Why I Didn’t Need a Business Coach

geoff anderson sonic sight

 

Seeing the big picture on my Journey

coach

Many years ago my business was bubbling along fairly nicely. It had been going for about 13 years.

I was working fairly hard. Work was somehow finding me and I was getting by.

The thought of using a business coach never occurred to me. In fact, if I recall correctly I wasn’t even really aware of the concept of a business coach. When I first heard of it, it seemed like an indulgent concept for people who can’t get their act together.

I guess the thing is, we don’t know, what we don’t know. I didn’t need a business coach because I didn’t know why I would need one. I didn’t understand what a coach could do for my business and how it could help.

Taking a risk

But I took a risk. I had a coffee with a tall Dutchman I met at a networking function. We talked a bit about what he did and how the process of a coach worked.

As someone who worked on his own, I started to get an idea of the benefit of having someone on the side keeping me focused and accountable to my goals and strategies.

But it wasn’t until I started working with Roland that I truly finally understood why I needed a coach. Because it was during those months of working together that my business transformed into the sustainable business that it is today.

Having an outsider working with me on my business was powerful. He was able to help me see a big picture view of the business and what was required to move ahead in the right direction. It is virtually impossible to do that on your own when you are preoccupied with the day to day running of the operation.

Challenge

He was able to help me define appropriate goals that aligned with the journey I was on. He would challenge me on processes and logic. He would push me to find the right solution that was best for me personally and professionally.

We identified what was required to generate more business, improve processes, allocated appropriate resources, reduce stress, deliver quality output and increase profits.

geoff anderson We set goals and we achieved them. As a solo operator the benefit of having a mentor, a coach, a sage in your corner is transformative. But you won’t know that until you know it. And you won’t know it until you do it.

Geoff Anderson
is a video producer and owner of Sonic Sight. He is the author of Shoot Me Now and presents on using video to boost business.

www.sonicisight.com.au

www.geoffanderson.com.au

More about the various forms of business support, guidance and advice that are available to small business owners here

Talking to Your Neighbours in the Days of Facebook

chatting across the fence

Static websites are so last year

Why You Have to Try Online Marketing No Matter How Small Your Business Is

chatting across the fence Online marketing is where it’s at and I believe no business, micro, small, medium or large can afford to ignore it anymore.

I know that there are still lots of business owners who haven’t come to terms with it fully, but if you still want to be around in a few years you’d better be online and you’d better be engaged.

In 2015 I would be surprised if I still need to spend energy convincing business owners to have a website, but just having a website is not enough anymore.

I met a web developer the other day at a networking event and he sold websites to small businesses. He told me that: “We create websites for small business and a basic site starts at $750 including design and hosting for a year.” On my questioning he explained that the websites his company sold were mostly what is referred to as static sites. Static sites are essentially brochures put online and once they’re up, they’re actually not that easy to change, they’re designed to be static

Brochure

I suppose you’d have to say that having a brochure up on the web is better than not having anything at all, but only just. Unless 100% of your new business comes from direct word of mouth (“My favorite aunt told me to give you a call to supply me this widget or do this thing for me, please deliver it to my door tomorrow, I don’t care about the cost or anything else, because i trust anything my favorite aunt tells me”), every business is dependent on being found online and most importantly starting and maintaining a relationship with current and future customers online. And if you want to be able to do that at all, a static website is not going to cut it.

There are a bunch of reasons for that… Here are just a few:

  • Your customers want to be able to put your business name into their Google maps and get driving directions to your business, directly from their phone
  • Your customers want to look at testimonials from other people who have engaged with your business
  • Your customers want to be able to compare your product or services with those of others, directly online
  • Your customers don’t use the yellow pages anymore
  • Your customers spend more and more time online on social media of various forms, and they want to interact with business in the places they spend time (BTW that’s why advertising on the walls of urinals in pubs can be so effective… talk to your customers where they hang out!)
  • The big search engines and social media organisations will not rate websites that are ‘static’ well at all, meaning you will not be found if all you have is a brochure website
  • Static/ brochure websites start to look dated and sleepy very quickly, you can always tell a brochure website, they’re usually boring.

So what does that mean for you?

It’s hard to be too prescriptive of course, a local carpet cleaning business has different needs than a PR firm in the city, or a restaurant or a manufacturing business that operates nationally or internationally.

The principles

But let me give you some of the principles of online engagement and marketing to think about.

  • Mobile is getting more and more important for everything. More than 50% of searches on Google are done via handheld devices now and that trend is set to continue strongly.
  • Video is getting more and more important.
  • People spend time on Social Media, not necessarily to buy stuff. Just like you don’t spend time in the pub to buy anything else besides drinks and food. Anyone who walks up to you in a pub when you are hanging out with your friends to sell you something is generally not welcome
  • Your customers want to trust you before they will buy from you. Focus on getting them to trust you, and the rest will follow
  • Your customers will look for you where they are, they will not go looking for you elsewhere if they can help it. So if your customer is on Facebook and he wants an electrician and he can find one directly on Facebook recommended by a friend, they won’t even bother going to Google and find you there.

The backfence

Scary stuff right? But you know I’ve heard it said that there’s actually nothing new under the sun. In the old days we used to hang across the fence chatting to the neighbours and getting our recommendations and introductions that way, now we hang over the fence at Facebook and do exactly the same.

The analogy isn’t totally accurate because in the old days, your fence didn’t have any pay per click advertising stuck all over it, but it’s not that far off. It’s all about trust and being where the customers are.

And they’re online, all the time.

So you better be talking to them there… don’t you think?

PS: If it’s all too scary… drop me a line and I’ll connect you to the right people to help you get on top of this stuff… you probably shouldnt try and do it all yourself anyway

 

Masterminds observations… Love over Hate

Love over Hate

Love over Hate Business Masterminds Observations

 

The illusion of “The Power of One”

I am reading “Love over Hate, finding life by the wayside” link to the book by Graham Long, pastor and CEO of the Wayside Chapel in Sydney .This is a passage that stood out for me particularly:

“The idea that the basic human unit is a solitary individual is the established orthodoxy of the Western World. It’s an illusion and an attractive one at that, often presenting itself as “The power of one”. The power of this illusion is in its promise to an insecure individual that a dream and some willpower is all that is required to overcome life’s obstacles. It promises an individual can triumph over adversity as well as any competitors who get in the way of the prize of justice, fame, wealth or whatever other virtue is implied by the dream.”

It’s all upside down

What this says to me amongst many other things is that we (and I include myself firmly in that “we”) have got it all wrong. The library of work in books, blogs, seminars, videos and everything else by the gurus of the business growth, as well as personal development world repeat the refrain of the Power of the individual and that “The answer is within”… even in the world of religion we hear “The Kindom of God is within”… All of that is nonsense.

To me, that paragraph and the rest of the book and several other books I have been reading in the last year, have convinced me that I have to throw out the rule book, and start again… let me know what you think!

Masterminds Observations… Small Giants

My Thoughts about a quote from “Small Giants, companies that choose to be Great instead of Big”, by Bo Burlingham.

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1001 Business Bedtime Stories… Mark’s Great Sales System

Mark’s simple and effective sales system… Truth 7

So you’ve got a great product or an awesome service but where are all your customers? Read on to see how Mark found his customers and sent his sales rocketing.

Once upon a time… a long, long time ago in a country not unlike Australia…

Mark was a graphic designer.

In fact he was a fantastic graphic designer. He had put together a small team of other passionate and inspired designers and together they created beautiful, eye-catching, ground-breaking designs. Yet despite his and his team’s talent, the work coming in was sporadic and the business was only just making ends meet.

Sometimes potential clients made enquiries about design work, and sometimes leads just walked in the door. Every now and then Mark made a few phone calls and sent out some emails prospecting for work, but this was only occasionally and usually just when the need for work was greatest.

The result of all this meant that sales were haphazard and work fluctuated wildly. One week the team would be flooded with new projects, the next everyone would be heading home early.

The stress of wondering if the business would survive each month was beginning to affect the quality of the work produced. Mark was finding his staff turnover was high because of the constant insecurity and worry.

Mark wondered, “How can I smooth out the peaks and troughs of work coming in?”

Mark was going grey.

The Bootcamp

Working in The Bootcamp with me, Mark came to appreciate that he would need a consistent sales strategy and system if he wanted to build a healthy business. He came to see that the only way a business can grow is by making regular and consistent sales. Of all of the Ten Truths, Truth Number 7, that nothing happens until we sell something, really struck home with Mark.

So we got started developing a simple and manageable sales system, and worked on increasing the sales focus of both Mark and his staff. To turn things around Mark would need to not only implement the new sales system but to work consistently at it, week in, week out.

And he did… and it took a lot of courage.

Mark found an easy-to-use customer relationship management (CRM) system, that had great sales funnels and pipeline reports. Then he set targets for himself and his team for numbers of calls to make, emails to send out and proposals to write and follow up. Every week Mark and his team had a 20-minute structured sales meeting.

Very soon things started to turn around, and just three short months later Mark could see a difference. By the end of the financial year the business was at a completely new level.

Now, a couple of years later, Mark has a stable team of 10 designers whose talents are being fully utilised. The business has a great pipeline of work ahead, and Mark now knows with a certainty what his resources are and how much revenue and profit the business will generate in the next three to six months.

And Mark lived happily ever after… The end.

Ask yourself… Where will you find the courage to make profound things happen in your business?