Business Coach

The Clarity of Having a Business Coach

There are lots of articles on business coaching that spells out the "how" business coaching works, but not necessarily the "why" or the experience of coaching. My hope is that this post will give you the "feel" of coaching. When I first start working with a client I ask questions so I can understand where they are coming from and dig deep into how I can help. Here are a few responses I've received:

  • "I'd like to have more control over my business instead of it controlling me"

  • "I'm worried that I'm not making changes fast enough in my business"

  • "My biggest concern is getting new customers"

  • "I'm stretched too thin"

  • "I lose sleep over thinking about cash flow"

You can see that those are very personal responses. That requires a lot of trust. Trust and vulnerability. And sometimes that hurts. And sometimes it sucks. Few enjoy talking about weaknesses, but the only way to make a positive change (and business altering change) is to be honest and put it out there.

If I know my client's concerns, issues, and weaknesses I can work with them on making positive changes to help achieve their dreams. I create a space for them to feel understood, accepted, and open to digging deeper to what it would look like if they purposely worked on changing their actions or attitudes around a matter.

For example, when a client says "I'd like to have more control over my business instead of it controlling me", I might would ask:

  • Describe a normal day for me

  • What tasks are you doing that can be delegated to someone else?

  • If those tasks were delegated to someone else, how much time would that free up?

  • What would you do with the extra time? Could you use that time to sell more services?

  • If that means more time to sell, how much additional income could you make in 1 week?

  • What would that look like over a 1 year time frame?

What I've done in that example is to guide them to an end result that they are looking for (higher income) and away from the problem (not enough time in the day). The client is only thinking of the right now, but if I can get them to think in big picture and long-term results then there is a better likelihood of making a positive change.

Again, this is just an example. Each client is different and has different challenges and goals, but this is the experience of coaching.

My objective as a coach is to help you work through the challenges that you face as well as helping you see the value in making positive changes. I am also helping you with clarity, offering you a safe and confidential place, giving you someone to lean on, and helping you push trough to achieve your dreams (..oh, and becoming your #1 cheerleader).

If you think you could benefit from having a business coach, let's connect. We can schedule a free discovery call to see if we are a right fit for each other.

3 Simple Questions to Grow Your Business

Now that 2016 is in full swing it's a great time to make changes in how you operate your business. If you know you want (or need) to make a change but have no idea where to start, I encourage you to sit down and answer these three simple, but smart, questions: What should I STOP doing? The things you should stop doing would be the things that do not produce value for your customers or enhance your business. These are things or tasks that won't help you reach your goals. Or sometimes they are tasks that could be outsourced because you're not great at them.

  • Tip: Ask yourself, "If I wasn't do X, what could I do with that time in order to grow my business?"

What should I START doing? This could be anything from starting to produce a new product, to develop a new service, or maybe starting a process to help you connect with customers. What can you put in place to improve your business, achieve goals, change behaviors, etc?

  • Tip: Many times I find that businesses don't have a system in place to track, monitor, or keep in contact with their customers. This would be a great system to start.

What should we CONTINUE doing? Looking back over the last year what has worked well for you? These are things that will help you reach your goals. Or it could be a service that you're great at, a system that works well for you, or an activity that makes you better than your competitors.

  • Tip: Growing a business is tough and slow. It's important for you to recognize the things your are doing right instead of only focusing on the things that you are doing wrong.

Working through these three simple questions should give you lots of ideas for smart changes to help you grow. Once you know what you want to change, set goals and specific tasks to help you reach your goals.

If you found this valuable and want additional information on how we could help your business, send us at email at joy@lizottecpa.com

The Smartest Business Decision I Ever Made

A few years ago I was working up a proposal for a prospect. This particular proposal was for designing a new accounting system and documenting the process. This type of work is actually pretty easy for me and I love doing it (yes, I’m a nerd). I decided what I would charge for the project and put the proposal together. And then I presented it to my “Value Council.” What is a Value Council? For me it’s a group of professionals that help me construct valuable proposals and price them accordingly.

When I first started my business I had a hard time pricing new projects. It was easy to get in the trap of thinking about a price because the work is easy, it may not take long to complete, or I’d done this this type of work many times before. But my thought process was wrong. It’s not about ME. It’s about the CUSTOMER. A value council can help you see that, and help you price for it.

So how does it work? I meet with my value council before I send out a new proposal. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the complexity of the project. Meeting with them became very valuable because I was forced to answer questions like:

  • If this work is easy (like I said above) why are they hiring you and not doing it themselves?

  • Do you think the prospect cares if it takes you 5 hours or 20 hours? No! And just because you can get it done faster doesn’t mean it should be cheaper. They are buying your value, not your time.

  • Since you’ve done this work before, don’t you think that gives you more knowledge to serve the prospect better? If so, shouldn’t they pay you for that knowledge.

Having someone make me answer those questions helped my business tremendously. They have helped me see the value in what I do AND get paid for it.

I would highly recommend every business owner forming their own value council. Consider asking your CPA, mentor, or someone you trust. Then see how your bottom line thrives!

If you found this valuable and would like more information contact Joy at joy@lizottecpa.com

Why It's Important to Define Your Vision

Vision

Vision

Sometimes when I'm working with a client they are so eager to jump right into goal setting that they want to skip over discussing their company's vision. My question then becomes "How can you set goals when you don't know who you are or where you're going?"

When you work through establishing your vision you should have defined core values, a core purpose, as well as a vision of where you want your company to be in the future. Your vision should paint a clear picture of where you are going, otherwise you won't know when you've reached that place.

Vision is not to be confused with strategy and how you are going to grow. It should provide a road map to give direction on where the company is going. Once that's established you can then chose the strategies you are going to undertake to reach that vision.

It is important to "live" it everyday, in every decision. If your vision is to be the best home builder in the regional area, you wouldn't want to take a job building a commercial skyscraper. It should also guide you in decision making, be challenging, and inspiring.

What is Business Coaching?

A business coach is similar to what a sports coach does: Instructs, Motivates, Inspires, Brings people together, Analyze and Provide feedback. Business coaching involves one on one discussions and problem solving. It can be ongoing sessions or one-off sessions. Ongoing coaching sessions are setup to determine 1)Where you are in your business, 2) Where you want to be, and 3) How to get there. A coach will help you setup a roadmap, goals, tasks, and hold you accountable so you can reach those goals. One-off coaching sessions may be needed if you have a specific problem you want to solve or discuss.

You may need a business coach to:

  • Prioritize actions in your business

  • Improve your customer's experience

  • Discuss business strategies (pricing, hiring, customers...)

  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses

  • Work through a specific problem

  • Generate ideas and brainstorm

  • Learn and educate yourself about your accounting

  • Discuss and improve the value you offer your customers

  • Have a sounding board or second opinion

Coaching is aimed at helping you work through issues, grow your business, create new ideas, become more innovative. It's very easy to get consumed in the day to day operations. Having a coach helps you to think bigger and improve your results.

Contact us if you have any additional questions regarding coaching or if you're ready to get started.