The Top 10 Business Coaches and Mastermind Groups to Help You Grow Your Startup on a Budget

Sean Lund-Brown

If you’re in the business of startups, you’re probably starting with a shoestring budget, too. Fortunately, even when the cashflow is tight, you’ll still find plenty of valuable resources out there. Being on a budget just means you’ll have to choose the resources you use that much more carefully. 

Plus, starting a business isn’t easy:

  • As many as 90% of all startups fail
  • More than 69% of businesses are started in the home
  • Almost 80% of all small businesses only have a single employee: the founder
  • Over 99% of the businesses in the U.S. are considered “small”, or having less than 500 employees
  • In 2018 alone, there were 30.2 million small businesses actively registered and operating in the United States
  • Only about 40% of all startups are even profitable
  • About 30% of startups will continue to lose money without assistance or intervention
  • Founders usually need 2-3 times what they think to validate their business model
  • 81% of small business owners work overtime

When you’ve got odds like this stacked against you, it’s no wonder you’re scouring for all the resources that you can find. And you should! After all, that’s why they exist in the first place. 

In the list below, we’ll go over 10 of the best coaches and coaching groups for startups and businesses that are just getting their feet wet. This will help you see what’s available and give you plenty of options to check out yourself without even having to do any further research. 

Of course, the business coach that works for you won’t work for everyone. You'll need to find someone with the right experience and expertise that you can also connect with. It's a delicate balance, but most coaches offer a complimentary consultation so that you can get a feel for what they are like before you commit. 

Of course, before we get in over our heads, let’s get back to the basics—many of you are still wondering why you need a business coach, or perhaps even what a business coach does for a business in the first place. 

Before we get into the top 10 list, let’s talk about that a little more. 

What does a business coach do?

The value of a business coach is much greater for a startup than it is for other types of businesses that might have more resources at hand or more experience under their belt. A business coach can do several things for your company, but essentially, they will come in and consult with you on the best strategy to build and grow your business, and then help you execute that strategy through their coaching and training. 

Business coaches can give you a new perspective. They look at your business in a way that you wouldn’t, and they see things that you don’t. They might recognize a great growth opportunity or audience that you overlooked because you didn’t think they would be a relevant source of traffic. 

Business coaches know better. They know the ins and outs of running a business, starting a business, and surviving all the big “first” hurdles that come your way. They will be able to provide clarity and insight to put you on the fast track to success and find more of it even if this is your first foray into the business world. 

Business coaches also keep people motivated and they ensure that you are on the right track. They will help you achieve things you didn’t think you could on your own and help you set bigger and better goals (and believe that you can achieve them, too). A coach has the experience and perspective that you need to look at your business differently so that you can grow more than you have in the past. 

For the startup, a business coach offers one of the most valuable resources. They all come with a cost, but the real price comes in not capitalizing on coaching services in the first place. These coaches are more than affordable and most of them offer custom solutions, making sure that they create a plan that fits your needs and your budget. 

The top 10 business coaches for startups on a budget

1. Tommi Wolfe

We love Tommi Wolfe, as does most of the startup world. She is the Startup Expert, after all, and her specialty in business is starting them and getting them to a good place. She knows how to make sure that your startup hits the ground running and grows as fast as it deserves to, no matter what type of startup you have. She offers all kinds of resources on her website, including videos and online blogs. You can also find her at several live speaking engagements or contact her for one-on-one coaching and consulting sessions. She's a published author and has started several of her own successful companies over the years, giving her invaluable firsthand experience. 

2. Paul Lemberg

Paul Lemberg is a business genius that is all about finding the fastest path to growth. He's coached thousands of businesses to success over the years and even claims to offer increased profits and revenues within just six months, which is fairly impressive for a startup. He has found millions in profits for companies over the years and offered several improvements along with those profits, too. He offers a blog, videos, and other resources online for those who want to see what’s available, and he also has consulting and coaching offered on a one-on-one basis to help you grow your startup specifically. He works to help clients reach their personal and professional goals and offers total availability to all his clients while they’re working together. 

3. Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion helped found the Flying V Group, of which he is a partner. Here, he and his team help small businesses produce results in their profits and sales by adapting to agile business methods that allow them to stay flexible in the current business landscape. He has even helped companies survive the 2020 nightmare and continues to help struggling brands coming out on what we all thought was the other side of this pandemic. They operate by putting themselves in the client’s shoes to identify the right solutions and strategies for growth, which means Robb and his team can help, no matter what type of startup business you have.

4. Matt Ward

Matt Ward is into AI and automation, space, and virtual and augmented reality. However, he’s also into helping startups in those areas, as well as those that are just operating as online businesses. He has years of experience in business and consulting and specifically excels in online businesses and E-Commerce. His focus is on hacking the system to find new revenue streams to scale your growth, while also reducing costs and increasing fundraising and capital acquisition. He has consulted for several seven-figure companies and startups alike, making him a great choice. 

5. Jay Abraham

Jay Abraham is one of the most well-known and highest-paid business coaches today, but that doesn’t mean that he’s out of your price range as a startup. Jay Abraham is passionate about startups and small businesses and prefers to work with the “little man”. His website offers access to all of his resources, including his books and printed materials. He likes people to read his material and then schedule a coaching or consulting session so that he can reference his principles and people know what he’s referring to. He’s the founder and CEO of the Abraham Group and he has helped over 10,000 clients to date. 

6. Vanguard Business Coaching

Vanguard Business Coaching was set up and founded by Andy Turner, one of the original business coaches in the industry. He’s been in business for more than 20 years himself and also has dozens of years of consulting and coaching under his belt. His focus is to find the inefficiencies in the organization and identify key ways to improve your startup from the inside out. He will highlight your pain points to help you grow, through one-on-one coaching sessions and group training programs. There are also online courses and resources available to those who need them. 

7. Melinda Emerson

While she’s worked with several large corporations like Amex, Staples, and Sam’s Club, Melinda Emerson is proud to be known as the SmallBizLady. She's got a penchant for helping companies with their engagement and marketing execution strategies to take their brand to the next level. She offers plenty of online resources, including videos and a blog, and there are more than 15 years of experience behind her teachings. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and startups and will provide one-on-one coaching in addition to an array of other resources. 

8. Dale Carnegie Training

The Dale Carnegie Training program was designed by the one and only Dale Carnegie himself. The training program is rooted in the rich sales history of Carnegie and the methods he used to create his own success over the years. It's infused with the success and insight of more than 100 years of experience of those who have come through the program and are still working in it as coaches, consultants, and mentors. It engages people’s soft skills as much as their hard business skills, teaching things like thought leadership and relationship building in addition to sales tactics and business training. 

9. Ravi Raman

Ravi Raman is an executive coach who spent years climbing various corporate ladders only to find that he prefers consulting and coaching other businesses to success these days. He transformed his career on his own and now he teaches others to do the same so that they can live the life they’ve always wanted. He worked with coaches himself and that taught him his own potential, both in business and as a coach for others. Today, he has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and SMBs get their startup ideas off the ground and tap into their full potential so that they can grow faster and easier than they might on their own. 

10. Coachfirm

Coachfirm is a coaching and consulting firm that offers solutions for small businesses that may not have the resources of larger companies. It has coaching programs that include one-on-one coaching, online courses and tools, and people who understand what it takes to get a business off the ground. As they tell you, half of small businesses fail within the first five years, and that’s why they offer personalized coaching based on your needs with a dedicated mentor that will help you get results, no matter what kind of startup you’re operating. You get direction, accountability, and a network of support. 

Speaking of support, ask how a partnership with Smith.ai can support your business growth

While you’re busy growing your startup, the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can start picking up the slack in your communications and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. You've got enough to deal with starting a new business and the more you can delegate, the better. Our 24/7 virtual agents are available so that you can delegate chats, phone calls, lead intake, and so much more. 

Plus, we can craft a strategy to help you get it all handled in a streamlined fashion so that you can focus on growing and building your business. Your coach needs your undivided attention to help you find success—let us take the reins with your customer communications and see how much more time you have to spend on your company where it counts. And you’ll never have to worry about what we’re doing because we’ll integrate with your CRM and other software to share it with you every step of the way. 

You can learn more when you schedule a consultation to discuss our 24/7 virtual receptionists, including our after-hours phone answering, live website chat services, intake and schedule, and so much more. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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