Entrepreneurs and company owners

Entrepreneurs and company owners not easily inclined towards turning to others for help. They have already successfully mastered many challenges successfully, and may be sceptical about tangible results, as well as have budget concerns. Therefore, they will ponder a decision to work with any type of consultant carefully. What is more, structures and processes in their companies are usually quite straightforward, which further reduces the demand for coaching. However, there are recurring motives where this group values the input and insights of a coach:

  • Better company goals: The company owner is aware that they lack a competent sparring partner for discussions around strategy and innovation, and are noticing they are less and less motivated by fine-tuning processes. They want to gain and implement new ideas and reenergize their company (and not least themselves) with fresh plans that are oriented towards the company’s future. 
  • Personal goals: After many years of doing what had to be done, exclusively relying on their own resources, the company owner wants to take stock of their lives and do something just for themselves. They may have health issues and understand they need to let go more. There may be new family responsibilities that are taking their toll. They are aware that they have to do some personal ground work first before they can start delegating accountability and/or outsourcing things that they don’t need to do themselves. 
    In this situation, they feel they deserve to spare themselves frustrating trial‐and‐error learning and want to invest into some know‐how.
  • Growth and/or mergers: Many successful companies reach the size and maturation stage where it is time to transition from family structures to professional structures. This requires some soul-searching for meaning, honouring traditions and the contributions of the „old-timers“, yet welcoming change and new, often more professional managers to the team. This is often also the phase where issues (e.g. different expectations, goals, and values) between the owners surface.
    Where a sole business owner is  bringing their company into a partnership or merger, they may realize that they are no longer used to taking decisions at a peer level, or notice how their engagement and commitment for the partnership/network is dropping after a short honeymoon phase. Although they want to take corrective action, they keep falling back into their old, now inappropriate, patterns. 
  • Exit strategy: When entrepreneurs start thinking about exit strategies from their company, they usually quickly understand that the company isn’t of much value without them, as long as they are at the heart of just about any process. This creates the motivation to work on structures that will allow them to leave the company after a sell‐out (after a certain transition period). 
  • Succession planning: One case in point is succession planning within the family. Torn between their responsibilities as entrepreneurs and parents, they are looking for the best solutions ‐ from “bringing the children into management positions“ to “hiring professional managers, and having family members only in supervisory bodies“. Two generations working together in the company means a lot of changes, and not just for those two. Emancipating oneself from the role carried over from family life is a challenging task – but one that is necessary to tackle, for this can easily split a company (AND family) into two camps. 

Sample Testimonials

In all of these examples, the entrepreneurs and business owners need to tap into know-how that they haven’t developed yet, and want to develop in an organic way. A coach like me who is experienced in such transitions can be the ideal sparring partner who balances input with leaving the decision to the clients.