At CDI Alliance, we deliver business support programmes that make companies more profitable by using technology well. We do this together with a team of talented business coaches who are keen to share their insight in order to help up-and-coming SME’s flourish.

Are you interested in trying your hand at business coaching? Our directors have put their heads together, and in this blog post, they share what they would recommend to those wishing to support SME’s. It’s a hugely satisfying position to be in and following these tips could help you get there.

Ensure you have experience

Before anything else, you have to have plenty of first-hand experience to share. Those who have worked in a wide variety of businesses- both in terms of sector and size- will have the most knowledge to draw on. Therefore, we recommend that only those who have held managerial roles, been through numerous business challenges and dealt with industry developments think about becoming a coach.

Research and prepare

When you think you’re ready to meet your first SME clients, it’s important to properly prepare. Even though you know the ins and outs of your business ventures thoroughly, do you know the ins and outs of theirs? Do your research by looking your client up online and use tools such as LinkedIn to find out the names of the decision-makers. That way, when it comes to your first coaching session, you can get down to business and start making recommendations.

Make a great first impression

In order for your client to respect, trust and listen to you, you’ve got to set the tone from the start. Dress appropriately, greet your client professionally and arrive on time- being late is simply not an option. As you begin your conversations, remember to maintain eye contact and observe their body language to identify how they’re feeling. If they’re new to business coaching, they may well be nervous and looking for your reassurance.

Be compassionate

Never forget that the business owner or manager is coming to you because they know they need help. They’re putting themselves in a vulnerable position and it’s your responsibility to be sensitive to this fact. Encourage and do not venture an opinion unless the client invites you to do so. If you’re not sure of something, seek clarification without being aggressive or judgemental. They’re looking for your support after all!

Remember your reasons for coaching

When you’re respected as a business coach, it might be tempting to let it go to your head. But it’s vital you remember your motivation: to help SME’s who are in the position you once were. Be generous with your support and celebrate your client’s business growth before your own achievements as a coach.

To find out more about becoming a CDI associate business coach, or to find someone to support you in your business growth, please contact us at