Invest in a Business Coach for Your Interiorscape Company

2008 the first time I tried several different networking groups. I encountered the usual insurance salesmen, Mary Kay reps, and lots of realtors, but one profession I was totally unfamiliar with – the business coach.

Being that I had never heard of a life/business coach until then, I was surprised to find one or two in every group. At first, I wondered how bad your life must be to hire someone to help you through it. The more I thought about it, I realized you didn’t have to be in dire straits to need one. After all, professional athletes have coaches throughout their careers and many famous singers continue taking voice lessons. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone in your corner when business throws you a curve ball, your spouse doesn’t support your career goals, or you feel so stressed out you never want to answer the phone or email again?

Having that extra support from someone able to instruct you through those difficult moments could be extremely beneficial not only for your profit margin but also for your state of mind.

Recently I asked my sister-in-law, Britt Bolnick, who specializes in coaching business women, from some of the reasons people come to her. Her range of answers surprised me.

Reason #1 to Have a Business Coach

The number one reason is the person has a business dream they want to pursue but need guidance. Growing up, I learned from family members who started their own companies from retail furniture and medical supplies to construction and landscaping. When I had a question, I had my parents and plenty of relatives to ask.

How do I incorporate? What kind of licenses and permits do I need? Can I write off a vacation and claim it’s a business trip? Whenever I struggled with these questions, I simply turned to a family member. I take for granted the vast business knowledge I can tap into. For many people, however, starting a horticulture enterprise or any business would be a first in their circle of family and friends.

Google provides some answers, and classes and books are helpful, but for a novice, reading about business is not the same as running one. Personal one on one time with a business coach, someone who’s been through the process, is invaluable.

Reason #2 to Have a Business Coach

The other type of client Britt often coaches is successful women who cannot find joy or reduce the stress in their lives. Many business owners struggle with these issues, when they have all the money they need, but no peace of mind. These questions are another prime reason to search for help.

A good example is a single mother in Maine who started a small eatery while living in her parent’s attic. She managed to turn her one storefront into four, lines forming out the door every day of the week. Despite achieving financial success beyond her dreams, she could not enjoy life nor find enough time to spend with her child.

By working with Britt, this mom and business owner learned how to shut off work, delegate responsibilities, and trust her staff. Now, she enjoys taking her child on month long vacations to Hawaii, traveling the world, and working with charities close to her heart.

Reason #3 to Have a Business Coach

As business people, we have our strengths and weaknesses. I will admit, I’m horrible at bookkeeping and being organized, but queen of procrastination when sitting in front of the computer. A business coach can be a great assistance in improving your weaknesses or showing you steps to work around them.

Time management is probably a business person’s biggest issue. Coaches can be a great source for improvement. Britt shared with me how she started out as a single parent living in New York City, working two jobs to pay the bills. She had a mere four-hour window of time during the day to devote to her coaching business. Today, she helps women around the United States and overseas in countries such as New Zealand.

Do You Need a Life Coach?

As I noticed in 2008, the life coach field is rising in popularity. One downside I believe is that this industry currently doesn’t require any state or federal regulation to be certified. Basically, anybody can call themselves a life coach. Britt warned not to assume this person is a good coach because they have a well-done professional website or fancy copy. Do your own research.

Britt’s company, In Arms Coaching, gets a majority of clients from referrals. She recommends if you don’t know anybody that can personally refer a business coach, to ask the coach if you can contact some of their clients when you inquire about their services. Do not feel guilty for asking, since any reputable coach will have no problem with that request. Getting client feedback is the best option to finding a coach that’s right for you and your situation.

Sherry has been part of the interiorscape industry for over fifteen years, starting at an entry level job at North Florida's largest greenhouse and currently owning two horticulture companies. At UMaine, Sherry majored in English where she worked part-time writing scripts for a local college TV studio.

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