Just as a license is as important to a business, so is a business coach. This is a realisation that many growing business are picking up to ensure they achieve set targets within a short period of time.

Who, exactly is a business coach?

According to Anne Ichungwa, a business coach with Wylde International in Nairobi, a business coach as a third eye to the business.

“He/she is more like a mentor who offers guidance and empowers business owners to implement their strategies. Basically, they do not instruct. Rather, they hold your hand and walk with you to implement your vision and business goals,” Ms Ichungwa told Business Today.

With six years experience on the job, Ms Ichungwa advises that a start-up should grow with a business coach so as to attain its objectives.

“Having a business coach not only ensures that the company increases it revenue but also attains its aims within a shorter period of time,” she says.

While an entrepreneur may project a five-year period to have a certain amount of revenue and market impact, with a coach, the same goal can be attained within three years.

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This is because a business coach ensures that entrepreneurs are accountable for every decision they make on the company. They offer clarity in all aspects of the business from financial to human resource.

In Kenya, business coaching is gradually being accepted unlike before, but the intake is still low as per global standards.

However, the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC)  terms business coaching as an emerging profession with over 50,000 personal business and life coaches worldwide. This is an increase of about 20 percent since 2011.

It is in business stagnation that many local entrepreneurs search for the third eye to help them see the gaps in their companies and how to maximise its opportunities.

“Many business people got it wrong by looking for business coach when they hit a dead end. If the coach was involved from the word go, such problems will not have occurred not to mention that time is wasted when the business is at halt,” says Ms Ichungwa.

She further insists that business people should stop viewing having a coach as a cost but as an investment in the company.

“You will save time in getting where you want your business to go and challenges will receive a new perspective as an opportunity,” adds the financial consultant.

The relationship between a business coach and the person being coached should be based on openness so as to address root cause and develop the business spectrum.

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In the sessions, where the entrepreneur talk more than the coach according to Ms Ichungwa, having an open conversation is paramount for the company’s growth.

“In front of a business coach, one becomes vulnerable because they are going to be criticised and encouraged. So putting things on the table; is my business working? Is my business making money is very vital? When one opens up and paint the real picture of how the business is, that is when helps comes,” she says.

Though it may feel like a therapy session, a business coach does not offer sympathy – rather they push entrepreneurs out of their comfort zone by dealing with the challenges facing it head on.

Ms Ichungwa has helped over 150 business and counting to attain their desired success in terms of growth in revenue, increase employment opportunities, developing internal system and structures among others.

“I get satisfaction when a clients calls me back to say their have attained their goals that he/she was working on. It draws the feeling of success in the context of holding someone through a challenge and they come out triumphant,” says Ms Ichungwa.

Though her biggest clientele is made up of growing business that range between 10-100 million, she also coaches young entrepreneurs in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru through different registered programs.

The charming Ichungwa with a rich background in financial consultation attributes self-drive, discipline, focus and commitment to success in business.

Her parting shot: Without a business coaching, you are wasting time. You can work on your company for five years or get assistant and work within a three year.

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