeeded in their business ventures

    Has helped other startups to get off the ground

    In doing so, you’ll find someone who can share their insights and ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.

    And the best way to do this is to ask for testimonials from previous startups they have worked with. Find out what other people have said about them and ensure that the information you get from these testimonials is detailed and useful, not vague.

    A quick Google search is also a good idea. This could flag any complaints or other online reviews that have been left about them.

    2. An expert in the field

    As well as experience, you want someone with expertise in the field.

    And by this, we don’t just mean they’ve started up their own business before, but rather they live and breathe the subject. For example:

    Do they ever give lectures on the subject?

    Have they written a book?

    Have they contributed to online content on the subject, such as interviews, blog posts, courses, etc?

    If they are seen to be an authority on the subject, this can be a very good sign.

    That said, just make sure that they’re not simultaneously trying to juggle all these tasks while supporting your business. Otherwise, you might find you don’t get the time and attention you require.

    3. Someone with the right attitude

    Approaching and supporting a startup with the right attitude is often something that comes with experience and time.

    You need to look for someone that has been through it all and can offer support and humour when needed but can also be serious when the situation calls for it.

    And of course, you also want someone that is going to approach every task, discussion or learning curve with a positive attitude and actionable advice.

    You should be able to get a feel for a coach based on reviews and testimonials, but also your first meeting with them. If you don’t get a good impression right away, they might not be the ideal coach for you.

    4. An open book

    It’s all well and good finding someone with lots of experience and expertise, but if they’re not willing to share these with you, then it really means nothing.

    What we mean by this is you want someone that is not going to withhold information. You also want someone that is going to be happy and willing to share their stories and experiences so you can learn from their mistakes and successes.

    You want someone who is totally transparent and is ready to share good and bad experiences with you. So like we said, if you feel they’re holding back, this is not a sign of a good startup coach.

    5. Someone who holds you accountable

    Finally, you want a coach that is going to expect something of you.

    After all, their job is to turn up and advise you; if you then choose to ignore them and don’t put the work in, they could just walk away knowing that they technically did what they needed to.

    However, you want to find a startup coach that is going to go one step further and that will have expectations for you.

    They will expect you to put the work in and they will hold you accountable. They will keep driving you towards your goals and making sure you’re on track.

    So, when looking for your new coach, make sure they ask you about your capabilities. If they aren’t interested in what you’re willing to give to your new business, they probably aren’t interested in pushing you towards your goals.

    And although ultimately your success relies on you putting the time in, your coach should also want to work with someone who is dedicated, not someone flakey or who doesn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to their new startup.

    Summary: What to look for in a startup coach

    So as we’ve established, a startup coach is essentially a consultant that helps new business owners. Using their experience in their own startups, they are able to guide and support you.

    They will be able to help you set your goals and create a roadmap to achieving these. They can also create a motivational and judgement-free environment and give you an edge over your competitors.

    Keeping this in mind, if you’ve decided to get a startup coach for your business, make sure to find someone who:

    Has experience and expertise in the field

    Has a positive attitude

    Is willing to share their experiences and advice with you

    Will keep you accountable and make sure you’re working towards your goals

    Do so, and you’ll find the perfect startup coach for your business, someone who will drive you forward and set you on the path to success.

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