Small business coaching value and the cost

blog Dec 27, 2022

Small business owners who haven’t engaged in a business coach before will often wonder if the value received is worth the cost. 

It’s a natural question, and a good one!

The value you get from business coaching will depend on a number of factors, including your specific goals and the type of coaching that you choose. 

In general, though, business coaching can help you save time, money and energy as you work to build a successful business.

In this post, we’ll discuss the value that business coaching can provide and how to determine whether or not it is the right decision for your company. 

We will also look at some of the factors that affect the cost of small business coaching and how to get the most out of your investment.

What is business coaching?

Business coaching is a professional relationship in which the coach helps the client (eg. a business owner) to identify and achieve their goals. 

So, if achieving your goals is important to you then it would logically follow that getting some coaching support makes a lot of sense!

A good coach will provide guidance and support as you navigate the challenges of running a business. 

One of the first things that is needed in an effective coaching relationship is to identify what your goals are. 

Whilst this sounds obvious, not everyone is clear on what their long-term goals are, and, by default, what the near term goals are that will help to facilitate the achievement of the longer term goals.

The right coach can then get to work with the business owner to help them achieve those goals. 

It’s worth noting that a good coach does not have to be an expert in their field. 

The power of coaching comes from the coach's ability to help build the necessary thought patterns and skills of their client - it’s not about the coach doing the work for them.

Typically, the benefits you will receive from a good coaching engagement will include some or all of the following:

  • A good coach will provide an independent perspective on your business. Having a non-biased view of your situation and decision making process, can really help when you are faced with making big decisions in your small business
  • Typically, a business coach will have their own professional background and education offering a new set of skills and toolkits to bring to your business problems and opportunities. In turn, a good coach will help you build your own skills and capabilities
  • A business coach can be very powerful when they hold you accountable to actions you need to be doing. Often, when you’re the boss, there is no one to hold you accountable to delivering on the long-term priorities and it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of running the day-to-day business operations
  • A good business coach will also bring an expansion to your professional network through their proven connections of professionals and small business owners, and
  • Bringing together the above points, having a trusted business coach working with you can really help build your confidence and leadership skills - making your business journey far more successful and enjoyable, compared to being on your own.

The coach provides support, advice and accountability, but it’s important to understand - a coach does not make decisions for their client.

Business coaching works (with the right coach) because you, the small business owner, are usually the expert on what the business does - whether it be lawn mowing, brain surgery or anything else. 

But to build a business that does those things requires an extra set of skills. 

In essence, they are:

  • Leadership
  • Managing people
  • Product development
  • Customer service
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Production, and
  • Finance. 

Most business owners won’t have all the skills required to run and grow a small business - and this is what is holding back their business. 

It’s important to recognise that this is perfectly natural. 

No one has all the skills required to successfully run a business and the more support you can get around you, the more successful you will be.

One-on-one versus Group Coaching

Historically, business coaches would work one-on-one with their clients. 

Typically this would involve the business owner and coach determining:

  1. Where you are now
  2. Where you want to be, and
  3. Creating a roadmap to get there. 

The coach then works with the business owner to action that roadmap into a logical and achievable plan.

It’s now increasingly common for coaches to work with clients in group settings. 

This both reduces the individual engagement cost for clients, whilst at the same time offering the benefits of working together with a network of other small business owners who are potentially facing similar challenges. 

It obviously reduces the individual attention you receive from a coach, so this needs to be weighed up against the benefits. 

How much does business coaching cost?

The cost of business coaching varies depending on the coach and the services they offer. 

As discussed, one-on-one coaching will typically be more expensive than group coaching but may offer a more tailored solution to help you achieve your goals.

Typically, a well proven one-on-one business coach will charge between $200 and $500 per hour. 

Some may work on retainers that can vary from around $500 a month to as high as $10,000 a month. 

Again, the high variability will depend a lot on what services the coach is providing and their level of experience and expertise.

Group coaching can start as low as $200 a month and go as high as $10,000 a month.

What is the value you get from a coach for a small business?

As a small business owner, you know that there are a million things to do and not enough time to do them. 

That's why it's important to invest in yourself and your business. 

One of the best investments you can make is in small business coaching.

In most cases, the cost of business coaching is worth the investment - especially if it helps you achieve your goals and grow your business.

Quantifying the value creation from an investment in business coaching is difficult, however we can point to a number of studies that indicate the fact that business coaching does produce a good return on investment.

  • 95% of clients rate their coaches as “good” or “excellent.” (2009 ICF Global Coaching Study)
  • 68% of individuals who hired coaches were able to make back their investment. Those who make a financial gain on their coaching can on average expect 3.44 times the amount spent. (2009 ICF Global Coaching Study)
  • Measuring the ROI of business coaching tends to make it more impactful as those that do measure ROI tend to report that they receive better results. Of those that measured the ROI of coaching, 72% reported an increase in productivity
  • 99% of individuals and companies who hire a coach are “satisfied or very satisfied” and 96% say they would repeat the process. (ICF Global Coaching Client Study)
  • 51% of companies with a strong coaching culture report higher revenue than their industry peer group. (Human Capital Institute)

Business coaching can be an incredibly powerful tool when the relationship works well. 

Based on both personal experience and the available research, it’s clear that the return on investment from small business coaching is far greater than the cost.

A good coach can help you overcome your limitations, work smarter and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

If you're ready to take your business to the next level, consider investing in small business coaching. You won't regret it!

We have two forms of group coaching for you to consider:

  • Community: we have one Group Coaching Webinar a month (and a separate Mastermind Webinar), and
  • Business Transformation Program: this group coaching is smaller, with only 8 business owners, and an Accountability Chair, working in more detail with each owner, and making everyone more accountable to their growth plan. Our Program has one Group Coaching Webinar a month with the Group Chair and the 8 small business owners, plus you get two 30 minute one-on-one’s a month with the Group Chair for individual coaching and support.

If you think you would be better suited to working one-on-one with a coach, we can facilitate an introduction to a well suited coach within our network. 

As a starting point, join our Community and reach out to get some recommendations and advice.