Vanessa has been coaching me for over 7 months now and I can truly say that this has lead to the transformation of myself and my company. Engaging Vanessa as my business coach has been the most beneficial investment I have made in my business to date.
Benefits of Coaching:
- Feeling that I am not alone – owning a business can be a lonely experience and friends and family don’t understand the deep commitment, total involvement and intensity that ownership brings. Vanessa’s objectivity to the business and seeing it with new eyes has helped me to look at my business in a fresh and innovative way. She has pointed out to me areas that I needed to focus on both within myself as well as in the business in order for us both to grow. As a business owner I am emotionally attached to the business. Having Vanessa as my coach has helped me to take the emotion out of decision making and make decisions based on the betterment of the business.
- Having a coach to be accountable – has helped me to get more organized and put in systems and processes a lot quicker than if I were to do them myself. She has re-ignited my passion for the business which through the day to day grind of working in it had dimmed. As a business owner I am responsible for my staff and for the business; but not had anyone else to be accountable for myself. Vanessa ensures that I take accountability for areas I have at times ‘slacked off’ on.
- Developing myself – probably the best outcome of coaching has been the personal journey of growth that I have undertaken. I have had to analyse, introspect and intuit how I wanted to grow as a person and the direction I want my life to take. This has happened along side with the changes I have brought about into the business. I have had to step up to the role of a leader first by finding out for myself what leadership meant for me and now living up to this.
- Vanessa’s personal approach – of coaching not just from the head but also from the heart has helped me through some tough times that I faced on a personal level. A business coach that solely worked on the business and ignored the personal issues that I have to work with would not have worked for me. As my life is a whole and each part has an effect on the others a coach that did not account for my personal situation would have missed a large part of what made me unique as a business owner.
- Working less in the business and spending more time growing it – I used to work 6 days a week often over 60 hours. This has now been reduced to 1-2 days in the business and has given me the ability and much needed time to get clear headspace so that I can work on my vision for building the business. I have appointed a manager who will be doing what I used to do on a daily basis to ensure the business works seamlessly. One of the things I told Vanessa at the commencement of coaching in June 2007 was that I wanted to be out of the daily running of this business in 6 months so that I could focus on my next venture. It has been a huge motivator and driver for both of us to get this business to the point where I could feel confident to leave it in the hands of a manager. Vanessa will now be coaching my manager fortnightly and me weekly on the new business I am setting up. I feel confident that with Vanessa as her coach and myself mentoring her, my new manager will be able to keep the business on the track we have set it.
Challenges of Business Coaching
- Challenging my set of beliefs about running a business and looking at myself and the business in a completely new and alien way. Having to re-invent myself in a way that was congruent with the leader I was becoming and wanted to be has been the most challenging aspect of coaching. As I want this business to grow into a corporation I have started thinking and acting like a CEO of a thriving large corporate company. This means not accepting anything but the best of myself as a leader. Not making excuses, not wasting time, not wasting my resources but putting in the best and expecting the best from me, my team, my coach and my life partner. It has meant committing to the lifestyle choices I am making now in order to get what I want in the immediate and long term future. Understanding the real meaning of having to change in order for the business to change.
- Making choices based purely on the best needs of the business – which I initially found challenging. I had a tendency to feel sorry for my team members and listen to their sob stories and adapt the business to suit them, which meant I slogged it while they did the minimum. Since commencing coaching I had to think hard about whether the team I had was the one that I wanted to be with me and take my business to the next level. The decision I came to was a hard one; I now have a totally new team that work to targets I set, fits my business model, meets my clients’ needs, is largely high performing and have also appointed a manager. As I only accept the best from my team when an individual does not meet the criteria I have set and is letting the rest of the team down, the decision to terminate is easy and less emotive than the first time I had to do this.
Outcome of Coaching to date (7 months)
- Systems I have put in place in my business including document control:
- HR systems – job descriptions, employment contracts, recruitment process, induction training process, ongoing training plan, Key Performance Indicators, Performance Appraisals, team meetings, staff uniforms, team skill matrix
- Business systems – Petty cash, changed banks and set up new banking system, management reports (daily sales tracker, roster costings, monthly service breakdown, staff performance, sales performance, client demographics etc) complaints process, profit and loss reports, budget and forecasting, daily testing and measuring, payroll system, employing a bookkeeper, margin review and a pricing increase, stock (monitoring, ordering and receipt processes), database update,
- Customer Service Systems – regeneration letters, birthday letters, new client letters, follow up process, annual birthday celebration, defining clients into A,B,C, & D and training staff on working with these appropriately, develop a client service journey, testimonial book, mystery shopping.
- Promotional & Marketing systems – created new package deals, created A-frame specials, put up a daily quote, book on the day specials, partnering with other businesses, client referral system, client membership program, advertising in print media, got my website live with an ecommerce facility for online purchasing
- Winning the Leader Business Award in our category.
- Developing a Vision and Mission
- Developing an Organisational Chart
- Systems I have put in place for myself:
- DISC – analyzing and implementing
- ‘I am’ statements,
- ‘I choose to be’ statements,
- positive affirmations
- daily overview of tasks
- weekly plan
- 90 day plan,
- default diary
- me time – having a day off