Leadership Articles

Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Generic Business Coach

Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Generic Business Coach

Hiring the wrong coach for the job proved to be the right formula for the popular TV comedy show Ted Lasso, but the success of your business is no laughing matter. Most business owners seek a business coach only when they feel their business is not performing well and they don’t know how to fix it. At such a critical moment you don’t want to trust your business to anyone other than an experienced and knowledgeable expert.

Generalist vs. specialist

If you’ve ever thought about hiring a business coach, you know they come in many different flavors. Some focus on business strategy, some on marketing, some on finance, some on sales, some on human resources, some on leadership, and some dabble in a little bit of everything. Some also specialize in particular industries, although many are generalists. They each have their value depending on what your needs are at a given time, but they have their limitations, too.

Many interior designers, in our experience, even those who have built a successful practice, really don’t understand interior design as a business. Imagine, then, working with a coach who has little or no familiarity with the interior design industry. How useful can they be?

Insights from an insider

Those in the know will tell you that an interior design business is unlike most others. It’s a creative consultancy, it’s sales, it’s retail, it’s project management, it’s procurement, and it’s networking. It often has a complex billings and receivables structure. It is at the same time completely unique and in competition with other firms and service providers. It is widely publicized, and yet very few really understand what it does and how it works.

An interior design business coach, one that has had experience running an interior design firm, is familiar with all these issues. And they know what it takes to operate and grow a successful business. They understand the challenges owners face when deciding how to set their fees, how to generate sufficient revenue and profit from their projects, how to position themselves in the market, and how to attract the right kind of client for their services. They have experience managing a team of creatives and handling relationships with clients, vendors and service providers. Whatever your issue, they’ve probably dealt with it before.

What a coach can tell you

Your accountant can explain to you what a profit and loss statement is. An interior design business coach can show you what it’s telling you about your business and how you can use it to make improvements in your business and to plan for future growth.

A marketing consultant can help you prepare a budget and a strategy for promoting your firm. An interior design business coach will work with you to determine where and on whom you should be focusing your marketing efforts to reach your ideal prospective clients. They can also assist with improving how you brand your firm and how you communicate with prospective and current clients.

A management specialist can give you a list of recommendations on how to make your firm run more efficiently. An interior design business coach will walk you through the systems, processes and procedures you need to have in place for each aspect of your business, from client acquisition to project management to purchasing to invoicing, as well as finance, marketing and human resources. They can also recommend technologies and tools that support all these processes and can save you time and money.

Moreover, an interior design business coach has a broad industry perspective that comes from working with many designers from a range of firms, business models and locations. They have first-hand knowledge of actual industry practices regarding fees, revenues, profit margins, salaries and other measures that an individual design business owner may not be aware of. Many of them have run successful design firms in the past and moved on to coaching in order to share their wisdom and experience.

The Pearl Collective difference

All of the coaches who make up the Pearl Collective team have extensive, successful experience with interior design businesses. In addition to their accumulated skills and training, they each bring their individual knowledge base and insights, allowing us to match the best coach to suit your needs.

We know that interior design businesses are constantly evolving. Unlike one-size-fits-all coaching firms, we offer different programs for design business owners at different levels and at different stages in their business’s lifecycle. Whether your challenge is generating more revenue, taking your business to the next level, building your team, or planning for future growth, we have the people and resources to help you succeed.

Running an interior design business at times can feel like being on a desert island. Who else understands what it’s like? Who can you turn to for advice and support? Along with providing you with one-on-one, customized coaching, we’ll connect you to a network of your peers with whom you can discreetly and confidently discuss whatever issues you are dealing with at present. You’ll get the benefit of their experience and knowledge, and they, in turn, will benefit from yours.

We are firm believers in lifelong learning and professional development. The industry and clients are constantly changing. It’s critical to keep up to stay competitive. We don’t just address your current problems and send you on your way. We offer learning events throughout the year that address a range of current industry topics. Plus, you’ll receive our weekly newsletter, which includes information and articles of timely interest.

Why hire a jack-of-all-trades when you can work with an expert instead? Many of our clients have been with us for years. They have learned from us, and we have learned from them. It’s a special relationship you won’t get with just any business coach.

Contribute your experience to the survey and see your industry’s results this fall.

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