I’m looking back at my diary for this week just gone and pondering on the lessons I’ve learned for myself and for my clients. Generically, they fall into the category of when is the right time to ask for help and how to best use your business coach/mentor.
Getting in touch before you start up in business can seem premature. We are discussing ifs and maybes, possibles and intangibles. But we are able to do some useful planning, brainstorming and visioning. We can get clear on what you want for your business and discuss such things as targets, pricing and business models. I spent some time with a client this week who this coming year wants to make £150,000 and, for her, it isn’t all about the money. It isn’t even about keeping score as Trump likes to call it. It’s about the sort of businesswoman she wants to become and the clients she wants to serve. It’s about being bold.
What do you want your upcoming year to be all about?
Then I was also consulted by someone who had started in business in a rather rash way, so she was consulting me after the event. Regretful though I was she hadn’t asked before, this was no time to say that. Quickly I wanted to know what were her capital commitments, how much had she spent so far, what were her fixed weekly outgoings and how much access to start-up capital does she have and how quickly is it draining. The problem? Not enough business yet in a market which is both reasonably crowded and a bit flat right now.
How can you anticipate all of this in your business? How can you manage cash flow better in a new business when you are, to some extent, guessing? Specifically how can you do some high impact but affordable marketing – and pronto! How can you get more clients through the door today? How can you fill up capacity and stop your staff sitting round on their bottoms, waiting? Slash and burn overheads, all hands on deck! No waiting around for others to do something, you have to be proactive and you have to start yesterday to save your business from becoming a casualty of poor planning and over-optimism. What other ways do you have of creating additional income in your business premises while you are working on increasing your turnover?
And finally the saddest lesson of all I learned this week: tell me the truth. Be prepared to face the truth yourself, the sooner the better. There really is no point in working with a mentor at all if you don’t tell me the whole story. That’s when we can do our best work together.