Consulting & Coaching 101
All successful entrepreneurs around the world have trusted consultants and coaches on their team, especially at strategic level to help design and deliver in the fast paced business environment that exists today. Having an objective input that assists with the design and implementation of strategy, business planning, financial forecasting, sales and marketing plus ongoing corporate governance provides ‘a been there and done that’ real time experience to help with skill gaps and to help navigate the entrepreneurial mountain range.
Having the objective input and the strategy stage is invaluable to ensure the course set is the correct one to maximise return on investment, equally is the ongoing support that helps with experience led course correction as and when performance and results start to vary from forecasted results.
How to choose a consultant, coach or Non Executive Director will depend on the size of your business and the skill gaps you require, all three provide valuable and relevant input providing always they are objective and free from shareholding or day to day involvement. Many entrepreneurs especially when seeking a Non Executive Director offer equity as compensation, however this should be avoided as they then lose their objectivity.
The key aspect in employing a consultant or coach is being totally comfortable with the relationship match first, then skill gap match where the individual or a team can provide the experience to help you with the stage and goals of the business. However ensure that a planned program or process is in place to ensure progress can be measured and tracked, after all consultants, coaches or Non Executives are a cost to the business, you need a positive return on investment.