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What is a small business digital coach? 

Tracy Sheen

 

As small business owners, we’re aware of the need for a business plan. Most of us have some kind of marketing plan, maybe we even have a financial plan. In the 30+ years, I’ve been offering digital business advice I rarely meet a business owner with a digital plan for their business.

What inevitably happens within a business is the owners end up feeling overwhelmed and out of control with their technology. They reach for tools on an ad hoc basis as a need arises. Typically this leaves the business with dozens of discarded tech tools laying around and despair about how they will ever get a handle on digital solutions that could work for their business.

Enter the role of a ‘digital coach’ A small business digital coach is someone who helps you to overcome overwhelm and get that digital strategy in place.

We identify what technology you already have in place and prioritise the areas that could benefit from incorporating a digital tool. Then we work with your business to ensure you find and implement the right tool at the right time with the least amount of disruption to your daily business activities.

Do you need a digital coach?

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by technology in your business a digital coach can help.

If you’ve ever wanted to throw your laptop out a window or wish you understood a piece of software better then you will benefit from digital coaching sessions.

If you’ve wished you could be more productive or wanted to know how to increase your leads or revenue you will benefit from working with a digital coach.

If you want to ensure you remain relevant to your client base or build resilience in your business you will benefit from working with a digital coach.

As a small business operator If you want to stay ahead of your competition, and cut your learning and implementation time you will benefit from working with a digital coach.

Where should you start?

Once you’ve identified digital coaching could be a good idea for your business it’s time to do a little research.

Not all digital business coaches are the same. Look for someone who has runs on the board. This could mean that they’ve been involved in the digital space for a number of years and are familiar with coaching small business owners. Perhaps they regularly write or record videos highlighting digital technology that could be useful for small businesses. Or perhaps they’ve written a book or been featured on a reputable small business TV show or podcast.

Look for a business professional who understands various business types and can clearly articulate what their coaching programs look like on their website.

Reach out and book a time to have a chat with them. Your personalities will need to compliment each other. Digital coaching is not a short term partnership, you will be working on improving business decisions for your organisation so you need to get a good feeling that you will be able to work together to achieve your business goals for the foreseeable future.

Find out what their coaching packages entail. Can you try them for a short period of time as a way of testing your relationship or do you need to commit to a longer period of time? Get really comfortable with their digital coaching process before you commit to anything long term.

Digital coaching is not the same as business coaching.

While some of the work small business digital coaches will do could be seen as a form of business coaching there are some real differences that need to be acknowledged.

A good digital coach will work with you to ensure your small business is digital ready for whatever the immediate future holds for your business.

We begin by creating a digital strategy with you to identify all of the great digital tools your business is already using. We identify digital skills that are lacking and together create an action plan with priorities that will become your digital coaching training program.

Remember, digital coaching is about the transfer of digital skills to you and your team, It’s our role as your digital business mentor to empower your business to embrace the digital age.

Essentially digital coaching is about empowering businesses to become their own digital strategist and become the best small business they can be.

Digital coaching looks at all areas of your business.

As part of our digital business coaching program, we’ll be looking at all areas of your business. From business marketing, sales and operations, to administration, finances and client satisfaction. Digital coaching will help you to focus on opportunities for business growth as well as the ‘quick wins’ you can have to increase revenue and productivity while streamlining processes and procedures.

Digital coaching will raise your digital awareness and identify the next best step for you to take on the road to your identified business success. Digital training and coaching is not a cookie cutter approach which means that most successful digital training programs are the ones we build together as part of your action plan identified during your digital strategy session.

It’s not just about the technology.

While our businesses may be operating in a digital world, calling for us to have an online presence, be familiar with social media and understand other areas of digital marketing. A digital coach won’t recommend technology for technologies sake.

Every piece of technology you use or implement within your business should have a strategic place and be adding significant value. Anytime a need is identified going back to your digital strategy will help to avoid the ad hoc kind of approach to digital solutions that have seen so many small Australian businesses get themselves into tech overwhelm.

What makes me qualified to be your digital coach?

I’ve been involved in small business technology and my digital marketing experience dates back to 1990, and I’ve worked with some of our largest companies helping to bring the latest in digital solutions to market.

In 2008 I left my corporate role and business owner myself. Over the years I’ve made plenty of mistakes, lost some skin and learned plenty of lessons. I’ve worked with my fair share of small business coaches and been involved in coaching hundreds of small business clients through my partnership with the Federal Government delivering the ‘Australian Small Business Advisory Service’ (ASBAS for short).

I’m a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM), recognised by the Australian Marketing Institute and have offered business coaching services for the past five years through my own business, and as an ASBAS advisor. I’ve delivered digital marketing coaching programs, and online business coaching programs and together with my husband, Peter we now deliver small business coaching services to businesses across Australia.

In 2021 I released my first business book “The End of Technophobia: a practical guide to digitising your business” for which I was awarded the ‘Australian Business Book of the Year 2021’ and ‘Best Technology Book 2021’ in the Australian Business Book Awards.

My work as ‘The Digital Guide’ has been featured throughout the media and I am the resident small business tech expert on ‘Kochies Business Builders’.

I take the role of business coaching and mentoring seriously and love to mentor small business owners like me to embrace digital and get the most from technology inside their business.

I’d love to have a chat with you about what you’re looking for in a digital business coach. You can book a free 30 min call here, or check out our digital business coaching page here.