If you’re ready to level up your business, sooner or later you’re going to need to hire some help.
But the more important question is: what kind of help is best for you?
There are tons of talented people out there who can probably all do awesome things for your business. But since we don’t have an unlimited budget or timeline, it’s up to us to figure out the best fit for ourselves.
And that’s where it gets confusing: coach, mentor or strategist?
Maybe you just need someone to bounce ideas off of. Or maybe you want someone to recommend an entire strategy for your business that will take months (or maybe even years!) to fully implement.
Truthfully they can all help you uplevel your business. But each one has a slightly different focus and style.
There aren’t any true wrong answers here! Just things that fit and things that fit better.
So you need to get clear about what you need in your business next in order to figure out which one to hire.
Look at it this way: all sporting teams have a coach for a reason! Without someone to steer the ship, the many different personalities and skill levels of a group of people would be hard to handle. A coach or advisor is there to look at the entire GROUP, figure out everyone’s strengths and create the magic. Hiring a coach is not a luxury! It’s a must-have experience for anyone who is serious about their business.
So to help you figure out what consultant is the best for you (and what to think about when hiring them), I put together this quick guide:
Do You Need A Business Coach, Mentor Or Strategist?
Coaches prompt you to figure your own stuff out. A good coach’s job is to prompt you into figuring out the answers on your own. No, they’re not going to tell you exactly what to do and why! They’re going to ask you the right questions that make you look at the choices you’re making. They’ll often give you homework as well.
The great thing about coaches is that they inspire you to think for yourself, instead of relying on someone else. However, I have run into some people who’ve been frustrated with the coaching process itself. (Those people would have done better to hire a strategist!)
A strategist’s job is to give you a strategy to follow to correct a certain problem. Typically they will give you a step-by-step action plan for your business. The strategy should be totally customized, based on where you’re currently at and where you want to go next. (Beware of any cookie cutter strategists!)
There are tons of strategists out there: general business strategists, Facebook ads strategists, digital marketing strategists. So think carefully about exactly WHAT you need help with before you make a hiring decision.
A mentor’s job is to impart their wisdom and experience. Think of a mentor more as a trusted friend: someone who has been there and done that and is ready to offer you the sage advice they think is necessary. This is the lead by example approach, so be sure to find someone who’s style you really mesh with.
You might even be able to find a mentor that is willing to work with you for free but just remember the adage goes you get what you pay for! If you want weekly hand-holding and expertise it’s probably worth paying for a coach or strategist than for your once-every-second-month coffee date.
What To Think About When You’re Hiring
Tip 1: Check Their Rates
No matter who you hire make sure you have an idea up front of how much time you’ll be spending together. Most experts offer a package rate instead of hourly but you’ll want to double check the details (as there’s no industry standard). Two hours every week vs one hour a month is a BIG difference!
Tip 2: Check Their Deliverables
What do you expect to receive from your consultant? Maybe you want unlimited email support or an emailed summary of what you talk about during your meetings. Everyone has a slightly different process so it’s important to understand what you’ll be getting up front in order to avoid disappointment.
Tip 3: Personality
You’ll also want to make sure that your personalities are a great fit. If you’re young and kind of irreverent it might make sense to find someone who has your same vibe rather than a classic, uptight business person. You’ll also want to make sure that your communication styles are on the same page and that you know what’s okay and what isn’t.
Some people expect their strategists or coaches to answer emails 24/7 while most business people have some hard limits on how much care and attention they can give each client.
Again, there aren’t any right or wrong answers here! It’s just wise to understand what you can expect from your hire.
Tip 4: Follow Your Gut
The best advice is always to follow your heart. Even the most popular or well-known business coaches or mentors won’t be a good fit for absolutely everyone! So don’t pick someone because you THINK you should. Pick the person who seems to get who you are and what you do and seems to know how to get you to the next level.
Tip 5: Be Honest
Plus, obviously hiring an outsider also requires total HONESTY. There’s no point in artificially inflating your numbers in order to impress someone! If you feel like you need to fake the bacon, then maybe you should hire someone else. Your coach/mentor/strategist needs to know where you’re really at and how much work you’re actually putting in in order to give you the right cues to move forward.
So what kind of consultant does YOUR business need the most: coach, mentor or strategist? I hope this post gives you some clarity about what you need the most and about what to think about during the hiring process.
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Wishing you an ass-kicking week ahead!