This is a question I get asked all the time. My first answer is everything you need to take your business to the next level, whatever that means to you.
Failing to plan, or planning to fail?
That’s a great starting point right there. What does the ‘next level’ mean to you? That’s something we deal with in the Goal Setting Session right at the start. Dream it up. Next 12 months, 3 years, 5 years even. What’s important? Where do you want to be? Logical questions perhaps but you would be surprised how many business owners have no idea and just fly by the seat of their pants.
The problem with this is that it wastes time. You are not focused on an outcome but just on getting through another day, week, month…whoops it is Christmas…again!
Setting your goals is like setting sail, firmly towards your destination. Good start.
Next, we determine which goals we should work on first and put them into our 90 Day Plan so that we know exactly what to do by when. We check in with the plan every coaching session, just to ensure you stay right on track.
So, what else does business coaching cover? Anything that helps the business become less reliant on you all the time. Too many small business owners have business that run them instead of them running the business.
A big one to cover is time management or how you as the business owners spend your time.
Time waits for no-one
Managing time is often the most undervalued aspect of running a successful business. Business owners tend to spend a lot of time on the urgent tasks for the simple reason that there are nasty consequences if they don't get done. That's why they tend to get done.
The things that are important but not necessarily urgent tend to be neglected or at best postponed for another day, week, month, year or whatever is convenient. Why? Because there are no clear consequences for not doing those tasks. If you don't have a plan nobody cares. If you don't know what services or products make money, nobody cares. That's why it is easy to get away with not doing them. This is dangerous and costly. How do we fix this? By implementing a Default Diary. This will change your business and your life. Why? Because you will start to work on the things that really matter. Even a 10% improvement tends to create a massive shift in the way the business runs. You will feel more content about making a difference and this will in turn give you real motivation to keep it!
Developing a winning team / HR
Your team reflects you. That's hard. But good. It means that you may need to work on yourself before you can expect your team to perform at their best.
You see it all really does start with you. I help my clients to learn and grow as (business) people. When you grow, the people around you grow.
The quality of your team determines your leverage. Your team really is your business. Something that you have built up with blood, sweat and tears can be torn apart in seconds by staff that simply don’t care, are unmotivated and deliver poor service. It’s important to have the right people on the bus and sometimes that means letting go of a team member who just doesn’t cut it.
When you are ready, it is also important to start grooming your wingman/wingwoman. That person who’s got your back, your eyes and ears on the ground. It will make things so much easier for you.
Knowing your numbers
“Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity”
More turnover sounds great when bragging to friends over a barbeque but it really doesn't mean much if it just makes you more busy with little else to show for it (money in the bank).
Understanding what products or services make the most profits is essential. If any part of your business is inefficient and 'leaking' money, growing your turnover will also increase your leakage and headaches. That can't be smart or good business. Instead, if we find and fix the inefficiencies first, we automatically transform them into profits. more work. That's a much smarter way of operating your business. You will love it and it will be addictive, in an incredibly good way of course.
It is perplexing how many small business owners don’t actually know how they are really doing financially. We want to keep an ongoing finger on the financial pulse, monitor our sales, gross profits, costs, net profits. We want to be able to see any warning signs before it is too late. This way we can adjust along the way which can literally save the business from a slow death. My clients all use my own in-house developed financial spreadsheet which shows the financial heartbeat of the business on one page. It is easy to use and even clients who aren’t necessarily financially skilled inevitably love using this tool and wonder how they ever managed without.
The long and short
Business coaching covers anything we need to do in order to create a business that you can drive, rather than the business driving you. I hope I managed to give you a small snapshot of some examples but there are many other aspects of running a business that get covered.
Some clients simply swear by the accountability to get things done. Others love having a sounding board they can consult at any time. A great business coach will give you exactly what you need, even if you don’t yet know what that is yourself.