January 27, 2021 by  Ashley Guberman

Let’s start by calling out the elephant in the room: Most Business Coaches don’t know the first thing about business. They took a few training courses, got certified on somebody else’s methodology, and now they are a coach. In short, they are a waste of money.

That said, you can still get value from a business coach if you know what you need, how to find it, and how to assess quality as a customer.

This is the first in a series of posts about coaches from different training backgrounds, the pros and cons of each, and what you can expect as a client.

The series will cover the following:

  1. Business Made Simple Coaching (BMSU)
  2. International Coach Federation Business Coaches
  3. Certified High-Performance Coaching for Business
  4. Institute for Generative Leadership (IGL) Business Coaches
  5. Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  6. Criteria for Choosing a Business Coach

Part 1: Business Made Simple Coaching

Business Made Simple University is the umbrella company for StoryBrand, by Donald Miller.  The company has certified its marketing coaches as “StoryBrand Guides” since 2016. In October of 2020, they started certifying business coaches as well.  Similar to Brendon Buchard’s CHPC program, a BMS coach brings the client a set of formal distinctions and training, giving the client a curriculum to work through from day one.

The benefit of working with a BMS coach is that each lesson in their curriculum has a clear purpose for how it will make a business-owner more money.  However, most of the curriculum is already available for less than $300 on an e-learning platform through Business Made Simple University.  Therefore, the value of hiring a BMS coach is not the curriculum.  It’s the structure, pacing, guidance, and feedback on execution that a coach adds on top of that curriculum.  Additionally, the BMS program is structured to make online lessons an essential part of the coaching experience.  

Multiple studies have found that any education paired with coaching is more effective than either one alone.  Thus, the role of the BMS coach is to help the business owner translate the training they get from the online course into execution that will allow the client to grow their business.

Who Is A BMS Coach For?

The BMS coaching program caters to businesses that want to become more profitable through the top of their business funnel.  The coach’s curriculum focuses on the externally-facing levers for making more money and the internal factors that produce alignment and positive momentum.  The BMS Coach is for people who need help going from ideas and knowledge to practical implementation.  It covers multiple areas of business, shown below. BMS also offers a 20-minute assessment to look at your strengths and opportunities in these eight areas:

  • Leadership
  • Productivity
  • Messaging
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Sales
  • Management

Where Does A BMS Coach Fall Short for Business Coaching Clients?

A BMS coach is not a good fit for a business that wants the coach to do the heavy lifting.  For that, go with a consultant, such as one of their StoryBrand Guides (some are dual certified).  Nor is a BMS coach situated to address the recurrent breakdowns of coordination, trust, authority, or politics that sap organizations of effectiveness from the inside.  For that, a coach with more experience with the “generative conversations of teams” would be a better asset. 

My Experience with the BMS Coaching Program

I started with StoryBrand, joining as a “Guide” in 2017.  Guides do the heavy lifting in the BMS program as professional copywriters.  I became a BMS Coach in 2020 as part of their inaugural class.  As of this writing (January 2021), I found the online training available through Business Made Simple University to be highly practical.  However, the additional training provided to certify their coaches was lacking. 

If somebody came into the BMS certification program already possessing business acumen or coaching skills, the additional certification through BMSU would give the coach some remarkable frameworks to share with clients.  However, nothing in their coach training or certification program equips their graduates with coaching, leadership, or facilitation skills.  Therefore, the success of BMSU’s new coach certification program will depend heavily on their selection and screening process to determine who can become a BMS certified coach.  

While the program can give an existing coach an excellent curriculum and a platform to stand upon, I do not believe it can create a competent business coach on its own.  It’s possible that the program will grow to develop core coaching skills in the future. It’s simply not structured to do so at this time.  Therefore, selecting a good business coach requires that the client choose a coach who has additional skills and training beyond the BMS certification.

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