7 Top Tips for Coaching Small Business Owners

by Ruby McGuire (United Kingdom)

Small business owners experience a rollercoaster of emotions in running their businesses. There are lows and highs in business, and it can be challenging to keep focused with so many online distractions. In addition, they have to wear many hats, such as marketing, managing finances, IT, and client relationship building, all while having limited resources, especially in the early days.

Through effective business coaching, you can help them grow their business and create a life outside of work, which can be challenging when you’re your boss.

Here are seven top tips for business coaching small business owners.

  1. Start with a Business Review

Spend some time with your client doing a gap analysis of their business. This will help them get perspective on key areas to focus on in a set time frame.

Ask them to split their business into various categories, such as Planning, Techie & Systems, Sales, Marketing, Financial, Mindset, Support and Self-Care, and then rate those areas in terms of what’s working well and what’s not.

I felt deflated when I went through my business to check key areas. There were some things I was doing well, and some I was not doing well. I would stick my head in the sand with finances, for example. I then heard someone in a group eloquently say, ‘Get the data, ditch the shame’. Remind them the information is a snapshot. It gives them a baseline to build from.

Then, get them to stop and pat themselves on the back for looking at their business in the first place. Data is beneficial for helping them grow their business.

Once you’ve identified the gaps with them, they can decide which area(s) they need to focus on.

  1. Identify Three Key Juicy Business Goals

Clients may have many goals that they are working on, but they are trying to be all things to all people, and as a result, they are feeling overwhelmed. The next step is to help them identify three areas of focus. A great way to do this is to work in 90-day blocks; they can then choose to split their time each week between the three goals or focus on one goal per month.

Now is the time to help them think big. If it helps, use the statement, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if….’ to help open up their minds to possibility. You want them to be excited about their goals. If their goals don’t excite them, it’s likely that they won’t do them, or they will do them half-heartedly.

You can choose to do some SMART goal setting here if that’s how your client likes to work, where you make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related, or you can let them take the lead. The critical part here is that they can measure their three business goals effectively, as they need to identify when a goal has been completed.

  1. Do a Goal ‘Test’

Sometimes clients can get stuck in other people’s goals and work towards goals that aren’t what they desire. For example, it’s easy to get caught in the, ‘I want to do 10k months’ so they set this as their goal when that might not be their genuine desire. Sometimes it might stop them from taking action when the goal feels too big.

Source: iCN Issue 42  (Business Coaching); pages 32 – 34

About Ruby McGuire

Ruby McGuire is a Business & Mindset Queen. She’s an Accredited Master Coach & Master Mentor with the IAPC&M, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker and Author of multiple books. She loves helping her clients step up and become leaders (aka Queens) of their businesses. Ruby helps her clients develop their leadership and business skills, create a success mindset and attract dreamie clients. She is a Brit on a mission to live a simpler life without marketing on social media so that she can spend more time in her beautiful Scottish surroundings. You can find her at her pretty online home, over on her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz, and here where she shares her Mini Guide to Marketing Without Social Media. When she’s not working you will find her surrounded by books, making hand-made cards, and enjoying life with her hubby, little dog and chickens (usually with a Whittard Vanilla cappuccino in her hand)!