BQ Guidance support coaching external advice mentoring

How can I find the right support, advice

and guidance in my business?

12 questions to find the right support guidance advice coach business

No entrepreneur has ever done it all alone. You need help, but what type of help do you need?

No human being has ever achieved anything of note on his or her own. In business and in life humans need other people, for support, guidance and belonging. We are wired that way. A mentor of mine used to say: “Right now there’s a monkey in Africa somewhere, dying because he’s been kicked out of his tribe”. We can not function in isolation. That doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes like being on our own, and some people need more alone time than others, but we all need support.

Powerful 12 Questions Guide and videos

But hiring a coach, a mentor or adviser is a big step. There’s a lot riding on getting it right. Hence I have created the 12 Questions Guide and Cheat Sheet for finding and hiring the right coach for you. You can download the Guide by filling in the forms on this page or you can go straight to the special 12 Questions page on my website and besides the Guide, there is also a second much more comprehensive video to help you through the whole process of finding, inteviewing and selecting the perfect coach for you and your business.

Free Discovery Process

You can also Click here to go straight to my Five Steps to Discovery Process to find the support you need to discover and build your own Beautiful Business and Life

Skip ahead to the relevant sections:

Why couldn’t I do it alone?

In business we need other people to:

  • To reality check our assumptions
  • To brainstorm
  • To hold a mirror up to us
  • To develop strategic plans
  • To hold us accountable
  • To give us outside perspectives
  • To pick us up when we’re down
  • To give us a sense of belonging
  • To give us honest feedback

Some of that business support can come from our friends and family, but accountability, holding up a mirror, independent perspectives and honest feedback especially, can’t come from those close to you. You can’t ask your spouse to hold you accountable to your strategic Goals, it leads to divorce (trust me on that). Your friends won’t provide an independent perspective, because they’re not independent. Your brother can’t hold a mirror up to you, because there’s too much baggage in your shared history.

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

It takes a village

Business coaching guidance support advice

People who build Beautiful Businesses and Lives, know it takes a village and they are always looking for the right support. My oldest and most successful client, has three different coaches, and he cycles between us. He does 6 months with me and then he goes and works with his business coach in New Zealand and then he does a stint with his executive coach and then he comes back to me again.  (You can read the story of Narinder Singh from QE foodstores here)

Besides us three coaches Narinder has developed important relationships with his external accountant, his HR consultant, a marketing consultant, an IT consultant and a property adviser. He’s involved all of his advisers in all of his big decisions and planning in the past 10 years, and he credits his team of advisers and coaches with the fact he is so successful. (He’s a humble man, so let me put it on record now that his success is at least equally due to his incredible passion and determination, but the point remains).

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

As I said above, we all need support when developing our businesses. And what’s more, we need different kinds of support at different stages on the journey. I myself have engaged, mentors, coaches, consultants, counsellors and therapists in the past 15 years and I’ve joined various different business support groups at different times as well.

The main forms of business support:

Mentoring:

Mentors are often people who’ve “been there, done that”. They’re usually a bit older, they might even be retired and they often have direct experience in your specific industry or business type. Some mentors do their mentoring on a volunteer basis, others get paid a little or a lot. Mentoring can be really powerful in the early years of developing your business. I believe the most effective method to find a great mentor is to find someone you look up to in your industry and approach him or her and simply ask them.

Many senior business owners really enjoy being asked to “give back”. I have have taken a role of mentor for some young business owners in the past and you can feel free to contact me to discuss a mentoring relationship. There are also a number of small business mentoring organisations you can contact. One of them is the Small Business Mentoring Services, find out more here.

Whether you work with a volunteer mentor or a paid one, there is one thing you must keep in mind to get the most out of the relationship: You have to drive the agenda. When you sit down with your mentor you have to know what specific questions you need to address in the meeting and what input you need from your mentor. If you don’t control the agenda you’ll waste enormous amounts of time and the mentor will start to feel uncomfortable. (More about the secrets of great mentoring relationships here).

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

Business Coaching Companies:

Business coaching companies generally have developed a system for growing a business and their coaches will teach you the system and help you implement it. One of the best organisations I’ve come across who do exactly this and don’t stray outside of that model are EOS Worldwide. Their Australian franchisee is contactable here.

I believe it can be very useful to work with the right business coaching company for a while, to learn their systems and get help with it’s implementation into your business. But to build a Beautiful Business that Stands the Test of Time, you can’t ignore the personal side of growing your business: Find an executive or leadership coach or someone like me (see below) to support you in the journey of personal development and leadership that is integral to creating the business you dream of.

Business-Life Coaching:
business support, coaching, guidance, external advice

I am a Business-Life Coach. What that means is that I start from the principle that:

“Your business is what it is today, because of who you are today”. 

This means that if you want your business to change, you must be prepared to change first.

So I, and coaches like me, combine the “hard” business systems with the “soft” personal skills. I will teach you about the latest business management systems and techniques, design new systems customised to your business and help you implement them, but at the same time we’ll be working on what it takes to be a great business owner. We’ll work on leadership skills, self management skills, developing your vision, prioritising, goal setting, strategic thinking, planning, communication, people management, and how to get out of crisis management. (More here)

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms on The Five Steps page here. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

Executive Coaching/ Leadership Coaching:

An Executive or Leadership Coach is skilled in helping people develop their leadership skills. Executive coaches are more often engaged with executives of larger organisations than with small business owners, but one of the three coaches that Narinder Singh, who I talk about above, works with is an executive coach. There are many executive coaches to choose from. The best I can suggest is to do an introductory session with 3 different executive coaches and make your assessment based on how you feel at the end of each of the three sessions.

Choosing an executive coach is almost entirely about how you click with him or her. Feel free to send me an email to ask for a referral to a trustworthy executive coach. You might also have a look at the website of the International Coach Federation, it’s the professional body of record for executive coaches worldwide.

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

Advisory Boards:

Pulling together an advisory board for your business can be a highly effective strategy to get the support you need to drive the development of your business forward. You can create your own board and ask a bunch of people you trust, with varying skills and experience to become part of your board, and maybe meet with them once a month for 2 or 3 hours. You may decide to pay these board members a fee for their time and input or you may ask them to sit on your board on a voluntary basis, and you yourself may in turn do the same for someone else. Advisory boards like this are often really valuable and offer great support, but they can sometimes be short lived, because of time pressure on various board members.

You can also join an advisory board program run by specialist organisations. Those programs are usually run by a professional facilitator and there might be anywhere from 5 to maybe 15 members on a board, all of whom are business owners and the members meet every month and support each other. I run a board program like that from time to time called The Business Growth Club and there are various other organisation that do the same thing such as TEC, The CEO Institute and Coraggio. I’ve also written a White Paper about benefits of Advisory Boards that you can download here.

Business study and training:

At different stages on the journey of entrepreneurship it may be important to improve your skill and knowledge levels. When moving from solo-entrepreneur to small business owner and beyond it can simply be beneficial to go back to school and learn about the latest business management techniques and philosophies.  You can go to university and take post graduate or summer school  courses on specific topics in marketing, innovation, management, leadership etc, or you may enroll in a full MBA program.

Alternatively it may be more relevant for you to engage with the Vocational Education and Training system (VET, via TAFE or via many registered private training organisations in the country, more here) The Business Growth Club program I mentioned above often incorporates a VET training component, leading to the Diploma of Business or to a Diploma of Leadership.

More information about the Business Growth Clubs here

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

Further reading about business support

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

SBP The 5 Steps to Change your business

Just Five Steps to Discover Your

Own Beautiful Business and Life

12 questions business coach support guidance, mentor

Are You Ready for the Adventure of a Life-time?

Did you know that modelling your business on your competitors means you have an 85% chance of failure?

Click here to skip ahead to the Five Steps

Being a small business owner is not as easy as it looks. You’re usually the first one in the door in the morning (on site, in the shop or on the road) and the last one out the door at night. You catch up on your admin after the kids have gone to bed most nights and a whole free weekend is a dim memory. Some of your employees take home more money than you do every week, you’re frustrated with constantly having to fix everybody’s problems and you often feel overwhelmed and alone in your business.

And the competition?… If only you could model your business on that of your most effective competitors… They seem to have it all going on, don’t they!

I have Good news and Bad news for you:

I’ve worked with literally hundreds of clients like you since 2004, after having experienced the same frustrations for 20 years as a builder in Sydney. And I have good news and bad news for you:

  1. The bad news: You can never build the same business your competitors have built. Your business is and always will be as unique as you are, there are no two businesses on this planet that are the same, you’ll have to discover what your own unique Beautiful Business and Life could actually look like, before you can go and build it.
  2. The good news: I’ve developed a simple 5 step process to help you discover what your Beautiful Business and Life can actually look like and then to help you build it.

The 5 steps to Discovery Process:

These are the first five steps on the adventure of a life-time to discover your own Beautiful Business and Life with me. (Step 5 is optional. We may decide to go straight to the Trial Month or one of the other Next Steps, after the Goal session)

  1. Chat: Call me for an initial chat over the phone, just to shake hands, and break the ice as it were, ph +61404490012. Also, at this stage you might like to subscribe to my weekly One-Minute-Business-Tips, they’re cool, Click here.
  2. Discover: Book in a Free one-hour Discovery Coaching session. The Discovery Session is all about me asking you a thousand questions and taking notes to get as complete a picture of you and your business, your challenges, your opportunities, your dreams, and your goals as possible. Click here to book in the Discovery session.
  3. Trial: Book in a full 1 to 1.5 hr Trial Coaching session, by donation of $100 to The Wayside Chapel in Sydney. The Trial session is aimed at giving you a really good sense of what it is like to work with me. We’ll tackle one challenge, one big question, one dilemma in the session, dig as deep as we can and you’ll walk away with a bunch of insights and greater clarity and one or more simple practical steps you can implement straight away to start moving forward again in respect of this challenge. Click here to book in the Trial session.
  4. Check: Complete my 100 question Business Health check survey. You will receive a 7 to 8 page report showing the strenghts and weaknesses in your business including some high level observations of mine about your business and life. The Business Health Check is included as part of Step 5, no separate fee.
  5. Goal: Carry out my 2hr Goal session. What do you want your business and life to look like a year from now. (Standard fee for 2 hr Goal session and business health check $600 plus GST)
  6. Optional: Plan: Carry out my optional 2hr strategic planning session. Once we’ve created the Goal, you may want to create a high level strategic plan with me for the achievement of your Goal, before moving on to one of the next steps. (Standard fee for Strategic Planning Session of 1-2 hrs, $600 plus GST)

Follow these five steps and book in your free Discovery session now.  On completion of the Goal or the Plan sessions, we’ll both know how we should work together and what the best next steps are for you to build your own Beautiful Business and Life.

Next Steps:

And these are some of the options for the next steps:

  • Put your toe in the water: Trial month: Try out what it’s like to get on the Journey, the adventure. Click here for more information on the One Month Transformation sessions (Trial Month includes 4 x 1 hr coaching session during one month, including unlimited email access. Fee for once-off trial month is $1,300 plus GST)
  • Change your world: The Journey: The adventure of a life time. When you’re ready to go on the greatest journey of discovery you’ve ever undertaken, to build your own Beautiful Business and Life. Click here to find out more about the Fun in Business Intensive (minimum 6 month, maximum 12 month commitment, weekly sessions, including unlimited email and phone access. The fee for The Journey to be negotiated in a range from $1,600 to $2,800 per month plus GST).
  • Tackle one big hurdle at a time: One-Month-Transformation: The One-Month-Transformation programs are similar to the “Toe in the water, Trial month” program, above. We’ll take one topic, one aspect of your business that you are experiencing a major hurdle in, and break through in a month. Click here for more information of the One-Month-Transformation programs (Fee for the one month programs to be negotiated in a range from $1,600 to $3,000 plus GST)
  • You have a decision to make or question to answer: Brainstorming: One-off, 1 hr focused powerful coaching session when you simply need to resolve a dilemma or do some brainstorming and find the resolution to a problem. (Standard fee for one-off, 1 hr coaching session: $400 plus GST) (longer or multiple sessions by arrangement)
  • You want to be able to pick up the phone from time to time: Retainer: Ongoing support and availability to brainstorm, be a sounding board, advice, support, guidance. (Fee and structure to be negotiated depending on your requirements in a range from $350 to $1250 per month plus GST)

Further reading and resources:

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

SBP The One-Month Business Transformation Programs

Transform Your Business in a Month

Transform your business in a month

How would you like to blow away the biggest hurdle you face right now?

Skip ahead to the individual program details

If you’re anything like most other small business owners (and like me when I ran my building companies), you spend a lot of your days in a state of overwhelm and feeling like you are stuck.

For many business owners those feelings originate in one major issue. One challenge above all others needs to be tackled effectively right now before you and the business can start to move forward again:

  • Maybe it’s your marketing that isn’t working and you are not getting enough new inquiries
  • Or maybe you’re not converting enough inquiries into new sales, or
  • You’re always struggling to pay the bills on time, or
  • Maybe your staff are not delivering for you, or
  • Your business plan is way out of date
  • Or you simply feel that you are drifting from job to job, client to client, without a sense of direction.
Lifting the fog

It was certainly like that for me in my days as a builder in Sydney and I believe most of us experience at least one of those challenges at some stage in our journey. When we are in the midst of such a challenge it can feel like we are surrounded by a fog through which we can see very little else.
What we need at a time like that is to fix that issue and lift the fog… Nothing else. Book a free Discovery Coaching Session with me to explore how to lift the fog.

“Roland’s keen perception has helped me get to the heart of my issues extremely quickly”.

(Rebecca Wells, Clear Horizon Coaching)

Tackle one issue at a time

If you find yourself in that situation from time to time, I want to help you. The One-Month-Business-Transformation programs are short, sharp, fun and intensive 4 week programs designed to tackle one specific business development priority in your business, in one month, and implement a series of effective and simple strategies that will start to transform that specific aspect of your business.

One Month… One Issue… Fix it now!

I will customise each program specifically to your circumstances and your business needs.

The programs consist of a Discovery session (see below) and up to 4 one-on-one 1hr coaching sessions with me via Skype, spread out over no more than one month.

The Programs:

Each of the One-Month Business Transformation Programs tackle one of the following topics (click on each one for more information):

  1. Transform Your Purpose
  2. Transform Your Business Plan
  3. Transform Your Cashflow
  4. Transform Your Marketing
  5. Transform Your Sales
  6. Transform Your Staff
Structure and investment:

All programs come with a workbook or worksheets and relevant resources and tools, such as videos, podcast stories, webinars, articles, surveys and templates.

Each of the programs will be customised to suit your business and your circumstances, we will only be working on the stuff that really matters to you.

Your investment for each of the One-Month Business Transformation Program will be between AUD $1500 and $2500 (plus GST if you are in Australia).

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Read about all my business coaching programs here

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

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Transform Your Purpose

A Business without True Purpose and Passion, isn’t

Why does your business exist?

What’s it on this earth for? And why would anybody care?

purpose of business Many times when I’ve asked business owners those questions, they answer with a variant of the three standards replies:

  • We deliver a great product.
  • For a great price.
  • With great customer service.

Is that maybe what you would have said?

Probably, right? But the problem is that all your competitors say the same thing (they do, believe me), and so you make it very difficult for your prospective customers to make a decision based on anything other than price, and we all know that competing on price is a dog’s game; We’d all like to stay away from competing on price if we could, right?

Read the chapter on the Purpose of your Business in the first of The Ten Truths Trilogy books for business owners.

What you can expect:

In the Transform-Your-Purpose program we find the unique answer for you and your business to the question of why your business exists, what it’s Greater Purpose is, and why anyone else would care about that. When you nail that answer, once and for all, your business and your life will never be the same again…

I promise you.

“I always leave our meetings feeling aligned, confident and positive about the direction I am heading.”

(Colin Garrett, Colin the Butcher)

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

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Transform your Business Plan

A business without a plan achieves everything in it

plan We all know we should have a business plan, all the business gurus, all the business books, our accountants and even aunt Sally have told us so for years… Or maybe you actually did write a business plan a couple of years ago, but you haven’t looked at the thing for over a year and it’s gathering dust in the bottom of a filing cabinet somewhere.

So how do we write a business plan that actually works, a business plan that functions as a tool for the development of our businesses, a business plan that makes a difference.

What you can expect:

In the Transform-Your-Business-Plan program you get to understand how to write a business plan that transforms your business, and depending on your circumstances you’ll either create your first ever living business plan or get well under way to creating one, in a great position to complete it and implement it in your business.

Read the chapter about business planning in the first of The Ten Truths Trilogy business books.

Creating a business plan that works for your business is the first step to transforming your business and your life,

I promise you

“I implemented a range of enormous changes in my business and in my life.”

(Dave Scott, Invenco)

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

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Transform Your Cashflow

A business that doesn’t make Profit and generate Cash is a hobby

cat Many times have I spoken to business owners who tell me they are confused about the fact that they make profit, but they don’t know where the money is. In my days as a builder I also saw lots of business owners get into trouble, because they thought that because they had lots of money in the bank, they must be doing alright.

The fact is that the connection between profit and cash is a loose one generally speaking, unless your business operates entirely on a cash on delivery basis, and very few businesses are.

To build a fun business you simply must keep your eyes on 4 things:

  1. Sales
  2. Production
  3. Invoicing
  4. Collections

Drop your attention from any one of those 4 factors and as sure as God made little apples, you’ll get into trouble.

Read the chapter about financial management in the first of The Ten Truths Trilogy business books.

What you can expect:

In the Transform-Your-Cash-Flow program you’ll learn how to measure those 4 factors. You’ll also learn which one of the four is the most important and how to watch it and manage it like a hawk.

To build a business that is Fun and that sustains you for years to come you have to be all over those 4 factors, like a rash…

I promise you

“Roland helped me focus on the fundamentals and that has now given me peace of mind and control over my business.”

(Brad Chapman, BIC construction)

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

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Transform Your Marketing

Marketing is everything and everything is marketing

markeing stand out from the crowd Most of us think of marketing in terms of advertising, and doing social media, sponsoring the local under 10’s footy team or going networking at the local chamber of commerce.

And all of those things fall in the marketing camp, no doubt. But marketing is so much more. The price you charge for your product is a marketing decision. How you answer the phones in your business is about marketing and so is the wording you use on the reminder letters your accounts receivable person sends out to your customers.

Everything you do and every decision you take in your business has a marketing angle to it. In fact if there is anything you do in your business that doesn’t have a marketing angle associated with it you could argue you shouldn’t be doing it at all. The Granddaddy of all the 20th century business gurus, Peter Drucker, used to say that the the purpose of business is to get and keep a customer, so anything that doesn’t contribute to doing that, doesn’t belong in your business. Does that sound a bit extreme? Maybe, but let’s find out what it means for your business.

Read the chapter about marketing in the first of The Ten Truths Trilogy business books.

What you can expect:

In the Transform-Your-Marketing program we’ll examine the opportunities in your business to improve your marketing so that you’ll start to bring more customers through your doors.

To build a business that is Fun and that sustains you for years to come, you have to learn to think about marketing in everything you do…

I promise you.

“Roland forced me to address the hard issues and in doing so, I have made changes which have saved me over $50,000 per year.”

(James France, Vanguard)

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

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Transform Your Sales

Nothing happens until we sell something

sales is hard girl selling Without sales there are no customers, without customers there is no income and without income there is no business. It truly doesn’t matter how gorgeous your website looks, how well your apple peeler works or how silently your IT systems are humming along in the background. Business can not exist without sales.

But sales can be hard. There are some people for whom sales comes easily, but you may not be one of those people. The temptation for many small business owners is to believe that if we deliver good enough products or services, the customers will somehow flock to our doors. But the customers rarely will cue up  for our stuff the way they do for the latest Iphone. Somehow we have to get our stuff in front of enough of the right people and then we have to make it so attractive to buy from us that they’ll do so with a smile

Read the chapter about sales in the first of The Ten Truths Trilogy business books.

What you can expect:

In the Transform-Your-Sales Program we’ll look at the opportunities in your business to make sales much easier for you and your business, so that you’ll convert a greater percentage of the people that walk through your doors into paying customers.

To build a business that is Fun and that sustains you for years to come, you must get good at sales…

I promise you

“Working with Roland, was the most productive time I have ever dedicated to me and my business.”

(Anna Field, Paddington Beauty Room)

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

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Transform Your Staff

A fun business hires the brightest and keeps the brightest

the right people on the bus The Right people on the bus,
in the right seats,
facing the Right direction.

An old business mentor of mine used to say: “You could have such a great business if it wasn’t for the staff”, and famous business author Michael Gerber said in The E-Myth: “It’s impossible to manage people, because people actively resist being managed and they are unpredictable, only systems can be managed”.

I’m not sure that I entirely agree with Michael Gerber, but he had a point. People complicate things. It’s much easier to manage an office after hours, when everyone else has gone home. But the nature of business is that it’s with people that business creates value. It’s the combined effort and creativity and knowledge of the people of the business, that allow a business to make profit and grow and develop.

But all people are not created equal, some are definitely more equal than others, and some start out looking really good, but half a year down the track we’re not so sure anymore. Maybe that’s even a pattern that seems to repeat itself a lot in your business?

So how do we go about finding the right people and once we have them how do we keep them engaged?

Read the chapter about staff in the first of The Ten Truths Trilogy business books.

What you can expect:

In the Transform-Your-Staff Program we’ll look at the opportunities in your business for finding and keeping the right people and maximising the opportunities we have to get our people to do great work.

To build a business that is Fun and that sustains you for years to come, you must have the right people on the bus, and facing in the right direction…

I promise you

“Roland has created a simple, effective, and repeatable process that makes his coaching strategy work.”

(Wendy Lloyd Curley, WLC Enterprises).

Free Five Step Discovery Process:

Before we engage in any of my coaching programs, I always suggest we follow my Five Steps to Discovery Process, starting with a free 30 minute Discovery Coaching session (Skype) combined with a short business discovery survey and report. You can book a Discovery Business Coaching session and Business Discovery Survey through any one of the forms of this page. In the Discovery session, we’ll get to know each other a little and I’ll get some insight into what stage you and your business are at, allowing me to tailor the next steps in the Five Steps to Discovery Process.

Next step:

Fill in the form below to find out more or book in a Free 30 minute Discovery Session with me to explore what is right for you at this stage of your journey.

Go back to the top

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

Time Management

juggling

How to become a time management ninja with two simple questions

ninja What does it take to make a success of your small business… how can you avoid adding to those frightening statistics about failure rates of small business.

In this series of articles and associated webinars and workshops, by Roland Hanekroot you will learn the basic concepts and get the knowledge you need to become a successful ‘Business-Owner’, as opposed to a struggling ‘Business-Doer’.

 

Format

The format of each episode in the “First Steps” series is to explain the basics of the topic and then in line with the principles of New Perspectives business development programs, to suggest some small simple “First Steps” you can take straight away to put the knowledge into action.

Time Management 

In the fourth of these articles we’ll look at Time Management and ask:

What does it take to become an efficient manager of your time?

amazon Time Management is one of those topics that book shelves and libraries are full of.

When writing this article, I did a quick search terms for ‘time management books’ and found 20,000 titles ranging from ‘time management from the inside out’ ‘time Warrior’, ‘How to get things done’ and how to live on 24 hours or even 4 hours a day.

The trouble is, each one of these 20,000 books has a so-called’ proven method’ for mastering time management, overcoming procrastination( and laziness) and hence finding the secret to success.

So which one is best, and are there actually more than 20,000 different ways to conquer time management?

Juggling balls

juggling

 In my opinion, it really depends on how you look at it. I designed my own time management method some time ago, it was different and it worked really well for me for a while. (My patented system was based on the concept of juggling balls or balloons… “Keeping the balls in the air” and involved a white board and varying colours of ‘yellow stickies’). But really, it was just another variant on one of the many different to-do list methods…

As a matter of fact… most of the time management methods I’ve come across fall into two camps: Firstly there are the many variations on working with to-do lists.

Some of those involve a perpetual list; others involve a new list every day or every week. Some list-methods tell you to divide your tasks in 3, 4 or 6 different categories, and others suggest to just dump every action no matter how small or large in the same list. Some ask you to filter out the most important tasks and do them first, others suggest you do the one you like least first etc etc.

The second approach revolves around varying ways to manage your diary and your day: Some tell you to keep lots of blank space in your diary, some direct you to plan your day in 10 minute blocks and others ask you to just stick the “Big Rocks” in your diary.

10 minutes

I worked for a specialist time management consultant for a little while and part of his “IP” revolved around teaching people that every action that would take more than 10 minutes had to go in the calendar and anything smaller than 10 minutes had to go in the task list.

And you know what… I’m pretty sure all of the methods work, and that all of them are fantastic for the person who designed them.

My lazy client

But that ain’t you.

Some time ago, I worked with a client who used to beat himself up something shocking over his laziness and procrastination.

One Monday he came in to one of our sessions in a particularly foul mood. To my inquiry about his weekend, he snapped: “I didn’t get that bloody Tax return done again yesterday!”

When I asked him what had happened he responded with:

overflowing garageI cleaned up the garage, I mowed the lawn, I watched the rugby game and I took my girlfriend out to lunch”. “To be honest, I have been procrastinating for weeks over this tax return and even after making the decision to get it done this weekend, I still never even made a start on it”.

“Wow”, I said, “That sounds bad. But did you enjoy yourself doing those other things?”

“Of course” he replied, “the garage really needed cleaning, the lawn was weeks overdue, the Wallabies won and my girlfriend really appreciated the attention.  However, that’s not the point… I still didn’t do my tax return after making a commitment to do so”.

“I understand that you are disappointed” I said, “But tell me, have you always done your tax return?”

He pondered for a while and responded: “Yes, ever since I was 18 and my father taught me how to do it, it always feels really good completing it myself and getting some sort of refund”.

“Ok”, I said, “so you have never missed a deadline before and are you late with it now?”

Oh no”, he replied, “I have always done it and on time and I actually have another 2 whole weeks before it has to be in… I just wanted to get it in in a few weeks early, in case something came up”

Through my smiles I responded: “Well… maybe something did come up? Maybe the lawn, the garage, the game and your girlfriend were more important this weekend? Is there actually any real reason to assume you won’t get your tax return completed in the next two weeks?”

(In case you’re interested… my client completed his tax return the next weekend… he still had a week to spare) 

The two questions

You see, we only ever do something for one of two reasons:

1)    We want to do it

2)    We don’t want the consequences of not doing it

lunch on the beachWhat my client had ‘wanted’ to do was fix the garage, the lawn and the game and spend time with his girlfriend.  He wasn’t a procrastinator at all. He just didn’t particularly ‘want’ to do his tax return that weekend, and the consequences of not doing it were minimal.

So this is how I’d like you to think about time management.

As long as you are not 100% clear on what you want to do and you are not 100% clear on what consequences you fear – you will constantly confuse yourself and you’ll tell yourself you are an exasperating lazy procrastinator and that you need a better time-management system.

So, by all means… experiment with any of the well-established systems (personally I like the Steven Covey’s Urgent V Important approach) but no system is going to help you unless you constantly ask yourself: What do I want to do and what do I not want the consequences of not doing?

Give it a go… much more fun than beating yourself up… I guarantee it.

About the author and the Masterminds sessions

roland Roland Hanekroot is a business coach who works with Small business owners to help them have more Fun in their businesses and build businesses that sustain them for years to come.

Roland is also the author of “The Ten Truths books for Business owners” (more about the books here: http://thetentruths.com.au)

Every month Roland Hanekroot runs a business development webinar called “The Small Business Masterminds” more information here and to register for the next webinar, follow this link: http://smallbusinessmasterminds.com.au/ The first time is free (normally $99)

 

 

Fun in Business

Or why business doesn’t have to be like playing a game of ‘Whack the Mole’

Let me paint a picture for you… See if you recognise any of it:

Running your business is like playing a game of “Whack the Mole” you never know what is about to pop up next and where.

whack-a-mole You run around from crises to crises all day long, extinguishing brushfires along the way. And while you are dealing with the crises, you don’t get to all the business development priorities you know you should get to, marketing, sales, financial management, staff management, planning etc.

A switched-on Business Owner

It’s not that you don’t know what you should be focused on as a responsible, switched-on business owner, but:

1) You don’t have any time left to spend on any of those aspects of business.

2) When you do magically find some spare time, you don’t feel confident to decide which of all those priorities is the most important.

3) And even if you did know what to focus on next and you had the time… you actually feel quite insecure that you know how to do a good job at it anyway… It’s not as if you completed an MBA … nobody ever taught you how to write an operations manual did they?

So you run around from employee crisis, to client crisis, to supplier crisis, to compliance crisis to cash crisis and all the way back to the beginning again.

Your average Week

munch Have I just described your life as a business owner? Of course I have… The responsibilities that come with being a small business owner are daunting, it’s all down to you and you probably feel trapped in a state of Overwhelm a lot of the time in your business…

So let me tell you about Brian, who was one of my clients a couple of years ago and how Brian freed himself from being trapped and took his business from a single store to a healthy growing multi-store business in just 2 years.

The approach Brian and used is one I’ve used with many business owners over the years, because it is so simple and so effective and because the results have been astonishing … every time.

Brian’s Car Accessories

Brian was a client of mine who owned a car accessories business in Sydney.Brian’s business had slowly plateaued over the past couple of years and Brian was frustrated that he couldn’t seem to push the business ahead any further anymore.

Competing priorities

Brian’s head was exploding with all the different competing priorities that were screaming for his attention every day. All the challenges of managing inventories to cashflow, staff, marketing, systems etc etc
Brian simply didn’t know where to look and where to direct his focus.

Scale

Working with me Brian created a “Fun in Business” scale. A scale from 0 to 10, where 10 on the scale meant that he had had as much fun in his business as he could possibly have and 0 meant the opposite.

fun-o-meter Every week in our sessions, Brian would ask himself 3 questions:
1) How much Fun did I have last week on the “Fun in Business” scale

2) On the same scale, how much “Fun in Business” do I want to have next week?

3) What specific things must I do, what specific actions can I take this coming week to ensure I achieve that number on my scale?

Cashflow… staff training

One week, Brian reported that he was at 6 and wanted to get to 6.1 on his Fun in Business Scale and he decided to spend 1 hr in the coming week chasing up outstanding accounts to increase his bank balance and cashflow and hence to have more Fun in Business.

Another week Brian realized that the greatest opportunity to increase the fun number on his Scale would be to deliver some much needed training in the area of customer service to his staff etc etc.

Growth again

After a few months of this approach to managing his business, Brian’s business did start to grow again… slowly, steadily, month by month… quarter after quarter.

Now a few years later, Brian’s has opened a second store and warehouse on the other side of Sydney and when I last spoke to Brian he was looking for a site for his third store.

Lessons from Brian

That is the story of Brian… It may seem odd, that I got Brian to focus on Fun in Business instead of ‘Profit’ or ‘Systems’ or ‘Cash-flow’ or ‘Staff retention’ or ‘Customer satisfaction’ and other business concepts like that, but you see… Fun in Business is actually an incredibly simple yet powerful concept that has the potential to transform your business.

fun-is-good-dr-seuss Because when your business is Fun:
• It means everything is working.
• It means you are making money.
• It means you’ve got cash in the bank.
• It means you are proud of the output of your business.
• It means your customers love you.
• It means that your staff are highly engaged
• It means that you have the balance in your life you want.

A little more fun next week

So asking yourself how you can have a little bit more Fun next week, will help you focus on the most important aspect of your business to focus on next, while using the “Fun in Business Scale” will help you find the next simple steps rather than getting Daunted and Frustrated by the enormity of the tasks before you.

As I said before, I have used this approach with many clients in the past and I use it myself all the time of course. It is surprisingly simple… all it takes is to put 5 minutes aside for it every week at the same time.

So… get yourself a special little notebook and label it your Fun In Business Book, set the time aside and ask yourself these three questions every week; How much Fun in Business did I have last week? How much Fun in business do I want to have next week? and what simple small action can I commit to taking next week to move me along the scale to where I want to be?

If you do this every week and you commit to taking the small, simple actions that result from the third question…
Your business and your life will never be the same again.
(And the mole can take a break too)
I promise you.

For more information about to how to step out of overwhelm, get unstuck and start having Fun in Business again, click here

 

About the author

Roland Hanekroot is a business coach and the founder of New Perspectives Business Coaching. He is also the author of the acclaimed “The Ten Truths” books for business owners. Roland runs a webinar called “The Small Business Masterminds” every month, on the 10 key aspects of business that all business owners face when developing and growing their businesses. First time is free, normally $99. Book in here.

If you enjoyed this article click here to get a copy of one of “The Ten Truths” books for business owners for free.

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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Emma’s Best Friend

A 1001 Business Bedtime stories… Emma had a friend…

Here follows another one of the “1001 Business Bedtime Stories” … Every story comes straight from the New Perspectives Small Business Bootcamp, stories of business and courage . You might recognise some of them from your own experience.

Once upon a time… a long long time ago in a country not unlike Australia… Emma was a business owner…

Emma had an old friend Natasha who had worked for Emma for a long time, ever since she set up her business.

Emma’s business was doing really well, but Natasha had stopped growing along with the business a while ago. The tension in the office was becoming a real problem for Emma and she found herself secretly hoping Natasha would call in sick most days.

“I don’t understand why Natasha hasn’t resigned ages ago, hopefully she will this week” was a thought that went through Emma’s head often.

The Bootcamp

Working in The Bootcamp, Emma came to realise that “keeping my fingers crossed that Natasha will leave soon” is simply business management and as the owner of the business is was her responsibility to make the tough decision.

So she did, Emma took Natasha to lunch and broached the topic

It took a lot of courage… but now a year later Emma and Natasha are still friends and Emmas business is free to grow again.

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

Find out more about the Small Business Bootcamp here

Or follow this link to New Perspectives Business Coaching