There comes a time in the life of any business owner when he or she feels overwhelmed and unsure of how to overcome the latest, possibly very large, obstacle. That time might come at the beginning in the life of the business or somewhere down the road. Either way, a smart business owner knows to ask for help and seek the assistance of a business coach when it happens. This just makes sense.

If you’ve reached such a point with your business and you know you want and need some outside help, how do you go about choosing the right business coach? And, once you’ve found that person, how do you get the most out of the coaching relationship?

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Find a Coach Who Has What You Need

Do you need help with staffing and personnel issues? Are your sales and marketing methods failing to achieve the results you need?

Do you need someone who will be honest with you about the areas where you need to change and grow? Are you in need of someone who will give you the advice you’re not able to give yourself? Moreover, is this the very advice that will help you to see what you need to see so you can go where you want to go?

On the other hand, perhaps you just need someone to bounce your ideas off of. You need someone who will help you sort out the brilliant ideas from the worthless ones, because your staff only tells you what they think you want to hear?

No one person—not even the most brilliant business coach—will have every strength. Therefore, look for a coach whose assets are a match for your weaknesses.

However, be clear about what you most need from a coach before you begin your search. And stay focused on finding a coach who will help you to achieve your goals.

Find a Coach Who Will Hold You Accountable

It can be comfortable to be surrounded by people who never disagree with you. However, notice that your being comfortable isn’t moving your business in the direction you want it to go. The last thing you want is a business coach who will agree with your every word.

Among other things, a good business coach will give you “homework” between sessions and insist that you complete it. You might balk at the idea of taking on additional work. After all, don’t you have a business to run? But you know deep down that the onerous task your business coach just gave you is one that you really should have been doing all along. And so you do it. And it works.

There are multiple advantages of hiring a business coach. One of these benefits is that you’ll be able to take advantage of the experience of someone who has been where you want to go. You want a coach who will save you from the mistakes they made, an experienced voice that will tell you what paths to avoid and why. With a good business coach, you’ll be saved from a lot of trial and error.

Stay in Touch and Meet Often

Your business coach should be willing to be in frequent contact with you, as well as willing to meet with you every couple of weeks or so. With two weeks between meetings, both of you will have adequate time to gather data and prepare for the next meeting. Any less often than that is probably not enough, as the relationship is likely to lose momentum and be less effective overall.

Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

Lay all your cards on the table in all of your interactions with your business coach. Be completely transparent in every detail. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and money, and who needs that? If you’re not going to be completely honest, you won’t get the results you want.

Improve Your Bottom Line by Putting Your Bottom on the Line

Good business coaches are out there, and here’s a hint: The best coaches are themselves being coached, or have been. If your business has stalled and you’re fresh out of ideas or you’re stuck in some other way, seek out the services of a good business coach. Find one who’s a match for your needs, work with that person honestly, and you’re bound to get an amazing return on your investment.