There are a few primary areas in which the small to medium sized business owner truly needs coaching.
A Business Plan is an essential document that lays out the direction of your thoughts and efforts. The manifestation of your concepts in a real and tangible form will help allay concerns from family, friends, investors, bankers.
Reading the Business Plan should tell people that you have given this idea extensive, in-depth thought, conducted market research to investigate perceived or real competition and identified a real market demand for your product or service. On the other hand, your well thought out plan may demonstrate the need for a novel product.
Your business plan will present a viable marketing strategy complete with attainable financial projections covering investments, start-up capital and cash flow forecasts. Investors in particular will want to see the financial forecasts to ensure they will be repaid on schedule. You will want to see the potential to realize a true income from your efforts.
The more comprehensive your Marketing Plan the better. You will need to share details that specifically identify opportunities and how you expect to develop your business and client base. Stating that you will create a web-site, distribute a few brochures,call your friends and distribute a few free samples is not an overly comprehensive Marketing Plan.
This is when you will need to demonstrate an understanding of the difference between strategy and tactics. Strategy is the over-reaching concept of what you intend to do and how you plan to get there. Tactics are the feet on the ground tools and practices of engaging the strategy. The more specific you are the better.
Strategy is the overall plan, the desire or need to conquer an objective.
Advertising in the local newspaper is a tactic. Writing blogs is a tactic. Tactics help you attain a specific target.
You will need to identify your Niche Market with your Perfect Clients, how you intend to reach your Perfect Clients and what is your USP, Unique Selling Proposition.
Identifying the Niche Market and Perfect Client are fundamental to your business plan. Building the best $200K electric sports car certainly narrows your market. Potential clients will be few and far between, but they do exist. Hopefully, you understand this before your investors do.
Your USP is a compelling message that will undoubtedly inspire the Perfect Client in your Niche Market to engage you in a conversation that will ideally lead to a business transaction that includes the transfer of cash.
The daily fundamentals of running the business are an area that will need to be addressed. Hiring and mentoring staff, routine dealings with the bank, capital and operating budgets are a few of the issues that the creative spirit may need some guidance with.
Ideally, your business does so well that discussions of growth become an issue sooner than later. You will need the key people in place at the right time with training and experience relevant to your immediate and impending needs.
A coach who has experienced rampant growth and slow growth scenarios will be a blessing, they will be akin to a calm hand on the rudder.
Every business goes through periods of adversity. Having a reliable, conscientious sounding board can help you weather the storm with both feet firmly on the ground.
An experienced coach will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and enable a continued focus on your objectives or facilitate a carefully revised approach.
Ultimately, you hope to retire from your business in an efficient and effective manner with as little ado as possible.
Letting go of the business you developed can be tougher than you think. Having a plan, and a confidant to help guide you through the plan, will help make the transition proceed as smoothly as possible.
The Business Coach will not necessarily drive the bus. Often their only role is to listen, observe and challenge your assumptions. That challenge may be all you need to help you think things through with a little more sober thought, possibly contemplate an oversight.
Your business coach will ensure the continuous application of sound business fundamentals in all scenarios. They work with you for your success.
Andrew Hoffman has enjoyed a successful career building and developing the potential of companies with domestic and global business in manufacturing, service, distribution, CPG and food and beverage. In line with this Andrew has mentored many senior executives and budding professionals.