How To Select A Business Coach

A business coach can be an invaluable resource to help you develop, maintain and sustain high performance habits. But what should you look for in a business coach to ensure they’re right for you?

This three-step approach can help you identify the type of business coaching you require and help you select the right business coach.

Step 1: Define the coaching domain

There are so many different types of business coaching services available, both for individuals and organisations. To help define the type of business coaching you require, you need to identify the specific “domain of focus” that your business coaching program will concentrate on.

The eight domains of focus outlined in Standards Australia’s Coaching in Organisations guidelines include:

  • Workplace coaching: formal coaching that takes place in workplace settings.
  • Executive coaching: provided to executives and line managers for the purpose of improving skills, performance or work-related professional and personal development.
  • Leadership coaching: develops the skills, abilities and capacities of leaders for the purpose of enhancing leadership.
  • Business coaching: focuses on the performance of the business and includes design of business systems, business financials and marketing strategies.
  • Health coaching: guides people to address their health and make behavioural changes to improve health. As with traditional coaching, health coaching utilises goal setting, identification of obstacles and use of personal support systems.
  • Life coaching: provided to an individual for the purpose of development. Life coaching tends to adopt a “whole life” approach and can involve work and non work-related development.

Defining which domain of focus best applies to you situation will help identify the type of coaching you require.

Step 2: Define your preferred outcome

Identifying your desired outcomes or goals will help you select a coach whose skills and coaching approach best suit you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need to learn new skills? If so, skills coaching may suit you.
  • Do I need to develop already existing skills or my ability to implement them more effectively? If so, performance coaching may suit you.
  • Do I need to develop an entirely new mindset or perspective? If so, developmental coaching may suit you.
  • Do I need to change behaviours that are unproductive/disruptive? If so, remedial coaching may suit you.

If you are still unsure about the type of coaching you require, try answering these additional questions:

  • How would you like to act, think or behave differently after your coaching program is finished?
  • What are they key challenges or areas you want to focus on in your coaching program?
  • Assuming your coaching program has been successful, what would people you work with notice is different about you?
  • Assuming your coaching program has been successful, what changes would family/friends/your significant other notice in you?
  • What is your motivation behind wanting to invest in a coaching program?

Step 3: Assessing your business coach

It’s recommended you meet the coach in person and ask the following questions:

Education and qualifications
Do they have specific qualifications?
Do they have formal tertiary qualifications specific to coaching, psychology or human behaviour?
Do they span areas of behavioural science, adult education or business?
What workshops or training programs have they attended to expand their coaching knowledge?

Do they engage in regular supervision practices?
How do they maintain ongoing professional development?
How are they supervised or monitored?

Theoretical methodology
What theoretical methods underpin the coach’s approach?
Do they prescribe to an evidence-based approach to coaching?
Do they use a non peer-reviewed proprietary model of coaching?
Is the business model based on a coaching franchise or scientific basis?

Coaching experience
How much experience do they have as a coach?
Have they got experience in sport or leading in other parts of industry?
How long have they been coaching?

Industry-specific experience
Does the coach have specialist expertise?
Do they have experience working in the same/similar industries as you?
Have they achieved results with other clients/companies in your industry?

What type of assessment and selection instruments do they use in their coaching programs?

Business experience
Has the coach worked in business?
Have they worked in the public sector, private or both?
Have they run their own business?
What previous roles have they held?

Commercial acumen
How do they manage their business?
Does the coach have appropriate Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance?
Does the coach demonstrate professional commercial acumen in your dealings with them?

Professional membership
Do they hold membership with professional or industry bodies?

Do they abide by a code of ethics?
What code do they follow?

Chemistry check
Would you feel comfortable being coached by this person?
Do they show an ability to listen to you, respect you and demonstrate the ability to achieve results for you?

Follow these steps when choosing your coach and coaching program and you’ll soon be on your way to become his or her next successful protégé!


Hire A Coach


Choosing the right business coach is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner.  A Business Coach is there to do One Thing Only – To Help You Get Results

Good Business Coaches Work By The Numbers

The first thing that most people do when selecting a business coach is to look for someone that they like. Someone who is nice and says kind things about them.

In the 80s these types of people were called “Yes Men”. Individuals who always agreed with you and told you how fantastic you were. It was these types of people who hid all the bad news which lead in some cases to the collapse of major companies.

A business coach should never be a “Yes Man”.

The best way a business coach can be supportive to your business is to use numbers and metrics to highlight what’s not working and help you apply strategies to get you back on track and get results.

What Makes a Good Business Coach?

The type of person you want as a business coach is someone who –

  • Has a track record for getting the types of results you want
  • Specialises in the problem areas you are challenged with
  • Has been in business themselves or a business coach longer than you’ve been in business
  • Is a member of a respected coaching association
  • Holds you accountable for your actions
  • Encourages you to greater ambitions
  • Is coaching other businesses that are succeeding
  • You respect and who respects you
  • Demonstrates their knowledge of business in the way they communicate
  • Has masses of resources that they willingly share with you
  • Is reliable, dependable and behaves professionally
  • You trust and you know will keep your confidence
  • Can connect you with new business opportunities
  • Is honest with you and demonstrates integrity
  • Believes in you, is on your side and wants you to succeed
  • Encourages you to celebrate and be proud of your successes
  • Protects your interests through discretion and never shares information about you



1 Response to “How To Select A Business Coach”

  • Such great information! If you make the decision to invest in yourself and get a coach you sure don’t want to do it blindly and there are a lot of choices. Knowing how to choose a coach is as important as making the decision to get one! And understanding the differences between a life coach (from How to Choose A Life Coach blog) and a business coach is imperative. It’s all about your desired outcome! Where do you want to go and who can best help you get there. Thanks Marc!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *