Success is a team sport, no matter the size of your business. And all great teams have a coach whose role is to guide, motivate, and support. I have been involved with volleyball for over 30 years, and I am fascinated by the coaches who seemed to orchestrate these amazing teams that were better than the sum of their parts. If you are a volleyball fan, look no further than the men’s Olympic gold medal team from the 2008 games. That team was nowhere close to the best available athletes in the sport at the time, but as a team, they were unstoppable.
I was so fascinated that it led me to become a coach, and I have always enjoyed finding new and fun ways to get a balance of support, motivation, and guidance. As a coach, you don’t directly affect the outcome, but you can certainly put your team in a better place to win through preparation and planning. The more experience I got with volleyball, the better I became as a coach, as I better prepared my teams, got to know what motivates them, and guided them to a game plan that would make them better than the sum of their parts.
But can a business coach do the same things? Is it not a game after all, is it?
The importance of a business coach
The truth is, business is just like a game — a team sport. It boils down to the preparation you can do, the planning you set in motion, and driving towards goals and milestones. And you have to do all of that while at the same time juggling the relationships you have with your customers, vendors, stakeholders, and employees when you get to that point.
I have been in the decorators’ community since early 2000. I have sold equipment, software, supplies, and services to small business owners in the garment and personalized products industry for nearly 20 of those years. And something was constantly nagging at me. There was always a steady flow of new businesses buying from me, but the percentage of returning customers was relatively small, and I knew that it wasn’t loyalty or poor service. They just were not in business any longer. Their websites are abandoned, and there is a sea of used equipment available from the leasing companies.
What I slowly realized was that they were missing the business foundation. Our industry has a very low barrier of entry. People can have thriving businesses with $500 to $2,000 investments. And those people love the idea of being creative and selling some stuff to their friends but have no interest or knowledge in building a business foundation.
I started Our Success Group in January of 2020 with support from a friend who is a decorator. I quickly discovered that people didn’t need the information they were seeking out — like “How do I use this new shiny object?” or “What is the latest marketing gimmick?” They had all the resources they needed at the moment to be successful. All they needed was a change of mindset.
As a business owner, you have to have a passion for showing up — stoke those flames, build some momentum, and throw extra fuel on the fire of success with coaching, mentoring, accountability, and masterminding. And that is when I realized that a business coach is crucial to success. As they can guide, motivate, and support you through challenges — as well as remind you to celebrate the wins.
I personally utilize mentors, accountability partners, and mastermind groups for my business so I can be the best provider to my community.
To answer the question: How valuable is a business coach to a shop owner?
The answer: How valuable is your long-term success? That is the price tag you should put on a coach.