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Sociov and the Benefits of Having a Business Coach

The company’s founder discusses the industry’s importance especially during a pandemic.

If you want to earn money, there are times when you simply have to spend money.

This is one of the great ironies in the world of business. And a man named Neil Soria supports it by being one of the most vocal champions of business coaching.

As the founder of Sociov, a networking app designed to help people find the best coaches for their moneymaking endeavors, Soria believes that business coaching is an important investment in the midst of this currently challenging period. The economy remains difficult, after all. It has yet to bounce back from the negative effects of the lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the government to slowdown the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Having a business coach, so he believes, can provide an important contribution to enterprises that wish to navigate through challenges.

“In times of crisis,” he said, “it is important to move—regardless if you move fast or move slow. Your movement’s pace depends on the internal dynamics of your business.” And business coaches, he said, can give clarity; they can help align one’s desired movement pace with their business resources and assets.

Soria isn’t the only one who espouses this. According to an article published by Forbes last year, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) have stated that there are several benefits to having a business coach. Speaking to the publication, members of the group said that business coaches can help people see the blind spots of their operation. They can also provide unbiased, third-party insight while keeping their charges on the right track. Entrepreneur also published an article about the subject back in 2019. Written by Sohail Khan, the CEO and founder of the Joint Venture Group, the piece stated that business coaching can work provided that there are two factors present in the equation: an owner who is willing to grow and a gap between “where they are now and where they want to be.”

To summarize what Sohail and members of the YEC said, business coaches can afford companies and entrepreneurs a big picture perspective that often flies over those who are concerned with the details of an operation. They can also give thoroughly logical perspectives born of their impartial take on an enterprise. In other words, they provide significant benefits worthy of investment. And experts believe that this is why the industry is booming.

According to an article by Forbes in 2019, 759 entrepreneurs were surveyed and almost one out of six of them are turning to business coaches to upgrade their operations. This was revealed to the publication by John Bowen, co-founder of BSW Inner Circle and co-author of Reaching for the Stars: How to Fast-Track Your Business Success by Leveraging Mastermind and CEO Groups. Soria is among the people who recognize this growth.

“Professional Coaching is a very difficult yet, lucrative industry,” he said. “What a lot of people don’t know though is that there is money in connecting people.” Quoting a different article from Forbes, he added that the professional coaching industry was the second fastest growing industry on 2019. It was second only to tech. “This 15 billion USD industry is open but is disconnected with limited technologies available.” And as a business-minded individual, this is a pain point that he and his collaborators sought to alleviate. This is where Sociov came in.

Sociov’s team.
According to Soria, the idea of Sociov was first conceptualized in a hotel bedroom in Jakarta, Indonesia. “I was with a group consisting of a Vietnamese, an Indonesian, a Singaporean and me, a Filipino, as I facilitated a workshop sponsored by Indonesian ride-hailing start-up, Go-Jek,” he shared.

Originally, the plan was to build a social enterprise which can bring together innovative youths to transform ideas into positive action. He wanted to create online and offline solutions to respond to the unemployment rates in Southeast Asia. After a time, however, the idea evolved to have a more specific goal: to bring professional coaching more available to the public.

“6 months after, on 2019, I decided to continue the idea, went on to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to study its tech start-up ecosystem while working a day-job as an English teacher,” he shared. “I started building the backbone of Sociov in my dormitory room in Vietnam and on September 2019 opened an early investment round to any angel investor.”

And now, Sociov is what it is today. Officially launched late in 2019, the group, as of this writing has verified 128 coaching hours by 11 partner coaches and 125 clients. It managed to get Farhan Firdaus, Advisory Board Member of Singapore Polytechnic Business School, as a lead investor. Eventually, Soria’s team was able to raise an investment round from a group of Singapore-based angel investors and their capital infusion managed to help the group survive the difficult year that was 2020.

Of course, the money wouldn’t have mattered much if there was no market to use it on. Soria said that business coaching is a booming industry and his company’s continued survival through a difficult period proves that. It also proves another point: that even in this challenging business climate when people see the benefits of cutting expenses, there is still virtue in spending money to earn money—especially if it goes into hiring a proper coach.

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