Running a business is a roller coaster. One day your day is productive and things are looking great for your business, and the next, you feel like everything has been derailed and you are falling. Plenty of business owners go through this roller coaster, and many reach certain milestones during their business’s life when they say, “I’m not sure what to do next.”
Hiring a business coach will provide you with objective insights into how to run your business better, increase sales and improve your skills as a CEO. In this article, we’ll lay out five signs to indicate it might be time to hire a business coach.
1. You see no clear path forward.
This can apply to many aspects of your business. Do any of these cases sound like you?
- You are lost in terms of understanding your role as a CEO.
- You don’t know what your day-to-day tasks should be.
- The business’s direction changes multiple times over the course of several weeks.
- You don’t have a clear set of priorities or plans written down.
CEOs, particularly of companies they personally started, are typically jacks of all trades and have had their hands in all parts of the business. They often have a hectic and urgent air about them, which, when they take a step back to lead the company, can be a hard habit to break. Startup CEOs will often find their time occupied with performing tasks that could easily be delegated to a lower-level employee.
A business coach can help you establish your role and responsibilities as CEO. Writing out your responsibilities in conjunction with your business’ strategic goals can help you directly connect your activities with the outcome you’d like based on the goals. A business coach can also help you let go of the impulse to do everything in the company.
2. You’re overwhelmed.
A clear sign you’re overwhelmed is when you constantly wonder when the last time you had a vacation or went home on time was. If you’re feeling this way, you need to ask yourself the hard question of whether the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis are moving you towards your goal. More often than not, business owners find they’re spending too much time on activities that aren’t productive, even though they might seem productive in the moment.
Being overwhelmed can also lead to feelings that you cannot turn to anyone else in your organization for answers. You might also start only using your ideas even if you know in the back of your mind that someone else might have a better idea.
A business coach will objectively look at your daily tasks and how you do them. From there, they can list which tasks should be delegated and how you can effectively perform the tasks that need to stay under your purview.
3. You need more personal accountability.
Perhaps you’ve written down your goals for yourself and your business, but you just can’t seem to meet them. Before you think “these goals are too lofty,” you should ask yourself if you’re really pushing yourself to do everything you can to meet those goals.
Everyone knows it’s all too easy to break a promise to yourself.
Instead of calling upon a spouse or friend to keep you accountable to your business goals (and to risk damaging those relationships), you should enlist the help of a business coach to whom you will be accountable. A business coach will not only be your accountability buddy but will also be able to look at your tasks objectively and tell you where you’re losing time and effort.
4. You want to develop new skills.
Whether you have been commended for your natural leadership skills or know you lack confidence when it comes to your ability to lead a company, everyone can find ways to improve themselves. Having strong leadership skills at the helm of the company will only improve your company’s culture and success.
Leadership doesn’t have to be — and shouldn’t be — the only skill you want to develop as a business owner. To keep your business ahead of the curve, you might need to develop skills in negotiating, finance or a new technology.
When you’re looking for a business coach to help develop your new skills, doing your research will be important in finding the right match. If you’re working on soft skills, like leadership or negotiation, you will want to find a coach you’re comfortable opening up to and having a safe space with. When searching for a coach for a hard skill, like a new technology, you should ask for testimonials from the coach’s past clients to see how their skills improved with the help of that coach.
5. You’re in a rut.
Have you been feeling indecisive about growing your business? Even with having an ambitious entrepreneurial spirit, disrupting your operations can be a daunting decision that is difficult to make. Instead of falling into a rut, employing a business coach can give you guidance with brainstorming and implementing a strategic plan to successfully grow your business.
There is saying that essentially states that nobody is smarter than everybody. With the help of an experienced business coach, you will gain new perspective and confidence in planning and executing strategies.
While there is no definitive answer for when to hire a business coach, a good benchmark for knowing its time is when you say, “I don’t know what to do next.” Just remember, every business owner is different, and everyone’s progression in owning a business is different.
Research by the International Coach Federation has shown that, of small business owners that have hired a business coach, 70% have seen increased work performance, 86% have seen a return on investment and an impressive 99% of entrepreneurs were happy that they made the decision to hire a business coach.
It is important to get help early and often because even superheroes don’t do it alone. Everyone needs collaboration and advice to conquer the world.
This article was originally featured on Forbes.com