Coaching a small business isn’t always straightforward; small businesses, new and established, come with a unique set of needs which call for personalized action by their business coach.
While some established companies choose to remain small, most small businesses are start-ups or new businesses. This means you need to consider not only how the business is being run, but how to prime it for long-term success; the same strategies you employ for larger-scale executive coaching won’t always translate.
So, what problems are you likely to encounter when working with a small business client, and how can you meet the business’ needs during coaching?
Be ready to coach every aspect of the business.
Small businesses (especially start-ups) need pretty broad guidance. Go into your coaching with an open mind; be ready to talk about every piece of the puzzle:
- Being a good manager
- Running effective meetings
- Setting up a business for success before launching
- Handling the stress of owning a business
- Refining operations as an ongoing process
- Smoothly incorporating new systems
As with any business coaching, the personal and professional will probably overlap, and that’s okay. The people make for a long-term, successful business — and you’re here to guide them to it!
Use the business’ size to your advantage.
“Small business” is an arbitrary term; depending on the industry, you could be working with businesses having 5, 50, or 500 employees. The larger the business gets, the broader your approach will have to be — but smaller businesses can have serious advantages in business coaching.
Small businesses, big conversations. Odds are, the employees all know each other, or at least understand each other’s jobs. (This isn’t always the case at massive corporations, so use this to your advantage!) Without misconceptions blocking conversation, you have a clear path to guiding cross-department discussions, whether they be on process, office etiquette, or making sure everyone feels heard.
Solutions that stick. Issues might be easier to identify, and won’t be as large-scale as with big business. This allows for a more focused approach and gives you time to fully address each issue from multiple perspectives. With fewer employees to manage, executives can make sure the solution is earnestly adopted by their team, creating a lasting impact.
Efficiency is the name of the game.
Businesses aren’t changed overnight. That being said, clients expect results — and they aren’t always easy to implement.
Guiding clients toward a business operating system can help expedite the process and lay the groundwork for immediate and future success. By “success,” we’re not just talking about revenue; work should be challenging, productive, and most importantly, fun.
The downside is that business operating systems can be a challenge to implement, especially in an established company. Redefining goals, meeting structure, and accountability can be massive pain points for entrepreneurs. That’s where a business management software, like Traction® Tools, comes in handy.
Business management software makes onboarding way easier. It gives your clients the power to reinvigorate their business without speeding through a self-setup. Small business entrepreneurs are already stressing over business ownership — they shouldn’t have to stress over their operating system, too.