Hi Friends! I know I’ve been slacking in the blog department lately--I’m so sorry! It’s been quite a hectic month and with the end of year closing in I’ve been spending a lot of time working with clients to make sure they’re set up for their best holiday season yet. (click here if you’d like to learn more about how I can help!)

Today’s post was inspired by a question I was recently asked during a discovery call. The person I was chatting with was sharing a story about an investment she made in her business that didn’t go as planned and as we were talking I realized that a lot of people have been in her shoes. It can be really hard to decide where to spend your money when it comes to investing in yourself and your business. We live in a world with endless information at our fingertips which means it can be challenging to justify spending money for answers that seem to be one google search away.  

6 tips for hiring your first business coach

Whether you're years or days into your business there is always money that needs to be spent on something. As both a coach to product-based business owners and a small business owner myself, I know how hard it can be to find money to invest. We’ve all taken that course we never finished and been wowed by an awesome sales campaign that lead us to purchase a product that we ultimately didn’t connect with. Those bad experiences leave us a little more cash-strapped and jaded so when something good does pop on our radar we become more and more hesitant to move forward. For all the bad out there I promise you this, there is good. And when you find it, it becomes your beacon of light and hope and propels you and your business forward.

So, when you realize googling has given you some (but not all!) of the answers and decide it’s worth investing in that special person who will help you reach your end goal faster how do you decide who is worthy of your hard earned money? In today's post, I'm sharing six considerations that should be top of mind before you sign on with any coach.

Does the coach you've got your eye on offer a discovery call?

I’m of the mindset that discovery calls should be free. Yes, time is valuable but asking someone to open their wallet before saying two words to one another is just not how I personally roll. It’s so important to take the time to get to know the person who is going to dive deep into your business to make sure that you both will click. When I’m chatting with a potential client and they are deciding if I’m the right person for them, I’m simultaneously deciding if that person would be a great fit for me. I work with many of my clients for a few months at a time so not only do we need to click but I need to know that I can offer them the support and strategy they're looking for to help them reach their goals. 

Have a list of specific questions and ask them:

Don’t be afraid to get ask very detailed questions about how someone's services can help your business. For instance, If you mentioned that you’re  struggling with reaching out to stores I’m going to share some examples to show you how my 10+ years of experience in women's accessories sales and speaking to buyers is going to help when it comes to crafting your pitches and follow up emails. If your biggest hurdle is learning to import and manufacture in China I’m going to tell you right away that I’m not the best fit for your business because I always had a team behind me who worked with factories on my behalf. While I can guide you about what you can expect, things to look out for and questions to ask I know that I work best with clients who need support with wholesale strategy, pitching, pricing etc. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for support on and asking questions about how your coach/consultant can help will allow you to learn quickly if that person's services will be the most beneficial to you and your business.

Consider the potential return on your investment:

If you’re investing in a coach, maybe your goal is to get more clients, have a clearly defined plan for your biz in place or streamline your processes. Ask yourself, how will those dollars spent today pay off long-term? Will they add dollars to your bottom line? Will you get to your end goal faster because your coach helped you put a plan in place and is holding you accountable? Will you streamline your processes so you can work smarter (and not harder) which will ultimately save you time and money? Perhaps working with a coach will allow you to spend more time designing and less time managing. We all see value in different things so it’s important to decide for yourself what's most important and discuss those goals during your initial call.

Consider all other financial obligations:

While most of us don’t have a big ole pot of cash to pull from when we want to invest in our business for the most part, when there’s a will there’s a way. That said though, I wouldn’t want to hear that you’re skipping the important stuff and digging yourself into a really deep hole to sign onto a program. It can take time to implement the strategies you learn so if you have major expenses on the horizon you’ll going to really want to look at your finances to make sure it works with your income. The first time I made a major investment in my business I crossed my fingers, said a little prayer and entered my credit card info both hoping that I'd make my investment back and knowing that it was exactly what I needed to do in order to grow. (spoiler alert: I did grow, and was able to pay off that card pretty fast!)

Think about your time commitment:

If you’re working with a coach you can anticipate that you’ll have a lot of work that is an addition to your regular daily tasks. It’s important to be able to make the time to do the work your coach assigns because each step builds to the next. Be honest with yourself and your potential coach about the time you have to commit to doing the work during the discovery call so you can make sure you’re signing onto a program that will work with your business and life.

Think about what will happen in nothing changes:

Pricing for business strategy + coaching varies A LOT from coach to coach but you’ll notice as you’re doing your research that overall, hiring a coach is a serious and often substantial business investment. You may run into a bit of sticker shock when they give you the pricing breakdown of their program. When this happens and you start questioning everything all over again, consider what will happen if you don’t take this next step? Will anything really change in your business? Will you do things differently and be able to solve those problems on your own that initially propelled you into the conversation with this coach?

BONUS TIP: Acknowledge that you are/aren't coachable:

Not everyone is the perfect candidate for working with a coach, and that' 100% ok! If you're not comfortable with having someone challenge you and push you to step outside of your comfort zone then hiring a coach may not be the best fit for you or your business. While nobody likes being told what to do, it's important to remember that your coach is suggesting you change things up for a reason. If you're not open to trying new things in your business, having an open mind to receive support and listening to the opinions of an industry expert then you're probably going to want to cross "work with a coach" off your list. 

Hiring and working with a coach is one of the biggest and most personal decisions you will make in your business because you’re letting someone else in behind your company. A great coach will support, encourage and challenge you to take big steps toward your goals. They will be scary and uncomfortable at times but a coach will be by your side as you tackle your to do's, making the whole process 1000x easier.