Why you need a business – life coach

why you need a business coach

Are you the bottle neck in your business?

Why you need a business coach Which Business – Life coach is right for you?

A friend of mine and former client, Geoff Anderson, recently wrote a guest post on my blog titled: “Why I didn’t need a business coach”. Here is the link: https://www.newperspectives.com.au/need-business-coach/

It’s a lovely article and what’s more, it actually led to me gaining a new client, someone else who “didn’t need a business coach”. Methinks I owe Geoff lunch, this Friday in Potts Point. (More detail about the different forms of business support that are available to small business owners and how to find the right one for you here)

I myself have never been without a coach, a mentor or someone of that ilk in the past 12 years, even though I clearly “never needed one either”.

So maybe it’s now is the right time for you you: How do you know it’s time to find a business – life coach; what kind of business – life coach should you look for.

Wild West

One of the reasons it’s so confusing to answer those questions, is that business coaching is an undefined and unregulated profession. Nobody actually knows what the definition of a business coach is, or worse what makes a good or bad business coach. If you decide to put up a shingle and call yourself a business coach tomorrow, there’s nothing to stop you doing so. The coaching world is a bit of a Wild West. There are many different types of coaches and the quality of their services varies enormously.

I refer to myself as a business – life coach, but few business or life coaches support their clients in the same way that I do.

Roughly speaking I believe there are two big distinctions to make. The big mass of business coaches out there can be divided into those who have a business development system that they want you to buy from them and implement with their help, on the one hand and then there are those who generally operate on their own and work with you to develop yourself as an effective business owner and leader and work with you to create your own systems and improvements. The first group largely relies on the quality of their standardised business development system to help you create the business you dream of (examples of the coaching companies in this mould are ActionCoach, Emyth, Shirlaws, Gallop Solutions and many others). The second group largely relies on the knowledge and business experience of the actual coach and is based around a committed personal relationship between the client and the coach (I myself am firmly in the second camp and have started distinguishing myself from the first group, the conventional business coaching companies by introducing myself as a Business – Life Coach).

Sitting here, not knowing anything about you, I can’t tell you which of these models is going to be right for you. I’ve known business owners who’ve done really well with companies such as Gallop and Shirlaws, and others for whom the standardised business systems haven’t worked at all. Similarly I’ve know many people who have thrived in the individual coaching model and others who preferred the standardised approach.

It’s personal

Why you need a business coach It’s personal. The first model is all about getting the best systems into the business first and the second model is all about developing the people – the business owner specifically – to change their mindset and grow as leaders and entrepreneurs and allowing the rest to follow.

It’s a classic “Chicken or Egg dilemma”: people first and systems later, or systems first and people will follow? Once you’ve decided that like Geoff Anderson “You really don’t need a business coach”, How do you proceed?

I’d like to suggest you ask yourself this question:

What or who is the greatest bottle neck in my business?

Is it:

  1. Our lack of quality systems
  2. Me

If your answer is A, go and have chat with Gallop Solutions for example, I know them and they are good people, here is their website: http://gallopsolutions.com/

If your answer is B… book in a free discovery session with me below. Either option is a great one… Just make sure you take one of them.

FREE 30-minute Discovery Coaching Session

goal setting and planning

Business the Simple Way

lemonade kid

The Basics…

selling lemonadeKeep it Simple Stupid

In the next 6 months I will be writing a series of articles called ‘Business the Simple Way’… Marketing the Simple Way, Planning the Simple Way, systemisation the Simple Way, etc etc.

I’m inspired to talk about ‘Business the Simple Way for a couple of reasons.

  • I think we tend to get overwhelmed a lot in business, because we make things a lot more complicated than they need to be.
  • Seth Godin was in Sydney the other day and he always inspires me to simplify things.

Seth Godin

One of Seth Godin’s golden quotes is this one:

To be successful in business you only have to do two things:

  • Do great work
  • Make sure lots of people know about it.

seth godin Seth Godin is spot on…as so often… That’s really how simple it is.

But be careful. Don’t confuse the word ‘Simple’ with the word ‘Easy’. They’re not the same at all.

Einstein said (well allegedly anyway, more quotes are attributed to Einstein than any man could possibly have fitted in a life time, along with Mandela, and Churchill): “Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

So lets make business as simple as possible but no simpler.

At its most simple level, business is the process of obtaining something for a certain cost and then selling it to someone for an increased cost.

Don’t confuse that statement with the Purpose of business, but it does define the process of business. So if we want to practice business the simple way, we must constantly ask ourselves how we can stay as close as possible to that simplicity.

The simplest way

What is the simplest way to run the process of business?

I believe there are 10 key questions you need to answer as simply as possible to do Business the Simple Way:

  1. Why does my business exist? (Purpose)
  2. How do we make money in my business? (Business Model)
  3. Where are we going and how are we going to get there? (Goals and Planning)
  4. How do we manage our numbers? (Financial management and measurement)
  5. How do we find our customers and help them buy our stuff? (Marketing and Sales)
  6. How do we produce and deliver our stuff? (Products and services)
  7. How do we run the business as a consistent machine? (Management)
  8. How do we ensure consistency and continual improvements in our products or services (Systems and Processes)
  9. How do we find and keep the best people? (Staff)
  10. What does it mean to for me to run a business? (Leadership)

I think that the work of the business owner is to be constantly looking for the simplest answers to those ten questions.

John’s supermarket

To illustrate what I’m talking about, lets have a look at one of my favourite customers and how simply he answers the ten questions for his business.

supermarketJohn owns a small chain of supermarkets, and those of you who have read my books might recognise him from one of the business bedtime stories.

  1. The simplest answer that John has for question 1 is this: We make it easy for our customers to access a range of quality foods
  2. At question 2, John says: We make money by buying our many lines at wholesale prices and selling them at retail prices. We have extensive and ongoing negotiations with our suppliers to get the best prices from them so that we can maintain our margins while being competitive with other supermarkets.
  3. We want to have established 50 stores in NSW by 2030 and we plan to get there by expanding 1 store at a time and not moving forward until the last addition to the stable is profitable.
  4. We are always measuring and comparing against benchmarks across the whole of the business.
  5. We are established locally and each store operates in a small local area. New customers come to us by word of mouth because of how easy it is for them to access a large range of quality foods.
  6. We constantly look to find new suppliers with interesting and high quality foods that are not available in the major supermarkets
  7. We hold regular staff meetings and performance reviews at all levels and our systems are all geared for regularity and repeatability
  8. We have created manuals and systems for all jobs in the business and train staff in the use of the manuals. We have regular meetings to explore opportunities for improvement.
  9. My staff and customers know that we are always on the lookout for great new people to join the team. I pay my people well and give them lots of challenges and opportunities to develop. I also offer opportunities for career advancement within the business. I do not hire external managers, rather I train and promote from within.
  10. I see myself as a servant of my people. It is my role to give them the greatest opportunities to grow, develop and do well.

Your turn

I want to help you answer those questions yourself in your business. So in the series of articles and videos that you’ll receive in the next months I will explore each of the ten questions with you.

In the mean time… why don’t you pick one of the ten questions and see how you can answer it in the simplest way possible?

I’d love to hear what comes up for you, please email me with your thoughts and comments?