It’s interesting that when I first tell clients how I can help them they ask about a specific tangible deliverable for our time together. They want to know what they can expect.
I know a lot of coaches and consultants have created cookie-cutter programs where everyone gets the same thing. You will receive this workbook and these videos. You will be able to name your target audience and communicate your USP – unique selling proposition.
These elements feel tangible, and I agree are necessary. However, they leave a new business owner with a sense of false security. “If I build it, they will come” feeling.
These foundational pieces of a business are very important and most coaches and consultants should and will help you put these pieces in place.
We will too.
But as a small business owner, I want and need more.
What Small Business Owners Need
I need to know how to go out and get business.
I need to know how to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of my operations when I do get the business.
I need answers to my questions:
Is it profitable? Are we satisfying the client?
How do I know when I should hire an additional employee?
How do I get all of the bills paid and employees paid and get all of the work done?
Why shouldn’t I accept that job if I can figure out how to do the work?
How can one bad employee have such a huge impact?
I don’t know how to price my services to get the business and still make money?
What is almost worse than needing answers to all of my questions is that sometimes I don’t even know if I know the right questions to ask.
I need someone who has been there, and done it before, to help me to see the pitfalls before I run into them. I don’t know what I don’t know and that is frightening.
What Coaching Should Give
As a coach, I wish I could tell you that every moment you spend with a coach or consultant is providing you with a tangible deliverable, but it doesn’t work that way.
I have several clients I have worked with for many years now as their business grows and they face new and interesting opportunities and challenges.
Having the long-term relationship allows me to truly understand their business and soon be able to think and act as though I am part of the team. Once I learn their business as an industry, as a competitor, and as an employer, I am able to partner with the owner to make the wisest decisions, investments, and strategic moves that will achieve the owner’s objectives and goals.
Over-time there are unlimited benefits:
- Solidifying the long-term vision of the business to ensure focus and synergies of all of the company’s resources. We don’t have enough money to add resources and people to help with a ton of different services and products.
- To develop strategies that will grow the company in the direction of the vision; not just growth for growth’s sake. Growth that stretches everyone too thin and cannot be replicated efficiently for quality purposes is usually not profitable if you could analyze it.
- Building a team and a culture that supports the vision and has the talent to execute the strategies. There is a big difference in adding people to fill holes compared to adding team members who have specific skills you need to truly help you grow your business. Having team members who embrace your vision and culture creates a volumetric increase in productivity and forward momentum. They get it and they can help!
- To create systems and put processes in place that make training new employees easy and that support a growing company. If you have everyone doing everything the same way, then you can throw new work to any team member and expect the same great work or product. Having systems in place provides accurate and timely information that can be used in decision-making.
- When you are ready to grow you can spend less and achieve more in your marketing efforts because you know what you do, why you are different, and how you benefit your customer. This improves the impact of your marketing and helps your marketing dollar go much further than trying to communicate a hodge podge of services that you have picked up along the way just to make money.
This path of business development helps small businesses grow further and grow beyond what the owner can keep their arms around.
As coaches, this is how we work with our clients. Our goal is to help you, the business owner, grow your business with a strong foundation in place and create forward momentum to achieving the vision that God gave you for your business.
I believe that ultimately we need God in our business to make us brave, to remind us of what is most important, to guide us in creating purpose for our business, and to provide His unending, faithful grace and mercy that we all need as we stumble through this world.
Even though I think that small business owners all need a coach to partner with (I use coaching resources myself on an ongoing basis), we need to look to Christ in our business even more.
We seek God’s will and the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we work with owners to achieve their vision. If God is for us, who can stand against us!