3 tips around small business coaching

There are lots of different ideas around how to get the best out of small business coaching. Every business owner I’ve met has at some point in their business become stuck and in the need of some outside intervention to get them moving again.

The great advantage with small business coaching is that there are many options from which you can choose. So here’s 3 tips which you can use in selecting who to go with for your small business coaching

  1. Manage your expectations – have you ever looked through rose coloured spectacles when trying something new? I have found this to be the case with many owners who think that a coach will somehow be the answer to all their problems.

    Remember that you’re hiring a coach not a new CEO for your business. The coach’s role is not really about performing and making your business run better. Their primary purpose is to help YOU do it. And if you’ve been in a mess for a while or stuck on a significant problem then things won’t magically turn around in a few days or weeks.

    Remember that it’s about YOUR PROGRESS in fixing your business that’s the relevant measure and manage yourself away from blaming the coach if things aren’t working.

  2. Focus on what’s relevant – Many coaches come equipped with a programme which is designed to make your business better. Often they have a pre-designed structure which has been designed to make sure that everything is covered off during the coaching process.

    This is great IF it fits in with the timing of your business and the issues your are currently facing. Be aware if the coach deflects your questions with statements like, ‘We’ll get to that later in the programme.’

    If you’re the one who is empowered to run your business then the coach is working with you NOT you working to their schedule. Sometimes the business owner isn’t sure what to do next and advice from the coach is pertinent but if you know your issues then make sure you start with what’s important to you.

  3. Don’t forget about the money – Often the business coaching is delivered from a motivational viewpoint. The business owner is lonely and frustrated and the coach comes in to help motivate the owner to do better.

    While motivation is very important it is not the only answer. Your business performance will have money as a key measurement of success and therefore, if the coach is unable to help you with the money side of your business there is a gapping HOLE that needs to be filled to ensure your overall business does not fail.

    While getting more sales is important, it is the cash flow you’ll generate from those sales which will determine your long term success. So don’t go into denial and forget about the money.

These three tips are not the only things to consider in selecting business coaching but they a good start which you can move forward from.

So what’s your experience with small business coaching?

Factors affecting a most profitable business

Many business owners are completely unaware that their profitability is a load of nonsense because their accounting records are done on a cash basis without understanding the effect of timing on their business. These business owners often look at their accounts; dismiss them as being incorrect and provided there is enough money in the bank, go back to running the operational part of their business. It’s a bit like insanity… doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Let me illustrate how the detail of this can affect your business:

Imagine you buy product for sale in the month of January and keep it in stock and sell it in February. The buy price is $100 and the sell price is $200. (For simplicity lets forget GST as this does not affect profitability)

So how will your bookkeeper post the entries for these transactions?

In January they will likely make this entry:
DR Cost of Sales $100
CR Accounts payable or Cash $100

In February:
DR Accounts Receivable or Cash $200
CR Sales $200

You don’t have to be Einstein to see that this will mean in January you make a loss of $100 and in February you make a profit of $200; both of which are incorrect!

While from an operational point of view it is clear that the product is in inventory during January and part of February, the books of the company don’t show this and therefore the profitability is completely wrong.

Most times, the owner does some averaging in their head or completely dismisses the accounts as be ‘a load of hogwash’ and provided there is money in the bank they continue on with running the business.

So what’s wrong with that?

Profit is one of the strongest measures of performance in a business and many owners want to develop a most profitable business. So unless the book keeping is done correctly, owners are not in a position to determine whether they have succeeded in having their dream of a most profitable business.

So what’s your experience of making the correct profit in your business?

Discover the new reinvented One Sherpa on our new website!

One Sherpa has gone through another reinvention and restructure to set the business on a new footing for 2012.

One Sherpa continues to focus its services on business owners and their management teams in growing business in excess of $1 million of turnover

We are delighted to release a new website which more clearly lays out the two key products of the business and the markets we serve with them

Lindsay has left the business and Dean has come in which positions the business for growth and succession to a new generation.

Please have a good look around the new site as there are likely to be new areas which you may not have realised were available at One Sherpa

Finally let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and prosperous 2012


How business behaviour affects business performance

Are you aware that 80% of business and personal success is about understanding “people dynamics”?

Hugh Massie the worldwide CEO of DNA Behavior says that “Most organizations do not solve their problems… not because they cannot solve them, but because they cannot see them. Most problems start with the behaviour of the people.”

So although it is obvious that behaviour does affect the performance of people, most business environments are so focussed on getting things done that they fail to have any focus on the people who are doing it.

When it comes to running a business with people, “The hard things are easy but the soft things are hard!”

So what do I mean by this?

The hard things are the logical parts of your business. Doing the business and performing tasks such as strategy, production, sales, distribution, and servicing customers.

The soft things are about the emotional and feeling part of your business. This relates to HOW the tasks are performed rather than GETTING THEM DONE.

In the short term many people only focus on getting things done and forget about how people are affected in the process.

But the long haul effect on a business is more determined by the energy that the people in it give towards the goals of the company.

Often people feel offended when they’re not respected and encouraged which can happen when getting tasks completed is more highly valued that the way in which they are completed.

So many business owners feel short of energy because they have to provide most of the energy to their business personally.

If you think about it for a moment you will realise that if you could harness energy from your employees then you’d be able to use that to help you get to your business goals.

Bad business behaviour is like a cancer in your organisation and it has the effect of sapping energy from it. Most bad business behaviour comes when employees are struggling in some way and are not ‘cut some slack’ by the people around them.

The incessant need to get the current job done can completely get a person off side and then the long haul contribution from them is significantly affected.

How is the behaviour in your business?

Discover why you should be positive around budgeting worksheets

When you hear the word BUDGET, what’s the first thing that jumps into your head?

If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to you is “What am I going to have to cut out that I would really like to do BUT there’s no room in the budget for it!”

When this type of feeling is injected into the budgeting process, everyone can become negative towards this really important part of running a business.

So how can you make sure that the overall process is not lost in a sea of negativity?

Make sure that the overall context for budgeting is within the context of the vision for your company. This means that when people are constructing their budgeting worksheets they don’t have an over emphasis on expenses.

In all budgeting processes there are always more expenses that you could spend on and so you must be really careful that this is not the overriding context of doing the budget. (i.e. cutting of expenses)

Language is really important and if you as the business owner allow yourself to be drawn into this negative type of conversation it will quickly spread throughout your organisation.

Remember that the words that come out of your mouth have a multiplying effect through your business.

Your employees often repeat what you say, use your name as the source of the comment and before you know it, there is an amplification of your every word throughout your business.

So if you have lots of budgeting worksheets then perhaps they need to carry a positive slogan with them that repeat the positive side of your business.

May be you have a really positive image that is really easy to add to all the spread sheets to keep people in the right frame of mind as they go through the process.

This may sound a little far fetched but I have noticed that when a business gets negative on something it takes real intentionality to change the atmosphere and bring it positive again.

Do you have any experience if this you would like to share?