Tips to help you choose the best Christian business coach for your business so you can keep growing
Choosing a Christian business coach can be a bit of a dilema since there are lots of business coaches and mentors out there.
How do you narrow them down? How do you know which ones will deliver on their promise and is a good fit for you and your business?
These are very important questions to ask when you’re trying to find a Christian based business coach to work it. Unfortunately, the answers to these questions aren’t always clear cut.
Before I share some tips to help you choose a business coach or mentor, let’s look at a few things like the definition of a Christian business coach and some reasons why you may need one.
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN BUSINESS COACH?
A business coach is someone whose objective is to help a business owner work through a particular business problem or set of problems.
Simply, a Christian business coach is a coach who believes in God and uses the Bible as the foundation for their coaching. Which means, their advice is based on biblical principles and their goal is to help you grow your business with biblical principles while glorifying God.
That’s pretty simple isn’t it?
Now that you know what a Christian small business coach is, let’s consider why you as a Christian entrepreneur may need a business coach.
WHO NEEDS A CHRISTIAN BUSINESS COACH?
Most business owners who are looking to work with a business coach usually fall into one of the six categories below.
- A new business owner who needs some help figuring out how to start and run a business.
- An entrepreneur who needs help thinking through a major business decision. For example, expanding a business, taking on a big loan or new business partners etc.
- Business owners who think everything is okay, but they would like to talk things through so they can identify if they are doing anything wrong, or probably just need some general advice to help them improve their business.
- Christian entrepreneurs who are experiencing a downturn in their business revenue or profits through no fault of their own.
- Entrepreneurs who have been in a bad situation for a while but have finally decided they need help to fix things.
- Christian business owners who are on the verge of collapse and are scrambling to save their business.
If you’re looking for faith-based coaching right now, you probably fall into one of these categories.
While a business coach may not have the experience to deal with all these situations, most experienced business coaches would have encountered most of these situations.
Some coaches prefer to work only with a certain type of business owner (for example new business owners), or only those with specific business problems, so make sure you ascertain that before committing yourself to the coaching process.
Next let’s look at some of the objectives of Christian business coaching. By objectives, I mean what the coach and coachee hope to accomplish.
OBJECTIVES OF BUSINESS COACHING
- The first objective of coaching should be to help you the client get rid of your current business problem and also formulate a plan to prevent those problems from recurring.
- Another important objective of Christian business coaching is to offer hope, encouragement and accountability.
- In some cases, a coach will help you to define and articulate your goals so you can focus on accomplishing them.
- If you lack some entrepreneurial skills, a small business coach can teach you some basic business skills to help you run and build a successful business.
- Finally, a Christian based business coach can teach you some biblical business principles with practical application for your business.
So let’s look at some criteria for choosing the best business coach to work with.
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HOW TO CHOOSE A CHRISTIAN BUSINESS COACH
1. HAVE CLEAR OBJECTIVES
Before you start looking for faith-based coaching, make sure you have a clear picture of what you’re looking for and what you hope to accomplish.
Make a list of the business problems or issues you’re looking to solve so you can discuss them with the potential business coach.
It’s also a good idea to know what your expectations are for a coach so you can use that to screen potential coaches.
One of the reasons coaching relationships break down is because both parties are at cross purposes. The client wants something completely different from what the business consultant thinks they want or need.
The only way to avoid potential conflict or reduce the risk of having a negative coaching experience is to have clear objectives and communicate those objectives to your coach.
2. A BUSINESS COACH SHOULD BE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT BUSINESS
You want to work with a business coach who can offer real and practical advice and not just spiritual mumble jumble.
Yes, there’s a place in business for prayers, reading the Bible and quoting Bible verses. However, when you hire a business coach, you want practical advice that you can apply to your business to solve your problems.
So make sure you look out for this before you commit yourself to a business coach.
3. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
The easiest way to figure out if a Christian business coach is right for you is by asking the right questions.
Some questions to ask include:
- What’s your business experience?
- Can I see some testimonials?
- What’s your specialty?
- What are your rates?
- What do you need from me?
Feel free to ask any other question you think is important to you. There’s no limit to the number of questions you can ask, so don’t hold back.
4. KNOW WHAT THE COACH IS WILLING TO DO
I always like to have everything out in the open so there’s no confusion.
Before you can have a productive relationship with a business coach, first, you have to undersand what a business coach is and isn’t, and what they are willing to do.
For example, a business coach isn’t a mentor whose role is mostly to offer support.
While a coach can and do offer some support, the role of a business coach is to come up with solutions for your problems while your job is to implement those suggetions.
A business coach isn’t there to listen to “all” your problems or offer advice outside their scope of expertise or experience so don’t expect them to.
I just wanted to throw that out there because the lines can sometimes get blurry and lead to unneccesary tension.
Be wary of any Christian business coach who offers unsolicted advice relating to other issues you are not seeking advice for, or coaches who try to sell you investment products.
Here is a very helpful post on the differences between a coach and a mentor: Know the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring
5. FIND OUT HOW THE COACH COMMUNICATES WITH HER CLIENTS
Communication has never been easier.
There are so many ways to communicate that this shouldn’t really be a big issue. If you can’t find a Christian business coach near you, you can always build a long-distance relationship with a coach in another state or city far from you.
Communicating with a coach who doesn’t live near you shouldn’t be a problem in this day and age. However, you still want to get that settled before you enter into a coaching relationship.
Find out how the coach prefers to communicate with her clients and make sure you are familiar and comfortable with her methods.
Most coaches use Skype for coaching sessions, but a lot of them also prefer phone calls and/or emails. So make sure you agree on a method or methods of communication prior to your first coaching session.
6. PREPARE TO DO YOUR PART
At this point, some of you may be wondering if business coaching is right for you?
Whether coaching is right for you or not is a question only you can answer. However, be aware that like every other successful relationship, you have to be prepared and willing to keep your own end of the bargain if you want to enjoy the benefits of coaching.
Some expectations from you include:
- Being honest and forthcoming with information that would help your coach come up with the best plan and advice for you.
- Cooperate with your coach by attending your coaching sessions, completing any assignments or tasks your coach gives you.
- Communicating in a timely and agreed upon manner.
- Doing whatever is required to ensure you meet your coaching objectives
Since you want your coach to deliver great service and results, make sure you reciprocate by doing your part and providing all the documents, information and whatever else your coach needs. This also includes paying them on time without any hassle!
7. CAN YOUR AFFORD THE BUSINESS COACH?
Knowing how much a potential coach charges, and what her fees cover will help you to make a final decision.
Don’t skip this step of the process since it can damage a coaching relationship.
If the coach doesn’t discuss her fees clearly, make sure you bring it up so both of you can be on the same page. While you should expect a wide range of fees based on experience and what is offered, don’t feel compelled to work with a coach you can’t afford.
Keep searching until you find a coach that you can comfortably afford. Expect to pay a premium for popular and more experienced business coaches because a laborer is worthy of his wages.
There’s something for everyone so avoid haggling or trying to get a business coach to reduce their fees.
7. IS THE COACH AVAILABLE?
Don’t forget to ask about availability before you start a new coaching relationship.
If you want to get going on the coaching, it’s pointless signing up with someone who isn’t immediately available (or has a reasonable wait time).
It’s okay if you are willing to wait for your prferred coach even if they have a wait time of three to six months. But, most business owners wouldn’t want to wait that long.
You also want to find out the frequency of the coaching sessions (i.e weekly, biweekly etc), and if coaching occurs on a particular day (or time) of the week.
You need all these information so you can ascertain if their availability works with your schedule and for planning purposes.
Christian Business Coach-Final Thoughts
Christian business coaching may be the next step for you if you are struggling to grow your business or need some direction and clarity for your business.
Just like the Bible says in Proverbs 11: 14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety,” a Christian business coach can provide counsel and serve as a safety net for your business.
So don’t think it’s a sign of weakness or failure if you decide to seek coaching as long as you do your due diligence, and you’re ready to do your part to make sure you achieve your goals.
What do you think is the most difficult part of choosing a Christian business coach?
Here is another helpful article to help you choose a business coach (not necessarily choosing a Christian business coach).