Is hiring a business coach a waste of time? Does your luxury business really need one? Are there any tangible/quantifiable benefits?

As someone who runs a couple of successful companies, business coaching for luxury businesses was not something I fell into. I did not just do a diploma and hey voila, become an expert coach. It took years of being at the coal face of running a small luxury business. Facing the highs and lows head on. Building a luxury brand from scratch against all the odds and attracting clients that many often dream of.

What you want vs what you need

If I were to hire a business coach what I would do is to write down a list of what I really need.
Do I need a mindset coach, a motivational coach or a lifestyle coach? Someone that would make me feel confident and good. A coach who believes in me? Or do I need a business coach to help me attract luxury clients? Someone who can help me set business strategies and show me specific actionable steps that will help my business grow?

In the words of a CEO of Matalan, “someone who can help me put money in the till”, because ultimately, that’s what it boils down to.

As a business owner, I know how lonely it can be at the top as the buck stops with me. There are times I need someone to motivate me and give me a safe place to talk about how I feel. This is the point at which I decide on the type of coach I need. Do I need a therapist, a critical friend or someone who will help me focus on developing my luxury business. Someone with the business expertise, who can help me decide if I’m selling the right kind of products and services, the right kind of way.

There is a school of thought that believes that many business coaching programmes are a waste of time and money and this may be true. However, I know for a fact that many FTSE 100 companies hire business coaches for their executive teams because when I worked as a Headhunter, many executives even made it one of their conditions for taking on a new role. Business coaching with the right fit of business coach can help your business enormously. However, it is not easy to tell good coaches from poor ones.

Choose wisely

If I were to choose a business coach, I definitely won’t choose one based just on personal recommendation. I will take a closer look at the About section on their website. Do they have the relevant industry experience or are they just very good at selling their coaching programmes? Are their claims verifiable? What kind of features did they get in the press? Are the features on thought leadership or mainly advertorials that proclaim how wonderful they are without any proof?

Also, check out their testimonials and Google reviews, both good and bad. Are the good reviews overly good? Do they ring true? In these days of social media, it’s not hard to prove the degrees of separation if all someone has done is line up their friends to give testimonials. Now we will all get bad reviews from time to time but how has the business coach handled their bad reviews? Do they have a tendency to ignore bad reviews or worse, get very defensive or abusive over them?

I will also suggest that you read their articles, blogs and watch their videos. Does what you read or hear resonate? Are they sharing new insights and approaching issues from a different perspective? Are they specific in their opinions and do they have a niche? Most importantly do they have industry specific experience that can add a lot of value to you and your business?

In my experience the right business coach can do wonders for you and your business but you must vet them and choose wisely.

Elizabeth Solaru is a luxury business strategist and the founder of the Luxury Business Emporium. She is a luxury business coach and can be contacted at