Put a Business Coach on Your Team
Updated: Aug 25
This article was contributed by Courtney Rosenfeld of Gig Spark.
Few people have to wear more hats than a small business owner. From being the chief financial officer to marketing director and basic jack-of-all-trades in every other aspect of operations, it’s easy to see how things can get a bit—well—hectic.
But, the Catch-22 of all of that is, you cannot even take the time to get organized! You’ve got a business to run. What you need is someone in your corner, someone who's been there, done that. You need a business coach.
Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE, possesses equal parts fundraising and back-end operations. She thrives on professional growth, team success, and measurable results. Take a moment to visit her website, which is chock-full of valuable resources for all things fundraising and development operations. Here, she offers some insights into how and why having someone in your corner can make all the difference in the world.
A few signs you’re in need of a business coach could be:
You’re overwhelmed. This could be that you’re exerting way too much energy on tasks you could and should delegate. Or, you’re not using your time wisely, expending too much of it on projects that could be done more quickly and efficiently.
You want to grow your skills as a leader and a more effective entrepreneur, but you don‘t know where to begin. Some business coaches excel at soft skills, like leadership and management. Others can help you with hard skills like new technologies.
You’re not sure what the future should be. You want to move forward, but you don’t see a path. Business coaches have a broader view of your business and can see ways to expand that might not be apparent to you.
There isn’t anyone keeping you focused. You need someone to help you formulate a plan and then hold you accountable for it.
You’ve just plain run out of ideas. You’re so busy in the day-to-day running of your business that you just don’t have the energy needed to be creative with your company’s future.
In short, a business coach can take you from where you are to where you want to be. But like all professions, business coaches have specialties. It’s important to get recommendations from other business owners who have used the services of a business coach, but it should be close to the type of business you’re running. One size does not fit all here. Talk to others in your industry to get referrals first.
Online searches with sites like LinkedIn are a good place to look for a business coach. You can also use a search engine to locate one near you. Ask for a free consultation to see if you mesh before hiring, though.
If the time isn’t right financially for you to hire an outside business coach, there are still things you can do to help you stay on track and focused.
Structuring your business as an LLC is something you can do yourself in only minutes and without having to hire an attorney. It separates your personal assets from your business financials, giving you peace of mind. It also requires less paperwork and can reduce your tax burden.
Getting help staying organized can be as easy as downloading an online monthly planning template. It’s a great resource for looking at a 30-day view of tasks that need to be completed. Look for one that can be customized with graphics, sticky notes, and videos. It’s a great tool for keeping tasks and deadlines top of mind.
Be your own marketing spokesman by attending business functions in your area. Your local Chamber of Commerce hosts events regularly. Charity sponsorships are another way to network while also giving back to your community. You’ll need a lot of business cards to hand out to everyone you meet since it gives people something tangible to remember you by. It’s easy to make your own business cards by using a pre-made template that you can customize by adding images, text, color schemes, and the font of your choice.
Business owners don’t need to go it alone. It’s not healthy for them or for their company. Finding a good business coach can be like discovering gold. It might take some digging, but the resulting boost to you will be worth the effort.
Courtney Rosenfield started Gig Spark to be a resource and the first step for people who are looking to join the gig economy, either to supplement their income or as a way to fulfill their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE is a respected leader and decision influencer in regard to fundraising operations best practices. With over a decade of experience, Juliana thrives on professional growth, team success, measurable results, and inspiring fundraisers to utilize data-based strategies. Juliana currently serves as the Associate Director of Development Operations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is an AFP Global Board Member, AFP Global's 2019 Outstanding Young Professional Fundraiser, and is a member of the AFP Global Women's Impact Initiative. Juliana is immediate past chair of the AFP New York City chapter’s Emerging Leaders Committee and currently serves on the chapter’s board chairing their mentorship program. She resides in Houston, TX, and never turns down a good kombucha.