/* */

Investment or Expense

Image with business coach asking how you view coaching. as an investment or expense
03 October 2023

The fundamental question here:  Is Business Coaching an Expense or Investment?  I am not talking about Income Statement vs Balance sheet…or what bucket the funding comes from.  Think of this as a simple question.  How do you view spending money on Sales Training?

Let me step back and offer some perspective to the question.  We will get back to the question in a minute.  When there are things threatening your business, usually one of 4 things happen:

✔ Shrink, preserve cash.

✔Grow, spend cash.

✔ Do nothing.

✔ quit


The tendency is to Shrink.  Why?  As I have said before, Cash is King.  It is a ‘batten down the hatches’ strategy.

Some have been successful at spending cash during uncertainty.  In the book printing space, as digital content delivery picked up speed, the future of the printed book was in question.


A few companies decided to spend cash and buy market share from those conserving cash. Which pushed that industry into a several-year consolidation (reduction in capacity). They started with the companies that quit and continued to pressure those preserving cash.  


The Do-Nothing bunch, those are the folks that think this is a short storm.  Don’t put any energy into Battening the hatches. They hope to pop out the other side with little damage.


Now that I have you thinking about things…back to my original question: Do you feel as though sales training (or coaching), is an expense or an investment?

A client of mine answered this quite well recently. She said:“Coaching is an investment. It is something that can move the needle on the bottom line.”

Here is a little test. If I guaranteed you that if you invested $15,000 in coaching, you would get a 10x return, how would you view the $15,000? 


There are many advantages to working with a coach. There are two that stand out in these challenging times.


You need guidance, a confidant, or advice to navigate. If you own a business or are a senior leader, I’d bet you have felt like there is no one you can talk to. If you are lucky, you have an awesome spouse who can listen and mirror back your thinking. Having a(good) coach creates this open channel of brainstorming. 

You can freely speak without worrying about what may or may not be perceived in the workplace. Also, a (good) coach will have direct experiences that may be helpful to any issue you are having. Even better, the coach usually has a network of other coaches to pull from.


 I can’t overstate this last point. A (good) coach has a network of other coaches to pull ideas and solutions from. Working with one coach can very well be similar to having many coaches. At some point, you will need to reduce expenses and increase revenue. As an owner or senior employee, you are likely attached to most of the spending decisions. Emotionally. Yep, I said emotionally. From personal experience, I say this. It wasn’t until going through an acquisition on the selling side did this click for me.


After a merger or acquisition, more times than not the first order of business is cutting out duplicated and low-value expenses. Which is what I was asked to do. I did not realize this at the time, however; I was too close to the processes and people of those involved. It was hard for me to detach enough to make real progress. I had a coach. He was able to echo my thinking back to me in a way that helped me see what needed to be done. He offered other perspectives and thinking I wouldn’t have been exposed to. Had he been a confidant IN the organization, I know we would have not made it as far as we did.


So, what’s the point in all of this Brad? If you feel stuck. If you are not getting the results you want in your business and life, reflect on how you think about coaching. (investment or expense). .


If you want to talk to Brad about coaching, go HERE.



© 2023/24 4Sight