What makes a good business coach?

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Perhaps you’re at a point in your business where you know growth is being limited, but you’re not sure what’s blocking you. Or maybe there’s a specific challenge (like growing a team, or getting investors) you’d like help with. You’ve decided to hire a coach, but first, it seems sensible to know what makes a good business coach. 

As the saying goes, free advice is often the most expensive, but in the realm of business, bad advice can even more costly. So if you’re going to hire a business coach, here’s a few ways to sort the good ones out from the bad ones. 

Myths about what makes a good coach

The first step is to dispel some of the myths around coaching. These have mostly come from celebrity coaches, whose coaching sessions are done publicly. These coaches have to be entertaining as well as therapeutic, but the way they work isn’t always the best approach for you. 

Myths around what makes an effective coach:

  • A coach has to be charismatic (like Tony Robbins)
  • They have to be a high energy person
  • They need to know NLP and be very persuasive
  • A coach magically ‘makes’ the person succeed (instead of leading the person to a place where they create their success)
  • A coach’s main job is accountability

What really makes a good business coach

The myths above make for great television coaching, but real coaching sessions are less of a spectacle. In an effective coaching session, a business coach helps you reflect internally on what’s really blocking you from progress, and what doubts and fears are causing you to self sabotage.

This requires a specific skillset, and good business coaches will practice the following:

  • Active listening
  • Asking lots of questions
  • Helping the client remove resistance 
  • Giving insight into the person’s specific internal blocks through asking questions

In the realm of business coaching, it definitely helps for your coach to have experience running a business. And if you want a coach to guide you through doing a specific process (like building a sales team) then look for a coach with past experience and success in that area. 

The Difference between Consulting & Coaching

There is a difference between business coaching and consulting. Consultants typically come with a pre-built solution they apply to your business. 

It’s the old adage of ‘to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.’ A consultant who knows a particular system will apply that method wherever possible. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as long as it’s applied appropriately.

A coach will instead help you improve your skills to become more able as a business leader. Having these skills available means you have the ability to meet evolving challenges in your business, and solve them.

Getting to the Root Cause of Business Problems. 

Improving your skills as a business leader is an effective approach because business problems are rarely mechanical. Unfortunately for you as the business owner, getting to the root cause of most problems in your business usually means having a good hard look in the mirror.

In other words, you’re the one who created the business, you’re the one who’s steering it, and the cause of most problems in your business most likely sits with you. 

This is also good news, because in that case, even seemingly impossible problems in your business become things you can fix. A good coach will give you the tools to do this quickly. 

‘Temet nosce’ means ‘know thyself.’ Entrepreneurs who don’t have insight into their own particular strengths and weaknesses are doomed to repeat the same mistakes – over and over again. 

This is a problem because it’s no fun to be in a business where you’re continually playing to your weaknesses, and not taking full advantage of your natural strengths. Unfortunately, many business owners design businesses that are a drain to run because they don’t understand themselves well enough. 

Creating Your Own Criteria for a Successful Business

Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of designing the business they feel they ‘should’ have, often based on external factors like what their peers are doing. Insight into how you work best is the first step to creating a business that frees you, a business that’s fun to work in, and is geared to help you do your best work. 

A really good business coach will get you to that stage quicker than if you tried to figure it out on your own. Internal problems like this are especially hard to figure out on your own because we all have blind spots, especially in our understanding of ourselves. 

Predictor Profiles – the Key to Business Coaching Success

Advanced Business Abilities has a science-based tool for uncovering where entrepreneurs can develop themselves to remove problems in their business. We use Predictor Profiles to map out a person’s strengths, tendencies, and areas for improvement.

This profiling tool has been developed over 40 years, and gives real insights into why entrepreneurs avoid certain tasks, or have specific repeated issues in their business, or self sabotage. The profiling process gives deep insights that would otherwise require hours of coaching time to uncover.  

Once you’ve done a predictor profiling test with us, it’ll give you clear areas to work on. These areas can often be traced directly back to places you want to improve in your business. The really interesting thing is that, after 6 to 12 months, you can retake the test, and see how your predictor profile has changed. 

We’re able to use these profiles to predict with 95% accuracy which abilities will be the most useful and effective for you to develop. Our clients have used this tool to transform their business into one that fulfills their business goals and personal goals. You can see examples of the changes clients have experiences here.

The changes you can see on the predictor profile below translated into one man’s business growing by 10x in just 4 years. And the client – Kent Manos – was able to do this while freeing up more time to spend riding his dirtbike and enjoying his boat.  

How Improving Your Leadership Skills Helps Your Business

We’ve found, time and again, that helping entrepreneurs improve their leadership skills will iron out so many problems with their employees and clients. Leadership comes down to good communication, and it’s mind-blowing how many issues are caused by misunderstandings, miscommunications, or a style of communication that’s not effective.

The issue is this: most of us think we’re good communicators because it’s what we do all day. The test to know if your communication skills could do with some improvement is simple: have you ever done serious training on this skill? If not, it’s likely causing frictions in your business. 

Your company culture can make or break a business. (It can also make it a great place to work in, or suck all the joy out of your life.) ABA coaching helps successful business owners master ‘soft’ skills like leadership and building teams, which we’ve found end up making a big difference to the bottom line. 


A good business coach will teach you the skills to transform your business. Moreover, once you have these skills, you can apply them to other areas of your life, and to any new challenges that may come along. 

If you’d like to find out more, we offer a free one-off coaching session. It’s a no-obligation call with one of our trained coaches. You’ll learn a lot, and get clarity on how to turn your business into one that fulfills all your goals and aspirations.

If you’re interested in becoming a business coach, we have top notch training with tools you won’t find anywhere else. Contact us to find out more. 

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