Business Coaching

WHAT IS BUSINESS COACHING?

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are you ready for a Business Coach?

A Business Coach...

Instructs, Motivates, Inspires, Brings people together, Analyzes and Provides feedback.  

Business coaching involves one on one discussions and problem solving. 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

As you can see, coaching is aimed at helping you work through issues, grow your business, create new ideas, and 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.  Are you ready to do that?  If so, we'd love to help!


 Joy Lizotte, CPA

Joy Lizotte, CPA

About Joy

I help service based businesses GROW by providing coaching and growth planning services that will take their business to the next level.

I promise you, working with a CPA can be much more exciting than crunching numbers and reviewing last year’s taxes. I look at the day-to-day of your business and help you find ways to perform better, grow bigger and generate revenue with greater ease. 

Book Review- High Performance Habits

BOOK REVIEW.png

The Secrets Behind Improving Every Aspect of Your Life

High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

How would your life change if you were consistently at your best? That’s one of the questions that Brendon answers in this book. And it is fascinating!

The answers come from studying millions of students and looking at the habits that set high achievers apart from others.

It goes beyond working hard and making smart decisions.  It’s more about the habits that you need to have over the long-term, not only to be successful, but to also have a fulfilling life.

The three areas the book dives into are:

  • Why do some people succeed more quickly, and have long-term success?

  • Of successful people, why are some more happy while others are miserable?

  • What motivates people to reach for higher levels of success, and what habits and training help them improve?

Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.

The habits needed to not only be successful in one area of your life, but all areas, and to maintain that success over the long-term include:

  1. Seek Clarity.  Get clear on what you want out of life.  Focus on these things and don’t get distracted by other shiny objects.

  2. Generate Energy.  This goes much deeper than being active and eating healthy (which are a big part too).  You need to learn to maintain your energy levels throughout the day as you go from meeting to calls to emails to family time.  These areas are called transitions. Mastering transitions will help you generate more energy!

    Brendon has great tips and exercises in the book on how to do this.

  3. Raise Necessity.  Always knowing ‘why’ you’re doing something, why it’s important, and the difference you are making.  When your why is at the forefront you are more likely to perform at a higher level.

  4. Increase Productivity.  Know the outputs that matter.  This isn’t about being busy. It’s about focusing on the outcomes that will make a difference and move the needle forward.   

  5. Develop Influence.  To be a high performer you must have an influence on others.  Inspire your team to be more productive, lead others, and teach them to think smarter.

  6. Demonstrate Courage.  In face of risk or hardships, high performers speak up for themselves, understand the struggle, and don’t get brought down by it.  They work through fear by serving others.

Some of these habits seem like common sense, and others are a mere thought, but when you combine all six, and you master them, you’ll see amazing results.


 Joy Lizotte, CPA

Joy Lizotte, CPA

About Joy

I help service based businesses GROW by providing coaching and growth planning services that will take their business to the next level.

I promise you, working with a CPA can be much more exciting than crunching numbers and reviewing last year’s taxes. I look at the day-to-day of your business and help you find ways to perform better, grow bigger and generate revenue with greater ease. 

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.

The Gap – the Future Versus the Beginning

I read an article a few years ago that stuck in my mind, and I recently came across it again. It discussed how your mental status and feelings can affect your progress and motivations. It comes from Dan Sullivan and The Strategic Coach- The Gap. As a business owner we are planning for and thinking about the future. Having a plan for the future is great, and I believe, imperative for you to reach your long term goals. However, if you are constantly thinking of how far you have to go to reach your long term goals you can get stressed, disappointed, or overwhelmed. STOP thinking that way!

This is when you need to think about “The Gap”. Not the Gap of where you are versus where you want to be, but instead, where you are versus where you started.

 The Gap

The Gap

It is easy to feel overwhelmed in your business. There are lots of days where you probably feel like you’re up against the impossible, you’ll never reach your goals, or there are too many obstacles in the way. But if you will take 2 to 3 minutes to think about where you started, the progress you’ve made, the obstacles you’ve overcome, or the lessons you’ve learned along the way you will feel much better about your progress towards the future.

Celebrate your accomplishments and let that be your fuel to achieve your future.

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

5 Tips to Setting Goals

When coaching new clients, I always ask if they have specific goals. Almost all say yes. When I ask if they are written almost all say no. TIme and again I am amazed by this. Things are more likely to happen if they’re written. Plenty of verifiable scientific research supports that claim. So why don’t most entrepreneurs write down their goals? Maybe they think they can remember them, or maybe they’ve just never been taught how to write effective goals.

With that in mind, here’s 5 tips to make you more successful at goal setting:

  1. Write your goals down. As mentioned above, you are more likely to complete a goal if it is written. I like to keep my goals on my whiteboard in front of my computer so I have to see them every day.

  2. Break complicated goals down into smaller goals. It is easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by a big goal. I always have clients break their goals down into manageable action steps that will achieve the goal.

  3. Always have SMART goals. This is an acronym that breaks a goal into:

      • Specific- Be as exact about what you want to accomplish as possible.

      • Measurable- The goal should be written in a way to determine if it has been reached.

      • Actionable- Start your goal with an action.

      • Realistic- It must actually be a goal that you can achieve. It should be a goal that you work hard to achieve but not something that is unrealistic.

      • Time-bound- Be specific (and realistic) in when the goal should be completed.

  4. Have an accountability partner. Whether it’s with your team, a family member, or your coach, talk about your goals, why you have them, your progress, and what is holding you back.

  5. Review your progress. Take the time to review your progress on a weekly basis. This gives you a chance to see what else you need to do to accomplish your goal, as well as celebrating your successes towards the goal.

When you follow these simple tips you’ll see more success in your goal setting as well as goal accomplishments.

If you found this valuable and would like more information contact Joy 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

5 Reasons You Need a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a business tool to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. When done with a team it can lead to great insight about things you should continue, change, or improve. It will also help prioritize actions as you start to implement your business strategy. Not only can a SWOT bring clarity to what needs to be fixed, but it can also generate new ideas that produce services or products to increase the bottom line. Here’s 5 reasons why your business should complete a SWOT Analysis:

Bring your Team Together.  Small business owner’s typically shoulder the stress of a business. But many times they have a team they can rely on. Not only can a SWOT produce ideas for your business it can also boost morale in your team by giving them a voice and ownership in their ideas. They may also see things that an owner does not see.

If you are a solopreneur consider bringing outside connections together to help you perform a SWOT so you will have multiple perspectives. Ask your CPA, business coach, banker, or advisor.

 Reinforce What you’re Great At.  Listing your Strengths is important. These are the internal things you are great at and do better than your competition. These items cannot be easily copied by a competitor. Consider how you can use this list in a new marketing campaign to generate new business.

 Analyze your Weak Points.  No one likes to admit their weaknesses but in order to overcome them it’s important to be realistic. Consider the things you do poorly, something you are doing now but shouldn’t be, a broken business process, how you hire, poor cash flow, unreliable financial information, etc.

The upside of making this list is you have complete control to make improvements. This has nothing to do with outside influence, the market, or the economy. It is solely internal and can be fixed. The sooner a weakness is fixed the better.

 Concentrate on New Opportunities.  Making a list of external opportunities is a great way to spark new ideas. Thinking about your market, what has recently changed that you can take advantage of? Has a competitor closed, a new government policy, technology advances, or an upcoming event?

 Many times you are too busy in the day to day operations that you don’t make time to innovate and develop new services or new products. By doing that you can slowly become obsolete because you’re not keeping up with changes in what your customers need or want.

 Prepare for Threats Beyond your Control.  Although you may not like it, there are external issues beyond your control. You may not be able to change them but you should definitely be aware and have a plan to overcome or work around these threats. Are there new competitors in your market, a new law that effects your business, or changes in the economy?

 It’s important to not let these threats paralyze you. Doing nothing or ignoring is not a good plan. A good plan would be to match these threats with a current strength you have already identified. Can any of your strengths help avoid or lessen a threat? For example, if there is a new competitor coming into your market, what do you do better than this competitor (something they can’t easily replicate)? If you don’t have an answer to that, you better get to planning!

If this interests you and you want to know more about this topic, email Joy at joy@lizottecpa.com

 

Who Holds You Accountable?

 group

group

The first week of each month I meet with my accountability group. I'm lucky to be a part of an awesome group of five other CPA's that are in similar growth stages, share common values, and they get where I'm taking my business. When we decided to form a group we set some basic ground rules:

  1. What happens in our Group stays in our Group

  2. We share our financials every month (how else will we know if someone is just blowing smoke)

  3. Each meeting is moderated so we have a format to follow and a time structure (1.5 hours)

  4. The moderator will bring a topic to each meeting and teach us something new and exciting

  5. We set goals. We defined our overall yearly goals (revenue, staff size, customer base, lifestyle, etc), as well as monthly goals. During each monthly meeting we must discuss what we accomplished, what we didn't, and why. It's a tough group. We definitely call each other out!

Why is this important? It is very easy to get sucked into the day to day operations of your business. If you've always got your nose in the actual work, how will you know when you're on the right track. Or better yet, when you're on the wrong track! Having someone hold you accountable will help you think through what you are trying to accomplish, set goals, reach goals, and provide moral support.

 share

share

We offer the same service to our customers. If this sounds like something you need, let us know and we can schedule a chat to go over your thoughts, ideas, and questions. Our coaching and accountability sessions are one on one meetings where we focus solely on your business. We can help you determine where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there!

Why We Must Continuously Be Learning

 learn

learn

I remember just yesterday when I graduated college (well, it feels like yesterday even though it's been a few years).  I was so excited to be finished with the pressure of school.  Next came the CPA exam.  I don't even want to mention the pressure and amount of studying it took to pass that exam.  So surely I could quit studying and learning once that was completed.   Wrong!

Life is about continuously learning and experiencing new things.  So why wouldn't you do this in your business too?  Learning doesn't have to be defined as "reading a textbook".  It could entail watching a Youtube video, listening to a podcast, interviewing a mentor, reading a magazine, or catching up on twitter feeds.

To stretch the concept of continuous learning farther, learning can be through an experience.  An experience not even related to your industry.  I would say that observation is a type of learning.  Have you ever noticed the way you're treated when you go to the local big box store?  The greeter doesn't greet you, no one knows where things are, and the cashier's only words to you is the total you owe.  Compare that to a store like Publix.  If you get within 10 feet of anyone who works there they will ask you how's your day and if they can help you with anything.  They will give you free food if they make a mistake and charge you the wrong price,  and the bag boys don't give you evil looks when you need help out.  Can you learn anything from this to apply to your business?  Absolutely!  You just need to be observant.

How Am I Continuously Learning New Things?

  1. Twitter - I follow other CPA's, industry thought leaders, and people I want to grow up to be like. I want to read and share the same articles and stories they are reading and discussing

  2. TED Talks - A wonderful site to hear amazing public speakers. These speakers will motivate, inspire, and educate you. One of my favorites would be Simon Sinek's talk about "Start With Why". If you're a business owner, or want to start a business take the time to watch this.

  3. Stanford's eCorner- Professors of Stanford interview entrepreneurs to cover all types, topics, and industries. It amazes me that I can experience a part of Stanford through a couple of internet clicks (and not spend a fortune in tuition).

  4. Books - I'm an avid reader. My goal is to read one business book per month. I keep a running list of books that I want to eventually read. I get ideas from friends, newspapers, online recommendations, etc. I even have a subscription to Audible, where I can listen to a book instead of read it. This is wonderful for long trips, waiting in traffic, and sweating it on the treadmill.

  5. Podcasts - Great way to listen to interesting topics. My podcast list includes other CPA's, authors from books I enjoyed, and industry thought leaders. Also happens to be another great way to help me stay on the treadmill.

I could go on and on about other ways to learn and grow yourself or your business because the opportunities are endless.  The important thing is that you intentionally do something to grow yourself.  Your business will reap the rewards.  How you do that is up to you!

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.