Last week I was doing a long-term roadmap session with a new client who had only recently joined my Mastermind & Coaching Programme.
And during our conversation he was telling me about a previous coach he’d worked with who’d left a bit of a sour taste in his mouth…
He told me that he’d signed up to a 6-month programme, paid a fair chunk of money upfront, and only spoke to the coach a handful of times during that time.
Not only that, the times he did speak to them they were trying to get him to sign up to another organisation for which they’d probably receive a tidy commission.
At this point we both had a sour taste in our mouths.
So, in a bid to save other peoples wallets and minds from being unnecessarily damaged, I decided to write this article looking at 7 things you should look out for when deciding what coach to work with or what programme to join.
But before we get into that, let’s start by looking at what the benefits of coaching are for you and your accountancy practice.
What are the benefits of having a coach for your accountancy practice?
Having a coach for your accountancy practice can have a number of different benefits for both you personally and your business.
Here are just a few:
1. They’ll help you see the ‘wood from the trees’
Often as the practice owner, you’re too involved in your business to see what’s really going on. Having an outside perspective can often help you identify things you previously wouldn’t have noticed.
2. You’ll be pushed outside of your comfort zone
To make changes in your practice, you’re probably going to have to do something new or different. This means stepping out of your comfort zone. With a coach, they’ll give you the push you need to do this.
3. They can help you prioritise and focus on the things that will have the biggest impact
As a business owner, at any one time you can have hundreds of ideas and things that you want to do and change. Having a coach will help you identify, prioritise and focus on the things that will have the biggest impact for you right now.
4. You can shortcut your success
Why spend the next 10-20 years trying to figure out how to do things, when you can learn from somebody who’s done it, and is doing it with their clients right now? Having a coach can shortcut your success quite dramatically.
5. A confidante to hold you accountable
If you’re a solo business owner, it can sometimes get lonely at the top. Having a business coach allows you to confide in someone about your thoughts and feelings, as well as having somebody to hold you accountable to making changes.
6. Your business (and you personally) will develop dramatically
Without a doubt, if you find the right coach for your accountancy practice, your business and you personally will develop and grow dramatically.
7 things to look for when deciding what coach to work with
So, you’ve decided that you think you might want coaching?
But before you jump straight in, it’s important to understand that not all coaches and mentors were created equal, and as a result you need to look out for a few things when deciding who to work with.
Here are 7 things to look for when deciding which coach you want to work with to help you grow, scale and fine-tune your accountancy practice:
1. Somebody you connect with
Just like any other relationship, it’s important that you connect with your coach and you have a similar mindset, outlook on things. If you don’t, then just like in any other relationship the chances are it’s probably not going to last very long…
2. They have a proven process for accountability
There’s no point in having a coach if they aren’t there to hold you accountable to doing what you say you’ll do. Find out about how their process works and more specifically the ways it will keep you focused and hold you accountable. Meeting up once a quarter usually isn’t good enough. Look for something with weekly accountability if you want the best results.
3. They practice what they preach
Lots of coaches out there can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? Look for somebody who teaches by example and practices what they preach. Ideally, they come from the same industry that you’re in, or even better have a business in that industry right now.
4. A proven track record with references and testimonials
Usually if a coach has just started out, they’re still in the process of figuring a few things out for themselves. Look for somebody with a proven track record who isn’t afraid to give you a list of current clients to call and speak to or has a number of testimonials on their website.
5. Is an expert in your industry
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with generalist coaches, I used to be one myself. But a coach who specialises in one specific industry will generally have a much deeper understanding of your challenges and how to get over them. They’ll have probably seen it all before with a number of different clients.
6. Has a community of clients you can access
Having a coach is one thing but having a large community of other people in the same boat as you that you can learn from, share best practices with and be accountable to is another level all together. You ideally want to look for a coach who will allow you access to their other clients.
7. Isn’t trying to make a quick buck on you
I often hear stories from clients of other coaches/mentors where once you’re in their coaching programme, they try to upsell you to different pieces of software or other groups where an additional fee is needed, and they receive some commission. Some of these may be legit, but others are probably just trying to make a quick buck…
You’ve heard the saying ‘hire slow, fire fast’?
Well the same applies when deciding what coach to work with…
If somebody is trying to rush you and pressure you into joining their coaching programme, they might not have your best interests at heart.
Take your time, do your due diligence and find the right coach for you.
Because when you find the right one, the results it can have on your business and your life are quite phenomenal…