Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Coaching and Consulting
What is the difference between coaching and consulting?
Coaching is about growing the person, the business owner, from the inside out. Coaching helps you to determine goals that match your highest potential, create a realistic plan to achieve those goals, discover how you self-sabotage your business, and be accountable for achieving goals within a planned time frame. While your coach might offer you insight and advice, the primary purpose of coaching is to empower YOU to learn how to create the business of your dreams.
Consulting brings the expertise of the consultant into the mix. A consultant offers information, advice, brainstorming and training. Look for a consultant who has achieved what you want to achieve, someone who is willing to share all their knowledge, wisdom and practical tips with you.
Let's work with an example:
Say that you are working on your task plan for next month. A coach might ask you, “What tasks do you need to complete in the next month in order to achieve your monthly goals?,” encouraging you to set your own priorities. A consultant might say, “Here are some of the tasks you need to consider for the next month in order to achieve your monthly goals,” offering advice based on experience.
A coach-consultant does both. I work both as a coach and as a consultant, to give you the best of both worlds.
How do I know if I need coaching, consulting, or both?
You need a coach if you want help:
- organizing your thoughts
- creating a practical and effective plan
- prioritise goals and tasks
- being more accountable for following through on tasks
- maintaining high motivation even in the face of difficulties
- understanding how you sabotage your efforts (and figuring out what to do about this self-sabotage)
You need a consultant if you want:
- the advice and experience of someone who is successfully self-employed
- to understand the basics of business planning and marketing
- to learn business and marketing skills in a rapid fashion
- to find ways to manage and follow-up on your business success
If you want help in both areas, you need both coaching and consulting.
I strongly encourage my clients to use me as a coach-consultant, the best of both worlds.
In all cases, I will:
- Ask thought-provoking questions to stimulate you to look at things in new ways
- Really listen to what you say. Not only to the surface content of what you are saying, but also listening for the patterns, beliefs and feelings behind content
- Give honest feedback on what I observe
- Assign you "homework" to do between coaching sessions
Do you service a particular geographic area?
My clients are from all over the world.
What kinds of topics do you discuss with your clients?
Here are some perennial topics that I often discuss with my clients:
- How to know if you're in the right business
- Why business plans are important and when they only have to be three pages long
- How to get more clients
- Brainstorming on a marketing plan that's actually do-able by a small business owner
- How to keep more profit from the revenue you're earning
- Exploring how internet marketing can build your business
- How to balance the demands of being self-employed with your personal life
What is the Potential Time Small Business Coaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that everyone is born with unique talents and gifts to offer the world. For some, it's being a mother and raising physically and emotionally healthy children. For others, it's doing volunteer work, or starting a business, or being an author. Each person is different. I believe that each person can discover his or her unique gifts and life purpose, and once begun to work towards developing those gifts and using them in the world and then can have a sense of purpose, happiness, and satisfaction.
What is your personal Coach-Consultant style?
I tend to ask a lot of insightful questions, both to help me understand who you are and where you are at in your life, and also so that you can hear your own answers. I help clients to discover the patterns of limiting beliefs that keep them stuck in life, then tap their creativity and innate wisdom to figure out how to convert those limiting beliefs into a functional and exciting life vision. I use humor a lot, as I find that sometimes we can get so mired down in our life that we fail to see the bigger picture (and the humor) of some of the situations we get ourselves into. Don't get me wrong...I take the process very seriously, but a little laugh once in a while can brighten anyone's life considerably.
Whether we're talking about your business strategy, your marketing plan or your website design, YOU are in complete control. A good coach-consultant does not tell you exactly what to do but brainstorms with you to use your own creativity when solving problems, and offers advice and information when needed. You make your own decisions based on the total discussion; decisions that you can feel confident about implementing.
Your coach-consultant empowers you to create sound decisions and to feel confident about your decisions, but does not judge any decision you make. If, at any time, you do not feel comfortable with your coach, you can simply say so. You always have the right to terminate the coaching relationship if it is not working for you. Strict honesty between the coach and client make all this possible.
What are your hours?
Our workday is 9:00am to 8:00pm AEST, Monday through Friday to allow for Western Australian clients. However if this does not suite I am happy to make arrangements outside these times.
There are five client appointment times each day: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:30 AEST - again I am happy to try and accommodate outside these hours if need be.
You are always welcome to leave a message or send email.
I endeavor to return all phone calls and emails within one business day.
Do you ever fire a client?
Yes, I have fired clients in a limited number of cases, for very specific reasons. I never fire a client without discussing the situation beforehand and giving them a chance to mend the problems. Reasons include:
- Repeatedly not coming to the session prepared
- Missing sessions without calling first
- Habitually coming late to sessions
- Doing something illegal
- Not taking responsibility for their own decisions
- Not taking action on their decisions
- Not paying on time
- Needing another form of therapy, not coaching or consulting
Do your clients always know exactly what kind of business they want to start before they come to you?
Our clients fall into three categories:
- The first type of client is one who already has a business and wants to grow it or expand to new areas.
- The second type of client is just getting started in a new business, but knows exactly what business she wants to be in.
- The third type of client has several ideas for businesses, but he isn't sure yet which one (or which combination) will work best for him, or if there's something he hasn't thought of yet that might be the best fit.