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Why Small Businesses Need Coaching

Another approach to consider is group coaching. It means giving up the one-on-one focus of an individual coach, but also builds peer relationships with business owners facing similar challenges. The best-known such program is Strategic Coach, which runs workshops exclusively for entrepreneurs.

"Most entrepreneurs are natural innovators or salespeople, not managers," says Catherine Nomura, Strategic Coach's director of business development. "They come to us because dealing with the day-to-day complexities of their business has made it difficult to move ahead. They don't have time to do what they love to do."

Business owners sign up for a year of coaching, which includes quarterly, daylong workshops and access to an adviser for follow-up help in between. Participants are grouped according to the size of their company (at a minimum, you must have been in business for at least three years and have a net personal income of $100,000). The coaches running the workshops are business owners who have been through the program themselves.

"It's a peer group of people who understand what you're going through," Nomura says. To build accountability, business owners leave each workshop with specific goals and steps to take before the next quarterly meeting.

Once you've decided on the type of coaching that best fits your needs and personality, finding a coach takes the same research and persistence as finding any other trustworthy professional partner. The International Coach Federation website has a referral service for certified coaches; you can also find coaches with business experience through local MBA programs or professional organizations.

Once you've found a coach who's a good fit, the rest is up to you. "If you're going to hire a coach, you want to use the time wisely," Modell says. "Be prepared to open up." A great coach can motivate players to win, but only if they're willing to put in the work it takes to get there.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.
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