Are business coaches a waste of money?

If you’ve never used a business coach before, and if you don’t know anyone that’s used a business coach before, you might have some questions. One of the common questions to those who are new to this whole “coaching” thing is “are business coaches a waste of money?”

We get it, it’s a great question and it’s one that we had when we first looked at the industry too. But here at Action Coach, we believe in providing honest responses to honest questions. So here’s an honest, transparent, and impartial view on whether investing in business coaching is a waste of money or not.

Can you lose money on business coaches?

Yes, definitely. There’s certainly a risk of losing money. Although a business coach is designed to help you grow your business and improve your profitability and cash position, you can still lose out.

But how?

If something is designed to help, in what situation would it, well, not help?

There are a few different factors that make business coaching risky. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

The first is the person being coached. Yes, you! You are one of the things that can make it risky.

Then there’s your business. Your business can also make it risky.

If the coach is rubbish, that can create uncertainty.

Finally, there’s your industry. In some industries, coaching can be riskier than in others.

The person, the coach, and the business

We’ll take a look at the person being coached, the business, the coach, and the industry in the next few questions. For now, it’s worth noting that business coaching isn’t completely risk-free and you can waste money if you aren’t deliberate and diligent with your choices.

When you are, and you avoid the pitfalls we’ll talk about in the next few questions, coaching can be life-changing.

Most business owners start out as technicians. Just like the hairdresser cutting hair. Then they get a client base and decide to go for it and open their own business. They spent years learning how to cut hair. But when they open their business they start a new profession. They are now a business owner, and how many years do they spend learning how to become a strong business owner?


That’s why having a good business coach can be valuable. A good coach will teach you how to become more profitable when they teach you finance. They’ll show you how to get more customers. And they’ll even show you how to really scale by building a strong team.

There are some coaches that even have a guarantee. They’ll guarantee an increase in profit as we do here at Action Coach.

So let’s take a look at how you, the coach, and the business can both create a risk of losing money.

When should I avoid using business coaches?

Let’s start out by looking at how the person being coached can cause problems. This is pretty simple and straightforward. In each session you have with a business coach, you will set goals. The goals will be things that help move the business forward (rather than fight fires) and they are defined as working “on” the business.

There are 2 reasons why you, as the person being coached, can cause problems here. The first is by setting poor goals. A good coach will guide you on this, but at the end of the day, they are your goals. Poor goals could be summarised as “working in” the business, or they could be irrelevant to where you are trying to go.

The other problem these goals could create is if you don’t do them. Again, a strong coach will challenge you and hold you accountable. But if you are the kind of person that just won’t complete the goals, business coaching could be a waste of money.

A coaching programme generally works best when the person being coached really gets into it. They get into the goals, the community, and the learning and they really go for it. It’s also important to make sure you’re working with a coach that’s right for you. If you do that, it’s much more likely that you’ll get a very healthy return on investment from coaching.

The Business

Sometimes, the business can stop you from getting a positive return on investment. There are very few businesses and very few sectors where business coaching wouldn’t work. The person running the business is more likely to be the actual problem.

With that being said, there are some examples of businesses where coaching might not be so helpful.

The most common reason that business coaching wouldn’t work in a business is if the company was so hands-on, the business owner would never be able to work on the business. In that instance, the business owner doesn’t really have a business, they have a job. But nonetheless, if you can’t make time to work “on” the business and grow it, then business coaching isn’t likely to work.

Again, that usually comes down to the psychology of the owner rather than the actual business. But there may be some companies where the owner has to (legally) be the person doing the job.

The Business Coach

This is a simple one. If the business coach is rubbish, then business coaching could be a waste of money.

A good business coach will help you get clear on where you want to go, and how you will get there, give you the education you need, and then hold you accountable for doing it.

So if the business coach isn’t helping your goal set, the business coaching could be a waste of money.

If the coach isn’t helping you figure out the “how” and the strategies to get you there, then it could be a waste of money.

And if you aren’t getting the education and accountability to take the action, you guessed it, waste of money.

It’s important to find the right coach for you. It’s also important to find a coach that follows a strong framework like the one we just mentioned so that you can really focus on getting results.

Are there certain industries where business coaching won’t work?

Business coaching can be incredibly effective for lots of different industries. But there may be certain situations where it may not be the best fit.

For example, some industries may be more regulated and require strict adherence to established protocols, leaving little room for the creativity and flexibility that coaching can provide. If in your industry you aren’t allowed to change your marketing, operations or how you manage a team, coaching could be ineffective.

Most industries don’t fall into that category. Noone knows your industry better than you so it’s your call. Basically, it’s important to assess the unique needs and challenges of each industry before determining if business coaching is the right approach.

Are there certain people that business coaching won’t work for?

It’s less about the business and more about the person. Business coaching can be an amazing experience, but it’s not for everyone. For example, some people who are resistant to change may find it challenging to get the most out of coaching.

Similarly, those who aren’t open to feedback or lack motivation may struggle to see the desired results.

Coaching is a highly personal process, and the success of the relationship is ultimately dependent on the person’s willingness to engage with the process.

With the right attitude and a commitment to growth, pretty much everyone can benefit from business coaching and take their business to the next level.

Without a growth mindset, business coaches can be a waste of money.

When should I use a business coach?

There are lots of examples of when using a business coach would be a great idea.

If you’re feeling stuck in your business and are unsure of how to move forward, a coach can help you identify your goals and develop a plan for achieving them.

Additionally, if you’re looking to improve your leadership skills or develop new business strategies, a coach can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

A coach can also be invaluable if you’re looking to start a new business or navigate a major business model change, as they can provide insights and advice based on their own experience and expertise.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to grow, improve your performance, achieve your goals, or take your business to the next level, a business coach can be an excellent resource.

What are the benefits of using a business coach?

Let’s keep this nice and easy. Here are the benefits of using a business coach:

  • Provides an objective and unbiased perspective on your business
  • Helps you identify and overcome limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors
  • Guides you in setting clear and achievable goals
  • Provides accountability and support throughout the process of achieving your goals
  • Helps you develop new skills and strategies to improve your performance
  • Offers a safe space to explore challenges and brainstorm new ideas
  • Can save you time and money by helping you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls
  • Provides access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various industries
  • Can help you build confidence and overcome fears or insecurities related to your business or career.

Those are some of the key benefits of using a coach.

But of course, there are always things that aren’t on that list that you might really benefit from.

Things like the community. Being part of a community full of business owners and personal development junkies can be life-changing.

Or maybe you’d benefit from working on your finance and looking at how you can create more profit for the company.

There are lots of different ways a business coach can help a business owner be, do, and have more.

What other questions should I be asking about business coaching?

There are plenty of other considerations that you should take into account when working out whether to hire a business coach or not. Here’s just a few to get you started, to see more you can always visit our learning centre here.


And that’s our review on “Are business coaches a waste of money?”

If you’d like to find out more about our programmes and prices here at Action Coach simply click here.


Are business coaches a waste of money?

Are business coaches a waste of money?