This is a guest post by Alexis Brown, who writes for ActionCOACH.
The American Dream: that life should be richer and fuller for all, according to their abilities. For some, that means turning their abilities into their own business.
With unemployment rates increasing, there’s a lot of talk about a recession being the right time to start a business. The allure is clear: be your own boss, no worries of job security, more free time, etc.
Of course, then come the warnings that 80% of small businesses fail in the first five years.
This fate is even more common during hard economic times, despite the fact that many small businesses are run by obviously highly motivated, smart and successful people (who were usually their former employers’ best and brightest before they struck out on their own).
In the book Billionaire in Training, author and multi-millionaire serial entrepreneur Brad Sugars explains this scenario by pointing out that employees break out of their box by turning their specialty into self-employment. The problem with that, Sugars says, is that they are seeking to prosper from knowing how to make what their ideal company will sell, instead of knowing how to sell what their company makes.
Knowing how to sell, build teams and create systems are prerequisite for anyone who wants to start a business. As simple as that sounds, the amount of self-employed people who have not mastered this is staggering.
As a result, would-be business owners literally ending a job instead of a business.
Obviously, all is not lost.
Many small to medium business owners are learning to seek help for the present, to stay afloat, and to get ahead for their futures. During harsh economic times such as this, the prospect of buying out competition is alluring for business owners. Many take the decision to invest in someone who can also help them strategize to establish more revenues to do just that.
As a result, business coaching is an industry that gets the opposite impact of an economic downturn. According to Entrepreneur magazine, business coaching is one of the top five fastest-growing industries – along with IT.
Business coaching is unlike life coaching or even business consulting. Unlike a consultant, who can be fresh out of college and seeking to use consulting to gain experience and contacts, a business coach should know how to make any business successful from training and experience.
What else might business owners look for in a coach?
1. Congruent commitment, to times and to the actions that are important for coaching
2. Transference of knowledge – unlike in consulting, where they keep the knowledge and you keep paying them for it – your coach should teach you to spread your own wings
3. Able to be an unreasonable friend
5. Frequent calls and check-ins
Most importantly, a business coach helps entrepreneurs work on, instead of just in, their businesses so they can have more time and lives of more freedom. You can learn more from the free iTunes podcast on the Six Steps to Success, How to Find Opportunity in a Crisis, Using Social Media to Build Your Business and many more … http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=286221031
# # #
Alexis Brown writes about social media strategies for business owners at ActionCOACH.