First, there’s no magic bullets. I think many business owners engage the services of a business coach in the hope that it will be a quick fix, or it will be like using a magic wand.
If you think about the number of years it takes most business owners to get into trouble and then a situation where they feel like they need help, then you can imagine it takes a bit of time to get back out of that situation. I often see business coaches promising a quick increase in profits to their clients or doubling their profits in 90 days.
These things are unrealistic promises. In fact, if you were to increase your business by that amount in such a short time it would probably hurt the business more than help it.
So, there are no magic bullets.
The second thing I’ve learnt in my 15 years of business coaching is that you’ll do all the work. As a business owner, you need to stay responsible and accountable for the results that you get in your business. If you’re expecting a business coach to do the work for you then that’s unlikely to happen. In fact, that is a form of abdication. We abdicate responsibility to somebody else purely because you pay them a monthly amount. In business coaching, a coach will typically work with you one on one to help you set the strategy, motivate you to get the work done and then help you find the ways or the easiest way to getting that work done.
The third thing I’ve learned is that you’ll need more than just accountability. Sure, accountability’s important and a big aspect or major component of the success of any client that is working with a business coach. However, you’re going to need tools and resources. You’ll need a coach that has a good network of professionals they can refer to you, trusted partners, people who can help you get the job done. Try to do everything yourself, it is impossible.
Business coaching is more than having a weekly or fortnightly coffee with an unreasonable friend. Business coaching should also encompass solid planning and then execution.
The fourth thing I’ve learnt after my 15 years as a business coach is it’s going to take a lot longer than you’d like. Now I have touched that on my first point, but, the reality is it is going to take time. In fact, it could take years. You’ve got to ask yourself – what are the results you’re expecting and what are you prepared to do to make it happen.
We’ve had clients that in a short space of time have had amazing results but it’s not typical. During the first 12 months, you will be getting all your fundamentals right. This could include fixing some of the more immediate problems or bottlenecks in the business and getting you focused on achieving your goals. It’s more about the higher and getting you to think differently.
So, if you’re looking to get your results fast then you’re going to be disappointed. Expect two to five years of working with a professional business coach to get the results that you want.
The fifth thing or lesson that I have learnt after being in this business for so long is that some people just shouldn’t be in business. Now I know that sounds harsh but it’s reality. Business is a roller coaster. There are good times and there are bad times. There’ll be fun days. There’ll be days where you tear your hair out. It’s just part of being in business.
If you can’t manage your stake, things that are unexpected and if the little thing put you into stress easily then business probably isn’t for you.
Franchises exist because that helps alleviate some of those stresses and provides a network. Some people may be better off in a franchise network than having their own business.
It’s still your own business but with a lot more support. It fulfils your desired goals without the challenges that you’ll face if you’re on your own.
That leads me onto the sixth thing and that is that some ideas aren’t going to work. It doesn’t matter how much you love it, how passionate you are about it, how much money you’ve put into it, how good your friends and family think your idea is, if the marketplace isn’t responding, if it’s difficult to sell and no one wants to buy it, that’s a good indication that what you’ve come up with is not a great idea.
I’ve been approached by many people over the years and they’ll quite often brag and boast that no one else is doing what they’ve come up with. To me that’s a warning sign. If no one else is doing it, I always ask myself why. Why isn’t there anyone else doing this? Is the market not there? Do people not have a need or a desire to buy this product or service? That’s likely to be the answer.
And they’ll say, “But Ben what about Facebook. There was no Facebook before that was existed.” Well to me, Facebook is like Uber. It was just a new way of doing something that people have been doing for decades. It’s called networking – “social” networking. People have been going to clubs, groups, hanging out, discussing their life, sharing photos, going to barbecues for years. Facebook just made it easier. If your business makes something easier and more affordable and more fun, then people will want to buy something from you.
The seventh thing that I’ve learned after 15 years as a business coach is that you’re bound to make some mistakes and so is your business coach. We’re all human and the reality is that sometimes we get it wrong. As frustrating as it can be, it’s going to happen. So, we need to be prepared for the fact that it’s a part of the process. If you learn from your mistakes, mistakes are a welcomed addition.
My eighth learning after 15 years of being a business coach is a steep learning curve for both you and your business coach. You’re about to go on a journey of learning things that you didn’t know. You may think you know or you may have thought you knew what you needed to know but you’re where you’re at because of your current knowledge and you’re going to need to learn some new things, some new skills, some new habits to get the success that you want.
So, it’s going to be a steep learning curve for you. For your coach, it’s also going to be a steep learning curve. They’re going to be learning about your business, your target market, your habits and your traits. They’re going to have to learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s a brand-new relationship and it’s going to take a bit of work. Therefore, sometimes it can take three to six months just to start to see some runs on the board.
The ninth thing that I’ve learned about business coaching after my 15 years as a business coach is that it will pay for itself. It may not pay for itself in the first year or the second year, but it will always pay for itself. This is the challenging thing for so many people thinking about engaging a business coach to help them grow their business. You may think short-term. In the short term, yes, you’re going to pay up some money and you’re going to wonder why you’re doing that. Short term – you’re going to be doing some new things, learning, putting in the extra effort and you may not get the returns straight away. Therefore, we always ask you to think long term.
Don’t just think about Sales. Think about Profitability. Then extend that even further. Think about how that profitability affects the value of your business. Because ultimately if your business can be sold for more, then it’s been a good investment.
In some cases, some business can get four to ten times of profitability.
Imagine your business would sell for four times its profit. Well, then you only need 25% of the coach’s fee for it to pay for itself on sale day, very easy to achieve. Yet I see so many business owners when they’re engaging a business coach only think about their short-term problem which quite often is cash flow and sales. They need to think more long-term. That it will pay for itself in the long term. Always does.
For more information on how Max My Profit can help you with your business, please contact us here.