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Strategic Coaching, Business Coaching

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Taking the courageous step to engage a strategic business coach is a big deal for many entrepreneurs. For some, it means admitting they can’t grow their business alone—no matter how smart they are. It also means coming face-to-face with beliefs, behaviors, and habits that are getting in the way of success.

Having coached hundreds of small business owners in a variety of businesses at different phases of business growth, there is an expectation—by the business owner and the coach—of coaching progress and achievements to be attained. Coaching, after all, is an investment of time and money deserving of a substantial return on investment (ROI).

In fact, surveys show that the ROI on business coaching is very high. One study done on a Fortune 500 company revealed that executive coaching ROI was as high as 529%. Another study showed that for every dollar invested in coaching, the return was $7.90. That’s a whopping 690%! These statistics show just how strategic business coaching increases your business performance.

For some, business coaching speeds them quickly down the road while others slog along and make less progress than expected. What makes the difference between success and schlepping? Here are the distinguishing behaviors of our most successful clients:

1. Take responsibility for their business.

Doesn’t everyone, you ask? Not always. Many business owners are just plain exhausted and burned out. Wanting the coach to take the lead on business development is appealing to a sleep-deprived entrepreneur. However, those who achieve the most powerful coaching results take responsibility for their business and its direction. They set the tone, pace, and objective for each coaching call.

2. Make strategic planning and thinking a priority.

Rather than spending time putting out fires, meeting the demands of others, and dealing with constant interruptions, our fast achieving coaching clients arrange—in advance—for time to strategically think and plan. With greater clarity and focus, strategic implementation takes the lead in their day. It’s a fore-thought; not an afterthought on their ever-growing to-do list.

3. Do the homework.

Sounds like you’re back in school, doesn’t it? In a way, any business owner engaged in coaching is engaged in a learning process. Unlike those who wait until the night before the big test, the most accomplished businesses jump on their plan of action immediately. In fact, many allot time immediately following a coaching meeting to implement their commitment. After all, it’s a promise they made to themselves and they don’t want to disappoint.

4. Enter into the coaching engagement with optimism.

Yes, it does happen. Occasionally, an individual with a “failure to thrive” disposition gets involved with coaching. Although they want to believe coaching overcomes their dilemma, until they stop rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, it can be a tough road.

On the other hand, those who start coaching with an optimism and excitement about the success that coaching brings make progress more quickly

5. Laser focused during a coaching appointment.

Although the majority of our contact with clients is by phone or Skype, I have ninja-like listening skills and can tell when clients are multitasking. They’re not quite as engaged in the conversation and miss out on the nuances of success that coaching brings to their business.

Those who garner the greatest value are present—mentally and physically. All distractions and disturbances are eliminated. They are completely immersed in the conversation. As such, they gain enormous value from each encounter.

6. Prepare for their appointment.

We provide an online prep form that triggers coaching 24–36 hours before each appointment. It’s the time when the owner puts all other activities on pause to think strategically.

The Strategy Call Prep Form encourages them to consider their achievements for the previous week, insights (which anchors learning and sustains change), and identify their most important need and objective for the conversation.

Preparation lays the groundwork for a profoundly forward-moving coaching conversation.

7. Possess realistic expectations.

The optimistic realists don’t expect a silver bullet, or their coach to pull a bunny out of the hat, to make their business grow. The have a keen understanding of reality. They know what it takes to succeed and persist with grace and tenacity while achievement meets them where they’re at.

8. Remain engaged with their coach between meetings.

Coaching is not a once a week event. Discerning entrepreneurs know the significance of engagement with their coach between meetings to keep them clear, focused, and moving forward. Synergy is sparked with communication via Evernote’s work chat on questions and situations that arise.

9. Willing to rethink various aspects of their business, belief systems, and behaviors.

Entrepreneurs fully engaged in coaching understand what they don’t want—one year of business experience repeated ten times. That’s a certain death nail in their success. Rather, they want their experience—and results—to be different with each passing year in business. They understand that business survival is adapting at a pace quicker than the market. As such, they willingly stop doing what’s not working and adopt new behaviors, beliefs, and ways of conducting business.

10. Willing to learn.

Like food, knowledge decays. Although there’s no easy way to determine the actual shelf life of knowledge, it’s safe to say that a large portion of what we know is obsolete within a few years.

Our achieving business owners stay abreast of changes in their industry, trends in business, and advancements in technology. And, they quickly adapt to the ever-evolving needs of their clients.

…The Rest of the Story 

In essence, does business coach actually move a business forward?  Yes, it does when both the business owner and the business coach bring their A-game to the table.

Experience business coaching for yourself. Your first call is on us!

Business coaching has grown in popularity, which is really no surprise. Considering the rapid pace of change across the entire landscape of our lives, we all need someone who can keep us focused, on track, and help us sort through the multiple decisions we make in a day. It’s not that we can’t do it all on our own, working with a coach just makes things move more quickly.

Although business coaching has been in existence since the early 90’s as an organized profession, it’s still in its infancy. This newness makes it more challenging to find a good fit when looking to engage a business mentor.

(Ready to schedule an interview with a strategic business coach? Click here.)

To assist in your quest to identify the best fit for you, here are several questions you can use when interviewing coaches:

1. What coach training have you attended? Here’s where a good dose of “buyer beware” comes in handy. If the coach tells you they’ve been coaching their entire life, run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. The profession of coaching has over 200 competencies and an in-depth body of knowledge. There are plenty of trained coaches available for you to choose from so there’s no need to hire a coach who merely hangs out his/her shingle and calls themselves a “coach”.

2. What size business do you specialize in coaching? Different business sizes have different needs. You want to select a coach who understands the challenges and opportunities YOUR business faces.

3. What industries have you coached? It’s good to get a sense of the depth and breadth of experience of a business coach. Frankly, I’d rather hire someone who works across a wide variety of industries than one who works within only one industry. It helps to take on a strategic business coach who doesn’t come equipped with their own blind spots.

4. What do you do best? What someone does best is not the same as that in which they specialize. Listen carefully when you ask this question. The answer will reveal how well the business coach actually listens.

5. What additional skills besides coaching do you bring into play? With the pure coaching model, the coach asks discovery questions to bring you some clarification. If that’s all you need, an additional skill set won’t be as important. However, depending on the type of support you want, you may prefer an individual who also has strong critical thinking or analytical skills so they can help scrutinize and strategize your business.

6. What kind of measurable results have you helped your clients achieve? A smart business coach knows they are not completely responsible for the results achieved by their clients but they do play a role in pointing out opportunities and helping their clients think through the myriad of strategic decisions. The bottom line is that a good coach should be able to state the results achieved by a variety of their clients.

You can count on a solid ROI from business coaching when you select the right coach for you and your business, identify what a successful engagement looks like, and outline your plan of action. Without that, it’s all just wishful thinking.

Interviewing a strategic business coach is still free…and you never know what you’ll uncover. Click here to have a business coach contact you.

Related Blog Posts:

Strategic Coach Sees the “Invisible Gorilla” in Your Business

What Makes an Effective Strategic Business Coach

Uncover the Moments of Truth in Your Business With a Strategic Coach

Every Entrepreneur Needs a Business Coach

What Entrepreneurs Benefit Most From Strategic Business Coaching

You’ve worked hard to establish your business. It’s not only your way of life but you’ve made a substantial investment into ensuring it’s success. Therefore, hiring a strategic business coach is an excellent way to enhance the return on that investment into your business. To experience a meaningful ROI on business coaching, you want to develop a relationship with your business coach that creates a collaborative, supportive environment, one in which you excel. To achieve this, consider the who, what, why, where and how of developing an effective relationship.


Strategic business coaches are in the business of being there for you and business. You want them to understand how a small business operates so they may provide value to your company. You want to engage a strategic business coach that has an attitude of “partnering” so that you, and your business, achieve it’s potential.


You spend your time focusing on results; your business coach should too. To ensure success, hold some strategic business coaching sessions during which you introduce your concerns, goals and desires for your business. Don’t forget to discuss your beliefs about what you intend to achieve. Honesty and candor go a long way in establishing a relationship that produces results for you.


You’ve hired a strategic business coach for a reason. What is it? Create a formal list of reason(s) you’re hiring an outside professional and share it with your coach. Your relationship will be stronger and the results from your coaching will be greater when you and your business coach are both on the same page.


It’s up to you and your strategic business coach where you meet. In today’s virtually connected world, most business owners prefer to meet their coach via the telephone.  No matter what method you and your business coach choose to use, you’ll both want to be away from the hustle and bustle of your immediate work environments in order to give you and your business the focus and attention it deserves.


So how do you tie it all together? You know who you want to be your business coach and you know why you want to engage a coach—now you need to pull it all together for a successful strategic business coaching experience. To do that, keep the following points in mind:

  • Be comfortable with the business coach you engage – the most successful relationships are created with those you trust.
  • Realize the possibility of better things. Never let negative emotions or negativity about your business’s current performance bring you down.
  • Focus on results, but do not expect results to happen overnight.
  • Communicate with your strategic business coach about what you want from your business and from the coaching experience.

Related Blog Posts:

Every Entrepreneur Needs a Business Coach

What to Discuss With Your Strategic Coach

Everyone’s NOT a Trained Coach

Strategic Business Coach: Luxury or Necessity

What Entrepreneurs Benefit Most From Strategic Business Coaching

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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