Who Should Not Hire a Business Coach?

One of the steps to building your client base is to identify your ideal client. Sometimes it is easier to identify who is NOT your ideal client. I talk to a lot of business owners, one of the perks of the job, and while these conversations are always interesting, I have had to learn who is a potential client and who is not a fit for business coaching. If you are considering hiring a coach, here are some of the things I am looking at to build a successful relationship.


The business owner who is satisfied with the status quo of their business is not a good client for coaching. While I am happy that they are content with the state of their business and their life, there is no desire to build and expand. The person who is content with where they are and where they are going is not going to put in the time and effort required to make changes, follow market trends, or build their team. The need for learning and accountability is not present and likely it is not welcome. If this is you, don’t hire a business coach.


The first question is whether or not there are goals for the business. If there are none, this is an indicator of how much effort is being put into the business and where it is going. Often, business goals are written on a piece of paper in January and then ignored until December. If there are no plans to achieve the goals the flurry of activity at the end of the year will not make a difference.

The next question is what are the goals for the business owner? Are they building wealth for their family and community, or are they just earning a living? If it is the latter, what they have is a job with long hours and little reward. If you have no desire to have goals for yourself or your business, you should not hire a business coach.


The business owner who favors the phrase, “I know” is limiting their view of the world. My favorite companion phrase is “we’ve done it this way for years.” As an example, Kodak knew how to make and develop film products for many years. Unfortunately, they did not adapt when the industry changed. When was the last time you bought film? Understanding how the business world or a particular industry is changing requires curiosity and a desire to learn.

The business owner who is not curious does not see the need to provide training for themselves or their team. They become the source of all information, which then becomes a bottleneck as well as a limiting factor. The business owner who is curious chooses to learn from books, podcasts, even peers. They invest in themselves and their team members so that everyone is better.


Very few business owners are masters of every aspect of running the business. Yet many business owners will not seek help or input. They are insistent on maintaining control and making every decision. They are not open to any kind of feedback as they view it as criticism. They view any outside service as an expense, not an investment. If you are a CPA, marketing genius, lawyer, HR expert, and inventor you probably don’t need to hire a business coach.

A Sense of Urgency

Many business owners do recognize the need for growth, planning and change – just not now. As long as things are OK, there is no need to make them great. They are convinced that Someday will show up on their calendar. If you are not ready to make changes, don’t invest in using a coach to help you change.

Who Should Hire a Coach?

  • The business owner who is not satisfied with some aspect of their business, or the impact it is having on their life. They want more.
  • Someone who is goal oriented and committed to achieving their goals, for themselves as well as their business.
  • The person who is willing and interested in learning. They want to develop themselves and their team as a way to grow their business.
  • Somebody who recognizes where they need help and are not afraid to ask for it. They understand the need to invest in themselves and their business.
  • The owner who is ready to take action now because they understand that what they do today matters for the future.

If the five statements above describe you, let’s set up your free Business Diagnostic session and see if you are the right person to work with a coach. I hope that you are!

Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY

Who Should Not Hire a Business Coach?