A Business Coach is better than a consultant for many reasons. With years of successful experience that can provide valuable insight, your Business Coach will help you develop long-term and short term goals and strategies, as well as improve your business in areas that you might have overlooked. You may be able to survive in business without the help of a Coach, but it's almost impossible to thrive...
Right from being a young lad, Ive always been in to sport football, running, rugby, judo, and I noticed even at junior school and when playing football in the streets that I always seemed to look for the potential in people when others pointed out the negatives - whether that was because of being brought up in one of the more rough council estates in York, Im not sure.
I was very lucky to have parents who were always there for me, and worked long hours to provide for us. Dad would work extra hours and mum would sometimes have more than one job so she could save for us to go on holiday. Growing up was fun, and we had some great family times too.
At 23, having run several teams successfully, I was given the responsibility of turning around a group of specialists, some twice my age, who basically had been put together because they didnt really fit the new company structure. There were some strong characters amongst them, who inevitably felt badly done to and under-appreciated, so not surprisingly there were a number of complaints about attitudes towards senior managers and their team leaders, and their service was rock bottom. Within 8 months we were the top performing team in the company with 97% customer satisfaction, we shared skills and knowledge with each other, had a fantastic family bond, supported each other, and had some great team nights out. The Deputy Chief Executive paid us a visit, which did wonders for showing these very knowledgeable people that they were valued by the company.
To give you a feel for some aspects of my experience, Ive led and coached individuals at all levels, worked with small businesses of 3 people to 200+ people identified £210,000 profit increase in one afternoon to return one small business to profit in 4 months; helped directors create clear strategies and tackle priority actions to get back to driving the business forward; helped one business owner get his first real holiday - without a laptop! And focus on his more profitable customers, within 7 months; helped small businesses to track returns on marketing investments and improve returns; helped business improve client retention and loyalty and get back customers; helped businesses to identify key areas running at a financial loss and return the areas to profit and higher productivity; coached a director to establish a US operation following a series of stalled attempts; helped directors improve their own performance and their teams results; Ive led a 3 year cross-company strategy which reduced service delivery times from 4 weeks to 3 days, and released 17% of the workforce from routine tasks to support business growth, enabling sales growth of 400% and cost savings of £6.8m over 3 years; Ive inspired over 70 people across all levels and areas of a company to take ownership for driving change right across the business, and across locations, whilst maintaining service levels to customers during the 8 month peak in changes to systems, processes, structures, and positions.
My approach has generally been the same listen to people, individually and as groups, get the facts challenges with service, productivity, margins, sales, decision-making, investment returns, communication, unclear direction then help them to get real clarity about the situation they are in and how it has come about, the problems that actually exist, the likely implications of letting the situation drag on by doing nothing about it, and helping senior management to articulate what they want things to be like and why, in terms of service, profit, growth, culture etc, so that everyone on the teams gets it and joins in willingly to make it happen.
Ive been in so many different situations and had the privilege to lead and work alongside some very knowledgeable people and great teams and businesses where they have individually and together achieved so much more than they thought they were capable of, and its always a pleasure and a real privilege to play a small part in the outcomes.
The most rewarding outcome Ive been a part of, with the help of a small group of volunteers guided by the right experts, has been the journey to help my eldest son, Nathan, to overcome so many barriers with his cerebral palsy and dyspraxia, from not being able to move at all when he was first born. The doctors didnt think Nathan would be able to sit, walk, talk, and he would most likely be in a wheelchair and totally dependent all his life. Guided by experts in their field, Gill and I were supported by a group of volunteers to give Nathan intensive daily exercise routines to teach his brain to function. He eventually sat up, he walked, he fed himself, and he learned to speak after we taught him sign language. He went through mainstream schools supported by specialists, was mentored on public transport until he could get on and off a bus at the right stop, and even get as far as Bradford College and home again on the train on his own. He now works at York Hospital in the science labs, something he always dreamed of being able to do. He still has ongoing medical support, but his quality of life and his life choices are so much more than he would have had without the right people coming together to help achieve our aspirations for him, which have become his own life choices now he can make his own decisions.
Ive shared this with you because when you think about it, weve all got life experiences that have changed our outlook on life and made us a better and stronger, more resilient person in some way.
My personal goal now, using my business experiences and skills and the proven small business growth model of ActionCoach, is to continue playing a part in changing peoples lives through their own business success. I coach business owners how to increase profits and customer loyalty so that they have a business that's built to last, that is an asset they can sell, and it works without them needing to be there all the time - giving them and their families the life they dreamed of when they took the brave step to go in to business in the first place.
So my question for you is this - What it is that it is most important to you to do something about right now?…it could be related to time, team, profit, sales, control, expansion, business plan revision, clearer strategy, an exit plan, or a combination of factors. Whatever it is, if you choose to do something about it, Ill make time for you. Id love to know more about what you do, the difference your business makes, and importantly, what you want.
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