The recently released Grant Thornton International Business Report has reported that Botswana business owners and senior management are among the heaviest users of business coaches in the world.
Grant Thornton carried out a survey of 45 countries and ranked Botswana in fifth position, with 62 per cent of those surveyed reporting that they had used a business coach. The Philippines leads the pack with 90 per cent of business owners surveyed in the country having utilized them. “A good business coach adds value to a business in many aspects such as improvement in business efficiency, cost savings, quick decision making, e.t.c,” said Garry Juma, an economic analyst with Motswedi Securities. He said that they are important as they impart relevant skills and give appropriate professional advice to firms in need of their services. “They can be critical to the survival of a business either in the early days during the growth phase, especially for high-growth businesses,” he said.
Juma further said that the business coaches also assist in mentoring the business owners and thereby increase the business owners’ confidence and their professionalism in the way that they conduct business, which will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and ultimately, business growth.
Coaching and mentoring differ in the sense that the latter tends to have an internal focus and is undertaken by a senior staff member, who is unlikely to have the same impartiality as an outsider. It can be easy for a mentor to slip into bullying behaviours because of their seniority, and other personal agendas that may be at play, such as role insecurities. Experts indicate that it is worth investing time in finding a well-suited, experienced coach.