What Does a Business Coach Do? (With How to Become One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Business coaching is an emerging field that allows experienced professionals to share their expertise in various ways. Professionals in this industry typically help build businesses and advise executives to set up a company. Understanding the duties and responsibilities of a business coach can help you decide if it's a viable career path. In this article, we answer the question, "What does a business coach do?" discuss their annual salary, examine relevant skills, explore how to become one, and answer some frequently asked questions.

What does a business coach do?

Knowing the answer to "What does a business coach do?" can help you understand how these professionals assist business owners in achieving their goals. Business coaches usually provide support and guidance to help their clients resolve challenges. They use a process-based approach to guide business owners in setting, achieving, and exceeding their objectives. Other specific functions include:

Providing guidance and vision

One of the major responsibilities of a business coach is advising their clients. Business coaches typically focus on finding how they can help their clients at the beginning of the coach and client relationship. With this information, they can decide how to approach the situation and support their client's vision. Usually, they also focus on having a thorough understanding of the business owner's idea while helping clients adjust this vision to present realities. They can then provide comprehensive guidance to facilitate growth and improvement.

Related: A Guide to Executive Coaching: What It Is and When to Use It

Assisting with planning and goal setting

After the business owner establishes their vision, the business coach typically works closely with them to help them create a development plan. When creating the planning document, coaches include goals and the timeline to achieve them. Although business coaches aren't directly responsible for the overall success or failure of the business, a good business coach organizes regular meetings with the stakeholders and executives to ensure the organization remains on track and achieves all its goals.

Identifying opportunities

Business coaches aren't like direct partners or consultants because they don't participate in the organization's daily activities. Instead, their functions typically entail providing support and assistance to the business owners. They can usually provide an honest assessment of the organization's situation from an objective perspective. Approaching the organization from an external perspective helps the business coach identify opportunities that owners, stakeholders, and investors may not see.

Holding clients accountable

Business coaches typically focus on assessing performance and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs). Usually, they review these metrics daily or weekly to ensure they're relevant and can inform adjustments. By doing this, stakeholders and business owners know an external party closely monitors the metrics, creating a higher level of accountability.

Related: 10 Coaching Styles to Explore (With Tips and FAQs)

Facilitating refocus and calibration sessions

The major reason business owners develop relationships with business coaches is to ensure that their businesses succeed. It's essential for both parties to monitor and make adjustments as necessary through calibration sessions as the relationship develops. Conducting calibration sessions helps coaches create an atmosphere of transparency. These sessions help them outline the positive and negative elements in a constructive environment. During calibration sessions, the coaches invite all relevant stakeholders and executives to assess various elements of the business. It also provides an opportunity to refocus procedures and policies that can help the organization reach its objectives.

The annual salary of a business coach

The national average salary of a business coach is $62,624 per year. You can negotiate your salary with your employer based on the industry and your level of expertise. Usually, the salary of a business coach may range from $36,000 to $76,000 per year.

What are the essential skills for a business coach?

Here are some essential skills to help you succeed as a business coach:

  • Consulting: Business coaches may also act as consultants. Knowing how to work with business owners to improve the organization is a useful skill.

  • Teamwork: Business coaches typically work in teams with owners, stakeholders, and advisers. Knowing how to work with others and adjust your processes to accommodate others is relevant.

  • Problem-solving skills: When implementing your vision, you may experience challenges, and business owners may come to you to assist them with some issues. It's helpful for you to know how to identify the source of the issue and develop solutions to handle these problems.

  • Analytical evaluation: Business owners may involve coaches in planning the organization's finances, and your responsibilities may require you to work with some data. It's helpful to have strong analytical skills for planning and budgeting.

  • Creativity: Business coaches typically provide new perspectives on existing business plans and objectives. It's useful for you to have creative thinking skills that you can apply to develop a new approach to business processes.

  • Computer literacy: It may be beneficial to have basic computer skills. These skills can help you measure goals, conduct research, plan finances, and create strategies.

  • Interpersonal skills: Your duties as a business coach require working with various people. It's useful to understand how to build sustainable relationships with them and earn their trust.

  • Organizational skills: A business coach may work with different clients simultaneously. It's important to have good organizational skills to handle multiple clients effectively.

Related: Developing Proficient Organizational Skills

How to become a business coach

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you build a career as a business coach:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree in business or business management

Most employers require business coaches to have at least an undergraduate degree. You can complete your undergraduate program in business or business management. Some employers may also require you to have an advanced degree, such as a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Some organizations may provide financial support for you to get your advanced degree.

2. Get professional experience

Seek entry-level jobs in a business-related field to help you develop your sales expertise and learn the relevant skills and techniques. Working in a business-related field can help you learn new concepts and processes to expand your proficiency. You can find new business opportunities that may also help you improve your reputation and prospects as a business coach. Getting years of professional experience, achievements, and accreditations increases your chances of success in the future.

3. Enroll in a business coaching certification program

Although earning a certification as a business coach isn't compulsory, it's advisable to earn a certification. This can help prepare you as your career advances and differentiate you from other competitors. These programs may also help you learn more technical and soft skills, such as leadership, analytical evaluation, problem-solving, and consultancy skills.

4. Build a professional network

You can surround yourself with professionals that can help you advance your career. Your professional network can help you find new opportunities for growth and development. In addition, joining these networks can provide you with opportunities to share your knowledge, expertise, and skills. Keeping a professional network can assist you in maintaining your competitive edge and help you build a successful career.

Frequently asked questions about business coaches

Here are the answers to some common questions about being a business coach:

Where does a business coach work?

The ideal work environment of a business coach may vary depending on the preferred market and industry. A major benefit of working as a business coach is the flexibility it offers regarding when and how you perform your duties. Some business coaches may work remotely, while others work physically in an office. Working remotely may allow you to contact clients from various parts of the world because you can reach them virtually.

It also allows you to choose your work hours and adjust them based on the clients' needs. Although this career offers a high level of flexibility, it's beneficial to develop practices and strategies to help you remain productive. Establishing best practices can also help you develop a system for securing and maintaining your clients.

What is the difference between a business coach and a business consultant?

Although business consultants and business coaches work to help an organization solve its issues and achieve its goals, they have different approaches. For example, a business coach focuses on working with the business owner and other leaders in the organization. Conversely, a business consultant focuses on the operations of the business.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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