Small Business Coaches: 53 Powerful Business Coaching Questions

53 Powerful Business Coaching Questions | Alison Reeves Coaching Tips

Small business coaches need a lot of knowledge and tools, and part of that is being able to identify powerful Business Coaching questions when they need to be asked. This takes a little experience and a lot of intuition in being able to read your client and knowing how to guide them to where they need to be.

What I Love About Being A Coach

I struggled for a long time to meet my goals. Spent years doing everything the hard way. I wanted to figure it all out on my own, and I did. And I made money from my blog. But it took me 7 years and several thousand dollars to figure out how.

Then I finally caved and hired my first high touch coach. Someone who talked to me instead of just building stuff on the backend and walking away. And having that input literally changed my business overnight.

The point of finding a business coach is this: I spent a million years wasting money and figuring things out so that now someone else does not have to. I get to save someone else my misery and years of pain and frustration by teaching them in a short time what took me years to figure out.

As a creative business coach, I’m a life changer. So are you! And more than that, a business coaching relationship empowers small business owners to succeed and be independently successful.

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53 Powerful Business Coaching Questions | Alison Reeves Coaching Tips

Why Do You Need Powerful Business Coaching Questions?

Asking questions is critical to for a good business coach. In coaching, we are supposed to be a guide, not a drill sergeant. Asking questions helps generate thought. It builds an open line of communication and helps the relationship to flow.

Asking questions guides small business owners to the answer without telling them what to do. Questions also help them come up with their own solutions, instead of hanging onto a suggestion someone else makes that isn’t best for them.

Guiding your clients to their own solutions in this way also empowers them to be able to function without you and be successful on their own without you in the future. And if you are not doing this – teaching real tools and providing real transformation – then your business won’t be sustainable.

Looking for your own business coach to ask YOU questions? Go here.

The Goals Of Asking Powerful Business Coaching Questions

Asking great coaching questions serves many purposes for you and for your client. It will not only make you a better coach with broader knowledge and better business coaching services, but your client will get more effective personalized results.

Getting Personal

This is how you really get to know your client. Which of course enables you to help them in the best way possible. Get to know them on a personal level. Feel free to reciprocate with some personal tidbits, but keep it light and professional.

What makes them happy and brings them joy? What does their daily routine look like? Do they have hobbies or weird talents?

Establishing Goals

Small business coaches need a clear picture of what a client wants. This can be especially difficult when not even your client has a clear idea of what they want. It is your job to listen. Ask questions and get a comprehensive idea of their business, what they are good at and what their passions are.

And help them to mold that goal after goal setting. Highlight their strengths. Talk about what their passion is, how they want to help people, and what their income goals are.

Empowering Them To Independence

Every time you ask a question, that decision making process starts to become an inner dialogue. As a coach, your goal is not to have a high paying client forever who continues to need you and pay you for your services.

Ultimately with an attitude of service the goal of your business coaching services should be to “graduate” clients to independence. You are teaching them to think critically, giving them examples of questions that they should be asking themselves.

Need to find some clients before you can ask them questions? Try these tips:

Pre Coaching Questionnaire

Before getting into the powerful coaching questions, you might be wondering: what questions should be in a pre coaching questionnaire?

In order to gain a better understanding of your prospect and make sure they’re a good fit, you need to ask the right questions before working together. This also helps you understand if you’re the right person to help them. Design the questions to figure out their current situation, and why it’s important for them to change it.

I usually make people fill out some type of questionnaire at the same time they schedule a discovery call. This gives me context before talking to them. But the questionnaire also helps the prospect – by prompting self-reflection. Open-ended questions are best because you don’t want to lead people towards a particular answer. You just want to provide an opportunity for them to explore their own thoughts and situation.

A few tips: 

  • Always dig deeper into each question
  • Repeat back / summarize what they say
  • Make sure to listen deeply, but use healthy interruption if they go off track. You can do this by interrupting and saying, “sorry to interrupt – this is all really helpful, but I’m curious about..” (Then ask the next question)

Sample pre coaching questionnaire questions:

  1. How did you hear about me / this coaching program?
  2. What is your current situation / what are you struggling with?
  3. What have you tried to fix this?
  4. On a scale of 1 – 10, how much is this affecting you?
  5. How is this impacting you?
  6. If we were to talk 6 months from now, what would you have to see to be happy with your progress?
  7. Is there anything else you’d want to see?
  8. I’m curious, why that goal? Why not keep things where they are?
  9. How will it feel once you reach that goal?
  10. How will your life change?
  11. What might be in the way of meeting those goals?
  12. What else do you think you need support with?

53 Powerful Coaching Business Questions

Getting To Know Someone

You might ask some of these powerful Business Coaching questions on a first call when getting to know someone. Why waste time with small talk, especially if you get someone on the phone? Get down to the nitty gritty and get to know someone fast. Ask personal questions and let them do the talking.

It can be challenging to know: what are the best coaching questions to ask your clients? Here’s 53 top questions to get the call moving in the right direction.


Let them use their imagination to describe their ideal life in detail, no matter how whimsical it is. This is a unique way to get to know someone and their personality. What are their values and what is most important in their life.

1. What does your ideal life look like, being as imaginative as you like?
2. What does success look like to you?
3. What is your top 5 gratitude list?
4. Which relationships do you value the most?
5. What would make the biggest difference in your life right now?
6. What makes you feel proud?


Get an idea of how content they are in their lives by asking about their level of happiness. Pay attention to if these answers seem to match up with other info, or if they make contradictory claims. This can be revealing about their pain points and how you can best help them.

7. Are you happy?
8. What kinds of things make you happy?
9. What can you do today to be happier?
10.What is one of your happiest memories?
11. What about your business makes you happy?


These questions can help you get a better idea of what your client’s pain points are. Remember that as coaches, we sometimes have to help guide small business owners’ words into concrete ideas or problems with actionable solutions. What they think they need is not always what they need.

So listen to what they say their pain points are. Then ask detailed questions and listen to get a comprehensive understanding of how they are really suffering and where their business is really struggling.

12. What are your biggest fears?
13. Has one of your fears ever come true?
14. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you as an adult?
15. What are you stressed about most today?
16. What is one thing you can do to alleviate stress today?
17. If you cannot actively do anything about your fear, how can you mentally care for yourself through negative emotions and function at 100%?
18. Is there someone in your life that is just the worst?
19. What do you not want to talk about?

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Avatar Talk

As a coach one of the most important ways you can be effective is to ask powerful Business Coaching questions to guide your client into the perfect niche. This involves lots of avatar work.

It’s easy to sit back and think you know who your ideal client is. Sure, my typical client is a middle aged man with a red car who makes 6 figures. But you know avatar work is a lot more detailed than that. And it can really help to talk it out with someone else. Encourage your client to use visuals, too.

20. Who are the people that you want to help?
21. Why do you think that they are suffering?
22. What do you think they need to fix their problem?
23. What do you provide that can help?
24. How will that provide a transformation?
25. What does your avatar look like?

(Here you might encourage some free writing or a creative activity to illustrate their avatar and really help them visualize. What do they look like, smell like, what kind of clothes do they wear? Where do they get their hair done, how many kids do they have, is their husband a dentist or a construction worker? Really think about their personal life and who this person is at a deep level you can picture in your mind. I have a client who keep a picture of her avatar right next to her desk so she can see her at all times.))

Suggested: How to get life coaching clients.

Business Talk For Small Business Coaches

Now that you have gotten to know your client well and have asked detailed, powerful Business Coaching questions to uncover what their goals and values are, now it’s time to talk business success. You have a basic idea of what your client needs from you and how you can help, so these questions will help you get more specific.

They will also give you a deeper understanding of how your client currently thinks. This way you can guide them with any mindset issues over money and business.

26. What has been working for you that is making you successful?
27. What has not been working for you?
28. What would you like to be doing more of?
29. What about your day to day business do you hate doing?
30. What is your biggest business success to date?
31. What is your biggest business failure?
32. What is an entrepreneur that you emulate?
33. Why do you respect them?
34. What about them do you love?
35. What about them would you leave?

You might also ask them important things about their daily tasks, and how much time they have to work on things as a starting point for the next questions.

Establishing Goals

Be direct about what your clients goals are. Do they have a number in mind that they are looking to meet, or are their goals more value based or transformation based? Knowing their goals is also going to help you know their expectation of you, and what skills you need to help your client.

As a coach you may wear many hats and have a lot of jobs. But ultimately when it comes down to it you have one job:

Your one job is to provide a transformation to the client.

To do this you have to clearly know their goals so that you can create the perfect pathway tailored to their success. And every small business owner will be different, unique and personal.

36. Are there specific skills you are interested in learning to enhance your business?
37. What are you hoping to learn from me?
38. What do you want your business to look like at the end of coaching?
39. What kind of coach do you want me to be?
40. What are you doing to achieve your goal right now?
41. How is everything going?
42. What are 3 areas you wish to improve on?
43. How could you improve on one of those areas?
44. What is stopping you from taking that action?

For A Weekly Call

If you’re a small business coach, you’ll probably have some things to discuss from the previous week, the client will have some questions for you. And this is your time to catch up and guide them into the next week.

You want to gather information about their week. This is an important part of your business coaching services. As their coach you want to have a comprehensive idea of what your client’s life looks like so you can continue to address their pain points and obstacles. Get an idea of where they are at and specifically what they hope to accomplish. Ask if they might know how you cam support them so you can mentally prepare for the next week as well.

45. How was your week on a personal level?
46. Did you accomplish your goals from last week?
47. What would you like to achieve by the end of this session?
48. What was a small win that you had this week?
49. Did you face any roadblocks this week?
50. Do you have any pending questions that I didn’t answer during the week?
51. Do you need any technical guidance this week with anything?
52. What will you accomplish next week?
53. What support might you need from me next week?

What Business Coaching Questions Should Small Business Coaches Ask?

My recommendation for small business coaches is to take this blog and read every single one of these questions to your client periodically over a few weeks.

Just kidding.

These are meant to be a guide. I tried to be detailed. Sometimes I just get stuck, and I can’t think of the right question to ask. Or maybe even the right way to say it so my client can hear it.

The truth is that all of this is subjective. The process of gathering information by asking questions is intuitive. You start and then it will organically go where it goes based off of your clients answers and the needs that they reveal.

So we asked questions not just to gather information to help ourselves, but to help our clients get to know themselves as well. And they learn to achieve business success with their new skills. The most important thing is supporting your existing client or new client to find aligned next steps, and new ways of doing and looking at things.

Asking the right questions during a coaching session ultimately depends on both you and the client, so the most powerful questions will be subjective and relative.

Want an Instant Download of the 53 Coaching Questions?

→ Free Offer: Leave your name and email below to get the 1-page download of the blog post below for easy to use access with your clients!

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