12 Best Business Coaches to Follow in 2024

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Marshall Goldsmith - business coach

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall helps successful people and teams achieve lasting behavioral change for the better. Marshall can help you understand how your beliefs and environment can lead to negative behaviors. Then he can provide straightforward, practical advice to help you change.

Driven by a passion to help others, Marshall’s mission is to enhance lives through improving leaders’ effectiveness.

Allison Dunn (Deliberate Directions)

Allison guides successful people on their entrepreneurial journey through a lens that highlights four key areas of freedom: Time, Money, Relationship and Purpose.

With this approach, Deliberate Directions guides business leaders and entrepreneurs to achieve business success and personal fulfillment.

Follow Allison for powerful strategies to help you create freedom and abundance in all areas of your life.

Tony Robbins - business coach

Tony Robbins

A titan in the personal development field, Tony takes a holistic approach to help people unlock their full potential. He provides tools and motivation to help you break through personal barriers so you can achieve success and happiness.

Jay Abraham - business coach

Jay Abraham

A master of maximizing business potential, Jay helps leaders leverage their existing assets to drive growth and profitability. His strategic mindset is perfect if you’re looking to uncover hidden opportunities in your current ventures.

Jay’s coaching offers you the insight to diversify your approach to marketing, increase your market share, and multiply your income streams.

John Maxwell - business coach

John Maxwell

John teaches you how to build a culture of personal growth and values-based leadership at every level of your organization.

John’s practical leadership principles have been adopted by individuals, major corporations, and national governments. Through his workshops and certified leadership programs, John and his team equip aspiring and seasoned leaders alike with the tools to initiate powerful, positive change.

John offers assessments focused on leadership and behavior, then his team pairs you with a coach who has successfully navigated challenges similar to yours.

Melinda Emerson - business coach

Melinda Emerson (The Small Biz Lady)

Melinda is a champion for entrepreneurs seeking to establish and grow their small businesses. She covers the basics of marketing, social media, accounting, and finance in a way that beginners can follow along.

Nick Loper - business coach

Nick Loper (Side Hustle Nation)

If you’re exploring ways to supplement your income or eventually transition to self-employment, check out Side Hustle Nation.

Here, Nick shares actionable advice and inspiring success stories. His coaching is ideal for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to navigate the gig economy, start companies, and scale side hustles into viable businesses.

Barry Moltz- business coach

Barry Moltz

Barry helps small business owners feeling stuck in their entrepreneurial journey. With over 20 years of firsthand experience in starting, running, and selling businesses, Barry helps owners unlock their companies’ hidden potential.

Barry guides businesses through turnarounds, provides growth strategies for family businesses, assists with mediation, and helps owners prepare to buy or sell businesses. He focuses on essentials like systematic marketing, exceptional customer experience, and best practices for monitoring financial health.

Tammy Adams (Badass Business Owner)

Tammy is dedicated to empowering local small business owners, “the unsung heroes of our communities”.

With over 25 years of experience in big-box retail and local business ownership, she offers practical advice on operations, employee management, sales, and customer service. Her mission is to ensure local business owners thrive with six-figure incomes so they can find joy in their businesses again.

Alan Melton - business coach

Alan Melton (Small Business Coach Associates)

Alan guides small business owners through starting, growing, and exiting their businesses. Drawing on his experience founding and selling businesses, he teaches strategies to overcome common challenges like burnout, sales stagnation, and employee recruitment.

Alan’s coaching is tailored for people feeling overwhelmed by the chaos of business operations. If you’re looking to grow sales or restore your passion for your business, Alan could help you.

  • Read Alan’s blog for insights on marketing, sales, budgeting, employee retention, and time management.
  • Follow Alan on LinkedIn or Facebook.
  • Learn more by purchasing Alan’s webinars focusing on marketing, cash flow, and operations.
  • Visit SmallBusinessCoach.org.
John Mattone - business coach

John Mattone

John was a founder or co-founder of four leading coaching and leadership development firms. His CEO coaching, C-suite coaching, keynotes, and retreats are all designed to ignite leaders’ inner cores, enrich their lives, and help them leave lasting legacies.

Tristan Wright (Evolve to Grow)

Tristan helps marketing and advertising agency owners run a profitable business without giving their team daily input.

From his experience building and selling a seven-figure business, Tristan understands firsthand the challenges of being overly involved in day-to-day operations. His coaching emphasizes efficiency and scalability.

The Role of a Business Coach

A business coach is a professional who guides and supports business owners in growing their businesses, improving their management skills, and achieving their personal and professional goals. They provide actionable steps, strategies, and insights based on their expertise and experience.

Business coaches provide guidance, accountability, and support to help you achieve specific business goals and avoid costly mistakes.

Business coaches can help you:

  • clarify your business vision
  • set achievable goals
  • create action plans
  • organize your operations
  • improve your leadership skills
  • enhance your team’s performance
  • make strategic decisions, and
  • overcome business and personal challenges

What’s the difference between a business coach and a consultant?

While both aim to improve your business, coaches focus on guiding you to find solutions and grow personally, whereas consultants typically offer specific expertise to solve business problems directly.

How to Know If a Business Coach Can Help You

Consider hiring a business coach if:

  • you feel stuck
  • your business growth has plateaued
  • you’re facing challenges you’re not sure how to overcome, or
  • you want to accelerate your personal and business development

Here are a few common use cases.

  • If you’re just starting out, business coaches can guide you on business planning, market analysis, branding, and sales strategies. They can help you avoid common pitfalls and make informed decisions.
  • If your your team has high turnover or low morale, a business coach can help you hone your leadership skills. This will help you to build dynamic teams, foster a productive work culture, and improve communication and trust in your organization.
  • If you’re experiencing personal challenges, a business coach can help you find and implement solutions. Common challenges include finding work-life balance, managing time effectively, and dealing with family stress.

Are business coaches worth the investment?

Yes, many business owners find value in hiring a business coach. Coaches offer personalized advice, accountability, and support that can lead to significant growth, efficiency improvements, and increased profitability.

While the direct outcomes of coaching might not always be measurable in immediate business success, the personal growth, confidence, and strategic thinking skills developed through the process can be invaluable.

The value of a business coach varies based on your individual needs and the coach’s expertise. For some, a coach is a pivotal resource in navigating challenges and accelerating growth. For others, free resources like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or SCORE may offer sufficient guidance.

How to Choose the Right Business Coach

You want a coach who offers actionable advice, has a track record of client success, and can provide personalized strategies that actually bring results.

Here are tips for finding the right business coach for you:

  • Assess your specific needs, goals, and the areas where you need help.
  • Research their background. Look for a coach with experience relevant to your industry and challenges. Have they built and sold a business? Have they run a business like yours?
  • Look for coaches with verifiable success in their own businesses. This will separate valuable coaches from inexperienced ones.
  • Look for coaches who don’t rely on coaching for income. Sometimes, people who have achieved success in their field and have moved beyond a need for income from coaching can offer mentorship out of a genuine desire to help others succeed. Their advice can be incredibly valuable, especially when they continue to take an interest in your progress over time.
  • Review case studies or talk to references. Check a coach’s reviews and testimonials as well. Ensure the coach has a proven track record of helping businesses grow.
  • Sit down for a strategy session with a few coaches. Come prepared with a couple questions so you can gauge their expertise.
  • Choose the coach with whom you have the best rapport. It’s essential that you feel comfortable with the coach you choose, that your working styles align, and that you trust their expertise.
  • Monitor your progress. If you’re not seeing results within 6 months, it may be time to move on to another coach.

Why are there so many business coaches?

The rise of business coaches can be attributed to the increasing number of entrepreneurs seeking guidance. While it may seem overwhelming, this growth indicates a demand for personalized business advice. However, not all coaches are created equal. So take care to find one with actual business success.

How can you gauge the quality of a coach during a strategy session?

  • Beware of promises of quick success. Coaches who guarantee significant business growth in a short period often don’t deliver on their promises. Real growth requires hard work and tailored strategies, not one-size-fits-all solutions.
  • Find a coach who asks the right questions. A good coach doesn’t necessarily provide all the answers but helps you find them yourself. This process requires hard work from both sides and leads to personal and professional growth.
  • Test their industry-specific knowledge. Coaches with experience in your specific industry or with a clear understanding of your business model can offer more relevant and effective advice compared to general business coaches.
  • Ask them what areas they you need to work on first. The best coaches will help you identify and build upon what you’re already doing well while addressing areas of weakness with actionable strategies.

How to Get the Most Out of Working with a Coach

Follow these basic tips, and you should do great.

  • Be open to feedback.
  • Work on your business outside your coaching sessions.
  • Implement your coach’s suggestions that you mutually agree on.
  • Set clear goals together with your coach.
  • Regularly review progress with your coach.

How often should I meet with my business coach?

The frequency of meetings depends on your specific needs, goals, and the coaching plan you’ve agreed upon. It can range from weekly to monthly sessions.

What to Expect from a Business Coaching Relationship

Expect to gain clarity on your business goals, develop actionable strategies for achieving them, and receive accountability to stay on track. A good business coach should also help you navigate challenges and improve your overall business operations.

You can expect to improve your productivity, decision-making skills, and leadership capabilities. You should also see growth in your business.

Can business coaches guarantee business success?

Of course not. Business coaches can provide the tools, strategies, and support, but success ultimately depends on the business owner’s actions and the market response. Coaches facilitate progress but can’t guarantee outcomes.

Is there a risk of becoming dependent on a business coach?

While a business coach can provide valuable guidance, relying too heavily on one may hinder your ability to make independent decisions. Effective coaching empowers you to develop your problem-solving skills and confidence, reducing dependency over time.

Options If You’re Not Ready for a Business Coach

If you’re not ready or unsure about investing in a business coach, consider utilizing free resources like the SBDC or SCORE, which both offer advice and mentorship to new business owners.

Additionally, you can join a peer accountability group or network with other business owners. This can provide support and accountability without the cost of a coach.

These solutions can provide foundational support and guidance, helping you prepare for possibly working with a coach in the future.

Can formal education replace the need for a business coach?

While formal education provides foundational knowledge, business coaches offer practical, real-world advice tailored to your specific business challenges. Coaches can provide accountability, direct feedback, and specialized expertise that educational institutions may not.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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