What is a Small Business Coach? (And why do I need one?)

small business coach - woman in office

What is a Small Business Coach? (And why do I need one?)

Why did you start your own business? For many , it is to escape the rat race or to enjoy the freedom and flexibility to work around family or other commitments.

But, whatever the reason, the reality can be very different. With priorities constantly changing, deadlines looming, home and work life competing for attention, it can be difficult to live up to the idealised view you had when you started your business.

No matter how successful your business, no owner has all the answers.  But, knowing that there is help available and that you don’t have to do it all alone, can be the catalyst for growing your business, achieving success in less time, and getting closer to that ideal. This is why so many business owners employ a small business coach.

What is a Small Business Coach?

One common denominator I have found with small business owners is that they spend so much time wrapped up in the day-to-day “happenings” of their business and “fire-fighting”, rather than strategizing and working “on” their business.

It’s all too easy to become engrossed in the urgent daily to-dos, rather than thinking about the direction that you want the business to take.  This strategy is just as important for a small business as it is for larger organisations. As you deal with the admin, the staffing, the marketing, so you can lose perspective and can’t “see the wood for the trees”.

It may be that there are some easy “tweaks” that can make a world of difference to the running and profitability of your business, but it often takes someone with an “outside view” to be able to determine what these are. This is where a business coach comes into their own.

A business coach can help you to gain clarity on your business objectives and to identify the tasks that you need to focus on for growth. As a small business coach, I often work with clients early on in our relationship on creating long term goals.  Once these are clear, it’s much easier to create short to medium-term goals to focus on and a strategy to reach these goals.

Beating the Isolation Blues – How Can A Small Business Coach Help?

It wasn’t until I started running my business that I understood real loneliness.  Coming from a corporate environment, I was used to the constant noise and chatter of a busy office, but suddenly I found myself working alone, with no one to bounce ideas off or even to tell me I was doing a good job.

Similarly, during difficult times, when the chips were down, there was no one to reassure me that this was just a blip, or to suggest steps I might take to improve my situation and my business forecast. It wasn’t until I spoke to other small business owners that I realised how common these feelings of isolation can be.

As a sounding board for your ideas and thought processes, a business coach can help alleviate these feelings of loneliness. Often, some reassurance is needed. The reassurance that you’re not alone, that whatever feelings you’re experiencing are common and perfectly normal and that the “peaks and troughs” of business life are to be expected!

“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities”

Bob Nardelli. CEO Home Depot

Building Confidence

If you’re lacking in confidence, it can be difficult to reach the next level with your business. Whether you’re a one-man band or have a team around you, it can be challenging not to waste time second-guessing every decision you make.  You may have clear aspirations for your business, but I often find business owners suffer with a lack of confidence to put those plans into action.  What are the steps to get you towards that goal?

Although you are no doubt fantastic at what you do (and you are!) it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’re a born businessperson. And, as your business grows, so you’re expected to know more and to understand exactly how to run a growing, successful business; how to increase sales and profits, communications, growing a team, VAT, payroll…the list goes on.  Gah! Is there no end to the expertise that, as a small business owner, you’re expected to have?!

But what happens when you’re faced with something in which you have no knowledge? Either you must learn quickly (and take time away from running your business to do so) or you can risk trying to do it anyway and making some potentially costly mistakes along the way.

Either way, the whole “no one gave me a manual on being a business owner” thoughts can quickly sap your confidence in your ability to do anything.  Throw in a few mistakes (or learning opportunities, as I prefer to call them!) and your confidence is flatter than the proverbial pancake!

A business coach can help you to build your confidence in the things you do know, as well as facilitate the process of finding answers to the bits you don’t know.  I certainly don’t have all the answers – but, thanks to a “little back book” of contacts who are experts in their fields, I have never been unable to help find a solution for a client!

Turning a Pastime into a Business

As a small business coach, I often see clients who have come across their business by accident.  That is, that they have turned a passion, a pastime in effect, into a sustainable business – and I love this! 

But what can happen is that they fail to understand their market – they’re not sure who they should be marketing to, or they’re not sure which area of their business is the most profitable.

Perhaps they have no proper customer records or an idea of who their most profitable customer segment is.  They simply have the passion to create a product or service and there business has evolved from there.

 The good news is that that’s how many small businesses start and all power to them! But, to grow their business into a sustainable business model, they do need some foundations upon which to grow. They need some “markers” along the way upon which to measure their success, they need some idea of what to say, to whom and why!

A small business coach can support you to create systems that will grow with you, analyse your markets and create a clear sales process, to help you identify and reduce costs and to work with you to turn that “business idea with legs” into a profitable enterprise.

woman dreaming at computer - business coach

Increasing Productivity

How much time do you waste on activities that have no return on the time invested? If you’ve ever completed a time in motion study, then the result can be quite enlightening!

The truth is that in any small business, there are only a handful of activities that drive revenue and growth. So, it stands to reason that if you can focus your time and energy on productive activities, whilst eliminating the time-sucking ones, then you can achieve far greater results.

In any small business, there are always some activities that can only be done by you.  Perhaps you are the only one with the requisite expertise, for example. 

However, if you find that your time is taken up with tasks that could (and should) be done by someone else, then it’s time to think about outsourcing or delegating!

I work with clients to first identify these tasks that don’t support business growth and to then either eliminate the tasks completely through revised working practices or to pass them to someone else to do.

There are so many outsourcing solutions available in our “virtual” world, and by taking advantage of these opportunities, you can leverage time to produce bigger better results. What’s not to love?!


The popular misconception is that only large organisations work with business coaches, but that’s not the case.  A small business coach can help you to create the firm footings needed to grow a sustainable, resilient business and to take your business to the next level of success.

If now is the right time to invest in your business growth, then I offer 1:1, group as well as business breakthrough days, aimed at helping you grow your business, build resilience and achieve success.  Find out more here.

I have worked in over 30 industries, both here, in the UK and internationally, from agriculture to FMCG, publishing to fundraising and I bring almost 30 years of experience in owning and running successful businesses to small business coaching and supporting business owners to create their vision of success. I give them not only the practical tools, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual tools so they can gain clarity on their path, break down blocks, own and live their values and communicate their worth. Get in touch now to start your journey to success.


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