3 SIMPLE STEPS
Business coaching is different from consulting, counselling, mentoring and training. A business coach is all about doing. David is an experienced small business coach in Melbourne who will create an intense focus on delivering commercial outcomes quickly for your business.
1. define your goals
David will help you prioritise your business goals on the basis of importance and capture these in an easy to read strategy.
2. create a plan
David will make sure your strategy is supported by a simple, yet effective, operations plan.
3. implement it
David then ensures your business stays the course to implement the plans and deliver results – the doing.
WHAT functions CAN A BUSINESS COACH HELP WITH?
When it comes to my small business clients, we operate on the basis that “cash is king”. It doesn’t get any more important to the overall health of their business. Cash flow impacts their future spending decisions and the direction their business is going to take.
How well do you monitor your cash flow? Based on my experience as a business coach, probably not as well as you’d like to. Keeping your finger on the pulse at all times ensures you are making the right decisions on your sales, margins, costs, systems, marketing and staffing. That’s where I step in as a business coach? I bring the discipline and the mindset to help tighten your cash flow game. We work together to make sure your cash flow forecasts are to an elite standard. I help you identify when you will have extra cash available to invest in the business or times you are likely to experience shortages.
Your small business is only as good as your best team members. Any small business with full time, part-time or casual staff knows that human resources is arguably the most complicated part of the business. It isn’t something that should be ignored considering salaries make up a major chunk of your operating expenses. Recent headlines involving celebrity chef George Calombaris should serve as a warning to any business about workplace compliance and the consequences of getting it badly wrong.
Do you have suitable and up to date training on compliance with applicable human resources? How big are your HR gaps? Are you just winging it? That’s where I step in as your business coach bringing every trick that comes with 20 years hard-core experience as an HR Manager, Mediator and Lawyer. Why muddle through your HR needs when you can quickly nail it and move onto strategic sales and growth goals, increasing revenues. Let’s set up your small business with an easy to implement game plan in areas like:
- Performance management and reviews
- Employee development, motivation, and training
- Safety and wellness
As a small business owner, how many times have you heard that to grow you need to “stop working ‘in’ your business to focus ‘on’ your business”. Easier said than done. Be honest. Something you don’t do consistently well. If you are always stuck in the day-to-day operations of your business, you have a massive blind spot. You haven’t had the time to set a vision for the business, to properly plan, to strategize and to think about growth. This time away is critical.
Ultimately, a solid strategy, one that is always evolving, is a path to a sustainable small business. Without a strategy, the business depends on blind luck. That’s where I step in as your business coach? Together we will set up a simple but effective strategy that answers some key questions about your business including:
- What does success look like?
- How is the business going to grow?
- What should we do more of?
- What should we quit doing?
- What are our biggest roadblocks?
- What could disrupt us?
- What do we need in terms of funding, time, people and information to grow?
- How do we differentiate from our nearest competition?
Are you confused about your business’ marketing strategy? Are you overwhelmed when it comes to the right mix of branding, services, promotions, products, pricing, blogs, podcasts, LinkedIn, advertising, influencers, collaborations, research and social media?
With all the marketing options out there, it can be extremely difficult for small businesses to know what to do. To carefully evaluate analytics and put together a clever plan pushing your brand across a variety of platforms. You know that customers need to hear your message several times!
That’s where I step in as your business coach? Armed with years of case studies working with businesses across sports, events and other cutting-edge industries. Also, with marketing qualifications at the premier Macquarie Graduate School of Management. Together we will set up a simple but effective marketing strategy that answers some key questions about your business including:
- What is your point of difference?
- What is your customer and where are they?
- How do you gain new clients?
- What happens when you google your business?
- What resources do you have to devote to marketing?
When you have heaps on your plate and you realise your sales are dropping, your gut feeling might be to rush into putting together a tactical plan to increase sales! These types of problems are part and parcel of every small business.
Many small owners jump into solution mode immediately, even before they fully understand the problem. I don’t blame them. How can they focus on the big picture when under pressure to deliver results now?
Sometimes it’s the exact opposite effect. It’s difficult to get consensus in a small team; owners can fall into the paralysis of indecision, throwing away precious time and opportunities.
That’s where I step in as your business coach? The value of business coaching to solving challenges and making decisions cannot be underestimated. Decision making is the most vital skill I develop in my clients. Their ability to make the right decisions is directly linked to their success. Together we will game plan the problem by:
- Identifying and defining the problem
- Prioritizing the problem based on size, potential impact, and urgency
- Looking at where the problem stems from
- Creating a range of possible solutions
- Evaluating those solutions and deciding on the strongest option
- Implement the solution
co-founder at athletikan footwear
WHAT IS A SMALL BUSINESS COACH?
Working with a business coach is completely different from consulting, counselling, mentoring and training. It intensely focuses on delivering commercial outcomes quickly for your business in a style that is all about doing rather than learning theory or taking notes in a workshop. Each of those other disciplines have their place and can deliver positive results, although if you want personalised, hands-on, practical advice to strengthen your business, then hiring a business coach is the best decision you could ever make.
A business coach challenges the status quo, questions business decisions and encourages you to review your current approach. A coach brings a new perspective to your goals and business strategy. Rather than simply questioning how things are done, a business coach will help you create appropriate growth strategies.
A BUSINESS COACH can help you to:
HOW DOES DAVID DELIVER BUSINESS COACHING?
What’s covered in a fortnightly review?
- Review your business model
- Relevance of your looping behaviors, routines, rituals to current goals
- Analysis of your current cash flow
- Adapt cash flow projections as necessary
- Discuss current networking leads
- Review your current marketing and digital strategy
- Review the culture of the business and the staffing structure that supports it
- Each session concludes with a one of a kind email summary report and homework with a focus on tangible and efficient change
IS A BUSINESS COACH THE SAME AS A MENTOR OR CONSULTANT?
A business coach is future-oriented and will assist you to draw a line in the sand and achieve a laser-like focus on delivering your business goals.
IS A BUSINESS COACH right for you?
A business coach should be part of every small business model. So many of our clients procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing. They work their tail off to keep the ship afloat and on course. Getting by on intuition and the grind of their daily routines. They fail to plan, set their prices too low, take on unnecessary costs, accept a sub-par website, don’t network regularly, scatter their marketing around, don’t hire properly, accept poor staff performance and don’t create enough social media content. They fear the risk of making a mistake and looking less than perfect.
Some of the common excuses for not getting a business coach:
- I’ll tackle my strategy when I head on holiday in a few weeks’ time
- I need to be there for the team right now
- I was waiting to get this project out of my hair
- I don’t have the time
- I’m a bit confused about what I want
- Now is not the right time
- I’m not ready
- I was waiting for the right time to see you
- I don’t have the headspace to look at the big picture right now
- I can’t afford to lose any staff at the moment so need to accept some of my staffing issues
- I’ve forgotten the values we put together at the workshop
Truthfully, there is never a perfect time to take action. It’s so easy to think you will take that next step when you have more experience, money and time. In my experience, that attitude leaves you with a bigger list of excuses than wins. I always think of a quote from Ryan Holiday in his book Stillness is the Key: An Ancient Strategy for Modern Life – “When you defer and delay, interest is accumulating. The bill still comes due… and it will be even harder to afford then than it will be right now. The one thing you can’t escape in your life is yourself.” I respect and love the independence that comes with small business ownership but does a “go-it-alone” approach always result in the best for your business. The answer is absolutely not.
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START-UPS | RETAIL | COMMERCIAL | FOOD & BEVERAGE | TRADES | INDUSTRIAL | SPORTS & EVENTS
WHY EVERY BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD HAVE A COACH
Stagnation can happen at any level. Whether you are new to small business or a veteran to the game. When you stagnate, you can quickly lose your passion for your small business. Don’t become a statistic – more than 60 percent of Australian small businesses stop their operation within the first three years of their start-up journey.
Many business owners recognise they need to propel themselves towards a business breakthrough. A way to re-connect them with:
- The quality of life they dreamed about
- Personal freedom
HOW CAN COACHING BECOME IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS
A business coach will work with you:
- To make smart business decisions
- Challenge you to think differently
- Stretching your goals
- Helping you plan
A business coach is future-oriented and will assist you to draw a line in the sand and achieve a laser-like focus on delivering your business goals. A business coach has a very specific focus to deliver commercial outcomes quickly for your small business with a hands-on approach, getting involved rather than commenting from a distance.
You might ask, that’s all well and good, but what does a business coach actually bring to the table in terms of technical skills and experience? I’m not just looking for a motivator. In my case, I spent many years on executive teams and in different roles including Executive Coach, HR Manager, Mediator, Solicitor, Executive Recruiter and Management Consultant. Across state government, local government, sports, events and the private sector as well as holding qualifications in marketing, international relations and working in sports as a head of customer service.
22 reasons you need a business coach
- No real business plan or generally poor planning.
- A need to stabilise your cash flow.
- Reliant on a small number of clients for more than half of your income.
- Exploring ways to increase and close more sales.
- To restructure your business for growth.
- Finding your business niche.
- Too operationally focused and unwilling to delegate.
- Poorly planned marketing campaigns.
- Shortage of adequate marketing and publicity.
- Inexperience managing a business.
- Running out of funds.
- Ratio of costs to revenue are unbalanced.
- A need to obtain finance to bring a new product to market.
- An issue with target audience reach and sales conversion ratios.
- Strategies to deal with market volatility.
- A need to hire new staff.
- Staffing issues.
- No positions descriptions or performance reviews.
- Supply chain issues.
- Growing problems in the partnership.
- Projected cash flow.
- Competitor analysis.
what industries can we provide coaching for?
We have helped small business owners and entrepreneurs across a number of industries.
I HAVE WORKED WITH PEOPLE FROM A RANGE OF COMPANIES LIKE:
Learn more about why a personal business coach can be the best decision you can make to grow your business.
30 real life examples of incredible business transformations created from energetic and powerful business coaching.
As a trained mediator I have dealt with some very ugly scenarios involving workplace tension. After all we are human but there are techniques to manage it.
Business coaching is designed to give space to business owners and breed accountability. It helps hit the pause button, reassess, make decisions, commit to new action and move forward with clarity to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity.
Business coaches should be skilled and qualified with a diverse and successful background in small business-related issues. They know how to grow businesses!
They provide personalized advice to steer you through any obstacles you face running a business.
A business coach will help you:
- Stabilise your cash flow
- Project your future cash flow
- Identify your ideal customer
- Refine your business niche
- Tighten your value proposition
- Properly research your competitors
- Improve your website
- Create new digital marketing campaigns
- Network with purpose
- Introduce elite talent management and hiring practices
- Negotiate the best possible supply chain terms and conditions
- Create a 3-year strategy
- Focus on implementing targets in your operations plan
- Address any staffing issues
Find new people to collaborate with and new investors
The best business coaches treat their client as if they are the most essential thing on their mind. Their service is flexible, personalised and hands on.
It should be a completely different experience from off-the-shelf training, the general advice of a mentor, articles on google or listening to podcasts. All of which have merit but don’t allow for your personal circumstances and preferred way of attacking problems.
When you work with a business coach you should expect to be held accountable to your business targets. You should be prepared for:
- A routine and rhythm of meeting regularly
- Openly sharing your cash flow and all relevant business analytics
- Providing regular progress updates
- Ripping into immediate business issues (low hanging fruit)
- To maximise ROI by addressing your strategy, systems and long-term future
If only ½ half of startups survive more than 5 years and only ⅓ make it to 10 years, what’s the huge game changing move to grow your business as well as setting it up to be sustainable?
Get your hands on an elite business coach! They could be worth millions to you. First things first, a business coach will quickly help you identify your gaps which could include:
- No real business plan or generally poor planning.
- A need to stabilise your cash flow
- Reliant on a small number of clients for more than half of your income
- Exploring ways to increase and close more sales
- To restructure your business for growth
- Finding your business niche
- Too operationally focused and unwilling to delegate
- Poorly planned marketing campaigns
- Shortage of adequate marketing and publicity
- Inexperience managing a business
- Running out of funds
- Ratio of costs to revenue being unbalanced
- A need to obtain finance to bring a new product to market
- An issue with target audience reach and sales conversion ratios
- Strategies to deal with market volatility
- A need to hire new staff
- Staffing issues
- No positions descriptions or performance reviews
- Supply chain issues
- Growing problems in the partnership
- Projected cash flow
- Competitor analysis
In small businesses it’s easy to be complacent. A business coach ensures you get more out of yourself and the business. They make you look for every angle. Ways to be more efficient, with processes and strategy and ways to make more $.
A business coach will help you in the art of negotiation and navigating tough business decisions. They will push your performance to new levels which will become your new A grade standard. Every single business owner needs an accountability coach.
A business coach will dive into every session with a clear agenda. A chance to discuss immediate issues surrounding the business. To explore cash flow projections for the next 12 months. To help strategize and put ideas forward for emerging opportunities and issues. They are available via phone and e-mail and are a truly brilliant feature of the best small business teams. Much, much cheaper than a junior full-time employee. In fact, a small fraction of a cost but someone with the calibre of a CEO and Executive.
I wake up every morning, with the words of the Young Entrepreneur Council front of mind.
In an article written in 2015, they described how a business coach can make you work harder and progress faster than you would on your own. From providing a much-needed ego check to helping expand your network, a business coach can give you both the tools and perspective you need to go from point A to point B.
Based on their own experiences, 10 successful founders from Young Entrepreneur Council discuss some of the benefits to hiring a business coach.
- You’ll go outside your comfort zone
- You’ll get personal attention from someone who knows your business inside and out
- You’ll finally have someone who isn’t afraid of correcting you
- You’ll learn how to make your ideas a reality
- You’ll gain a needed confidante
- Your networking opportunities will skyrocket
- You’ll make more money
- You’ll develop self-confidence
- You’ll be held accountable for what really matters
- You’ll hear unbiased opinions
After conducting more than 273,175 interviews on the topic, the Gallup Wellbeing Index demonstrated that 45% of entrepreneurs report being stressed. Entrepreneurs also were reported to having “worried a lot” — 34%.
Almost all small business owners desperately need advice on how to grow their business but end up running the same weekly process, rhythm and routines. Metaphorically, hitting your head against the wall until they become a statistic! Sounds a bit grim, but let’s look at some figures.
UTS Sydney, produced a report called ‘Start Me Up’ in which they estimated that 1 in 3 new small businesses in Australia fail in their first year of operation, 2 out of 4 by the end of the second year, and 3 out of 4 by the fifth year.
Small business owners often become overwhelmed by all the information and advice available. Thousands of articles, videos and podcasts online on ways to grow a business. In the context of a small business owner it can feel generic and not specific to your unique business.
Yet they usually pivot away from business coaching on the basis that they see it as expensive. But when you consider it in context of business failure rates and staffing costs, it is so much less expensive than the alternative — making poor business decisions.
Business coaching is best delivered as a hands on, targeted and customised process. All about return on investment, winning and getting things done!
No matter how solid things are going, the best business coaches will take you to the next step.
As soon as I’ve built trust with a new small business client, we revert to a monthly retainer. In this situation, my clients pay me a flat fee each month for access to my services.
In terms of added value, the monthly retainer package includes:
- Face to face coaching – 2 sessions x 1.5 hours each
- Phone support – 1 session x 30 min phone
- Email support – Email support between sessions
- Reports – Detailed summary after each session with a focus on homework and next steps
When you are weighing up the cost of a business coach, compare it to the real cost of labour. Don’t forget the hidden cost of employees:
- Annual leave
- Sick leave
- Public holidays
- Workers compensation
- Payroll tax
- Cost of recruiting new staff
- Equipment i.e. computers, mobile phones, desk space
So, a typical minimum wage employee costs you $740.80 per week (approx. $39K per year plus on costs) and a business coach costs you $12K per year.
Then evaluate the ROI on a business coach which relates to your business plan, stabilised cash flow, new revenue, a refined business niche, improved marketing campaigns, better approach to hiring, ability to handle staffing issues, an enhanced supply chain, superior competitor analysis and the list goes on.
The best business coaches have some clear features:
- The best business coaches are professionally trained by a reputable and top line coaching school like the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL)
- They are backed by a range of Qualifications. Professional qualifications are a way of establishing that your business coach is a well-rounded and educated professional who has extensive knowledge.
- They have gained front line experience across a range of industries and in a variety of roles. Offering you a deep playbook and a range of tools. Able to share unlimited case studies and lessons learnt.
- They have a rich network of contacts in every facet of business building. They give you unfettered access to those contacts and constantly help you build your own network.
- They are not guided by dogma or rhetoric. They are not empty motivators.
- They hold you accountable. It’s way too easy to over think and procrastinate if you’re not held accountable. They will call you out on your excuses. They will push your limits. They will help you drive your operations plan. Focus on implementing your targets.
- They kick your ass but also believe deeply in your personal potential and business. They have the courage to help you develop that potential. “If we want people to fully show up, to bring their whole selves including their unarmored, whole hearts—so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people—we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.”
- They have leading skills when it comes to strategy, marketing, cash flow, people management and systems.
After every single session, David sends me a comprehensive summary report.
He includes summaries of all previous sessions. A complete record of every encounter. Every outcome. Like an index of every key issue and decision for 2 years. He includes next steps for the following session. Accountability is the theme.
These reports are not standard for any business coach. They are so in depth and it’s like David writes every word said in the session. It is his true genius. You don’t notice him taking notes. But they are comprehensive and accurate. He lists the goals that need to be met before the next week. These reports drive exceptional performance. You wouldn’t be doing these things otherwise. I swear by his reports as the greatest level of value I had ever seen.
The proof is in the pudding. This expression means that the best way to find out if something is good or successful is to test it yourself.
When I think of a reason to use me as a business coach I think of a well-known speech by Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s president and CEO and the engineer of the company’s dramatic turnaround: ‘Don’t judge me on a good speech. Judge me on my results. Be very cynical. Be very cold. Look at the profits, the debt, the market share, the appeal of the cars. Then judge me.’
In my own case, I ask you to review the following case studies from my clients:
- David has been integral to seeing our business grow in revenue above $1.1 million dollars over the last 18 months.
- Since acquiring David’s services, we increased our average monthly yield by $20,000.
- David helped the business grow in sales by $250,000 over a 12-month period through identifying, planning and assisting the growth of our sales into overseas markets.
- David was instrumental in helping me nail huge international business opportunities in the USA and UK.
- It was with his support that we struck a $35K deal taking a failing campaign to our highest ever customer engagement score and speed of sales.
- I immediately made $22K net profit and began implementing new sales strategies after bringing David on as my business coach.
- After working with David for 2-3 sessions he suggested that I collaborate with other small businesses for cross promotional competitions and prize giving. I gained 2K in new database followers from my first 2 competitions. It is now part of my social media strategy.
- When we began our apparel business based in Melbourne, we immediately turned toward China for our supplier arrangements, due to the availability of low-cost manufacturing. After a time, it was clear that our terms of business were no longer favourable. After engaging David we ended up saving $10K per batch order for certain products. It was a life changer for our business’s bottom line.
- David helped me renegotiate my existing partnership agreement. What would’ve been a shockingly awkward and confrontational conversation turned out to be anything but.
- David has recently been instrumental in finding a way to navigate through COVID19 and see our business increase its revenue for April by 50%. In fact, April is on target to be one of our strongest of all time. He suggested that we completely adapt our messaging. Change our approach to marketing. Still in line with our core brand but a genuinely brilliant manoeuvre.
- I engaged David to assist me when my business model wasn’t working. I had spent a huge amount of money setting up an online business. Over $100K of my own money.
- David helped me create a simple strategy that suited our business model. He introduced the concepts of a 3-year strategic plan and 1-year operation plan. He always helps tie our short-term focus, on the here and now, into our long-term goals.
- It only took 2 sessions working with David to create a business strategy. He called it a strategy on a page. Something we now have put up on the wall of our office. He then taught me that our yearly operations plan needs to set out how we are going to complete our strategic objectives. He got us to work off SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable & Realistic, Timely)
- After every single session, David sends a comprehensive summary report. He includes summaries of all previous sessions. A complete record of every encounter. Every outcome. Like an index of every key issue and decision for 2 years. He includes next steps for the following session.
- David helped us put together a performance review document and process catered for my business. He explained and taught us how to use it. So easy and efficient. We never saw the point with HR documents previously but that changed after experiencing massive problems with 2 key staff members. I’m glad to say that we quickly saw changes in the way our employees behaved and performed after implementing it.
- David was extremely patient and talked us through contemporary wage management processes in accordance with current industrial laws. He helped us put together a clear set of guidelines.
- Unfortunately, there have been 2 occasions where we had to administer staff redundancies because the work wasn’t there. A topic we knew nothing about and had budgeted for expensive legal advice. David stepped in as our business coach and helped guide us through the process.
- I recently put out a new product that completely failed. I stood to lose $75K on the campaign. I didn’t see it coming. David quickly helped me with a pivot strategy. He remembered a discussion we had recently had with a third-party beer manufacturer that was looking for products it could use as part of a promotion. They thought the product looked great and were happy to buy them off me. Whilst I didn’t make all the funds back David’s pivot strategy saved my over $50K.
- When I first met him, I was about to embark on a $30k endeavour and Dave helped me see it was totally unnecessary, and showed me that I already had everything I needed to diversify my business into areas that came naturally to me. Almost overnight I built serious momentum and cash flow in running specialised workshops on parenting at schools and in small group sessions.
- I was really concerned after struggling to hold onto my previous 2IC and had also lost 2 junior staff over a 3-month span. I felt the office mood flattening and how their loss had affected morale. Together with David, we worked on our vision, role, mission, guiding behaviours, values and customer service standards. It was an awesome series of workshops. David has been on my back to make sure all of that work is integrated into everything we do. It’s early days but I haven’t had any staff turnover for 5 months now.
- After 17 years directing a small business, I was looking for what next. Problem was I wasn’t sure what that looked like and how to leave one identity behind to embrace the next. David guided me through these hurdles, from a financial perspective and my emotional resistance. I cried, laughed and let off steam as he supported me venturing into the treacherous landscape of changing my business model.
- In 4 weeks, I sourced $14K in new work after David intervened on my piss poor efforts to network. I have to be honest. Being a business owner can be a lonely journey but I originally hated networking.
- In our first 3 sessions David helped me work on my brand. He dug into my VIA strengths and Myers Briggs and quickly got a feel for my personal strengths and weaknesses. It wasn’t the most comfortable process but I kept walking away more and more confident in myself. I felt like a better leader. That I had taken off a mask. It was less about being liked and more about being respected.
- He has the attention to detail of a lawyer and the creativity of a world class marketer. David totally reshaped our business proposals and drove better quality results. In turn with David’s changes, my business was able to lock away hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra revenue. All because of his changes.
- David was able to guide me through incredibly stressful small business legal challenges. David has previous experience as a commercial litigation solicitor (just another string to his bow) and he helped me put together a strategy which included briefing a solicitor and then a barrister.
- David was also instrumental in navigating the world of intellectual property. Registering our business name, logos, products both in Australia and overseas. Again, he helped me engage a solicitor with expertise in that space. He helped me understand the steps involved. Helping me ask the right questions. Keep on top of things. To negotiate and then minimise the legal fees, we spent.
- When COVID19 hit I feared that my business was over. I tried to march on as if nothing happened and I was punished in sales big time. My lowest March revenue in history. By a mile. I was totally shattered. I was bleeding money on every front and could only keep running until June until the money ran out. I reached out to David seeing if he could suggest anything to breathe life back into the company. He suggested that it started with our customers. We needed to completely change the way we marketed our products. David inundated me with 50-60 potential captions we could use. We have a long way to go until we are in clear waters, but our April sales were much stronger than we thought possible. Not earth shattering but a healthy daily cash flow. Engagement levels on social media also began to pick up.