Does your Coach Understand Financial Drivers of Business—or Just Follow a Script?

You’re a passionate business owner hustling hard to take your company to the next level. But things feel chaotic—sales processes don’t exist or are not working like they have previously. Your team is overwhelmed, and having financial clarity to project future performance is a concern. You need expert guidance to regain control and chart a course for profitable growth.

You hire a business coach. Maybe someone you found online… or maybe even someone who came highly recommended by a peer. Someone to troubleshoot your systems, get everyone marching in sync, and implement a roadmap for scalable success.

Great. On paper, it looks like you’ve invested in sound mentorship and you’re putting all the pieces into place.

But after weeks or months of working with them—very little has fundamentally changed. You realize their “coaching” amounts to little more than generic scripts, motivational pep talks, and surface-level advice that isn’t tailored to the unique financial dynamics of your business. You are starting to feel like that is as deep as they can go, especially when dealing with financial drivers and results.

They might excel in certain areas of business— team management, systems, or motivation. But they don’t have the financial background to help you break free from the overwhelm, leaping into your next level of profit and driving your company’s valuation.

In other words, you’ve fallen victim to an unqualified “business coach” who lacks substantive operational and financial expertise. The type who rebrands themselves as a coach overnight after being able to afford a coaching certification, reading a few entrepreneurship books, and possibly never owning and running an actual business

Sure, they’re well-meaning. But they simply don’t understand the key financial drivers and performance levers that truly make or break a company’s profitability and growth trajectory. How could they when they haven’t actually done it for themselves?

How do I know? Simple. I’m the one who gets the call when things go wrong.

Over and over again, I hear from frustrated business owners who have been led astray by these misleading mentors who have little more than the financial knowledge they picked up reading a book or sitting at a “bootcamp” or “certification” event.

The items that land on a weekly issues list for business leaders are often focused on two main areas: People and Finances.

Too often, business coaches and implementers bring some basic people skills to their clients, which is fine if your team is incredibly solid, works well together, and delivers results. Too often, though, I find our clients need quite a bit more to address key people issues. Let’s assume your coach can help on the people side, but they’re still missing the experience and expertise needed to identify and solve financial issues. How are you going to create new opportunities and reward the team for all their efforts without profit and cash?

The term “business coach” has been hijacked and diluted by imposters that present themselves as experts without any of the necessary qualifications or experience. They don’t understand financial drivers of business—so the businesses that are hiring these coaches end up losing.

So how can you tell the seasoned pros from the coaching cons?

Choose Your Business Coach or Implementer Based on Their Financial Knowledge

A solid coach/implementer needs to bring an understanding of the following to their coaching clients:

Revenue Streams
Depending on the company and their business model, there are multiple streams of revenue that coaches and teams need to consider, from traditional revenue drivers like product sales and service fees, to sometimes forgotten or hidden revenue opportunities for services that companies currently provide for free.

Customer Acquisition and Retention
From acquiring new customers to retaining them long-term, strong coaches bring the ability to explore Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
The right coach brings an understanding of COGS. They understand how to manage the direct costs and expenses tied to the production of goods or services, including raw materials, labor, and manufacturing costs.

Gross and Net Profit Margin
One of the areas where implementers and coaches help their business clients the most is in developing a clear and simple understanding of their gross and net profit and margins, exploring ways to maximize that margin across business lines.

Operating Expenses
Too often, businesses and leadership teams believe they’ve uncovered all of their Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses (SG&A), the costs associated with running the day-to-day operations of the business, such as marketing, rent, utilities, and salaries.

Layered on top of that are the Research and Development (R&D) costs associated with developing new products or improving existing ones. Solid coaching shines a light on expenses that businesses are overlooking.

Cash Flow
Managing the cash generated and used by the core operations of the business is essential. So is controlling cash flow related to investments and financing activities. Implementers and coaches working alongside companies are there to help identify and eliminate cash flow issues.

Working Capital
Your coach should be able to look at your current assets, seeing which ones can be converted into cash within a year, such as inventory and accounts receivable. At the same time, they need to understand your current liabilities, such as accounts payable and short-term debt, accounting for those in your annual planning.

Debt Management
From your debt levels to the costs associated with serving that debt, a good coach/implementer will help identify the differences between good debt and bad.

If your “business coach” seems fuzzy on those financial and operational fundamentals… Well, Houston, you’ve got a problem. It’s a problem that could actively undermine your ability to bring order to the chaos and set your business up for sustainable success.

At best, an unqualified coach will drain your wallet giving you little more than a motivational experience that produces zero tangible results.

At worst, they’ll steer you down strategically misguided paths based on flawed assumptions and amateur “common sense” advice not rooted in financial acumen.

The blunt truth? Legitimate business coaching demands mastery of the key financial disciplines and operational drivers listed above.

That either comes from years of direct experience as a CEO, COO, CFO or other executive leadership role successfully scaling an enterprise, or through intensive financial training and meaningful certifications that demonstrate true expertise in these areas.

Only then can a coach analyze your performance data (P&L, cash flow, balance sheet, etc.) to formulate an effective, numbers-driven game plan for untangling inefficiencies, cutting costs, optimizing pricing/revenue streams, and achieving profitable scale.

There’s a chasm of difference between a well-meaning person who thinks they can coach businesses based on reading a few books and paying for “bootcamp”…and an accomplished professional with the hard operational/financial skills to actually earn the “business coach” title.

One is a liability that simply costs you money and time you can never get back, perpetuating the chaos as you implement misguided advice. The other is an invaluable asset and mentor—the catalyst for finally breaking free of suboptimal business patterns and systematizing for efficiency on your path towards ambitious revenue goals.

Don’t fall prey to unqualified “coaches” who lack true operational and financial proficiency. Demand legitimate expertise backed by a track record of driving quantifiable business performance improvements.

Sure, the investment for that caliber of advisory support may be higher than those wannabe “coaches” and “implementers”—but it’s an investment that will rapidly compound in the form of higher profits, optimized processes, and scalable growth.

Your business’s future deserves better than entrusting it to someone just reading from an 20-year-old outdated script. Demand evidence of financial mastery, or else you’re simply perpetuating chaos rather than implementing the lasting systems and strategies for profitable success.

At Exit Momentum, We’re Proud to Support Clients With a Proven Process Anchored In Real Strategy, Boots-On-the-Ground Experience, and Financial Mastery.

To find out more about how our approach to business coaching helps our clients transform their businesses in a fraction of the time, book a call with us today.

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