Years ago, when I was working in my Communications Consulting business, I received an unprompted call from someone in my network who pitched the idea of my working with a coach.

I didn’t even know what that was.

I respectfully declined and let him know I’d reach out if I reconsidered. Frankly, it just sounded like overhead to me, and heaven knows I didn’t need more of that!

Fast forward five more years, and I had another conversation with another coach who explained what coaching was. She used language I understood, showed me how coaching had helped her and practically sold me on the spot.

She demonstrated the value of coaching, the value of having a sounding board and the value of a mentor who could help show me the way.

Clearly, I enjoyed the process so much that I became one myself, and here I am, leading a thriving personal leadership coaching and business mentorship business.

But the question remains: How do you know when it’s time to hire a business coach?

Here are six reasons you should consider hiring a business coach:

1) You’re in Start-Up Mode.

You’ve decided to hang out your shingle as a coach or consultant. You’ve registered your business name, opened your business bank account, perhaps bought a new laptop and carved out an area in your house to do your work. Then you set out to let your contacts know you’re open for hire.

That’s where you stall. What do I say? You wonder. What do I tell them I do? How much do I charge? What do I do differently? Why the heck would anyone hire ME? And pretty soon, you’re in a spiral that has you feeling defeated before you’ve even started.


Group coaching sessionThis is where a business coach or coaching community can support you. Private or group coaching can help you:

  • make your decisions faster,
  • identify the most important things to do first,
  • learn and implement ideas and strategies to move your business forward, and
  • keep your confidence up when the going gets tough.

2) You’re Stuck

Yup. Stuck. Many new solopreneurs and emerging entrepreneurs ‘fall into’ their first couple of contracts. I’ve seen it so often that something lucrative falls in their lap, and they dive head first into the assignment.

confused business woman stuck on how to build businessAnd when the assignment is over? They’ve been calling themselves a consultant, but were they really a contractor? Don’t get me wrong, being a contractor can be very lucrative, but a consultant needs to continue to market, even when their business is full. You need to keep that “pipeline” flowing!

So, back to being “stuck.” What do you do when you need to find time, even in busy times, to do those important things that will keep your business open? Personal and business leadership skills must be cultivated, not just by trying a few marketing strategies. This is another great time to hire a personal coach or join a coaching community to:

  • cultivate new ideas,
  • increase your connections,
  • build the confidence you need to get yourself out there, and
  • be seen and heard.

 3) You’re in Growth Mode

It’s time to take your business to the next level! Perhaps you’ve replaced your corporate income by now or have plateaued at a level you’d rather not disclose. What you know is you need to do something differently if you’re going to reach that next level of success. You want to keep growing this business idea of yours and want to make it work. And, of course, you know that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions repeatedly, expecting a different result.

It’s time to try some new action! And how will you do that? By surrounding yourself with people and mentors who can help get you to that next level. That’s where a business coach or community comes in. They’ll help you:

  • See past your limitations
  • Evoke new perspectives, and
  • Explore new sources of income so that you can grow!

 4) You’re overwhelmed

In many ways, your business is going great! Income is coming in, you’ve got consistent leads, and you’re proud of much of your work. So why are you so tired? Why are you still working so many nights? Why do you find it so hard to take a holiday?

It’s time to uplevel your business in a way that up levels your lifestyle. It’s time to bring in systems and processes that will streamline your time and maximize your impact. It’s time to bottle your secret sauce and focus your energy on your zone of genius and what you do well.

Hiring a business coach can help you get there faster. You’ll learn how to:

  • find the time to get more done in your day (or focus your energy on the right things),
  • earn more and increase your earning potential, and
  • get closer to the lifestyle you’re still longing for.

 5) You don’t know what you don’t know

This may seem obvious, but you don’t have all the answers. If you did, you wouldn’t have any questions! Joining a coaching community or hiring a coach a few steps ahead of you is the fastest path to success. Coaching can help you:

  • Uncover your Saboteurs – those pesky self-sabotaging behaviours that are your blindspots,
  • Develop strategies to move past these saboteurs so that you can move forward despite them,
  • Learn new ways of attracting clients, entertain new perspectives, enjoy surrounding yourself with people in your world who can help you grow and support you on your business journey, and
  • Be accountable to ensure you implement the things you need to move your business forward.

Without implementing new strategies and ideas, inertia can set in, which is exactly what got you stuck in the first place.

 6) You’re tired of working alone

Coaching session in progressThose business meetings and “water-cooler” chat with yourself or your pet is getting old. Having at least one more person in your corner to support, lead and guide you through the ups and downs of business-building can make all the difference and be exactly what you need to bust out of the exasperation and energy-draining spirals all business owners find themselves in from time-to-time.

Learning in the community and working with a coach has helped me:

  • Learn new ways of presenting my offers
  • Keep on top of trends in my industry
  • Build new connections to gain new referral sources
  • Grow my business with people who “get” what I do

Now what?

So now you know you could benefit from some business coaching, where do you look for one? Set up your criteria:

  • Do they need to be in your geographic region?
  • Are virtual offerings OK?
  • How much of an investment are you willing to make in your future?
  • How much and what kind of support are you looking for?
  • Do you prefer to work alone, in a group, or a combination?
  • Are you looking for a learning platform?
  • Do you prefer small group Masterminds or boutique experiences? Or would you rather have a large community environment?

Check out these resources for more information about hiring a coach.

ICF Calgary Chapter

Best Coaches Calgary

Having been down this road myself for many years, I’ve designed a business coaching experience that combines all my favourite resources into one stellar package:

1) Private Coaching

2) Community Masterminds

3) Learning from Others

4) Mindset Strategies

5) Accountability and Structure

Whether you’re just thinking about your new business or you’ve been consulting or coaching for years, there’s something for you. Please check out my offerings at or book a private call to see if it’s the right time to hire a Business Coach.

P.S. Imagine what you’d like to be experiencing one year from now. Coaching can help get you there.

Susan Elford

P.S. Enjoyed this article? Subscribe to my newsletter. It’s filled with personal leadership and business resources for professional women and business builders living full and busy lives, just like you.

PR Launchpad Guidebook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a Leadership Coach and PR Strategist who especially loves to work with women who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a full and satisfying life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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