I want to talk about something that can help you grow you and your business and also clear up some misconceptions about what I do as an individual.
I’ve recently seen, listened to and read some negative things about coaches. I've also read a lot of what people think coaches should do, and how they do it. (Some of it bollocks and some of it justified) So here today, I want to clear up a few myths and perhaps put people like me in a different light.
No matter how successful your small business, no owner has all the answers. But knowing when to look for outside help – and who from – is a challenge in itself.
We'll help you take a step back
“Small business owners often don’t spend enough time thinking about where their business is going, as opposed to the urgency of the day job. Entrepreneurs and business owners need to spend more time working on their business and the strategy to get them where they want to go, as opposed to working all the hours God sends, in it.
During the recession most businesses spent their time surviving and it wasn’t the happiest of times for many. Some came out of it thinking they’ve got to do something positive and grow the business.Being coached is a good way you can do that.
One of the biggest things you can do is for at least that 1hr a week, you can take that step back. Some of my most successful clients have taken a very big step back for a short period of time every week, so that they can review what they are doing personally, but also review where the business is headed on it’s current course. The quickest win is to step back and see what you are offering your customers and clients…give them more of what they want…and less of what they do. Way too many businesses spend a fortune on promoting, making and servicing stuff that noon we gives a stuff about!
Build your confidence
Whether or not you have a team around you, running your own business can be very lonely. There is no one to turn to when the chips are down or to reassure you that you are on the right path. A mentor provides reassurance that what you are doing are the right things for you and the business. A great mentor will be there when the shit is hitting the fan let alone when things are rosy.
Everyone should have aspirations for their business; you’ll think about the sorts of places where you should be selling and the partners you should be working with. But it’s a massive pain-point when you don’t have the confidence to do those things. Some think their ambitions are just a pipe dream, but having a mentor tell you they are realistic goals can give you the confidence to take the business forward.
Helping small and medium-sized business owners see where their businesses can go is a big part of coaching. It’s our job to try and make business owners and entrepreneurs see what the opportunities are for their business. You become pre-conditioned by what’s happened in the past, not what can happen in the future. A good coach will help you unlock those abilities that are hidden inside you and your business and give you the confidence to take on any difficult situations, times or challenges ahead.
Change your outlook
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs find themselves running a small business by accident.
Many have fallen in to it and certainly didn’t take on any business studies earlier in their lives. Redundancies, job dis-satisfaction, life style changes and passion for what they do, all played key roles in how people have ended up running a business.
So changing your mind-set from employee to owner can be a drastic shift. Recognising what you have and what you could have, are key aspects in growing that business. Don’t trust a coach who will give you a spreadsheet that makes it look like you’re a millionaire or could be a millionaire in a few years time. The average business doesn’t last even a decade. 50% go bump in year 1 and another 50% in year two.
When you get past the initial phase, this is where a great mentor will help you recognise what you’ve got and how best you can move forward and at what pace to grow it sustainably.
Focus your business
From identifying new markets to turning your attention to your most profitable product or customer base, the objective view of a business mentor can be just what’s needed to get your company out of a rut or take it to the next level.
One of the best things a great coach can do is help you focus the business and you on the things that matter the most. Many have started the business as ‘do-ers’. They like to get into the day to day sort of stuff all the time. They enjoy it and they love it. especially businesses that are creative.
But if you’re creative and you’re online, to have a really good business model you need to have a niche.The ‘doing’ part of the business is only part of the business so there needs to be some direction and model for things going forward.
Having a direction and niche can open up more opportunities than you think are available right now. And being helped to focus, can clear the fog. It will also help you spend that all important marketing budget far more wisely than some tend to right now.
Make marginal gains
Like Team GB’s world-beating track cycling team or Winter Olympics Bob-Sleigh, success in business is often about making incremental improvements across the board. By looking at several key drivers in a business, a coach can help you make small and NOT sizemic shifts in what’s happening, to result in a wing years performance.
There’s not one specific thing that will help grow or stabilise a business. A great coach will recognise that not one size fits all. It’s more lots of little things that can make an impact collectively. Just by getting things together in one place and then being able to move forward, knowing the full picture is just a small task. But when later on you go through those numbers and facts you are able to see the areas that you need to focus on. It can be just simple things you’re probably ignoring or think you’re in control of. It’s not until you get things down on paper and discuss it that you start identifying areas.
They Pay For Themselves
Yes, having a coach can be expensive. But if you’ve got the right one, it becomes FREE. They begin to pay for themselves, by helping you grow and increase your sales and profit, whilst helping you control your costs.
I mentioned earlier that there are coaches that will make you spreadsheet millionaires. There are also ones that have picked up a coaching book and think they can coach. There are even ones that take you through programmes that yield little or no results in some cases, because they forget the fundamental point of a business…it’s somebodies baby. Somebody’s pride and joy.
People are very different. Therefore businesses are very different. Not on size fits all. And in that cases shouldn’t be treated as such.
Find out about them. Speak to them. visit their website. Are they part of a franchise? Have they run their own business? Do they commentate, write, or show any personal points of view when it comes to business? Have they had experience in what you do, or show any drive or passion for what you do?
Take up their free consultations, and agree what works for YOU and NOT for them.
Just remember, every world class sports person, personality, and business owner or entrepreneur, has a coach, a mentor or an advisor.
Small businesses shouldn’t be any different. granted it needs to be the right one, with the greatest amount of value to you. But then again…that’s exactly the same no matter what the size of your business.
Until next time,