Some years ago I was working with an organisation in the Middle East that was establishing a new network of business angels, and a fund for startups. As part of the design and implementation, we built in the requirement that the startups we supported should have access to the services of a business coach or mentor. These days we are much more familiar with the term ‘Startup Coach’ or ‘Entrepreneur Coach’, and not as a rebrand or repackaging of the coaching movement. Startup coaches are proving to make a measurable difference to a number of funds who are looking to improve the chances of success for their investments, and to individual startups and entrepreneurs themselves.
Of course incubators and accelerators have training and mentoring built into their programmes, but as startups ‘hatch’ and begin to cycle through various rounds of funding, the needs change and the need to have the support of a flexible, experienced individual who can share experiences, insights, challenge and provide access to a global network, becomes more of a priority. The results don’t lie; most entrepreneurs report growth and a prolonged life of their business after interacting working with a startup coach. Finding the right coach to support you can be your secret weapon for success.
So when might a startup need to look for a coach?
- When you are looking to scale – looking for access to new markets or partnerships
- When you are fundraising – even if you are the VC providing the funding, external, objective insights can bring new perspectives
- When you are looking to expand your team
- When you are building your advisory board.
Since returning to the UK 6 years ago, as Co-Founder and MD of GEN UK, I have been actively engaged with colleagues in supporting hundreds of startups and scaleups – we have helped individuals and teams to export to the US and formed strong relationships with Estonia and the Commonwealth. Times are tough for the UK startups right now, but this is the time for us to focus on how best to support entrepreneurs who are bringing innovation and solutions to solve some of the biggest issues facing our economy.
Over the coming weeks our GEN UK Team will be inviting startups to a series of free online webinars to discuss the challenges and opportunities of growth in these difficult times. Contact me for details and keep a look out in social media for mine and GEN UK’s social media.