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Keep It Up!

Need some motivation? Someone to show you the ropes? A business coach can help you push your startup to its limits.

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This story appears in the February 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You have a coach to play softball or volleyball. You generally need a coach to get you through childbirth. But when bringing a new business into the world, do you need a coach to help you? Maybe you don't need one--many people have started businesses without the help of coaches. But hiring a business coach can be helpful. Maureen O'Crean, a business coach in Redondo Beach, California, notes that her job is to give entrepreneurs the outside perspective they need to become successful. "If I can see the vision, then I know the steps [the entrepreneurs] need to take to have that vision come true. And that's something you can't do when you're in the midst of putting your life on the line [with a] startup," she says. "[Coaches] provide a different set of eyes for you. They can see from the outside."

It's not just objectivity, either--the best business coaches offer specific business advice, from where to go to register a website name to how to apply for a patent. In fact, Lorraine Marshall, founder of the TL Marshall Co. in Burbank, California, credits her coach, O'Crean, with helping her swim through the complexities of starting her manufacturing business--she creates hot knives used for crafts, construction and the like.

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