Over the last 1½ years, as I have continued to build the darrenpratley.com speaking business, I have been consistently seeing self-employed business owners or team members that are needing support or help in developing their business. As there are many areas of business that I don’t work in, I thought it was important for me to have some very strong solutions that could assist them in developing their business in areas where I don’t necessarily work. From this, we developed the concept of INK Consulting Associates where we have brought together a range of high performing consultants and topic experts that can help support our clients in improving their business and developing growth. We can see from many of our discussions with our clients that growth of their business becomes a very important part of what they do as their success improves. With the success, growth is a key focus and that is why we are really focusing on becoming the growth agency for self-employed business owners and their businesses. Over the coming months, we are looking to add high performing consultants on our team and ensure they are able to provide us with expert and industry leading information to assist our clients.
Every day business leaders are faced with huge demands and stresses.
Just like a champion sports team the leader is responsible for developing a winning culture that will energise each member of the team to realise their potential and to reach new heights.
To be a successful leader they must also provide clear direction and focus by developing and executing specific, actionable high performance strategies in order to gain great results.
As a business leader you may be facing challenges that you do not want to discuss with anyone at work. What you need is a set of fresh experienced insightful objective ears that are not emotionally involved and has your best interests in mind.
The Benefits of High Performance Coaching
To Gain Perspective
At the top of an organization you have a unique perspective, but it is also limited by your position of power. An executive coach is one of the few people that is able to tell you what you need to know, but cannot or will not see. Your coach can provide you objective and constructive feedback on your blind spots, and provide an outside perspective on the business and your team.
To Make Better Decisions
To discuss ideas that is still in the inkling stage and supports you in making better decisions. Ideas and strategy can get wrung out and grow through discussion. We all need a sounding board and often the only people around us are impacted by the decision. Coaching is a place to test out ideas and strategy with someone you trust and who has no vested interest or competing agenda.
Transitioning to a Bigger Role
“What got you here won’t get you there.” A good coach can help a leader hit the ground running in a new role. Past success can be a big impediment to moving up the ladder successfully as we tend to repeat what has worked in the past even though it may not be appropriate in our new role. Executive coaching can accelerate the transition and ensure success.
To Vent When Necessary
To have a safe, secure and confidential outlet to vent when necessary. Pent up frustrations, anger, and disappointments impair good judgment, and relationships. At times everyone needs a safe place where they can vent a little and to talk things out.
To Develop Professionally
To stay ahead of the curve and become a better leader. To win, you need to continually upgrade your skills and think outside the box. Your coach will provide tools, training and insights that support you in playing your best game.
To Build a Healthy and Effective Organisation
Coaching helps you clarify what it takes for you to have a bigger, more positive impact on your organization. To lead change, overcome resistance and unleash the potential of all your employees.
A commitment to excellence is a choice you make.
At the Sport of Business we challenge leaders to think differently about high performance so they can be on top of their game consistently.
If I can help you to gain perspective, to make better decisions and to develop professionally then let’s chat.
Over a number of years I have been working with various industries that are looking to develop a trusted relationship with their clients. As you look to develop your relationships with your clients into the future, getting them to understand your value proposition, how your service works and the skill that you have in providing that service or product. Being able to have a in-depth discussion with your customer around their needs and wants for your service or product will make your life easier when it comes to the sales process. I have noticed many businesses still trying to treat sales in the traditional formats of building pipelines, pressuring and disturbing customers around their purchase time frames or opportunity and pressing them for payment for the goods. Please understand that as we are all more savvy around the sales environment, more informed about the product choice via the internet, we are now demanding that the people that we work with have the integrity, the credibility and the ongoing relationship with us before we are willing to trust and then make the purchase.
Have a think about your business today, how you can get your clients to understand the trust proposition that you provide. Identify the areas where you can provide advice and information that will make their lives easier and get them to where they want to be. Your customers’ success is your success, so focus on identifying it and moving your business to take advantage of that. If you are looking for some support about how to identify your businesses trust opportunity and then how to seize on it, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
One of the key areas and the importance of a database or CRM in your business is its ability to drive a system and process that makes your business more effective and also successful. The database system that you choose has to have some key components:
- Online – The ability to access your database system online or from wherever you are, provides you the ability to interact and always have it close to you in your day to day business activities. This information on your database can make working with clients so much easier and ensuring that you have the right information at your fingertips.
- Access – Accessing your database via mobile phone, laptop, in the office or on the road is really important to ensure that you can see clearly what your process and opportunities for new business are but also how to create connection with as many of your customers as possible. Having the right system with great access makes life so much easier.
- Mobile – Database systems and CRMs are now developing in such a way that they can be used on mobile devices whether it is a tablet or smart phone. It will enable you to have access to your data in an easy to use format while you are on the go. Make sure that this mobility provides you with the support you need.
Ensuring you have a system that you use will save you time and create consistency. Having a regular calling structure to connect with your customers from your database is so important. Set it up so that it provides you with a list of clients to call every week.
It is important that your system allows you to be able to update client information quickly and easily. In some cases now the database systems are enabling the customer to enter into your database (in a secure environment) to be able to update their personal information.
Remember that your database system has to have the ability for ongoing development. We see often clients who have committed to a particular database that has not evolved over time leaving them commercially vulnerable as competitors move in new directions.
Try and use a database system that enables you to develop clear businesses processes that your team can follow to create consistency. These processes also should deliver the customer a consistent and reliable experience that meets and preferably exceeds their expectation.
Here are some key items that need to be considered in selection of your database:
- What will create an asset to the business and grow enterprise value;
- Ensure data that is collected is as comprehensive as possible right from the start. Spend some time developing your data list;
- Use the database to drive your day to day activity through developing tasks and events. The database should provide reporting to summarise your activity and provide a level of accountability. Ensure the system provides for easy import and exporting of system data to enable the data to be used externally when required. Note: Please ensure that data security is thought about.
- In choosing the right system, ensure that consideration is made as to the potential needs and uses of the system in the future.
In a world where technology and it’s portability has become so important to our lives, one of the key areas that is now being reviewed and consistently looked at is database systems and how they become the Customer Relationship Management program for your business’s future. These days business is consistently about how we interact with our customers so they remain current and available to your network of clients, which is simply vital. The database system allows us to collect information on the client but also record the client interactions and future transactions. This data and history that we collect on our customer is what allows us to develop an ongoing relationship and be appropriate and current in all conversations we have with them. Your database now has to be a major component of your business and requires some investment in both money and time to make it work effectively.
Consider this: Look at the number of clients and contacts you currently have on your database system and then check the number of people that you currently have on your mobile phone. It is always important to think every time we meet a new customer or person and we collect their phone number on our mobile phone that this information needs to be transferred into our database system so that we can enhance and build on the relationship using the tools available in that system.
1. Google search
Google search your industry, your known competitors and related industry participants and print all relevant content that you can find to build a collection of your industry competitors. Now analyze it.
2. Mystery shop
Get someone that you trust to mystery shop your competitors checking:
(a) customer connection;
(b) needs identification;
(c) solution development;
(d) pricing, terms and conditions;
(e) closing the sale;
(f) ongoing relationship definition.
3. Direct analysis and comparison
Review the above mystery shop items to identify what your competitors are doing in regards to service, product offering and client retention ability. Compare to your own service proposition. Have you ever had someone mystery shop your business?
4. External assessor
Use an external party to complete a service assessment on your business. Having someone who knows about how far industry service propositions have developed and assess your business against this criteria will give you a great idea on how to move your business closer to your customer.
5. International benchmarking
It is always important to look at what the leaders in your industry are doing. Don’t be limited by your geographic boarder in regards to development of your service. International markets can help you grow your service proposition.
Is there something you would really like to achieve? Is there something you would really like to do? Is there some place you would really love to travel to? One of the things I would like you to do this month is to consider all the places that you have been, the events that you have travelled to or life events that have created great memories. Now think about creating another opportunity to focus on the life goal that you can tick off and would really give you satisfaction and enjoyment. I want you to have a think about when that can be arranged and really lock it into your diary and make it a plan you can strive for. Having a great goal or reward will really help motivate you and keep you focused. Many self-employed business owners forget to have that time where they can look up, realize their success and give themselves a pat on the back for working hard towards their goals. Make this a real focus for later this year, lock it into your diary, set your plan and make it happen.
At this stage of the year, we are trucking along with school holidays now behind us. I want you to have a think about creating a great event for your family and close friends. As we are often busy in our active lives, we sometimes forget that the reason we do what we do is to create experiences and memories for the future. I would really like you to consider stopping for just ½ hour and write down some ideas that would create a great family and friend’s event that you can look back on with pride. It could be a pot luck dinner, a BBQ lunch at a local park, a fancy dress party, a family extended weekend to a quiet location – just something simple to organise but will create great memories. Imagine looking back at the event in 20 years’ time with some great photos and remembering the time you created this!! Go on! I think this is a great concept to think about at this time of the year.
In an environment where we are constantly looking to develop our business and provide more service, one of the key things every self-employed business owner needs to consider is how they grow their team.
We all know that the best way to develop our business grow our income and ensure we are creating a larger market for our business is to create the leverage of time and use of additional support services. In our business we may be a good widget maker but it is important for us to realize that there are a number of components within our business that are not our specialty. Having someone to provide great administration support, provide on line social media services, providing internal systems and process development are all things that you can have additional members of your team to help you develop to ensure your business grows.
One of the key areas that I ask the people that I am coaching here is these support services or support people that are joining your business do not have to be full time salaried positions. These can be positioned at a level that your business can afford but enable to grow as the market place and your success permits.
Think about your business today and think of all the jobs that you would like somebody else to do. Consider these roles part time positions and who you would need to get to fill these roles. I see many self-employed business owners battling with accounts trying to get their financial accounts completed on time where using the services of a contracted accounts person or bookkeeper can take this whole hassle away from you and ensure that this work is completed in the time frame you need.
Look to develop more people in your business to help support the growth, not necessarily full time.