business


Five things to do now to run your coaching practice like a CEO

Running a coaching busines successfully is the focus of today’s guest post where Alison Beierlein shares some of her expertise and knowledge in:

Five things to do now to run your coaching practice like a CEO

By Alison Beierlein

Five things to do now to run your coaching practice like a CEO By Alison Beierlein

There are so many aspects to take into consideration when starting and running your own business; it can be overwhelming. Many coaches start out as typical solopreneurs – doing everything themselves – and some are missing out on their potential for growth, prosperity, and success by remaining in this limiting structure.

In a hypothetical situation, if you had to apply and interview yourself for the CEO role of your coaching practice, what characteristics would you be looking for?

Now, let’s pause for a moment to include here, that when brainstorming these characteristics, you need to take away any and all filters. There are no limitations here, so let your mind come up with the absolute ideal candidate for this role.

Go ahead, grab a paper and pen and jot down the most important characteristics that you would be looking for in this person.

When I do this activity, some of the characteristics and skills that come to mind for me are:

  • Ability to focus
  • Creativity and flexibility in overcoming challenge
  • Solid foundational understanding of business planning and finances including cash flow forecasting and budgeting
  • Ability to sell and close deals
  • Strategic business growth strategies including scalability
  • Strong sense of integrit
  • Trustworthiness, ethical behavior and clear value
  • Hunger for continual improvement
  • Strong leadership and ability to provide clear direction
  • Grit
  • Project management and planning for goal achievement
  • Ability to assess the value of opportunities
  • Zone of genius (whatever the superpower is that you sell to your clients)

There are more, but this is a good start. The point of this exercise is to highlight the following two insights:

As the CEO of the company, you’re not spending your time with low-level administration.

As the CEO of the company, you ARE spending your time on the things that no one else can decide or do for you,

such as:

a. Giving the tone and direction of the company
b. Big picture planning on where you want to take the company

If you take a moment to assess, what you are currently spending your time on in our business, what kinds of activities ARE you doing?

Be honest. Are these activities driving your revenues?

Are you spending your time in Canva trying to create your logo?

Are you spending hours trying to figure out some cloud-based technology that you’re not familiar with yet (such as creating your landing page)?
Are you following up with clients who had a declined payment because their credit card expired?

If the answer is yes, then I highly suggest you tune in here.

Keep reading for my top five tips to ensure you are running your business like a boss.

1. Delegate

As a successful coach and CEO of your business, your own time is worth too much to be spending on tasks that don’t bring in money. You need to be focussing your own time only on the things that only you can do, and that bring in a high return on your time investment.

If you’re just starting out, you might think you can’t afford to hire someone to help. How can you delegate things to someone if you can’t even pay yourself? Well, for starters, you can sell something you already own. Go through your house, see what you can part with, and sell it on Craigslist, a local Facebook Buy and Sell group, have a garage sale, post it for sale on your local pinboards and even just broadcast it out to people you know. You can surely sell at least a few things that can bring in some money to give your cash flow a boost.

Failing that, jot down any other services you could provide for money, that would bring in more than it would cost you to hire an assistant. If you can easily provide guitar lessons for $50 / hour, and an assistant might cost you $20 / hour. Sell a few hours of guitar lessons and then use that money to buy over twice the amount of time from someone else who is efficient with your lower level business related tasks, to help get you started.

If you absolutely can’t afford to hire out these types of tasks, then try to follow this strategy: Work in your zone of genius as much as possible and continually try to increase the ratio of time spent on money-making tasks to non-money-making tasks as time goes on. Your ultimate goal should be spending 98% of your time doing only money-making, high-level work, and contracting out or having staff do absolutely everything else.

If you have enough cash flow and are already earning a steady income from your coaching practice, then brainstorm any tasks that you are currently doing that are time-consuming and could easily be handed off to an assistant. Then once you’ve delegated them, use the time you have freed up in your schedule for money making activities, such as booking more discovery calls or creating more content.

2. Get your head in the game

As CEO of your coaching practice, you need to be mentally in the game if you want to be successful. What does this entail? You’re a coach, so you’re probably already familiar with the whole idea of having a growth mindset. But do you always practice what you preach? Do you have what it takes to build up your mental toughness?

Mental toughness is the ability to be resilient and maintain confidence in your abilities. In an article from September 17, 2010, on Forbes written by Christine M. Riordan titled Six Elements of Mental Toughness, she explains that being a successful athlete isn’t solely a result of skill, knowledge, or ability. Success partially stems from having mental toughness.

Mental toughness is the ability to handle stress, recover quickly from setbacks, adapt and create strategies to overcome unforeseen hurdles, handle competition, and to have the courage to make the hard decisions to uphold your integrity, values, and ethics.

This need for the mental resilience doesn’t just apply to athletes – it’s universal and applies to everyone who is working on growing a business.

Do you ever find you’re allowing yourself to be dragged down because you’re comparing yourself to others (even other people you have never met before)? Stop doing this immediately. Nothing good will come from comparing yourself to someone else’s success unless you are celebrating it with them and looking at it as a case study from which you want to learn.

Keep your attention focussed on the next steps that will move you towards your own success and take continued and steady action towards achieving your own goals.

3. Persevere, persevere, persevere

Don’t let setbacks deter you from moving forward. Use your failures as learning opportunities. Do better next time. The law of averages dictates that eventually, you will fail at something. But don’t let it determine your self-worth or sway you from steering straight ahead towards your goals. Each mini failure is just a part of your journey. As CEO it is your job to dust yourself off, make any minor adjustments to your plan as you need to get back on course, and then keep moving forward.

4. Generate multiple streams of income

When operating as CEO of your coaching practice, it can be very limiting if you put all your eggs in one basket – one stream of income. Taking on clients solely in a 1-on-1 setting will ultimately limit your income earning potential because you can only take on so many clients every month. Time is your limiting factor.

Even if you’re operating in your zone of genius, spending your time solely on the money-making tasks that only you can do, if you’re exchanging your time as your sole offering, you effectively cap your income. You can realistically only raise your rates so much, depending on what the market will bear.

A more well-rounded business model will ensure that you aren’t relying on only one income stream. If you can fill out your services to offer products or services that are scalable, you can grow your reach, increase your impact, help more people, and do it all with less time.

Scalable business models include products and services that generate income, even when you’re not actively working directly with a single client. These passive income streams could include

  • Group coaching (online or in person
  • An information product or mini-course
    Take the core principles that you go through while working with your 1-on-1 clients and package them up into a self-study course that your clients can buy and work through on their own time)
  • Affiliate sales or referrals
    If you know of someone who offers high-quality coaching, mentoring or training in a very specific specialty niche and your clients could benefit from working with them, you could earn money through affiliate sales of their products/services or referral fees. Of course, I only recommend this if you truly stand behind the quality of their offering and have your clients’ best interests in mind.

Once you have these various income sources mapped out, you can design your business plan to reflect the various streams. You can stack them up, boost the value of one offering by including one of the others as a bonus ultimately increasing the earning potential per client while adding incredible value.

5. Create clear and concise goals and a plan to get you there

If you want to run your business like a professional, invest the time in creating a full business plan. You can’t know what direction you’re going in if you don’t have a clearly defined vision for your business.

Even if you aren’t running a brick and mortar, traditional style business, the value in having a thorough business plan in place is very high. As CEO of your company, you want to have a strong vision for the business. You need direction. You want to set the tone for all actions and decisions that you make as a business owner.

Every major decision you make should be supporting this bigger vision. You should gear your marketing, branding, growth, and sales strategies towards moving you closer towards your goals and keeping you in line with your company’s purpose, vision, and mission. Every investment (monetary or otherwise) has a clear purpose. Every product, service or other sources of revenue should be in line with the customer experience you envision for your business.

As your business grows and evolves, you need to review this plan (annually at least) and make any adjustments as required. It might seem tedious at times, but the time you invest in creating your business plan and reviewing it on a regular basis, the higher your chances are of achieving the things you set out to attain.

About Alison Beierlein

ALISON BEIERLEIN Alison Beierlein has international training and experience and over a decade of experience in business management. She coaches female entrepreneurs in the areas of leadership, empowerment, confidence, business growth, and self-development. Her goal is to empower women to uncover their larger purpose and design clear strategies to help them achieve their full potential.
In January, 2017, Alison is launching her own show called the License to Receive Podcast where she interviews thought leaders and presents case studies in the areas of abundance, self-improvement, career development, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
After tragically losing her father, Alison has begun raising awareness about mental health and donates a portion of her coaching revenue to the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Connect with Alison Beierlein

 

 


I Would Love to Share a Little NLP Trick I Learned

In this week’s guest post coach Chris Atley uses some of her experience and knowledge. Many coaches run their coaching business as a solo-entrepreneur but what happens if they fall ill?

I Would Love to Share a Little NLP Trick I Learned

By Chris Atley

'I Would Love to Share a Little NLP Trick I Learned" by Chris Atley

So I don’t typically share NLP techniques for health related issues, as I tend to focus on the blocks preventing entrepreneurs from growing their businesses, but since all areas of our lives are intertwined, I want to share this with you. Even if it seems unrelated to business it is.

This ear infection caused excruciating pain. Like crying and moaning type of pain. I know, not pretty, but it’s what was happening. During one night it was so painful that I couldn’t fall back to sleep and was maxed out on the painkillers I was able to take. So I started listening to Gabrielle Bernstein’s “The Universe Has Your Back” book on audio (in my “good” ear of course). She was taking the reader though a visualization where we were to visualize what we wanted. I chose peace and love, so I was breathing in peace and visualizing what that looked like, and then breathing out love and what that looked like. I did this for several breaths and started to feel a little better. I suddenly remembered an NLP exercise one of my mentors took a classmate through way back when we were doing our training years ago. This classmate had been suffering from a terrible toothache and it was preventing her from being present in class.

This is what I did. I created an image of what the earache looked like in my mind. I pictured it all around my ear. For me, it was a red ball of energy – slightly transparent. It was about a half a foot x half a foot in dimension. I pictured it moving from my ear and out in front of me. This was tough at first because it wanted to keep coming back to my ear and inside of me (associated perspective). The goal was to become dissociated – where I could see it outside of myself instead of experiencing it. It took several tries, and what I realized was that I had to stay with it and actually move with it, if that makes sense. I couldn’t just see it in front of me. So I moved with it and followed it until it was out front. It was then about 5 feet in front of me. I did this exercise several times. And poof!! The pain was gone. It was outside of me and 5 feet in front of me. I could feel that the infection was still there, but the pain was numb. It was the exact feeling the drugs had done. Numb the pain.

Isn’t that amazing?! I just love this stuff.

This enabled me to fall back to sleep, and this whole process only took a few minutes. I share this with you so that you can use it too. It works for heavy emotions as well. Give it a try and I would love to know how it goes for you.

Here are a few other tips and tricks for handing your business when you are ill.

#1. Have the right team in place. Hire for your weaknesses. Hire people who are good at what you are not. Get them in place asap if you don’t have them in place already. Identify what is the most helpful for you to get off your plate now and that is what you need to hire someone to do. Even if you don’t have the time to train them, do it anyway. It will be worth it afterward.

Look at who you can hire in your personal life too. What is going to make your life easier? A housekeeper, someone to do the laundry, a nanny, etc. Warning – this is where a lot of limiting beliefs come up that just aren’t true. Help is good – we can’t possibly do it all.

#2. Have your team create systems. Systems and procedures for everything you do. So that if you need them to jump in and take over on something else – or if you need to onboard more people – they can jump in much more easily.

#3. Get to the root cause of the illness. Whatever we create externally, this includes our bodies, is a reflection of what is going on inside. It’s a result of our thoughts. Dis-ease means exactly that. You are not in ease. Why not? Ask it what it is trying to tell you? What is the lesson? It’s always about some type of healing (not physical). For me it was another reminder to slow down. I had taken on too much. With extra fundraising projects for the kids school, speaking and a husband travelling more, something had to give and get me to slow down. Bingo you have an ear infection. This is with someone who believes whole-heartedly in self-care and practices it. It still crept in and happened. I am constantly trying to better myself and my family, and this in turn has invited in a conversation as to what systems need to be implemented, where we need to strengthen boundaries, and where we can increase our support level. It was the next step in my own growth.

The reality is, things are going to happen. Life is going to happen. We’re still human creating a human experience. It’s all in how we deal with it that counts. It invites growth and opportunity to live a more peaceful and loving life. Old patterns die-hard and sometimes it takes the universe hitting us over the head with a 2×4 to finally get the lesson. We can be proactive or reactive, the choice is ours.

Namaste friends xo

About Chris Atley

Chris Atley shows entrepreneurs how to discover their true worth and increase their personal wealth. Chris inspires thousands of entrepreneurs internationally through her writing, speaking and coaching programs. She has been an expert resource for various media outlets on radio, television, and both online and offline publications. Chris is a certified Belief Breakthrough Coach, NLP-Practitioner and has a BA in Psychology.

Chris has a unique ability to identify the obstacles that keep business owners stuck – that they often aren’t even aware of! She helps people go deep to shift their blocks, and then shows them how to use their own resources to make different decisions and create lasting change. Chris is a wiz at helping business owners get results fast – often during their first call!

Connet with Chris online

Website: http://chrisatley.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrissy.atley
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/chris-atley/6/56a/428
Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrissyatley
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLL1qtX-n8-7Tuw7LdJQURw

 

Article Source: I Would Love to Share a Little NLP Trick I Learned

Ezinearticles expert page: Chris Atley

 


So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula

In this week’s guest post coach Janet Zaretsky shares some of her knowledge and experience in:

So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula

By Janet Zaretsky

"So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula" By Janet Zaretsky

As I was talking to my client, Sarah, she is complaining that she is working very hard and is not getting the results she wants. So, we get into a conversation about why that is and discover that she was doing great, producing the results she wanted in her business for months, and then… she simply stopped doing the activities she was doing that led to the results in the first place. Light bulb moment… she said, “I thought I did enough and now I could just coast!”. When she saw that ‘coasting’ cost her results, the fix was easy and turned her business results back around.

I find this is a common scenario and in all the work I do with my clients about their success, I have identified a formula that works brilliantly. Here is what I have identified and what you can do to produce results.

First, I know that most likely you ‘know’ this, but it is critical that you operate with this principle in mind: The only things that produces results is Action. Good intentions, good thoughts, wanting, thinking about it, hoping, does not produce results. Really. The only thing that produces actual, tangible results is action. Once you get yourself settled about that fact, the other 3 things that result in a failure to produce results are a function of:

1. Not making promises for results

2. Not taking sufficient amount of action

3. Ineffective actions

Let’s look more deeply into this:

1. Promised results:

a. You need to make promises and create some way of being accountable to someone, other than yourself to honor your promises. Why? Do a bit of an honesty check here- most of us are not reliable to honor promises to ourselves but are much more likely to honor promises when we have to tell someone else. This can be a coach, an accountability partner or a manager.

b. Promise results, not actions. After coaching thousands of people, one thing I know for sure- we, you and I, have good intentions. If you promise actions, you may fool yourself and do what you said, but not do what is needed to produce results. When that happens, you may get stymied as to why you are not producing results. I find it very effective to promise the result- which then has you in action and thinking creatively as you go along to produce the result.

2. Insufficient action:

a. You promise the result, then make a plan. You execute the plan. Then you evaluate the plan (depending on the promise you want to evaluate frequently). When you evaluate, you see that the actions you took were effective, but you did not take enough of them.

b. Easy fix: Build in more of the same actions.

3. Ineffective action:

a. You make the promise for the result. You create a plan. You execute the plan. You evaluate the result and you are not getting the desired results.

b. Evaluate the actions and see what actions were not effective.

c. Create a new plan of actions.

If you take the time to do this simple, yet powerful, strategy whenever you want to produce results, you will always have the power to create and produce what you want!

As always, I love to hear from you. Email me at

About Janet Zaretsky

In all my years of coaching people one thing I know for sure; you are committed, brilliant and talented and …… sometimes, you doubt yourself, sometimes you get stopped and stuck. Sometime you just need a partner in having you succeed.

I started The Zenith Business to support you in getting everything you REALLY want, in your business, and your life.

I am not fluffy. I tell you like it is. I have a no-nonsense, direct and practical approach. I provide laser, intentional, results-producing business success coaching for entrepreneurs who are up to a big game. If you want someone who is powerful and effective in your corner, I am your coach.

My background includes my first career in large corporations and state agencies, as a Registered Nurse, where I did direct care, management, design and implementation of systems and teams for 21 years.

My second career, as a professional coach, launched in 1996 in the infancy of this industry. This suited me- my mom was right when she said I was a rebel and loved a challenge! Now, almost 20 years later, I have had the privilege of coaching, speaking, designing and leading workshops and courses to over 31,000 people.

I love coaching people to be the best “them” they can be. I have discovered how great people are and how easily we all get stuck and even stopped from achieving our own potential.

I am good at what I do. One of my favorite things someone said about me as a coach is “You are a rare piece of art that cuts through the junk and has people be at the source of manifesting their life by design. You are a master of distinguishing, recognizing, motivating people to see, create, plan and take action in their life and those things that matter to them.”

Connect with Janet Via:

Website: http://www.thezenithbusiness.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thezenithbusiness

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thezenithbusiness

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thezenithbiz

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXT5BGdpx2RUr-gbNZXy3EQ

 

Article Source: So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula

Ezinearticles expert page: Janet Zaretsky

 


10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business

In today’s guest post coach Leslie Hassler turns attention towards actually establishing and running a business as she offers:

10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business

by  Leslie Hassler

"10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business" by Leslie Hassler

How many months have you been investing in your business to see no results?

Here’s the interesting thing I’ve learned from being in business and coaching other small businesses to grow.

All the marketing and sales strategies work… in their own time.

Chances are that you have worked hard and doing the ‘right’ things to grow your business. You just have focused on the big sexy strategies that bring in business in the long-term, but have you hearing crickets in the short-term.

If that’s you, know this – you aren’t alone. In fact 85% of the businesses I work with are doing the same. If they can change things around and see results in the next 90 days – you can too. Here are the top 10 ways you can grow a business easily and quickly.

1. Balance out your marketing mix to include short-term (results in 90 days), medium (results in 90-180 days) and long-term (results in 180+ days).

2. Be more active in your marketing. If you wait for your phone to ring, you need to do more marketing that boosts your “Know, Like & Trust Factor”. The fastest way is through being were your clients are and talking to them. If you need to grow your business, don’t wait for business to come to you!

3. Build Out Your Circle of Influence. Have you ever played the game ‘6 degrees of Kevin Bacon’? Think of the people who through the course of their work touch your ideal client. Seek out partnerships and alliances with those businesses who best represent how you like to do business. Developing relationships with a few key people is a quick path to cash

4. Ask Your Clients To Buy Again. It’s easy to focus on getting new clients and new projects in the door, but your existing clients are more profitable. Reach out to any previous client who hasn’t purchased in the last 6 months or a year. Let them know how valuable they have been to you and see if there is anything you can do for them now.

5. Ask Your Clients For Referrals. If you love your clients, then you’ll probably love their referrals. Always be asking for referrals as a course of business, but even if the client you just called in #4 doesn’t have work for you, Then ask, “Who do you know who… ?”

6. Raise Your Price. I know this seems simple, but most people don’t adjust their pricing in accordance to their costs. I had a client who lost 20% in gross profits because she unknowingly she had undercharged. The change in her business puts $100,000 to her bottom line. I know this is a sensitive area, but know most buyers won’t even register a 10% increase in price.

7. Re-evaluate Your Profitability Priorities. It’s easy to say yes to subscriptions and little extras in your business – but you could be nickel and diming yourself to death. Cancel any unused subscription no matter how good of an idea it might be, trim back on the nice-to-have expenses and create cash to put into the growth of your business.

8. Stop Being Busy, Start Being Effective. Take a good hard look at what you do with your day. The top three things an entrepreneur or small business owner needs to do is 1.) Find The Money, 2.) Sell The Money & 3.) Serve The Money. How much green is in your calendar? If it isn’t a revenue generating task – dump it or delegate it.

9. Stop Doing It By Yourself. Gone are the days when small businesses can be successful in a silo, You get no trophy for doing it on your own. Invest in people who want to invest in you through accountability partners, masterminds or coaching. You will leap-frog your competition when you stand on the shoulders of giants.

10. Don’t Make It Harder. Simplicity and ease is what wins in business. If it sounds to hard, it probably is – especially if you are doing it alone. It’s better to keep things simple when putting together a growth plan for your business. Doing small things every day add up to a big result in the end. The easier things are, the easier they are to be consistent and sustainable. Most businesses stall out because they can’t sustain their efforts – don’t be one of them.

Use one or all of these strategies to kick-start the growth of your small business!

About Leslie Hassler

Leslie Hassler, business coach and owner of Your Biz Rules, helps women business owners to become the HERO in their business in a way that gives them more freedom to grow their business and be with their families. As a business growth coach Leslie helps smart businesses across industries avoid the pitfalls, get real results quicker in a way that is about working smarter, not harder. In her practical and grounded approach, you learn how to zero in on what works, generate results and create a business that is a win for your clients, for yourself and your family.

Contact Information:

Leslie Hassler

Your Biz Rules

Dallas, TX

972-892-3385

 

Article Source: 10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business

EzineArticles.com Expert page:  Leslie Hassler

 

 


Ready, Willing and Able. Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss?

Thinking of setting up your own coaching business? In today’s guest post Henry Lopez uses his 34 years of business experience to ask:

Ready, Willing and Able. Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss?

By Henry Lopez

"Ready, Willing and Able. Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss?" by H Lopez

You have been dreaming about it for some time now. You talk about it with your friends and family, you are certain you have a great idea, and you may even have an elaborate business plan. Someday soon, you will be your own boss. Yet there always seems to be something that keeps you stuck as a “wantreprenuer”, and no closer to realizing your vision of becoming an entrepreneur.

What’s holding you back? Is it lack of confidence, fear of failure, a shortage of cash, or a combination of obstacles? All of these challenges, and more, are what keep some people on the sidelines while so many others charge ahead and launch their own business. Some of these challenges are perceived, and others are undeniably real. The question is, when and how do you know if you are prepared to become your own boss?

In my experience, it can be summarized by assessing if you are ready, willing and able. You have to be mentally and emotionally ready, you must be willing to sacrifice the time and effort required, and you must be able to afford the investment of time, money and energy.

By honestly assessing what is holding you back, you can begin to make real progress and get started on your journey to realizing your dreams.

Are you mentally and emotionally READY?

For most people, the fear of personal failure is often the biggest obstacle. Are you afraid of the embarrassment of personal failure – having to tell those you care about that you failed – or is it the fear of financial failure (i.e. you’ve taken a second mortgage on your house, borrowed against your 401(k) or used all of your savings)? There is a significant difference between these two types of fear. The former is mostly perceived and self-imposed, and the latter is a harsh realization of the potential impact of failure on your personal and family finances.

If your business idea requires you to risk everything you have financially, and failure would put you and your family in a precarious position, then it’s fair to say that you are likely not ready. You either need to adjust your business idea, or wait until you are in a more stable position financially.

How do you view failure? Is it something to be avoided at all costs, or something you can learn from? Once you have identified your financial exposure, the fear you must face and conquer is of the personal and perceived variety. You must overcome the fear of embarrassment. More debilitating than embarrassment, however, may be the lack of confidence in your ability to succeed. The story you tell yourself is probably one written for you by others who also remain permanently on the sidelines. The story you write for yourself is about having confidence in your abilities. Courage is not the absence of fear, but experiencing fear and moving forward anyway. Successful entrepreneurs harness that fear to fuel their intensity and desire.

To help you assess if you are ready, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you view risk, and what type of risk (reputation or financial) are you really concerned with?
  • Do you have a solid plan to succeed, but are prepared to fail?
  • If the business fails, will that put you and your family in a dire financial position?
  • Are you ready to face and overcome your fears and get started?
  • Do you have confidence in your abilities (and of your partners and your team) to succeed?

Are you WILLING to put in the time and effort?

What are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of your business success? Are you willing to give up hobbies, free time, family time and hanging out with friends? Your success in business, as with many things in life, is directly proportionate to your discipline and sacrifice. Business success is typically a long-term journey, filled with setbacks, demanding consistency and dedication.

There are few “overnight successes” in the business world. It may seem that way, as we are constantly exposed to glamorized examples of huge and seemingly immediate success. Indeed, there are certainly plenty of instant success stories. The reality for most small business owners, however, is that it takes time to build a profitable venture. More often than not, a successful entrepreneur’s journey is marked by overcoming challenges along the way.

As a business owner, you will likely work harder than you have ever worked before. Once you cross over into the world of entrepreneurship, you assume the ultimate responsibility for everything. There will be times when the work to be done seems endless. To get through it all will require your maximum possible effort.

Here are some additional questions to help you assess your willingness to start your own business:

  • Are you willing to work harder than you ever have?
  • Are you willing to be challenged constantly and always be learning new things?
  • Do you have a passion for your business idea?
  • Are you ready to delay gratification, or are you searching for immediate results?
  • Are you desperately looking for a get-rich-quick scheme or are your willing to build your business over time?
  • Are you prepared for the impact on yourself and your family?

Are you ABLE to afford the investment of time, money and energy?

Starting and managing a business requires a significant investment of time, money and energy. As I mentioned above, you must be able to sacrifice the time you currently spend on other activities and interests. You will need to be prepared to dedicate most of your time to your business. While you can definitely start out small, there will likely also be a personal financial investment. Of course, to top it all off, you must be able to physically and emotionally handle the challenges and stresses of being your own boss.

Time is our most precious resource. Managing and allocating your time will be critical to your success. You may have to keep your current job while you build your business on the side. If you have a family, then you definitely have responsibilities you must continue to make time for. You must consider everything that requires your attention currently, and then honestly assess what you are willing and able to sacrifice. In my personal experience, starting a new business requires considerably more time than you might expect or plan for.

A lack of capital is perhaps the most common reason people site for not starting their own business. As you develop your business plan, and in particular your financial projections, it’s critical that you calculate the financial investment requirement as accurately as possible – and add an additional contingency amount. The most common reason small businesses fail is they run out of cash.

You must be ready to invest your own money, and also need to be ready and able to guarantee any amount you borrow. If you don’t have the financial wherewithal now, then perhaps scaling or delaying your plans may be the best approach. Adjusting your idea may mean starting out smaller than you initially envisioned, and then growing methodically through bootstrapping (reinvesting your profits). It may also mean keeping your day job until you can move into business ownership fulltime. It often also means adjusting your spending habits and reducing your debt.

It requires boundless energy to start and build a business. The initial excitement will provide you with a tremendous boost, but the long-haul business building journey will require significant energy and stamina. Your personal health will largely dictate your ability to persevere.

Assess your ability to build a business by asking yourself these questions:

  • Are your personal finances in order and are you credit worthy?
  • Do you have savings and assets to invest or pledge as collateral?
  • What’s your worst case financial scenario if the business fails?
  • How will you recover financially if your business fails?
  • Do you have the support of your family, and should you do it anyway if you don’t?
  • Do you have the energy and health to endure the long and arduous process of starting and growing a business?

An honest and mindful assessment is the key to determining if you are ready, willing and able to start your own business. If your timing is not quite right, then you can immediately start identifying and addressing those areas which are holding your back. Develop a plan of attack for addressing your shortcomings, and prepare yourself properly for your journey into entrepreneurship. Delaying your start does not mean that you are giving up on your dreams. It means that you are diligently working on the foundational components that will put you in the best position possible to realize your success. Starting and running a business is hard work, but the rewards can be tremendous. If you still think business ownership is for you, then start charging ahead today and begin your exciting entrepreneurial journey.

About Henry Lopez

Henry Lopez is Co-Founder of Levante Business Group, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their business. You can find more resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners at http://www.levantebusinessgroup.com

Ezinearticles expert page: H. Lopez

Article Source: Ready, Willing and Able. Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss?

 


Is Holding Three Months’ Worth of Overheads enough to Mitigate the Small Business from Risk?

Finance is one aspect of running a coaching business. In today’s guest post finance expert Hayley Chiba shares some of her expertise of working with small business and entrepreneurs.

Is Holding Three Months’ Worth of Overheads enough to Mitigate the Small Business from Risk?

By Hayley Chiba

"Is Holding Three Months’ Worth of Overheads enough to Mitigate the Small Business from Risk?" by Hayley Chiba

Business coaches and consultants often advise a small business, to always aim to hold 3 months’ worth of their overhead costs. This is to mitigate the risk of some down turn in the business.

In fact, this could apply to any unforeseen event occurring, where this meant the business were unable to generate sufficient sales to cover their fixed costs.

As a business coach, overall this is a good metric to have, but I was recently asked this question by a business owner. He still didn’t feel assured and satisfied that he had risk covered. If a business coach is to provide a valuable metric to his business owner client maybe a fuller dialogue is needed. As we know, better discussions with our clients can often lead to longevity and trust from your clients, as it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your deeper value to your clients.

The problem is, that using an arbitrary figure like this, does not really relate directly to the specific level of risk that the business is facing.

Using this measure is fine if it relates to a business with low growth. Also, if it has a foreseeable pipeline of sales and a good insight into future potential environmental factors which may affect the business.

Just concentrating on holding a reserve only buys time, actually 3 months in this case.  You need to consider, if there were an unforeseen event, how would that impact on the business financially?  An unforeseen event may be the loss of a major customer, change in law or perhaps the loss of a key employee. Having considered this, how long would the business need, to put in place an alternative plan? Furthermore, how long would it take for “business as usual” to resume?  This then leads us to think that we may need a much longer period of time, perhaps more like 6 months. As well as thinking about the amount of time the business needs to recover, we also want to consider if the business owner is actually looking to change something about the business.

Specifically, if they are thinking about undertaking a significant investment to grow the business. In this case the potential risk will rise as the return from the investment into growth activity is still to be proven.  Spending out on more investment for growth will, in the short term, lower the profit margins and available cash. This can feel daunting especially when the business owner realises their current healthy profit margin is going to be eroded and in fact with it, any cash reserves they have built up.

So, I always recommend that in this case, further projections should be made. This will give the business owner the peace of mind that eventually, he is going to see the results he is anticipating. More importantly though, having some sort of forecast of what he expects to happen and measuring against this, every month, will flag quickly to him, where the plans are not playing out the way he was expecting. This will give him sufficient time to look at this, think of the actions he needs to take and make the necessary adjustments to his action plans to try to bring his results back on track.

The key report required to help give visibility on whether the new investment is viable is the Cash Flow Forecast.

I always suggest starting with the current situation and financial shape. Hence at this point it is crucial you understand your current position in terms of some key components.

  1. What is the current Sales Projection based on hard data? We can all dream, but sales forecasts should be based on some credible extrapolation of the past or last year’s actual data achieved.
  2. What are the current profit margins and specifically what is the gross profit margin? Gross profit margin being sales less direct costs.
  3. What are the overheads and what is the average run rate for the overheads? Overheads will naturally fluctuate due to the timing of supplier invoices. Marketing, administration, repairs and travel are good examples of this type of spend. They reflect areas where the timing of spend is discretionary and not fixed as a monthly fee. Breaking out spend where there is some flexibility on when to spend, gives a view of what overheads are absolutely fixed and have to be covered month on month.

So, armed with these 3 areas of information, you should be fine now to create a time based cash flow forecast. Not you of course, the bookkeeper or the business owner himself!

This forecast should be drawn up as a monthly forecast, (or even weekly depending on the nature of the investment spend). Plot it forward until the point when you expect the business to be seeing the benefit from the investment. This is often longer than you realise. The cash flow forecast should show the benefits materialising, which take the business to the next level. Ensure that the forecast covers this full time span. Many business owners stop short of this point. They only project across the time of when the spend is actually taking place. You need to see what happens to the business shape post the spend. You want to see if and when the business shape returns or even improves versus its original shape. This will often result in a forecast for at least 1 to 2 years out.

Having created the forecast, the most crucial action is to measure against this monthly. Failure to do this, may mean that the forecast is not delivered. You will need a flag to alert where and when the business   moves off-track. Ensure that there is a consistent and methodical tracking of the key components of this cash flow forecast.

Planning and then measuring, will help to confirm if the growth investment decision was the right decision. Where it is proving not to be, this early warning flag should give sufficient time to plan how to mitigate these costs by stopping the things that are not working and reinvesting in other areas.

Protecting the business pot of cash is as important as building that pot of cash, whether it relates to 3, 6 or 12 months’ worth of overheads. If you can advise him fully by including these additional necessary steps where appropriate, you will ensure that the business owners hard earned cash is not eroded.

That’s something I’m sure he will certainly thank you for!

About Hayley Chiba

Hayley Chiba

 

Hayley Chiba is a qualified Financial Controller working with small businesses. She runs her own business, Better Numbers Limited, which provides one to one Financial consulting to £1m + growing businesses in the Bristol, UK area.

She also provides Financial coaching to Entrepreneurs, Home Business Owners and Start-ups via her Ecourses. She dedicated to helping small businesses grow through increasing their personal and business financial awareness.

 

 

Connect with Hayley via:

Website: www.betternumbers.co.uk

Faceboook: www.facebook.com/Betternumbers/

Twitter: @betternumbers1

Linkedin; uk.linkedin.com/in/hayleychiba

 

 


The Importance of Working ON Your Business 1

In this weeks guest post Dawn Goldberg Shuler shares steps to make your coaching business soar in:

The Importance of Working ON Your Business:

7 Steps to Making Your Business Soar

By Dawn Goldberg Shuler

"The Importance of Working ON Your Business 7 Steps to Making Your Business Soar" By Dawn Goldberg Shuler

Michael Gerber in The E-Myth Revisited, talks about the importance of working ON your business, as opposed to working IN your business. The working in is the delivering of your business’s services or products: providing the service, fulfilling the product, writing the proposal, giving the class, hiring the vendors, firing the contractors, sending the reports to the CPA, ordering supplies. Working on your business is far different; it’s looking at the big picture, designing the marketing strategy for the next year, creating new products, deciding to expand, defining new roles and descriptions, professional development.

Honestly, most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time working ON the business. They’re much too caught up on the working IN side. Take a look at your to-do list; what’s on it? I bet it’s a lot of those Working IN tasks.

The problem is that Working ON the biz isn’t an item on your to-do list that you can cross off. (“Oh, thank goodness that working ON the business is done!”) It’s time you need to take away from the day-to-day to focus on the bigger picture and the deeper why of your business.

What you need to do:

1. Schedule regular Working ON the business time. Call it whatever you want. My favorite is Business Development or Business Dreaming Time.

2. Block off at least a half day a month. A full day is better.

3. Don’t mix IN with ON. In other words, you’re not going to efficiently go from ordering supplies, following up with prospective clients, and answering emails to big-picture planning and product development. Keep the activities separate. More concretely, that means when you have scheduled your business development time, do not have any other Working IN to-do’s for that day.

4. Have lovely blocks of free time in your regular schedule. While this isn’t Working ON your business, per se, it helps replenish your fuel, center and ground you, and let your mind dream. You’re priming the pump for your regularly scheduled business development time (see #1).

5. Have a way to record all your ideas, dreams, plans, and goals. Put them in one place. My favorite is a Sacred Space for Ideas document. That way, whenever you have a great idea, capture it, and then it’s there for your Business Development time.

6. Find one (I’m just asking for one) week a year where you don’t have any Working IN the business tasks. No email to return, no client work, no marketing, no phone appointments, no networking, no meetings, no social media. And use some of that week to think REALLY BIG for your business.

7. Delegate to a team (if you don’t have one, you need one… no arguments). Get rid of as much of the Working IN your business as you can so that you can bring some of those big dreams to fruition.

Imagine what your business could look like if you nurtured it with love, attention, and the business equivalent of vitamins and minerals.

It would soar.

About Dawn Goldberg Shuler

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, has been working with writing and the writing process all her life, from teaching English to working with companies to improve their communications and marketing materials.

Her soul purpose is to help people unleash their authentic selves into their daily lives through their words. She works with business owners, entrepreneurs, and authors to convey their deep message into compelling, potent words, whether it’s a website or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Visit www.WritingFromYourSoul.com to get a sense of the work she does as well as download her free Writing From Your Soul system.

 

 

 

Article Source: The Importance of Working ON Your Business – 7 Steps to Making Your Business Soar

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