Small and medium sized businesses (SME’s) are the backbone of the UK economy. In a paper published by the House of Commons library, there are 5.9 million SME’s in the UK and this number is up by 200,000 compared to 2018. Many entrepreneurs enter the market with excellent product and industry experience, but owning, managing and growing a small business requires many skills that need to be learnt over time.
A high quality business coach and business mentor will be able to support an entrepreneur’s existing skillset with real world business experience across multiple areas of discipline, guiding and teaching in areas new to the entrepreneur.
Hiring a business mentor to deliver business coaching gives you and your business an expert opinion for certain situations. Generally, a good business mentor will have experience working at a high level in a large organisation. They may also own their own small business and have experience of growing a business and the disruptions that can inherently bring. A good business coach will not only give you their expert opinion on a situation, they will give you a different perspective from your own.
A good mentor and business coach will take the time to correct your actions and be completely honest with you. We are all aware of the expression that you cannot see the wood for the trees and never has this saying been more relevant than in business.
A good coach will offer that honest feedback, correcting any actions that may need addressing. It will not be an adversarial exchange, but approached with the same intent as reflective writing, a skill widely used in professional circles.
Having a business mentor that can ratify your decisions can improve self-confidence. We have worked with many businesses that understand the problems that face their business and have a clear view on how to solve it. The missing piece? Having the confidence to believe in their own choices. Business coaching isn’t always about giving someone the answer, more reaffirming that the individual already has the answer themselves.
At Akcela, we always say that we work with businesses who have made a positive commitment to change. There in lies one of the most important elements of working with a business coach. You have to want to make a change for it to happen. Perhaps you understand that there is something not right within your business, or more likely, and more positively, you understand there is more your business can be achieving. A business coach supports in making a change, because the act of hiring a coach in itself, is a commitment to make a positive change for your business.
Business coaching delivers personal growth.
When we are in our comfort zone we are in control and feel safe in our actions. This can deliver excellent results, but if we only operate in our comfort zone, we will continue to do the same things, and get the same results. When we push into new areas, we enter the fear zone, where we experience self doubt and lack self confidence in making our decisions. This stage can be offset with support from a business mentor.
When we enter the learning zone, we acquire new tools to deal with the new found situation, in this area, a good coach will support with providing the tools for the situation and how to deal with the challenges and problems currently being faced. In the growth zone, the new skills are put to use, actions are completed and goals achieved. This new area now becomes the comfort zone, as mastery of the new skills becomes the new norm.
Akcela consists of MBA Qualified Management Consultants. This means that all our consultants have not only had experience at director level posts within industry, but also have both a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) as well as post graduate degree level diplomas in professional consulting. This makes Akcela different as not only can we offer real world experiences from managing large businesses with senior leadership positions, we reinforce this with academic to cement the advice.
Another key difference, is that we understand that individuals have areas of strengths and weaknesses. If your lead business coach is advising in an area that another business mentor can support in a more effective way, we have the ability to align the right consultant to your situation.
We recently conducted a survey for small businesses, when asked why a small business would choose not to engage a business consultant, the clear reason was that it was perceived to be too expensive. In fact, 46% of respondents thought hiring a business coach would be too expensive.
To offer real value to our clients, Akcela offers a range of solutions for any budget. We can offer hourly consultancy on an ad-hoc basis, to subscription style monthly access to a business mentor and ongoing business coaching. We have vast experience offering business coaching in Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge.
As an ongoing commitment to our Professional Development Plans, our consultants commit to offering a set number of free consultative conversations per month. If you don’t know how a business coach or mentor can support your business, this is a great way to understand if a business mentor, or Akcela is right for you.