What makes a good business coach

A good business coach will have recognised qualifications in psychotherapy and business management.  However there are different opinions on what to look for in your business coach.  Sharon Zeev Poole, founder and director of Agent99 PR stated “ I’m an excellent publicist.There, I’m not afraid to say that ... But a manager? Well, that’s a skill that has come with time and experience. When you’re the boss and you have an issue with an employee, you have no one to turn to. A coach will be your confidant and someone you can call upon to talk you through your options. “


Steve Tobak from Invisor Consulting however warns the following 

“I’m a very big fan of entrepreneurs and executives getting advice from seasoned veterans who’ve already been there and done that. Coaches, not so much. Why the bias? Experience. You want to seek advice from those who’ve been in the same boat as you and successfully navigated those treacherous waters. “  (2) Steve Tobak  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244304

Nevertheless, State government & Government Grant authorities consider business coaching & mentoring to have benefits and they offer business coaching and mentoring at various levels.  A typical business coaching program may consist of the following:

  • Group coaching sessions (with others who are at a similar stage of their business)
  • Separate one on one coaching or mentoring sessions
  • Private business lunches with successful entrepreneurs
  • Networking events
  • Strategy Implementation Sessions with staff


Effective business coaching

For a business coaching engagement to be effective, David Guest warns the following need to be in place:

  1. You need to be willing to be coached and you need to possess the ability and desire to be teachable or coach-able.
  2. Your coach needs to have the right level of knowledge about your industry
  3. The culture of your company needs to be right for coaching -   employees need to commit wholeheartedly as well as the business owner
  4. The cost and time spent with the business coach will be significant so ensure you have reporting in place to measure the return on investment (ROI) and measure in terms of money and time.


The costs of business coaching can be 1-2% of annual revenue or between $1,000 to $2,000 a day.  Because the costs of business coaching can be significant, start with your accountant and discuss how to measure performance against goals, how to identify and measure key performance indicators (KPI ‘s) and how to prepare cashflow forecasts.  With this reporting set in place, the business coaching will be more effective.