Ask a Pro September/October 2022August 29th, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs
Hiring Coaches and Consultants
By Mike Burke
Does your business need one or both? Hiring the right people could be the most valuable money you’ve ever spent, but hiring the wrong one could send that money down the drain. How do you know whose help you need and who to hire?
Leaning on Others
A business coach is a person who organizes a team, motivates and encourages them and teaches them the attitudes and strategies needed to win. A coach helps a person or team establish goals and then empowers them to meet those goals. They guide a business owner by helping them clarify their business’s vision and personal aims. A good coach has a track record of success and believes in the processes because they have been time-tested.
A business consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area. Where coaching helps with the big picture, consultants may be brought in to help with specific needs such as training, marketing and sales tactics. Imagine you’re a new business owner. You opened your doors less than two years ago and know how to tint, but you’re getting calls for paint protection film (PPF), coatings and flat glass too. You can do the easier PPF jobs, but it takes so long that you’re losing money compared to how many cars you could tint in the same amount of time. The coatings you outsource to a detailing friend and flat glass you don’t know how to handle because you’d have to shut down your shop to leave and do the work.
The last thing you want to do is turn away work as a new business, but you don’t have the experience or infrastructure to do it all. This is where a business coach is invaluable. You’ll need more skills and more people to go from an owner operating a tint-only shop to a full-service business offering related services. A good coach can work with you to create a long-term plan for improving your skills, hiring and training employees and adding services one at a time. This coach can also check in on you regularly and help tweak the plan if things aren’t going exactly as projected.
Once you have a plan in place, consultants help you execute it. A great trainer can help you take your tinting or PPF skills to the next level; a marketing consultant can help you spend your advertising dollars wisely, and a sales consultant can help you increase your close rate.
It’s important to note that there can be overlap among coaches and consultants.
A single person might provide coaching as well as consult on a variety of needs—from sales training to tint training to increasing efficiency. When looking for someone to help with these areas, paying attention to their resume is essential. Has your prospective coach ever run their own business? Have they scaled it successfully? Has their training produced measurable results for others? These are critical questions to ask, especially today with the rise of social media influencers.
Mike Burke has worked in the window film industry for 33 years. His company, Sun Stoppers, has more than 63 locations in 19 states and offers residential and commercial tint and decorative film services as well as automotive tint, paint protection, and ceramic coatings. If you have a question for Burke to tackle in a future column, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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