You’ll have probably have heard of ‘business coaching’ but it’s quite likely that you have never considered it for yourself. Australian native and successful executive business coach Gail Gibson resided in the UK from 1996 – 2018 and worked with a leading company in our industry. Here, she explains a little about the benefits of using a business coach…
Why small businesses need coaching
Running a long term successful business is a piece of cake, right? You know the systems, processes and your customers, just like the back of your hand. Your business keeps ticking along nicely. After many years as a market leader, having built your success on the delivery of excellent customer service, you’re keen to grow your business to the next level.
Does business growth present a challenge?
What plan of action needs to happen to enable you to explore new ways to market your business or improve team performance? Do you have the right people, the right systems and processes, and the right solutions to make growth happen?
How will you keep on track to achieve the results you desire?
Since 2007, I have worked as an executive business coach with clients along the M4 corridor. Along the journey, I have met many small business owners who are in fact puzzled by the thought of why they need a coach to help them grow their business. On occasion, I have been challenged by people who feel that working with a business coach is a) a costly expenditure and b) unnecessary because they know how to run their business without any outside help. In response, I ask, “What is the number one challenge in your business right now?” Most of the time, this question triggers a steady flow of thought and conversation about what really isn’t working in the business, whether it is to do with profit, people or performance.
FACT: Businesses who get coached simply do better in business. Do you know where you want your business to be but you’re not quite sure how to get there?
In 2015 I was approached by a small Bristol based independent mobility company who were keen to explore how an executive business coach could help drive new growth into a new market. Prior to my arrival, and with a successful track record of business for 15+ years, the company had continued to achieve year on year growth. The team had increased from 3 to 5, and with relocation to new and larger premises, they gained better access to their growing number of local public and private contracts.
From the start of the coaching relationship it was clear that the company had a strong vision, together with extensive technical and practical sector knowledge and experience. After completing a company review and analysis with the directors, we focused on key objectives and priority goals to create and implement an achievable plan of action.
Over the course of the two years, in conjunction with monthly performance coaching sessions, the company has rebranded and redeveloped their brand and website, employed an apprentice, transferred a contract employee to become a permanent, full-time team member, implemented monthly team meetings which has led to improved communication and morale, increased team development opportunities, improved their presence on social media via a bespoke marketing strategy, and increased turnover and profitability as a direct result of new clients.
What are the benefits of an executive business coach for small businesses?
Dependent upon the individual needs of a business, the key benefits of a coach include:
Stay on track: Having a vision for your business is vital however you can get lost in the day to day operations. It’s all too easy to make excuses about the actions you say you will make but never get around to doing. This is often due to businesses not having the right skills or time to implement change.
Accountability: Each month I challenge my clients as to why or why not their planned actions did or did not happen. This helps to create a sustainable habit for reaching short, mid and long-term goals. In addition, my clients report better productivity and better team performance, which has led to better results.
Objective insight: From an outside perspective, I can observe and ‘see’ what’s really going on in a business. These real-life observations help build better rapport and communication and inject a boost of motivation for the team.
Shift thinking: Coaching will challenge your thinking around how you work in or on your business. Being open to new thinking can streamline people and processes and promote a better and more balanced working environment.
New growth: When a business embraces coaching as positive and progressive, the right solutions appear because of breakthrough moments of clarity, purpose and direction.
To find out more about executive business coaching with Gail visit www.gailmgibson.com
As published in the April 2017 issue of THIIS (The Homecare Industry Information Service) which provides a monthly resource for manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and professionals working in the homecare, disability, assistive technology and rehabilitation sector.