7 Reasons Why Every Serious Entrepreneur Needs a Business Coach You are missing valuable guidance if you do not have a business coach.

By Clate Mask

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I've been singing the praises of business coaches for a long time because I've seen the direct impact they can have on personal development and business growth. In fact, I've had the same coach for 12 years and cannot overstate the value this relationship has added to my journey as an entrepreneur and CEO.

If you own a business but are on the fence about getting a business coach, keep reading. Here are seven reasons I feel a coach is crucial for every entrepreneur.

1. A good business coach helps inform your strategy

As your company's founder, you clearly have some experience, either in your industry, your role or both. But no matter how much experience you have, you can benefit from more. Since there's a limit to how many businesses we can create, grow and exit in a single lifetime, the best way to gain another lifetime of experience is to draw on someone else's.

When you choose a business coach who either has firsthand experience doing what you're trying to do or has empowered others to succeed on the same path you're on, you'll get insider access to their knowledge and strategic guidance.

Related: How Hiring a Business Coach Will Transform Your Entrepreneurial Journey

2. They help you identify your strengths and weaknesses

The best business coaches see you for who you really are, both in the areas where you shine and the areas where you need extra help. They'll work with you to create a plan to double down on your strongest traits and to find ways not to let the weakest ones encumber you.

For example, maybe you're a visionary who dreams about product enhancements and big-picture trajectories. You'll be well served to have a partner who knows how to get in the weeds of daily management and tactical execution so you can actually bring your ideas to life. A seasoned business coach will be able to recognize the need for such synergy and advise you to hire someone who will complement your skill set in the most beneficial way possible.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Every Entrepreneur Should Have a Business Coach

3. Business coaches fill a unique and necessary role

One of the most important criteria when choosing a coach is to choose someone with no financial stake in the business. They also shouldn't be related to you or have a vested interest in the business for any reason. This keeps your coach unbiased and working solely for the company's good, which is a refreshing — and essential — need in a growing organization.

If you're only surrounded by family members who love you, friends who cheer you on and employees who are largely "yes people" because you hold the power of their paycheck, you need someone with an authoritative, insightful and neutral voice.

4. They're not afraid to challenge you

Along the same lines as the point above, a business coach can and should regularly challenge you. Even if it feels more harmonious to work with people who share your vision and are on board with your plans, it's helpful to have someone in the role of constructive dissenter.

This doesn't mean they're a constant contrarian, but it does mean they apply a critical lens to every major decision you make. If it's unclear why you're going in a certain direction or they see danger ahead, they'll challenge you on your choices. This might not be what you want, but I can attest that it's often what you need.

Related: If You Haven't Hired a Business Coach, You're Holding Yourself Back

5. A business coach is prepared to hold you accountable

You might be a solopreneur or in a partnership. Either way, who makes sure you hold up your end of the bargain when it comes to your duties in the business? For many entrepreneurs, the answer is no one. You're just doing your best to survive in the sea of responsibilities you find yourself in every day. Of course, some tasks will get pushed to the back burner, which is ok if you're not deprioritizing the things that matter.

A business coach is likely the only person who will feel comfortable speaking up if you're not following through on your commitments. Even if you are, they can check in to ensure you have what you need to be successful and have a sounding board if necessary. Accountability is huge, and a business coach is the best way for entrepreneurs to ensure they have it.

Related: 9 Qualities You Need to Look for in a Business Coach

6. They'll make you better

Let me ask you something: do you need improvements, or does your business need improvements? Most owners will readily raise their hand when asked if their business needs to be improved, but few want to admit to their own shortcomings. Many even fail to see the connection between their own issues and the business — but they're entirely interrelated.

Business coaches should not only point out your flaws but should also encourage you to face up to them. Sound uncomfortable? It certainly can be. No one wants to hear that their leadership style is coming across as dictatorial or that they're choosing a conservative go-to-market strategy that's all wrong simply because of fear. But the health and future of the business depend on you being aware of your shortcomings and then working to change them. In other words, the growth of the business starts with your own growth, and a business coach will help you achieve both.

7. Great business coaches will unlock your business's full potential

Combine all of the reasons listed here, and what do you get? An organization that is poised to improve and thrive. Without a coach, you may still get far. You might even do great things. But with a coach, your potential and your business' potential will have significantly greater odds of soaring.

I'm not exaggerating when I say my coach helped me through some of the most turbulent times in my business or that I would not be where I am today if it hadn't been for his guidance and influence. I want you to experience the same. If you're a serious entrepreneur, you need a business coach; it really is that simple.

Clate Mask

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor


Clate Mask is the founder and CEO of Keap, a maker of sales and marketing automation software for small businesses. He also is co-author of "Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy."

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