ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JUL. 01, 2014
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Has the Time Come for Your Small Business to Hire a Coach or Consultant?

As an entrepreneur there are certain key traits that you already possess. You are determined, goal oriented, ambititious, tenacious, and full of energy. Most importantly, you are passionate about the small business you put your heart and soul into. Let’s face it, you are full of fire (or perhaps feel that you are on fire for your business!).

The problem is that many self-employed individuals are not so in love with all of the mundane details that are involved in running a company. The reality is that many of these people do not even know what is required to run an efficient business. When entrepreneurs do not have a clue what needs to be done with regard to day to day operations and the like, it is difficult to get a business off the ground and to keep it heading in a successful direction. This explains why so many companies do not last.

Issues Facing the Self-Employed

There are advantages associated with being self-employed but there are also disadvantages. Being self-employed gives rise to the freedom to be your own boss and to call the shots on your own terms. But you must take the good with the bad. There are three common issues that small business owners often find themselves facing. Some will encounter one or more of these problems.

The issues are as follows:

Issue Number One: The skills required for marketing the company and increasing profits are little to non-existent.

Issue Number Two: The planning and implementation techniques needed to move the company forward is in need of work.

Issue Number Three: You have a heavy workload and plenty of responsibilities but because of your efforts, finding the time to promote your company and the motivation within yourself to do more than you currently do, can be difficult. In fact, on many days it may feel like there is just not enough room to do everything you need to do to ensure the success of the company you love.

If you recognise yourself in any of these issues, the time may have come to bring in some outside counsel. A small business coach or consultant can help to alleviate many of the problems that make it hard for you to move forward and onto the next rung of the success ladder.

All of the passion, drive, and enthusiasm in the world will not be enough if you do not have knowledge and support behind you. The former will only take you so far. It is important to not let pride get in the way. Recognise when you need help to keep your company running smoothly and making money.

Before you can decide if you require the expertise of a small business coach or consultant, you need to know what sets the two job descriptions apart.

Defining a Small Business Coach

A small business coach is a person who “coaches” a client to bring out the best in the individual and to make his or her unique character traits shine. The focus of the coaching is on the bigger picture of the company and the vision for it. What does the person want for their business in the long-term? The coach seeks to uncover ways to keep the entrepreneur on track and motivated.

The coach’s job is to assist the individual in finding the most productive means possible to make his or hers goals a reality. Yet another objective that needs to be accomplished is to keep on track with short-term projects and other tasks.

The small business coach focuses on the entrepreneur in order to understand the business and to improve upon it. The coach encourages and supports the business owner. Coaches have the training required to offer insight and perspective to help the entrepreneur gain a clearer understanding of where their business is and where they want it to be.

Defining a Small Business Consultant

A small business consultant is an expert in a given area, be it strategy planning, marketing, starting a business or web design. The consultant may specialise in more than one area. The consultant teaches the entrepreneur the skills necessary to improve a specific aspect of the company that is lacking. For example, the consultant might teach the individual how to market the business online or how to develop better time management skills.

The small business consultant will formulate a plan of action to allow the business owner to get one step closer to achieving his or her goals and to completing projects on a designated timeline. This will prove advantageous in the present and in the days going forward.

Is It Time To Say Yes to a Coach or Consultant?

Only you can decide whether or not you need to hire a small business coach or consultant. It often depends on your needs, values and the stage (and condition) that your company is currently in. The deadlines you have for work as well as your time constraints are also important factors for consideration.

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