As an owner of a small coaching practice you might expect me to rave about the benefits of how small is beautiful.
I will not do this, simply because we are not the best fit for everyone. There are advantages and disadvantages of working with a big organisation like Better up, Thrive or Coach hub rather than a smaller practise like my own.
At Transform we make a point of offering unbiased guidance in our thought pieces so here are both sides to the discussion offered objectively for businesses to consider as they look for partners.
The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs, and the context of your organization.
Large Coaching Company
Resources and Expertise: Large coaching companies often have a large pool of coaches with diverse experience. They may offer a wider range of services, including assessments, longer term leadership development programs, and coaching for specific industry needs together with additional technical or hard skills training.
Scale and Reach: These companies can work with organizations of various sizes and across multiple locations, making them suitable for large corporations.
Quality Control: Large firms may have rigorous standards for selecting and training and briefing coaches, ensuring a certain level of quality and consistency.
Technology and Tools: They may have access to advanced coaching tools, technology platforms, and resources that can enhance the coaching experience.
Global Perspective: Large coaching companies often have a global perspective and can provide insights into international business practices and trends.
Higher Cost: The overhead costs associated with large firms can result in higher coaching fees, which may not be feasible for smaller organizations or limited budgets.
Less Access to Senior Coaches: While there may be experienced coaches within the company, clients may not always have access to the most senior or specialized coaches as these may be held back for senior clients.
Personalised: Due to size, large coaching companies may offer less personalized attention and customization. Coaches may have less time to devote to each client between sessions. Limited context or background may be provided to coaches. Coaches may also work for a variety of firms moving between different associate work.
Bureaucracy: Larger organizations can be bureaucratic, leading to slower decision-making and less flexibility in tailoring coaching programs to individual company needs.
Smaller Coaching Practice:
Personalized Attention: Smaller practices often offer a more personalized and intimate coaching experience. Clients may have direct access to the owner, leading to a deeper coaching relationship and understanding of the company context.
Lower Costs: Smaller practices typically have more pricing flexibility and lower overhead costs, which can translate into more affordable coaching services.
More senior coaches: Due to lower costs and greater availability more experienced coaches may be available for all coachees
Flexibility: Smaller practices are often more flexible in tailoring coaching programs to the unique needs and culture of the client organization.
Strong Client-Coach Relationship: The close relationship between the owner-coach and clients can lead to a stronger sense of trust and commitment.
Limited Resources: Smaller practices may have fewer resources, such as tools, technology, or a diverse pool of coaches.
Niche Expertise: Depending on the practice background, they may have a specific niche expertise, which may not suit all companies.
Scalability: Smaller practices may have limitations in terms of scalability and range of coaches making them less suitable for larger organizations or organizations with a global presence.
Capacity: Owner-coaches in smaller practices may struggle to deliver a high-quality service if they have a high client load for their coaching pool to manage.
Ultimately, the decision... between a large executive coaching company and a smaller owner run coaching practice should be based on your organization's specific needs, budget, and the level of customization and personalization required. Both options can provide valuable coaching services, but they have different benefits, it is important to align your choice with your company needs. On the whole large multi-national organisations who have coaching services managed closely by a large and sophisticated HR function may benefit from a large coaching company. In this case HR may need to play a role in maintaining a quality service when delivered at scale. Small and medium size companies may receive more focused attention from a smaller practice for whom their business will be more significant. Companies who are going through significant change and market challenges may benefit from the more personalised attention on offer from a smaller practice.