questions to ask a business coach

Asking questions helps you find the right business coach

Finding the right business coach is as important as finding the right doctor. That’s why it’s so important to know — ahead of time — what questions to ask a business coach to help you determine if they are the right coach for you.

And if you’re wondering, “Is it really the right time for me to hire a business coach?”, check out this post on when to hire a business coach.

When to ask questions of a business coach

Most business coaches offer complimentary consultations to see if there is a good match between coach and potential client. Usually you can schedule these consultations on their website.

The free coaching consultation is the perfect time to ask questions of the business coach to help you determine if they are the right coach to help you.

You’ll want to be prepared for your consultation by thinking of the questions to ask a business coach ahead of time.

11 questions to ask a business coach

Here are 11 sample questions you’ll want to ask a business coach on a free consultation call. Be sure to add any questions of your own as well!

1. How long have they been a business coach?

You want to be sure that the person you’re hiring has some actual experience in business. Be sure to ask them about how long they’ve been a business coach, and what past experience has led them to this profession.

2. What are their credentials as a business coach?

Are they certified as a coach? There are coaching programs that will certify coaches according to standards by the International Coaching Federation. Ask if they are certified and where they got their certification. Also ask what type of training do they have? Does the coach have experience in helping people with the same things you’re dealing with? (And you might be wondering, does a coach really need to be certified? Click here for the answer.)

3. What does the business coach specialize in?

There are general business coaches, marketing coaches, mindset coaches, sales coaches, and more. There are coaches who specialize in serving business owners just starting out. There are coaches for businesses who are ready to scale past $100k. When hiring a business coach, consider your stage, your goals, and the type of help you need. Make sure the coach you choose is experienced in the area(s) in which you want support.

4. What is the business coach’s coaching style?

Is your business coach more of a true coach or more of a consultant? The ones that stay true to coaching focus on helping you find your own answers, while a consultant gives you their answers and opinions. Is the coach client-centered, meaning the client is at the center of the coaching arrangement?  Does this coach work more on mindset or strategy, or both?

5. How does this business coach work with clients?

Does this business coach offer group or individual programs? Is it online or in person? How many calls do you get each month? Do you get support between calls? (This can be extremely helpful when you have questions/concerns in between meeting times.) Do you get access to resources or anything else as a result of working together?

6. What types of clients does this business coach typically work with?

Business coaching is not one size fits all. All businesses are different. You’ll want to make sure that the business coach you hire has experience helping businesses in your specific industry. (I.e., if you’re a coach, you’ll want to work with a business coach who supports coaches, etc.)

7. What are the business coach’s values?

Shared values can make for a good working relationship. Think about your values and which are important for you to have in a coaching relationship. Is open communication important? Transparency? Honesty? Responsiveness? Accountability? Be sure to share this with your potential business coach to see if it’s a match.

8. What is the business coach’s personality like?

It’s true that some personalities just clash. If you’re an introvert, you might prefer working with an introvert business coach because they are more sensitive to your needs. If you’re outgoing and action-oriented, you may need a business coach with a similar personality. The best way to understand if it’s a personality match is by scheduling a free consultation.

9. What results does this business coach usually see with their clients?

While every client is different and client results are highly subjective, there should be certain results or outcomes that a business coach helps their clients achieve. Many business coaches only want to share their most positive results. But you want to know what about the most typical results. Be sure to inquire about where their clients are at the end of working together to get a good idea of the results they can provide.

10. What does this business coach look for in a client?

Yes, this is an important one! The best coaching relationship is one that’s a YES for the client and the coach. You might ask the business coach what types of clients they love working with to get a good idea if you fit their client profile. This is a relationship and like other relationships, both people need to be equally committed for it to succeed.

11. When is this business coach taking on new clients?

It can be a letdown to get on a consult call only to hear that a coach isn’t taking new clients for the next 3-6 months. Whether you want to get started now or next month, be sure to share that information with your prospective business coach to see whether or not they can get started working with you.

What else should you ask a business coach?

Be sure to ask questions that pertain to what’s most important to you in your business. You might want a lot of accountability, someone to brainstorm with, and someone to give you their honest opinions.

You might want a business coach with skills in areas you are still learning, such as marketing and sales.

You might want a business coach who can offer more 1:1 (vs group) support, so you get the individualized attention you need.

Prepare your questions for a business coach in advance

The best thing to do is  to prepare your questions to ask a business coach in advance. Share any and every question you might have with each business coach you speak to, no matter how big or small.  This can help you make the best decision for yourself.

In the end, though, when you have all the information, it is often a gut-check decision. Do you feel that this business coach understands you? Can they support you? Is it a YES for both you and business coach? If so, it’s a good sign that it’s the right coaching relationship for you.

Thinking of hiring  business coach?

As a holistic business coach, I support my clients holistically, offering a mix of mindset coaching, strategy, and somatic coaching, so they can build a business aligned with who they are and show up as their authentic self in their business.

Want to learn more? Sign up for a complimentary consultation.