Why Do I Need A Business Coach?

Most people who start their own business are driven by a passion. They have a particular specialism they enjoy enough to do it every day, and they believe they’re good enough at it to make money. They launch themselves into the new business with the full support of their family and friends. And then, it starts to hit them: there’s more to this than they realised.

Every business, large or small, has certain basic functions, including accounting, business development, sales and marketing, human resources, maybe compliance, stock management, health and safety, etc. Whether you’re a multinational corporation or a sole trader, the same truth applies: doing the actual work is just one part of the whole machine.

Trying to cope with all these different business functions on your own can quickly become overwhelming, to the extent you completely lose sight of what inspired you to set up the business in the first place. Like writer’s block, that special passion that drove you becomes smothered beneath the pressures of running a business.

Strength not weakness

The obvious solution is to call in help, but there are two fears that stop a lot of business owners from taking the leap. One is cost, and the other is the sense of failure. Both are illusory. A good business coach will help you to become more profitable, increasing your income rather than putting a dent in it.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of shrewdness. Latest figures show that around 80 per cent of corporations are currently using business coaches to help their executives develop leadership skills and to help change the structure of the organisation.

This statistic helps to dispel the common myth that you have to be broken before you need a coach. The purpose is not damage repair, it’s helping you to achieve peak performance.

A business coach can be anything from a mentor to a stand-in, a more functional member of your leadership or strategic contingent. They will bring an objective view to your business and they will instruct you to do the same. They will help you find a way to work on your business rather than in your business, ie. taking a long-term strategic overview rather than becoming buried in the day-to-day activities. Furthermore, they will help you get back to the reason you started the business in the first place.


Working with you, not for you

Just as Andy Murray’s tennis coach doesn’t go out and play the matches for him, a business coach is not there to do the work for you. Like any other type of coach, a business coach is there to help you perform to the best of your ability.

Business coaches are experienced in many of the aspects of running a business and are able to leverage their network of expert contacts as required. They will be like an ally on your board, helping you to engage the help you need, to make decisions, to plan, to set goals and to make sure you stick to your goals.

There is no need to see your coach every day but you should keep regular contact – meeting at least twice a month – in order to maintain continuity and build momentum. A good coach will also be available for email and phone support.

Holistic approach

The pressures that can smother a business don’t necessarily all come from the business itself. How you perform at work is influenced by everything else that’s going on in your life; a good coach will take this into account.

The same symptoms of ‘writer’s block’ can afflict your domestic life, whereby you become fatigued, fed up and can’t see a way forward. Problems with any personal relationship – be it with your partner, children, or parents – can undermine your energy at work. As with a struggling business, you lose touch with the love you once felt for that person.

These problems nearly always stem from a breakdown in communication: an unwillingness or inability to understand the other person’s perspective. A coach will listen without judgement to both sides in isolation, so that you both feel free to express your feelings without holding back. This may be the first time that you’ve felt like you’re actually being listened to, and that can be ground-breaking in enabling you to open your mind to the other person’s perspective.

The coach will then put a plan in place for opening the lines of communication, addressing the issues that lie behind each person’s dissatisfaction (in most cases it’s time management) and will work with you to make sure you follow the plan and achieve the continuous improvement required to repair the relationship and remove the frustration that’s been draining your energy.


Running a business can be a lonely experience. But, it doesn’t have to be. And neither should it be. Having someone there to act as a sounding board is not only reassuring, it makes sound business sense. The more time and head space you can make to plan ahead, set targets, source expertise and perform the jobs that you do best, the more successful your business will be. Smart business owners are the ones who recognise that they aren’t the best person to do all the jobs their business requires. Until you accept this yourself, every step you take will feel like a stumble in the dark. With a business coach at your side, you will find the path to success clearly marked, and each confident step you take will bring you pleasure and rewards – just as you hoped it would when you set out.

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Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/timhatari

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Topics from this blog: HR, People Coaching, CPD

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