Transforming Business Performance With Business Coaching

“Sales and Profit Growth, Less Hours, Less Stress”
Mark, President, Auto Repair Shop

Mark is an intelligent and hardworking small business owner. He owns an Auto Repair Shop, and his business performance was making a small amount of profits, however, it was causing him a high level of stress.

When we first met in our 30-minute Breakthrough Session, he was struggling with stress from working long hours, having constant employee interruptions, and had no vacation for several years.

“Before I was under extreme stress from being constantly interrupted, was working way too many hours, and had not taken a vacation in several years.“

Mark successful business

Mark was overwhelmed with all the tasks that he thought he needed to do. So, in our coaching sessions, we introduced to him our Time Mastery System and Delegation strategies, which I’m going to discuss below, so keep on reading.  This system and strategies helped him prioritize tasks and allowed Mark to be able to focus on CEO-level tasks.

“My coach at Small Business Coach Associates helped me to evaluate the costs/benefits of hiring two new employees and gave me the assurance that I could justify the additional expense.”

Transforming business performance with business coaching

We showed him the benefits of having employees to help you run your business on a day-to-day basis. We discussed with Mark the extra cost and benefits if he decided to hire a team member.

After he implemented the time mastery system and delegated tasks to his new team members, Mark saw tremendous growth in his business performance both sales and profits.

“My sales and profits have grown even with the new hires”

Now Mark has more time to focus on growing his business. The time mastery system and delegation not only reduced his workload but also helped him to delegate tasks that were not his expertise.

Role of the coach

A business coach can be your partner in taking the path toward success. With a business coach’s experience in running a business, they can help you with strategies to improve your business systems and ensure your success.

Transforming business performance with business coaching

Our coach introduced Mark to proven strategies and systems that can simplify his business processes. We also guided Mark in his decision to hire new team members, which gave him tremendous confidence and clarity to expand his team.

This move led to the growth of his sales and profits, lessening his stress level and allowing him to work less hours. This allowed him to do the things he loves and to take long vacations.

Furthermore, we also helped Mark with how to motivate his team effectively. Mark put his learnings into action which enabled him to inspire his team and ensure that they aligned with his business mission, vision, and goals.

mark case study

Team Member Motivation

There are many aspects to your business success, and your team is one of them. They play an important role in your business success. You as a business owner must be able to motivate your team members, making them do their best while doing their responsibilities and feel that they were able to impart to your business.

Here are three tips to effectively motivate your team:

1. Effective Communication: 

We suggested that Mark do a daily huddle for at least 15 to 30 minutes.  This way you can communicate to your team what needs to be finished for the day. You can determine if they have any questions about the tasks they are about to perform.

You don’t need to do it daily, especially if you are very busy, but at least do it 3 times a week. The daily huddle is not always about what tasks to work on, but you can take this time to recognize and appreciate your team members’ work, by simply saying, “I appreciate the things you do.” It is a simple sentence, but it holds a huge power to make your team members day and motivate them.

Another thing for you is to have a weekly meeting, monthly meeting, or quarterly meeting. Having a regular meeting with your team members builds a collaborative culture. This is also a place for open communication, where your team will discuss challenges, successes, and ideas.

Moreover, this promotes accountability among your team members, ensuring that everyone is on the same boat with the business mission, vision, and goals.

2. Recognition and Rewards: 

Acknowledging your team members’ achievements by giving rewards or by verbal recognition is an effective tool to boost their motivation.

“Thank you for your contribution and outstanding efforts”

“I truly appreciate your hard work and skills”

“We are lucky/blessed to have you on the team”

Performance bonuses: You can provide monetary rewards to your team members when they surpass performance metrics. Doing this can also be used as a motivator.

Promotions: Promoting your team members to a higher position is also an effective way to boost their morale and recognize their commitment to your business.

Mark first halt case study


3. Development Opportunities: 

Developing your team members is a huge factor that has a great impact on keeping your high-caliber team members. You can allow them to attend seminars and workshops either online or face-to-face. This allows your team members to grow both professionally and personally, which can be beneficial to your business.

Strategic decision

Mark’s decision to hire a business coach to help him overcome his personal and business challenges is already part of his strategic decision to achieve success.

“My sales and profits have grown even with the new hires”

Many business owners like Mark are not willing to hire people to help them run the business, and there are many reasons why they don’t want to hire or doubt if they need to hire new people.

It is because they don’t think they need to hire people; they think that they can do everything. They don’t trust that people can do the job better than they do; or their business can’t afford it.

In Mark’s case, it was clear that his business can afford to hire people, but he did not realize the benefits of hiring people to help him run the business. And so Mark and his coach looked at a comprehensive analysis of the cost-benefit of adding people to his team.

“Coaching has made me progress much faster than I would have otherwise. I just purchased the property for my second location!”

Hiring two new team members into his business has shown an outstanding result for Mark’s business. This strategic decision allows Mark to effectively delegate tasks, minimize stress, and take vacations without worrying about his day-to-day business operations.

Mark’s success shows that adding people to his team did not weigh heavily on his business’s finances; instead, it contributed to the growth in sales and profits and to his business expansion.

Coaching Package

We, Small Business Coach Associates, have crafted various coaching packages to cater to the unique needs and size of any business. We highly suggest to our prospects and to our clients that they get the coaching package that offers them four coaching sessions monthly. That is because it builds consistent communication, feedback, and momentum to address issues, seize opportunities, and make adjustments or improvements to business success.

However Mark decided to purchase our bronze package which has 2 coaching sessions every month.

How did Mark achieve amazing success, despite only having two coaching sessions per month?

Mark is an action-taker!

He implemented all the strategies and techniques that were suggested by his coach, which means he was dedicated to making every coaching session count.

His dedication and commitment to achieving success have led him to a successful coaching relationship and sales and profit growth while working fewer hours, experiencing less stress, and enjoying vacations.

Business expanding 

“He encouraged me to activate the best business coaching programs that help me to market my business and measure results“

Mark’s success in growing his business sales and profits and expanding his business is a result of strategic planning, improving business systems and effective coaching. His dedication and accountability to thrive contributed to the success of the coaching program.

A business will not be successful even if it has the best coach in the world if the business owner is not willing to work. It is important to remember that the coach is there to provide you with guidance, solutions, and strategies on how to improve your business and how to achieve the results you want.

Mark’s success in growing his business sales and profits and expanding his business is a result of strategic planning, improving business systems, and effective coaching. His dedication and accountability to thrive contributed to the success of the coaching program and to his business success.

A business will not be successful, even if it has the best coach in the world if the owner is not willing to work. Then, no one can expect success.

It is important to remember that the coach is there to provide you with guidance, solutions, and strategies on how to improve your business and how to achieve the results you want.

Mark was willing to learn and put his learning into action. He implemented the strategies that his coach suggested for how to market his business and the importance of measuring results. Because of this, he was able to purchase a property for a second location, showing the phase of expansion.

increase your sales and profit with business coaching


Conclusion

In conclusion, Mark’s journey demonstrates the tangible benefits and impacts of comprehensive strategic planning, effective delegation, maximizing marketing strategies, systems development, and business coaching for a business.

His commitment to applying the techniques and strategies his coach suggested has delivered him not only profit growth, reducing stress, and having people to help him run his business but also expanding his business.

Mark shows us the power of business coaching, delegation, team development, and commitment to take action that will lead you to the road to success.

Mark’s results can speak for themselves: increase sales and profits, improve work-life balance, and successful business expansion.

 

Do you have questions about your business? 

Schedule a Complimentary One-On-One Session with me. I’ve found millions of dollars in additional profits for my clients. Let’s see how I can help you.

 

How can we help?

We are here to speed up your progress. To provide a sounding board and perspective so that your decisions are fast,  effective, and well deployed.

small business coach

How To Prevent Context Switching In Remote Work

context switching

Context switching is a common issue for remote workers, and it isn’t because they’re spending time at home. Poor management, techniques, and workflow are the main culprits of context switching. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your remote team more focused.

How to Prevent Context Switching in Remote Work

Unfocused employees are less productive, so it’s in your best interest to prevent this behavior in the workplace. 

Here are 10 ways to prevent context switching in remote work and beyond.

1. Map Out Your Workflow

The fastest way to prevent context switching is with a competent workflow. When employees know exactly what to do and when to do it, they won’t feel the need to start and stop. A mapped out workflow also reduces the number of questions your team has to ask before getting started.

The best workflows leave no stone unturned. They follow a step-by-step process that includes every process and subprocess, deliverables, and anything else required to complete the project.

2. Break Tasks into Chunks

context switching

Most projects involve multiple deliverables, but if your workflow doesn’t reflect this, it can intimidate employees. Breaking a major project or task into smaller, more manageable chunks makes it easier for teams to focus on one element at a time without feeling overwhelmed.

A task management tool can help avoid context switching due to fatigue. Check out this this top 12 task management software list if you need a more intuitive way to organize tasks. 

3. Prioritize Important Deadlines

Team members may be forced to switch tasks because a project suddenly became a high priority. It’s okay to do this once in a while, but you’ll want a strict workflow most of the time. This makes it easier for remote employees to tackle projects as they come rather than by priority.

Don’t take on more projects than your employees can handle. If a client asks for a rush order, consider your team’s workload before accepting it. Alternatively, you could hire a crisis team.

4. Hire a Remote “Crisis Team”

Crisis teams can be made up of remote employees who tackle high priority tasks. When they’re free, they can help with low priority projects, but shouldn’t take an active role. That way, they’ll have enough free time to focus on demanding tasks, preventing context switching in your team.

Employers should try to prepare for the inevitable. If your company constantly takes on priority projects, it should have enough employees to deliver them within a reasonable time frame.

5. Set Reasonable Goals Everyday

Employees may feel pressured to switch tasks when their goals don’t align with their current assignments. For example, when a salesperson has to stop canvassing because there’s no guarantee it’ll make a sale. It makes more sense to align assignments with employment goals.

Since we know canvassing will eventually lead to a sale, employers can encourage salespeople to speak to 10 people a day. If they hit this goal daily, they have 50 chances to make a sale.

6. Don’t Multitask or Switch Focus

Despite popular belief, very few people can multitask effectively. A study of 200 participants found that only 2.5% showed no performance decrements when performing single and dual tasks. It’s time to put the myth to rest that humans can focus on more than one thing at a time.

Employers should never encourage staff to switch projects unless they’ll be focusing on that one task for a while. Otherwise, you’ll spread your staff too thin and slow down team progress.

7. Encourage Health and Wellness

According to a survey of remote working Americans, 60% of employees feel guilty about taking breaks during work-from-home hours. However, breaks make us more productive and prevent context switching when we’re losing steam. Breaks are good for our health and wellness.

While employers should encourage breaks, they must also stress the positives of sleep, healthy eating, and exercise. Sitting at the computer all day can disrupt our physical health and focus.

8. Manage Stress Through Self-Care

context switching

Poor mental health can really disrupt our focus, and stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed and unenthusiastic about work. Employers should suggest incorporating simple stress-relieving activities during the day, such as journal writing, meditation, and yoga exercises when remote.

If you’re noticing your employees are becoming more stressed, consider leading by example. Say that you like to go for a quick walk or nap after a meeting to clear your head or unwind.

9. Encourage Communication

Context switching may happen when an employee doesn’t know how to start a project or has questions about certain deliverables. It’s impossible to prevent context switching in a workplace that doesn’t encourage communication, as workers will be too confused or scared to act.

When employees can ask questions (and receive quick responses in return), they can stay focused on their tasks. If workers are afraid to speak up, assess why as soon as possible.

10. Record Progress via Surveys

Your employees may be too scared to admit they’re being unproductive, even when it isn’t their fault. Anonymous surveys can give employees the space to be honest while also giving you the data you need to improve your business. For this to work, you need to ask specific questions.

Asking why your remote workers are unproductive is too vague. Instead, give them a list of reasons why productivity may be an issue, ranging from their location to a poor workflow.

small business coach

Managing Information Overload

information overload

Are you experiencing information overload?

With the widespread use of automated email software, landing pages, free online offers, junk mail, and other tactics to get your attention, information overload is the result. You are susceptible to your email address or other data being shared on a regular basis. For the promise of a free ebook, checklist, or webinar, many sign up only to become the recipient of endless emails, texts, instant messages, or phone calls.

Sometimes, you may choose to receive emails from someone called Amanda, which is fine, but she gives or sells your contact info to her partners, affiliates, or other business associates.

Or, you visit a website which saves your cookies.

Or, your employees are cc’ing you on a string of emails.

Next thing you know, your voicemail, mailbox, and inbox are full of a constant stream of new information that can suck up your time.

Information overload can rain down even heavier on industries like information technology, science, and finance.

How to Manage Information

You have now entered the Information Overload zone. Your task is to not let this overload hijack your focus, efficiency, and sanity. Business information management is becoming increasingly important in the corporate world, so it’s crucial for business owners to keep up the pace. 

Here’s some ideas on how to manage information.

Your Role In Your Information Overload

  • Start by having the mindset to let go. Often, business owners feel they must touch or control everything. It’s OK, we’ve all done that. But, to be truly productive and not waste our precious time, we have to turn some control over to others.
  • Delegate! Assign a staff member or personal assistant (PA) to scan, review, and manage information for you. If you are solopreneur (no employees), then hire a freelance PA. The cost of your time to cull through a bottomless pit of information is worth far more than the cost of a freelancer.
  • Take note when an offer requires that you release personal or business data.

information overload

ASK yourself if this material warrants releasing your own information overload and receiving further contact from this source –

  • If the answer is “no,” then STOP. Don’t enter or give away any of your data. Remember, most of the content or inside info that is being offered can be found by a focused Google search.
  • If “yes,” then you might want to make a note to yourself or someone else to unsubscribe or not reply when you first receive contact from that source.
  • Avoid signing up for automated notifications or alerts.
  • List all your email addresses (personal and business) and choose whether they should be checked daily or weekly.
  • Identify favorite information sources for online content such as blogs, newsletters, and columns and for printed material such as mail, magazines, or newspapers and texts or voicemail on your phone. Tips:
    • Limit the number of favorite information sources to a certain number. You can do this by content type or just a maximum total for any reading material.
    • Be sure to include sources with whom you have a business or personal connection in order to nurture the relationship.
    • For a certain week or month, you can inform PA to look for certain specific topics only.
    • To reduce the pile, list those sources which should automatically be trashed.
  • You can develop a system of marking physical items such as magazines, mail, or publications for a different disposition:
    • F – file
    • S – send to a third party (such as lawyer, bookkeeper)
    • RL – review later
    • C – cancel
    • T – trash

Of course, you may have your own system for marking. Just be consistent and have a tickler system for revisiting material at a later time.

The PA’s Role: Delegate to Reduce Your Overload

  • Read or review each information source content (whether in mail, email, text messages, or voicemail):
    • As instructed, delete or throw away all unwanted information.
    • Write a short synopsis of each favorite information source:
      • In a single list, show only the information source, content title, and a one-sentence summary of content that, as needed, includes costs, dates, and times

information overload

Examples:

  • GoDaddy.com | How to show up first in search engine results | Offer for $99 one-hour webinar on 11/15 at 3:00 pm EST
  • Brad Shelton | Here’s your gift! | A link to PDF entitled “How to Handle Employee Absenteeism”Based on summaries, request for P.A. to read full content or watch webinar, then compile notes on content for you.Have them identify new sources that have unique, helpful, or relevant content.

Examples:

  • PsychForBiz| Understanding different workplace personalities | Link to blog on their website
    • Michele Jackson | Offer Ends Tonight | Offer for new SEO approach for $29.99/month

If not desired, request P.A. to unsubscribe, delete, or trash.

  • Identify duplication of content (partners & affiliates cross-sell each other’s events or offerings).
    • Delete the senders who duplicate information from existing favorite information sources.
  • Conduct online searches, keeping strictly to finding the material requested.
  • Optionally, the PA can track metadata from favorite information sources, which may be used later to reduce the volume even further:
    • Frequency of information such as emails, texts, or phone messages
    • Category of content (email marketing, SEO, social media, etc.)
    • Type of offerings (webinars, systems, events, articles, etc.)
      • May note whether offerings are free or have a cost.

When reviewing summaries from a designated assistant, stay focused on your reading by avoiding all other distractions and having a clear workspace. You may even choose to go to an empty conference room or nearby café. Another good idea is to review the material at a time of day when your head and schedule are clear.

Conclusion

Information overload may seem like a fact of life, but it’s really something we allow when we don’t have a plan to manage it.

 

small business coach

Developing An Apprenticeship Culture In Your Small Business

Apprenticeship Culture In Your Small Business

Apprenticeship in the Past

Back in the day, apprenticeship was a commonly used concept in businesses. At the time, every restaurant kitchen or the merchant’s back office had their own apprentices. The apprenticeship culture in your small business involves a lot more than just finding the responsible person for something that went wrong. This was the way that business owners educated and taught new skills to young people.

Apprenticeship in the Present- Not Sink or Swim!

Now we have universities, colleges, and many different training and workshops that allow young people to gain new skills. So when they arrive at the workplace for the first time, they will already have some knowledge. Maybe this is how the all too common “sink or swim” business practice evolved. However, more and more often, we see young people leaving college unprepared for real life.

Apprenticeship is for New and Existing Employees

Even the ones who have taken the time to do some internships need a close mentorship. This is how apprenticeship culture is integrated into today’s businesses. However, there is a key point that many small businesses tend to forget about: the apprenticeship culture should not only target new employees. It should also target the existing employees.

Why Is Apprenticeship Important?

When you want to have a successful small business, the business owner/manager, of course, has a key role. The idea that the business owner who only orders what needs to be done is no longer accepted. Instead, the role of the business owner is a lot more complex than it used to be. Today the business owner needs to coach each one of the team members. After all, this is the only way that every employee knows exactly his responsibilities and he knows how to execute them properly.

When business owners don’t take an active role within the apprenticeship culture, the small business won’t thrive. At the end of the day, whenever a deadline isn’t met, when there is a problem in the production line or in the distribution, no one knows who is responsible. So how can you improve your business if no one knows exactly what they need to do and how? This isn’t possible.

Motivating Your Employees Through Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship culture involves a lot more than just finding the responsible person for something that went wrong. In fact, the apprenticeship culture has another main goal, probably even more important than the first one.

Let’s say that you decide to hire someone for a position in your small business. Just imagine that this person will be the one responsible for defining new proposals to attract your biggest clients. You, as the small business owner, know that you did a good job hiring this person because he showed you that he was up to the job. So, you just hand him the task.

Killing Employee Motivation

The new employee, ready to show his appreciation for being hired and to be a part of such an important task, works as many hours as he can and he delivers what you asked before the deadline. So you meet with these big customers but you never tell the employee anything else about the meeting. You just keep asking him to do other tasks. You have just killed your employee’s motivation.

The fact is that this new employee, who is eager to show his value and skills, also wants to learn. In order to improve, he needs to have feedback. Your feedback! He needs to understand what he did well, what he could have done better, how to do it better, and what tools or skills he needs to improve. Without this feedback, the employee can’t know if he is doing a good job a poor job, or anything.

Building a Loyal Team Through Apprenticeship

As you can see, an apprenticeship culture should be a part of every small business. And the one responsible for it should be the business owner. The business owner should see himself as a part of the team, the link between the different team members who are always there to help each one of them as well as to explain to them what they need to do and how.

While the apprenticeship culture, or the way it is used now, has changed a bit, there are still many small businesses who continue to adopt an old-fashioned apprenticeship culture. Why? The reason is simple. Many small businesses don’t have the resources to attract the best-trained employees.

Hiring Employees With No Bad Habits

So, what they do instead is that they hire apprentices. They are usually young, extremely motivated and skilled. In other cases, when a small business is growing, it is time for the business owner to decide on the best approach when they need to hire. While for some companies hiring someone with experience in the area is crucial, other businesses prefer to employ someone who can simply dive-in into the business without any bad habits or preconceived ideas.

Conclusion

No matter what you prefer or how you do it, developing an apprenticeship culture is a must in every small business. An Employee Delegation Plan is one of our 36 Coaching Modules Bullets that we focus on with our clients. Here’s an article on the Top Ten Strategies to Retain Your Employees.

small business coach