the 10 qualities you need to look for in a business coach

Every business owner needs a coach because the fastest way to learn any business is to study someone who has been successful at it.  This person has already paid the price of experience.   Our whole lives are about learning.  When we’re young we attend school.  If we’re lucky, our parents impart a few important lessons.  If you’ve ever played sports, you’ve had a coach.  Education is king.  In the long run, finding the right mentor will save you time and money.

1. Experience – Exactly what have they accomplished?  Is it what you want to accomplish?  Your coach must have walked the walk, not just talk the talk.

2. Attitude – Having great attitude comes with time and experience.  The right coach will have been through it all — and come out the other side knowing a sense of humor goes a long way in business.  They are able to see the big picture.  They understand it’s all a numbers game,  they don’t get too upset.  An ideal coach is very patient, but also persistent and determined.

3. Willing to share – A great coach is willing to share all of his/her experiences with you — the good and the bad.  Do you get the feeling this person is holding back?  That’s not a good sign.  You’ll learn the most from someone who is willing to be radically transparent.

4. Expertise in their field – Does your potential coach regularly give lectures?  Has he/she written a book/blog? It’s impossible to be everything to everyone, nor is it desirable.  If this person offers a long list of services, exercise caution – Jack of all trades, master of none?

5. Accessibility – You must be able to reach your coach. A good coach will be willing to customize a program for you, because they know one size doesn’t fit all.  Does this person care about your problems and concerns?  specifically ask them how much time they have to offer you.  What is their schedule/availability like?

6. Connections – A great coach will have longstanding relationships with people who could benefit you.  Ask him/her if they’re willing to open doors for you.  Sometimes, it is about who you know.

7. Expectations – Ask you coach what they expect from you.  A good coach will keep you accountable. They will outline what they need from you, time and action wise.

8. A love of teaching – Teaching is skill that people get better at over time.  Good mentors love to help other people.  They enjoy the act of teaching. How a potential coach treats you from the very beginnings of your interactions is a good indicator of how he/she will act over time.

9. Holds you accountable – A great coach will not simply let you disappear.  Yes, things get in the way, but he/she cares about how you’re doing.

10. Professional qualification – Being a great coach isn’t about checklists and reports, it’s about knowing the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business to review, understand and analyse. Your business is individual and so should the approach to coaching it.  Only a professionally qualified accountant will know how to understand and analyse your specific business and tailor a plan for you.

Check any business coach to ensure they are fully qualified by an industry body.

things to consider when engaging a business mentor, coach or advisory board.


Entrusting the future direction of your business to a business mentor, coach or an advisory board is a major consideration for any business owner. You need to know you have the best person for the job. Someone who will have your ‘back’, listen to you, explain what is going on and what to expect on the horizon. As with any coach/coachee relationship, there are challenges to be faced, encouragement to be given, correction, redirection and sometimes even a difference of opinion.

Think of it like a fitness coach – there are days when you’d love to kill your coach for the pain they are putting you through, but it is the end goal that everyone is focused on achieving. Make sure you get the right coach for you and together make a fantastic business team!