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Developing the Right Team

Developing the Right Team

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2016
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Although you may start off in your business on your own, as it grows, you will need the support of staff. 

Your objective should ultimately be to work on your business and not in it.  You, therefore, need to build a team that is committed, motivated and makes things happen.  How do you achieve this?

Create your vision

Before you even think about employing people, define your business objectives for the next three years.  Think too about the culture you desire to create.  Would you like a team of innovators or perhaps, self-starters?  Are loyalty, ethics and a can-do attitude important?

This exercise will assist you in selecting staff who have the right culture fit and who buy into your long term vision.

Define your needs

Work out what skills you require and how these will complement your skills in the business.  You want people who can genuinely add value – don’t feel intimidated about employing someone who is better than you at certain tasks.

Define job roles clearly so there’s no confusion about expectations and deliverables.  Allow your staff to take responsibility for their role.  Manage via a status report system, whereby your team member has to update you on progress of deliverables at agreed intervals.

Your goal is to build a senior team of managers of all critical areas of your business in order to take it further.

Avoid employing family or friends as this can be a recipe for disaster.

Let your staff know you value them

Be interested in your staff and show it.  Ask them about their families and remember staff birthdays.

I knew an MD of one of the large South African banks who had a reputation for being able to greet staff members whom he had met only once, by name on subsequent occasions.  An impressive feat if you consider that the bank had 20 000 employees.

If you create a culture where you show you value your employees, they, in turn, will be motivated to care about your business.

Invest

Just as you nurture your business, invest in improving the skills of your staff.  Start an educational incentive whereby one employee a year is selected to enrol on a management programme, paid for by the company.  Set criteria for how your staff qualifies and how the selection process takes place.

Have a team afternoon once a quarter.  At these events, communicate how the business is progressing and hire a speaker to present a talk on a relevant topic.  Make the afternoon a combination of fun and learning.

These activities will not only add value to your team members but will be great motivators.

Set the tone

Lead by example and be positive and inspiring.  Staff, in order to stay committed, loyal and motivated; need to respect the person at the helm of the business.

In the words of John Maxwell, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

George Clarke
Business and Executive Coach
ActionCOACH 

MAKE ACQUIRING CUSTOMERS A HABIT!

MAKE ACQUIRING CUSTOMERS A HABIT!

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2016
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The ability to build networks is vital for you as an entrepreneur.  Make use of every opportunity to forge a new connection – whether on a plane, in a queue or at a conference. Your new acquaintance, if not potentially a client, could provide you with a referral.

 

Seek business amongst existing customers

You have a proven track record with your clients – it’s easier to make a new sale to your current customer base.

Implement a relationship marketing strategy to ensure you stay in touch and keep your brand top of mind.  Consider offering your customers a loyalty programme to encourage repeat purchase and launch new product offerings to them first.

(Netflorist has expanded from an online purveyor of flower arrangements to a supplier of an extensive range of gift products, including personalised birthday cakes, jewellery and perfume.  It’s successfully increased the number of special occasions on which its customers can buy.)

 

Referrals

Obtain testimonials from your customers and use these in your presentations to your prospects.  If possible, ask your clients to refer you to other potential buyers.  You may even consider incentivising them to do so.

 

Networking events

Attend at least one networking event per month.  Select a business chamber meeting in your business area.  Have your 30 second elevator pitch ready when asked about your business but focus on listening and finding out what the needs are of those you meet.

Exchange business cards with key people and follow up, sending an e-mail within 24 hours.

 

Attending exhibitions or talks in your industry provides an opportunity to raise the profile of your business. First prize is to be a speaker at an event. This will automatically portray you as an expert in your field and increase the chance of attracting new clients.

 

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is excellent for business networking.  Draft a business profile written with the interests of your prospects in mind.  Define what they are seeking and show, in your write up, how your business can fulfil their needs.

Garner testimonials and endorsements on LinkedIn and connect with at least 500+ people  in your target market.  Pen a regular value add article and publish it in Pulse on LinkedIn. This will be sent to all your connections.

(On two occasions I’ve had clients who signed up with me, having read an article which they received via Pulse.)

 

Keep positive

Former sales guru, Zig Ziglar, said that selling is a transfer of feelings.  Make sure you are enthusiastic when you meet your prospect.  People will only do business with those with whom they feel comfortable.

 

George Clarke
Business and Executive Coach
ActionCOACH 

Website: http://actioncoach.com/georgeclarke

GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS HUGS AND KISSES

GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS HUGS AND KISSES

  • Posted: Feb 19, 2016
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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, with the focus on lavishing affection on our nearest and dearest. It’s also an appropriate opportunity, however, to consider how we can build and nurture relationships with both our existing customers and our prospects.

Forge an emotional connection

People are most likely to do business with those with whom they feel comfortable. Prior to meeting your prospects, research them and their companies on Google.

When you can show a potential customer that you have knowledge about them and their business, making that emotional connection is so much easier. You immediately lay the foundation for a good working relationship.

Serve before you sell

All of us can relate to the experience of having an overzealous sales person put pressure on us to make a purchase. Instead of this approach, show your would-be customer that you are willing to make an investment and offer them value first.

Perhaps consider providing a free sample of your product or free trial of your service. This will generate good will and trust. It also demonstrates your 100% belief in your offering.

Deliver on your promise

With the startling growth of social media, companies that do not deliver on their customer commitments are now being taken to task publicly. Car manufacturer, VW is testimony to this, with the company recently having been unmasked as cheating on emission testing. The result is that VW’s share price has fallen dramatically and the brand’s relationship with consumers has been seriously damaged.

Today’s customer enjoys the power of the mouse. They will only reward and be loyal to those businesses that deliver on their promises. In today’s Internet connected environment, good business policy is to foster the relationship with a customer by rather under promising and over delivering.

Checking in

Our ability to nurture and grow our relationship with our customers is closely allied to our staying aware of their views and changing needs. Ensure that you receive regular input from your customers regarding the service you are providing.

Most often, you customers won’t tell you what you are doing wrong, so it may be a good idea to undertake professional customer research annually using a third party. This will provide you with objective feedback and will demonstrate to your clients that you value them.

Building relationships with both would-be and existing customers is an on-going but invaluable process. It is a sure fire way to cultivate loyalty and repeat purchase.

Planning?

Planning?

  • Posted: Jul 13, 2015
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There is much that entrepreneurs can admire — and learn — from the single-minded determination brides display when planning for their big day . . .

For most brides-to-be, planning a wedding is an epic affair. They begin putting together ideas long before ‘The Big Day’ – from trawling Pinterest or magazines for ideas, to contacting possible suppliers and spending hours on the invitation list and seating charts.

Generally, most couples give themselves at least a few months of engagement to plan out every little detail of their wedding day. It’s always strange to me, though, that many business owners don’t put nearly as much thought into their business planning.

Think about it: your wedding day lasts 24 hours. Yes, it’s a big milestone and a celebration with all the friends and family of the start of the marriage, but it’s one day. If you’re starting or growing a business, I’m pretty sure you want it to last longer than that. For most entrepreneurs, we want to make a living from our businesses for many years, and also leave a legacy. So we need to get better at planning.

Here are five things we can learn from the wedding planning lot:

  1. Start with the end goal in mind.Know what you want to achieve and be clear on as many of the details as you possibly can. Spend time thinking about what you want from your business within a particular timeframe. Your goals dictate your strategy.
  2. Stick to the plan and break it down into achievable chunks.Brides-to-be generally have a list of things they need to tackle: a venue, the flowers, the dress, etc. Business owners need to think along the same lines – once you know what your business goals are, break them down into what needs to be done. Have a one-year plan, a three-year plan and a five-year plan. Know what you need to “tick off” at certain points to achieve your end goal.
  3. Take stock regularly to make sure you’re on target.It doesn’t help you develop a plan and then get so busy running your business that you forget about it and let it fall by the wayside. I recommend taking two days once a year to plan for the next two- to three-year period. But you also need to spend a day planning every quarter, half a day every month, an hour every week and 15 minutes every day. You need to get into a planning routine. So at the end of every day, you spend those 15 minutes planning what you’re going to do tomorrow. It may sound like a lot of time, but it will actually save you time in the long run.
  4. Get things down on paper. For some reason, putting your planning on paper makes it easier to remember a plan, stick to it and implement it. And there’s something deeply satisfying about being able to tick something off your To Do list. When you write down what needs to be done, also make a note of when it needs to be done. This ensures things don’t slip through the cracks and helps you distinguish between things that are urgent without forgetting things that are important.
  5. Get others involved in the plan. Many brides rely on their mothers, bridesmaids and fiancés to carry out parts of the plan. As a business owner, you need to learn to delegate certain parts of your plan, and to get all your employees on board in understanding and embracing the plan and the part they will play in its implementation. It’s very liberating when you don’t have to worry about every part of the plan because you know that Joe Soap has three of those bullet points on his To Do list for the week, freeing you up to concentrate on your own items.

As entrepreneurs, we need to realise that the old adage is true: failing to plan is planning to fail. Put as much time and effort into planning for your business as you would for a wedding, and you’ll set yourself up much better for success.

Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across South Africa, which now boasts over 30 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach

Systems are integral to Business

Systems are integral to Business

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2014
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Systems is the most misunderstood area of business. Yet it’s one area that’s paramount to implement. Systems at every level of the business will make you and your team more empowered and committed. Systems will dramatically increase your business’s productivity and profits. Most importantly, systems allow your business to work without you. Our definition of a business is: A commercial, profitable enterprise that works without its owner.  This may be 180 degrees from what you’ve been taught in the past, but think about it – why build a job for yourself when you can build an income stream that keeps on growing whether you are involved or not. Wouldn’t you like to say to your staff: “You guys look after things, I am taking three months off?” Simply put, systems allow you to extricate yourself from the business so you can strategise further growth, pursue other ventures or play golf.

So let’s look at some of the scenarios that are standing in most business owners’ way.

Almost every business owner I have met works overtime.  That’s because their business doesn’t work – they do.  They don’t assign new tasks to their employees because they retain everything about the business and ’how to do it’ in their heads.  They believe they can do the job quicker and more efficiently.

Business growth will be limited if the business owner personally has to train every new employee. Without systems, most owners can’t even remember the things they taught the last employee when they started and the things they taught them all along the way? Often, uninspired employees are retained in the business rather than having to devote the time to hiring and training – again.

As a business owner, you presumably did not start a business to become a slave to it. There’s only so much that you can add to your to-do list before your time and your health run out.

If you recognise yourself in these scenarios, then you will forever work ‘IN’ your business instead of ‘ON’ your business. So what is the answer to freeing yourself from your business? Systems and learning to DIVIDE to grow your business. We call it DIVIDE to MULTIPLY. The essence of dividing to multiply is systemising your business.

What made the industrial age in the 19th century so exciting and so successful? They had to introduce systems to cope with the speed with which their factories began producing products. Henry Ford discovered that if he introduced a systemised production line in his factory, he could produce cars even faster. Industrialists knew the power of the systems approach and they made good use of it.

Go back to when you started your business, you probably built it in your mind.  If you had drawn a picture of it – imagine what it would look like finished. That’s right – you have got to finish a business at some stage so you can profit handsomely from the sale of it one day. If you don’t finish it – you will be left with only a job and you can’t sell a job. Look at Bill Gates, he made a lot of money selling software, but he became the richest man in the world by selling shares in his business.

Take a moment to imagine a business that you didn’t have to work in.  Would the business still function efficiently?  Would all the systems and people integrate to achieve the result you and your customers or clients want?  Of course it would with the proper systems in place.

The four major areas to systemize your business are:

  1. People and Education Systems
  2. Operations and Distribution Systems.
  3. Improvement Testing and Measuring Systems
  4. IT Systems and Technology

Over the years we have assisted many hundreds of small businesses to introduce systems and the results have been nothing short of stunning.  So start by identifying which areas to systemise and you will ultimately transform your business from a job to a growing enterprise that makes you a leader in your field.  All you need are the right systems to run your business and the right people to run your systems.

By George Clarke – a franchisee of ActionCOACH

Systems is the most misunderstood area of business. Yet it’s one area that’s paramount to implement. Systems at every level of the business will make you and your team more empowered and committed. Systems will dramatically increase your business’s productivity and profits. Most importantly, systems allow your business to work without you. Our definition of a business is: A commercial, profitable enterprise that works without its owner.  This may be 180 degrees from what you’ve been taught in the past, but think about it – why build a job for yourself when you can build an income stream that keeps on growing whether you are involved or not. Wouldn’t you like to say to your staff: “You guys look after things, I am taking three months off?” Simply put, systems allow you to extricate yourself from the business so you can strategise further growth, pursue other ventures or play golf.

So let’s look at some of the scenarios that are standing in most business owners’ way.

Almost every business owner I have met works overtime.  That’s because their business doesn’t work – they do.  They don’t assign new tasks to their employees because they retain everything about the business and ’how to do it’ in their heads.  They believe they can do the job quicker and more efficiently.

Business growth will be limited if the business owner personally has to train every new employee. Without systems, most owners can’t even remember the things they taught the last employee when they started and the things they taught them all along the way? Often, uninspired employees are retained in the business rather than having to devote the time to hiring and training – again.

As a business owner, you presumably did not start a business to become a slave to it. There’s only so much that you can add to your to-do list before your time and your health run out.

If you recognise yourself in these scenarios, then you will forever work ‘IN’ your business instead of ‘ON’ your business. So what is the answer to freeing yourself from your business? Systems and learning to DIVIDE to grow your business. We call it DIVIDE to MULTIPLY. The essence of dividing to multiply is systemising your business.

What made the industrial age in the 19th century so exciting and so successful? They had to introduce systems to cope with the speed with which their factories began producing products. Henry Ford discovered that if he introduced a systemised production line in his factory, he could produce cars even faster. Industrialists knew the power of the systems approach and they made good use of it.

Go back to when you started your business, you probably built it in your mind.  If you had drawn a picture of it – imagine what it would look like finished. That’s right – you have got to finish a business at some stage so you can profit handsomely from the sale of it one day. If you don’t finish it – you will be left with only a job and you can’t sell a job. Look at Bill Gates, he made a lot of money selling software, but he became the richest man in the world by selling shares in his business.

Take a moment to imagine a business that you didn’t have to work in.  Would the business still function efficiently?  Would all the systems and people integrate to achieve the result you and your customers or clients want?  Of course it would with the proper systems in place.

The four major areas to systemize your business are:

  1. People and Education Systems
  2. Operations and Distribution Systems.
  3. Improvement Testing and Measuring Systems
  4. IT Systems and Technology

Over the years we have assisted many hundreds of small businesses to introduce systems and the results have been nothing short of stunning.  So start by identifying which areas to systemise and you will ultimately transform your business from a job to a growing enterprise that makes you a leader in your field.  All you need are the right systems to run your business and the right people to run your systems.

By George Clarke – a franchisee of ActionCOACH

George Clarke is a Franchisee of the global business coaching company – ActionCOACH.  He is an accredited Business Coach who successfully assists business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. To find out more about Business Coaching or to receive a complimentary consultation, call 083 474 2212

Instant Cash Flow: Turn your company into a money machine

Instant Cash Flow: Turn your company into a money machine

  • Posted: May 13, 2014
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Instant Cash Flow: Turn your company into a money machine

By George Clarke – Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH

Novice entrepreneurs quickly learn the depth of truth behind the old saying: “It takes money to make money”. Beyond profit, cash flow is king in business. Launching a business can be next to impossible without cash to work with. It is therefore vital for start-up businesses to establish cash flow as quickly as possible during their first year of operation.

Since stiff lending standards continue to cripple many start-ups what can a new business owners do beyond trying to borrow from family and friends and maxing out your credit cards.  Here are some funding and cash flow ideas to help you get started. These practical tips will help you to generate cash flow while generating a customer list that will serve as a foundation for repeat business for years to come.

  1. Primary service or product: One of the easiest ways to boost cash flow and profit is to drive your customers to your bestselling (or primary) product or service that has the highest profit margin.
  2. Deposits or pre-paid contracts: If you are in a service business, deposits are a great way to generate cash flow upfront. However, you need to deliver on the back end, or else you won’t be in business for very long. If you have a product-based business, you could also do the same with pre-orders, with a percentage of the final sales price going to secure the order or a certain delivered-by date. The key here is to get creative, as there are endless possibilities in making this model work for you.
  3. Periodic “closed-door sales” for new customers or loyal customers: This is a great way to literally create a captive audience for your product or service.  Set it up as a workshop, class or demonstration in an environment you can control and with a sales and pricing process you can direct. For this event, “sale” doesn’t need to mean “discount.” Offering an exclusive, limited-time purchasing period for new customers (and in the future for loyal customers) is an incentive for them to get the latest, greatest, best or most innovative products or those with the greatest value before everyone else.
  4. Shorter payment windows: Depending on your company, you could combine upfront payments with shorter terms, especially if you are in a service category. It’s best to position the shorter terms as an offer with something to act as an incentive for paying early like a small discount.  A better option is a small gift or some other kind of added-value offer. You could also position this as both a thank you and an incentive to keep customers consistent with shortened terms.
  5. Loyalty programmes price: Establish a loyalty programme and add enough value so you can charge a nominal joining fee of around R25.00.  While there may be some initial costs upfront for producing loyalty cards or customer tracking, the extra cash generated over time ends up going straight to the bottom line. Not only can you create a highly targeted list of better qualified customers, but this is a simple way to easily generate cash quickly just by asking for it.
  6. Don’t Discount:  Rather offer additional incentives such as free home delivery to assist you in closing the sale. Focus the customer on the benefits and quality of your product, not the price.  Don’t be afraid to lose the sale.  That way you will attract only A and B grade customers and clients.

You can expand on these strategies and also look to increase your value adds at different buying, sales or customer contact points along the way. The key is to test and measure what works and what doesn’t because no strategy will work perfectly for you every time. If you market correctly and test and measure everything you do, keeping your winning strategies and killing your losing ones, you will eventually find your cash flow “sweet spot”. That will lead to larger profits, increased cash flow and a healthier, more successful business over time.

For further information or a complimentary consult and business health check – contact George Clarke, Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH on 083 474 2212 or email: georgeclarke@actioncoach.com.

Are you a time wreck?

Are you a time wreck?

  • Posted: Mar 15, 2014
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ARE YOU A TIME WRECK?
By George Clarke – Leading Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH SA 

Life is more complex than it has ever been with increasing interruptions and demands on our time. As a business coach I see many business owners literally drowning under all the demands.  Their life and business is operating in chaos mode, each day is spent fighting “bush fires”. They are highly stressed and running on adrenaline to get them through most days.

If this sounds like you, you had better read on because unless you take steps to address this you are likely to burn-out yourself and your business. It might not be this year or the next but eventually there will be a price to pay. I believe that mastering your time is one of the most important principles to achieving success in your business.

Feeling in control will increase your peace of mind, self-esteem and confidence. As someone who is passionate about the critical importance of time management I would like to share with you five absolute must do’s that re essential for effective time management.

1. Have Realistic Expectations

The simple fact of the matter is that there is never enough time for us in a day to do all the things we would like or need to do. Therefore, you need to have realistic expectations as to what you can achieve and be highly selective with what you choose to take on.

It is much better to implement one or two strategies in your business very well than seven or eight half completed ones. Unrealistic expectations result in business owners taking on too much, resulting in frustration, stress and reduced self-esteem. Focus on what you are best at, this applies to both your business and you.

2. Select an Appropriate Planning Tool

A good planning tool (diary, CRM, PDA etc) needs to manage four classes of information, Appointments, Tasks, Notes and Contacts. I’m a big fan of the two-page per day diary format which has sections for Appointments, Tasks and Notes. You have a one life and therefore you should have one planning tool.

This comes with a caveat and that is, it’s okay to use a combination of other tools as long as one of the tools is your main planning tool and that the others sensibly integrate with it. For example my main planning tool is my diary, however I use CRM software to manage my contacts and coaching appointments and this is synchronised with my PDA so that I have access to this information when I am out of my office.

3. Plan Your Week

The most important half an hour each week is on a Sunday evening planning my future work week. I refer to a list of files and documents, such as meeting minutes, current project files, monthly master task list etc., to help me select all the tasks I would like

to complete during that week. For tasks greater than 15 minutes I estimate how long they should take and prioritize them. This ensures that I don’t take on more tasks than is realistic and also ensures that I work on my highest priorities first.

4. Plan Your Day

Before you start your day, it’s wise to create and prioritize a list of tasks that you want to complete for the day. For this I refer to my weekly plan and transfer items from this list that I want to work on.  This only takes about five minutes.

5. Continual Learning

As effective time management is an essential skill for personal success it is critical that you continue to study and learn in this area. I have read many books concerning time management and to this day I continue to pick up new tips and methods to improve my time management. Some of my recommended authors include Steven Covey, Brian Tracy, Jennifer White, Kerry Gleeson and Rebecca & Roger Merrill.

Don’t be one of those people that leads a disorganised and chaotic life.  It’s too high a price to pay. Rather enjoy being in control of your life, and the peace of mind, self-confidence and improved self-esteem that comes with it. Start enjoying the benefits today by implementing the five must do’s of effective time management.

For further information contact George Clarke, Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH on 083 474 2212 or email: georgeclarke@actioncoach.com.

ADVICE:  Why BUSINESS is not about BUSYNESS

ADVICE: Why BUSINESS is not about BUSYNESS

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2014
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ADVICE:  Why BUSINESS is not about BUSYNESS
By George Clarke – Leading Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH SA 

Just imagine if your franchise business was like a formula 1 pit team: how successful do you think you would be? Would you be the team manager calmly orchestrating the events from the safety of the pit wall?  Or would you be the one running round fitting new tyres, trying to do every job because you can’t bear to delegate and getting in everybody’s way, but feeling good about yourself because you are busy.  However, the end result is that the car goes out late and with only 3 wheels?

One of the biggest problems for franchise business owners or any business owner is that they convince themselves that being busy is what business is all about and that as long as they are giving their all, then there is not much else that they can do.

While we all know that we need to work smarter rather than harder, the reality is that life always throws us curved balls and we end up reacting to the environment we find ourselves in and going back to our old ways.

The reason for this stems from why we got into business in the first place. When you first buy into a franchise business there is a real buzz, everything is new and exciting and the dreams that you set off with are still clear in your mind. Unfortunately, herein lies the root of our future problems.

When we are busy like this we usually end up running on high amounts of adrenaline. Pumped up, working long hours and overcoming great challenges and with every win we have we make imprints in our subconscious mind, linking working hard with success. These imprints are made deeper by the people we tend to meet, who are usually similar to us, doing the same things and ending with the same results. The downside is that we actually become workaholics.

Just like an alcoholic, we become addicted to the buzz that we get doing what we know is bad for us and the last person to realise what is happening is the person with the problem. Also like an alcoholic, it’s the people around us that suffer the most. Family is neglected; friends become acquaintances and worst of all employees, who provide support, are driven away if they too are not workaholics. This only goes to reinforce the bad habits set by the business owner.

So if you are a workaholic, what do you do? Well, the steps are similar to addressing any addiction.

The first step is always being aware that you are a workaholic. The signs are quite clear and if you need help to see them ask somebody close to you to be honest with you. Some of the more obvious ones are:

  • Struggling to sleep at night because your mind does not stop
  • Getting stressed and losing your temper at relatively minor things
  • Starting things and not finishing them
  • Working late at night or at the weekend when those around you seem to be off enjoying themselves
  • Finding yourself being accused of not listening to other people.

Once you are aware that there is a problem you then have to take ownership of the situation. There is no point in blaming anybody apart from yourself. You can’t blame your franchisor, your team, the bank, the Government, the economy or your customers. The good news is – that where you will be in the future will be a direct result of the decisions and actions you take now.

So, what can you actually do to help wean yourself off your ‘workaholics’? The first thing is to be really clear what sort of life you want to lead.  How many hours per week, days per year you want to work, what will your team do for you and what would you rather be doing instead of working all the time? This is really important because if you don’t have something you would prefer to do, you will always end up doing what you are doing now, even if deep down you don’t feel fulfilled by it.

Now that you know what you want, decide the time scale in which you want this to happen.  Then plan out what needs to happen each quarter in order for you to get there.

Remember, it takes 21 times to create a good habit and the longer you have been a workaholic, the longer it will take you to change your many bad habits.

Finally, be honest with yourself and admit it when you need help and embrace it.  Remember, other people will see you fall back into your old ‘busyness’ habits far sooner than you will.

So go on, rev up your business, work on it and not in it, and get yourself out of the pit.

For further information contact George Clarke, Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH on 083 474 2212 or email: georgeclarke@actioncoach.com.

The Power of Coaching for Business Growth

The Power of Coaching for Business Growth

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2014
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THE POWER OF COACHING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
By George Clarke – Leading Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH SA 

According to a national survey by Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (Comensa), 90 percent of coached clients rated their relationship with their coach as good to brilliant with 61 percent rating the experience invaluable.  Most organisations surveyed say they embraced a coaching culture only in the last one to three years.

Having a business coach is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It’s possible to survive without a coach, but it’s difficult to thrive. Based on sound sales, marketing and business management systems, coaching sees business revenues and profits increase – often quite dramatically. The coaching process is structured to provide business owners and executives with short-term assistance and long-term training via a mentoring approach. But it’s far from an easy way out. A coach can see the wood as well as the trees. They will listen, make you focus on the game, make you run more laps than you feel like running, tell it to you like it is and give you ideas you hadn’t thought of.  

A coach can be a marketing manager, a sales director, a training co-ordinator, partner, confidant and a mentor. The crux is that there are no guarantees. As he business owner, you are the player and it’s up to you to take the field. A coach will push you, cajole you, help you, be there for you and even do some things with you – but you have to do most of the work. Only you can be accountable for your success.

It’s interesting to note that business owners are usually the ones who are holding their businesses back. Usually a business reflects the mind-set of its owner. Most start with a huge passion for what they do. Then they hit problems, what I call, the three legs of the potjie – time, team and money.  A lack of time, people skills and usually cash-flow.  The other problem is destination mastery. As a business owner, if you don’t know where you are going, you sure won’t know how to get there. If you have no plan for your life – and very few people do – how do you know how your business will serve you? Most people serve their businesses instead of the other way around.

Business owners often don’t have the opportunity to take a step back and look at the whole picture. So a coach does this for the business owner. They give objective feedback and focus on the reality without any of the emotion. A business owner needs that independent perspective.

Business coaching takes what seems like an impossible business goal, and gives clarity of perspective. A coach walks the path with a business owner. They cut through the emotions and focus on the business objectives. After all, businesses are made up of people and people have relationships. Where there are relationships, there are always problems.

Business coaching assists with every sphere of the business to ensure that proper systems are in place and to make sure the business owner remains focused on the company’s objective, which is to succeed, to be profitable and to grow.

The more gifted people are, the bigger their need for coaching. Leading surgeons and medical specialists, for example, are experts in their fields, but this does not mean that they know how to run a business. Accountants, lawyers and

engineers also haven’t acquired the business skills to run their practices. You can’t go to university to learn how to run a business.

The core of every business is the same. It’s about driving up revenue and serving a need profitably. Business coaching unpacks this for the business owner, takes what’s complex about running a business and breaks it down to its simplest components so that the business owner can move forward.

Information and availability is no longer a differentiator in business. Everyone has the same amount of information at his or her disposal. The difference is in the person who can find four or five key insights and implement that information at twice the pace of his or her competition. Business owners also have to find a way to free up time and do more work instead of spending time in meetings. People have to learn how to get their priorities right, otherwise they become like rats on a treadmill.

The higher you are up the food chain, the less people you have who you can talk to. So who do you bounce ideas off? You’re the one being held accountable. You’re at the top… Business is a lonely place today. People need somebody to talk to – and that’s where executive and business coaching comes in.

The business world is changing at such a pace that if a business owner doesn’t grow and develop with it, they won’t get further. Businesses need an effective process to assist with direction and break through to the next phase.

For further information contact George Clarke, Executive & Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH on 083 474 2212 or email: georgeclarke@actioncoach.com.