Developing your business standards will prevent clients from taking advantage of your good nature. Create your business operating standards so they are reasonable for you to maintain your business, make you available to work with your coach, and allow you to still function in your life. Don’t worry about being everything to everybody; just be the best you can be for you. Only then will you ‘show up’ as authentic and genuine when working with your coach.
When you develop strong standards for your business, you will be able to help your coach do the same when you discover a void. Always remember to practice on your business first so that you can work out any glitches before recommending a process, standard or resource to your coach. This simple step will earn you loads of credibility.
Not only coaches, but a lot of virtual business owners don’t have their standards written down. So, try this exercise with your coach. Ask her what two standards are deal breakers for her when working with clients. By getting her to share with you, you can reciprocate and share your top two deal breakers. Can you see how you can start the relationship on the right foot with this conversation starter? Never be afraid of asking your coach to explain her standards to you nor of explaining yours to her.
Let’s look at two standards you will want to address with your new coach.
- Your work hours – Coaches work a variety of schedules and live all over the world. Don’t you worry about that – just set your days of the week and hours per day for client appointments as it fits your life. If you have children at home, be sure to schedule office hours around them so that you show up professional and present. Getting the work done is on your time, just be sure to be on time to meet any deadlines.
My example is that my office hours are from 12:00 – 5:00 pm Monday – Thursday. I take Fridays off for ‘me’ because I love a 3-day weekend. Emergencies are rare because my 1-on-1 coaches get three weekly calls with me each month which help us address any last-minute requests or opportunities.
- My Orientation Process – I create a project agreement for each coach and review it with them during our first call so that I can address any questions right then. I promise this — by taking this simple step first, you will increase the likelihood that your coach will comply with your standards a lot quicker. I have online forms that I require my coaches to complete before we start working together; which gives me insight into their plans, fears, and goals for their business. I had one coach who kept blowing off my orientation forms, and I had to stand firm with her – even to the point of stating I would return her monies if the forms were not completed. Of course, she complied and never forgot the tenacity with which I handled the situation. We worked together for years after that.
Another part of my process is to set up a meeting schedule with a specific day of the week and time of day, and I stick to a 45-minute call. If there are tasks discussed between us, I send a follow up email with the list of tasks and who is responsible for each one. Now I use BaseCamp to keep all my projects organized and my clients informed about the progress. Use weekly meetings to talk about who’s doing what for the next week. If you work in the space of a week, both you and your coach will be able to focus and get more done
Bottom line – if you want your coach to respect your business and your time, put the processes in place and stick to them. Bad habits stem from weak standards. If you want to help your coach build a strong business, you have to be the example of strong standards.