5 Questions to Ask
Any Business Coach
Before Hiring One …
(Including an ActionCOACH!)
A s the business coaching industry grows, so do the number of people in the market
who call themselves “Business Coaches.”
Many times, the hardest choice faced by business owners who are interested in
coaching is whether to hire an ActionCOACH, or to hire an “independent” coach
operating without the backing and support of a large international brand.
How can a business owner make sure the decision to hire a Business Coach is sound?
What can an owner look for in a prospective Business Coach to make sure he or she
will get the tools and systems needed to successfully build a business?
What factors make a good Business Coach?
Here’s a series of five important questions that you can ask a prospective Business
Coach to make sure you will get an excellent return on your coaching investment.
1. How will you work with my company
and my team?
One of the most important keys for coaching success is how you see your coach
working with you and your team – meaning that personality and personality fit is
Asking this question (and hearing how your prospective coach responds) will give
you insight into the prospective coach’s personality, how he or she works, the process
and systems he or she uses to get results, and if you think you could work with the
coach on a long-term basis.
2. What is your background? How does
your background apply to my business?
This is another key question you need to ask – especially in terms of how a coach’s
background applies to your business.
One caveat in this, however. The advantage of business coaching over specialised
business consulting means that your prospective coach is likely to be a business
generalist, who may have limited knowledge of your particular company, category
Is this a bad thing?
In fact, the strength of coaching lies in the general base of business knowledge
coaches possess – and the fact that all businesses (despite what individual owners
may think) are all driven by the same revenue, cost and team factors, and all face the
same types of challenges (ranging from sales issues and numbers mastery to team
recruitment or marketing).
At ActionCOACH, the selection process for our coaches is better termed a
“de-selection” process of prospective coaching candidates. Simply put, not everyone
has the skills, abilities or more importantly, personality and communication skills
to be a coach.
In addition, a coach’s success or failure ultimately reflects back on our company and
our brand – so it is in our best interests to find the “best of the best” in business to
join our team.
In terms of background for our current coaches, the “average” ActionCOACH is
42 years old when he or she joins the company.
More than 40% have an advanced degree (Masters, MBA or Doctorate), and 59%
live in a major metropolitan area.
In addition, our coaches average more than 20 years of experience in sales,
marketing, management or ownership, and many have worked for Fortune 100
In terms of industries, top previous occupations include operations (19%); sales
(19%), or owned a business (14%).
Most of our coaches have achieved a level of success in their careers or their
businesses before they ventured into coaching. They see the coaching profession as a
way to “give back” and share their knowledge with others who are looking to achieve
and succeed – and they see ActionCOACH as the perfect vehicle to help re-educate
business owners in the fundamentals of business and success.
What’s more important than specific industry experience?
Your comfort level with your prospective coach, and the system he or she will be
using to help you in your business.
3. Do you have or work from a proven
system of business development?
This is another key question for your prospective coach, and will separate those
coaches who work from a proven methodology for building businesses from those
“independent” coaches who take a less rigorous or systematic approach to business
help and development.
In terms of systems, ActionCOACH Business Coaches rely on a proven system of
tactics and strategies that have been developed and implemented in thousands of
businesses globally since 1993.
No other branded business coaching company, and few (if any) independent
coaches can draw from the vast resource and intellectual capital and property
ActionCOACH has used to grow its clients’ companies (as well as
its own operations) as the number one business coaching company in the world.
4. What kind of support do you have from
your coaching company? How big is
This question will give you an indication of the depth and breadth of knowledge,
products and services your coach will be able to provide you and your company
during you coaching relationship.
With more than 1,000 offices in 26 countries, the ActionCOACH network rivals
that of some the largest and best-known business services companies in the world –
with hundreds of products and strategies designed specifically for the small-to-
medium sized business owner, his or her company, and the owner’s team.
No matter the size of the business or your budget, the ActionCOACH mission of
business re-education means there is a book, CD, DVD, brochure, group coaching
session or one-on-one coaching program to fit the needs of you and your business –
an advantage you’ll have over your competition when you decide to engage one of
5. What is your company’s track record of
business experience and proven results?
Finally, you’ll want to know what kind of results your prospective coach has
produced in his or her career, for what types of companies, and the types of metrics
and benchmarks they were able to set and exceed.
For ActionCOACH, two decades of clients from around the world and thousands of
testimonials from every conceivable business and industry are proof that the system
you’ll work for your business is a system that works.
After Your First Meeting …
W hen you complete your initial meeting with a coach, you can ask yourself the
following five questions – the answers to which will help you gain clarity in your
own decision making process.
1. Has the coach clearly outlined the differences between coaching and consulting?
2. Does the coach ask good questions?
3. Will the coach hold you accountable?
4. Is the coach honest about how you will work together?
5. Does the coach put you and your company first, or is the coach only interested in
selling coaching products and/or services?
In any coaching relationship, the first key to your success is being willing to answer
the tough and challenging questions about your business and current operations.
The second key is being willing to be held accountable for your efforts and results –
something that may be missing from your current way of doing business.
That said, your investment in business coaching should be one of the best, most
effective and most profitable you will ever make.
So take some time to review a coach’s experience, credentials and resources – and
know that at least one global coaching company – ActionCOACH – has the
training, products, resources and network to help you in your business, no matter
what type of business you currently own.
So, Are You Ready for Business
As an owner, you have to ask yourself if you’re coachable – or at least willing to
That means admitting you don’t know everything.
It also means being willing to implement new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas
for you and your company.
You also need to be willing to do the work necessary to grow the company.
Because unlike a consultant who may do a project and leave, your Business Coach
will educate you on strategy and process – and leave it to you to implement.
Your coach won’t do the work, but will expect the work to get done.
For the coaching process, that’s where accountability comes in and is key to your
achievement and your company’s ultimate success.
Your Next Step
If you are interested in improving your company at every level, business coaching
may be the right fit for you.
Just as world-class athletes strive to get better by working with the top performers
and coaches in their respective fields, more business owners than ever are looking to
improve their “game” through coaching.
Just contact me for more information about how to hire a coach, or about group
coaching events in your area.
Like a good athletic coach, a good business coach will push you to perform.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, ActionCOACH is too – and
will help you achieve the success you want for you and your company.