The 10 Things to Avoid When Hiring a Business Coach

There are some things to avoid when hiring a business coach that can make or break your results if you aren't aware of them.
things to avoid when hiring a business coach

When you lead a company, it’s no secret that there are going to be bumps along the way, and no matter how experienced you are or become, hiring a business coach (well, hiring the RIGHT business coach) can assist you in continuing to move the needle forward more each day. But keep in mind, there are some things to avoid when hiring a business coach that can make or break your results if you aren’t aware of them.

1. They Haven’t Achieved What You’re Attempting to Achieve

When you are hiring a business coach for yourself or your company, it’s important that they have either achieved the results you’re attempting to achieve, or at least have extensive experience that qualifies them to guide you with clarity. Imagine hiring someone to help you lose weight or quit smoking if they’ve never lost weight or quit smoking themselves. You wouldn’t, right?

So before hiring a business coach, research their track record. If they haven’t achieved the level of business success you’re looking to achieve, don’t hire them to help your company because they’ll be working with limited tools and knowledge.

2. They Don’t Understand Your Business Model Or Industry

Before you hire a business coach, make sure they understand how your company operates; i.e. your business model and industry. A good business coach should be able to help you weigh the pros and cons of different options and strategies in order to achieve success. If a coach doesn’t understand the intricacies of how to increase sales, improve operations, and make wise strategic suggestions for your specific business model, then maybe they aren’t the right choice for you.

3. They Teach Unethical Tactics

One of the most important things to consider when hiring a coach is how their values line up with your own. If you and your coach fundamentally disagree on business ethics, then that may not be the best fit for you. It shouldn’t have to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: A business coach should be helping you with the skills and strategies that will allow you to succeed in your business, not how to skirt around the law and get ahead in unethical ways. Believe me, there are a lot of successful people who are unethical, but plenty who do business the right way too. When working in the weeds of a business, it can be difficult to zoom out and see all of the options for increasing revenue and scaling. The right coach can recognize what options you do actually have and focus on those instead of making questionable decisions to get or stay ahead. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard.

4. Your Personalities Don’t Mesh

The first thing you should look for in a business coach is whether they are a good fit for your mindset and personality. If you’re someone who thrives on being in control of your life, then it makes sense that you would choose a coach who shares the same entrepreneurial spirit as you. The amount of trust and support you have with your business coach should reflect the level of trust and support that you have with yourself. If they don’t understand your work ethic, then they probably won’t be able to help you achieve your goals. The right person will have an understanding of where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go as well as how to get there. They also should be able to offer clarity about what is important for your individual success so that their coaching process is customized to meet your needs. You should also make sure the coach understands what motivates you, so they can help you best match your needs with the right coaching strategy.

5. They Charge Too Little

The first thing to avoid when hiring a business coach is hiring someone who charges too little. Yes, you read that right. Good coaches aren’t cheap, and for good reason. That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank, but a good business coach knows that their experience and advice is worth more than someone who is new and inexperienced. Don’t be alarmed at a high rate. The right advice at the right time can pay back 10X for your business. Steer clear of “bargain coaches”, it’ll cost you more in the long run.

6. They’re Less Experienced Than You

It’s important to remember that not all business coaches are equal in experience in all facets of business. There is value in a more generic business coach who knows how to steer you back to the fundamentals and ask you the right questions to provide some level of direction to your business, but that’s the minimum a coach should provide. Even if it’s just one or two steps ahead, the right business coach has been not only where you are, but also where you want to go. If you’re unsure about how much experience your business coach has, don’t be afraid to ask them. The right coach will be able to point you to personal and coaching successes.

7. They Don’t Have A Clear Framework to Guide You

Businesses grow when there’s clarity. It doesn’t mean you have to know every nuanced decision you’ll make to reach your goals, but you should be able to know the general steps. That’s what a good business coach provides—a clear framework to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Your job is to know where you want to go, your coach’s job is to be a reliable compass.

8. They Don’t Evaluate Success By The Results

Every goal should be evaluated by the results, not by whether or not the work has simply been completed. This is why it’s so important for your coach to have a framework before you begin your journey, so that you can evaluate success by the results instead of simply completing tasks or finishing milestones along the way. That being said, it’s not your coach’s job to make your business successful. Ultimately it’s up to you to listen to your coach, do the work, and make things happen.

9. Their Promise Seems Too Good to Be True

Anytime business and money are involved, there’s risk of promises being made that can’t be or aren’t kept.

A good place to start is by reading reviews or testimonials from previous clients. You should also look for someone who has a proven track record and a good reputation.

As the old adage goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

10. You’re Not Ready To Be Held Accountable

A good business coach will be understanding, but won’t coddle you. Before hiring a business coach, consider whether or not you have humility to be held accountable, and follow through on what a coach will ask of you. If you’re not at a place mentally where you’re ready for that, it doesn’t matter how good the coach is, you’re not going to get out of it what you’re hoping to.


In summary, here are the 10 things to avoid when hiring a business coach:

  1. They haven’t achieved what you’re attempting to achieve
  2. They don’t understand your business model or industry
  3. They teach unethical tactics
  4. Your personalities don’t mesh
  5. They charge too little
  6. They’re less experienced than you
  7. They don’t have a clear framework to guide you
  8. They don’t evaluate success by the results
  9. Their promise seems too good to be true
  10. You’re not ready to be held accountable

Good luck on your mission to hire a great business coach!

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