What distinguishes a business that flourishes and thrives from one which struggles and strives? And when I say “business” you can also read “individual.”
Two of the key things business clients seek coaching for when it comes to growing a business, is to gain more customers and make more profit. If business was a bucket that had cash falling into it, they want either bigger denominations or a quicker flow. What they want is more effective marketing, better sales and better margins. It makes sense and seems the normal starting conversation for most people, especially solo-preneurs and those with a sub million turnover.
Normal however doesn’t mean it’s the right place to start when you want to grow your business and flourish and thrive. What if you looked at your bucket and it had holes in it and was leaking money because of poor management, marketing, pricing or procedures? Simply focusing on more customers would mean a leak could become a gush.
One of the key differences which distinguish a business that flourishes and thrives from one which struggles and strives and is the difference that makes the difference is willingness. Willingness of individuals and organizations to reflect, to change and evolve, to be flexible.
Willingness means the individual or organization will regularly take a step back and review where they are now, assess what’s working, what’s not working and make course adjustments, that’s called evolution. The business which fails to evolve not only struggles and strives but is at risk from an extinction event whether that comes along as the next recession or depression, Brexit, Amazon moving into their business or a new start up which disrupts their market.
I always get a new business client who wants to grow their business to first slow down, to stop and take a step back from their business and get a new perspective or three. Being willing to look at your business with a fresh pair of eyes enables you to see things that you may have missed because of familiarity, routine and simply because it’s the way it’s always been. We may end up coaching so they can acquire more customers and generating more profits but first of all it’s important to check that addressing customers and profits is what the initial coaching work should be focused on.
A thought experiment or 3.
1. Imagine looking at your business from the eyes and perspective of an investor – what would they want see in order for them to say
“yes I’m all in here’s my money – use it well and I look forwards to seeing a healthy return at some time in the future”.
What would they want to see that works well and what would they see that would have them holding onto their money.
2. Imagine looking at your business with all your experiences but as if you were staring off afresh – it was a new start up. What would you do the same and what would you do differently and change.
3. Imagine having a magic wand, look at your business and if you could wave the wand and make it more effective and more efficient, what would you change?
An important function of a business coach is not to tell a client how to run their business (with some sort of omega-alpha, fortune telling, all knowing psychic ability) but to guide them to see the problems and challenges they face and the possible solutions. They probably already have and know what’s needed but are often unable or unwilling to see.
If you take a moment and do the 3 short thought experiments, you will come up with some insights about your business. Which means you already have the solutions to your questions, challenges and problems.
Being wiling to slow down, step back and review is a character trait of all the successful individuals and organizations I have worked with. Willingness to reflect, asses, decide and be flexible enough to change, means you will evolve and flourish.