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The Changing Face of Business Coaching

 
The Changing Face of Business Coaching
Hands down, the single most rewarding aspect of being a Business Mentor is seeing entrepreneurs fulfil their true potential. More specifically,  to see them make the impact and income they imagined for themselves. Taking what are often still only dreams for a business, a Business Mentor supports the journey of dedicated and hardworking business owners to realise to those dreams. It’s one of the reasons I get up in the morning, and nothing beats it.

Throughout the globe, entrepreneurs are the backbone of every economy, though often our impact is overlooked. We are responsible for employing more people than anyone else, we take bigger risks and we are at the forefront of innovation. It is not our politicians or our governments or even big businesses who are the ones who influence change – it is us. I truly believe entrepreneurs are extraordinary. It was one the reasons I started the Elite500 Mastermind Community in 2013. I knew I wanted to support and mentor entrepreneurs, establish a culture of social entrepreneurship (a cause dear to my heart) but also to create a sense of community for entrepreneurs that can often be lacking. Being an entrepreneur can sometimes feel like a lonely business.

In my years of mentoring, I have seen the face of Business Coaching develop and change in exciting ways, mainly through the advances of technology. Not just the software programs or applications that enhance our ability to do business more efficiently, but also the creation of systems and management processes such as the use of Agile Principles (which originated in the tech industry). Agile Management is something I help entrepreneurs implement in their own businesses – with outstanding results. For me however, nothing is more exciting or disruptive to the coaching landscape than how we are introducing the use of Virtual Reality technology. VR introduces a means of connecting to community in ways never previously imagined. Providing support, resources and education for business owners is now being taken to another level, and the possibilities of how this will impact the way entrepreneurs access mentoring is electrifying. We mean to be […]

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    1st Key Principle in Building Sustainable Teams – Common Goal & ‘Why’ Statement

1st Key Principle in Building Sustainable Teams – Common Goal & ‘Why’ Statement

 

 

In a previous post I introduced the 5 Key Principles of Growing Sustainable Teams. Today, I wanted to go into more depth on the first principle – having clearly defined common goals for your business and a ‘why’ statement.

So let’s start with the importance of a ‘why’ statement – why does your business need a why?  It has to do with employee engagement. A survey done by Corporate Leadership Council found that when a team is engaged employees worked 57% harder, average revenue growth went up by 20%, and net profit was increased.  Having a common goal, and a ‘why’ statement (or a statement of the essence of the business) are what help form the basis of company culture – great company culture equals increased team engagement.

What happens when you don’t get company culture right?  You see a decrease in staff performance, unhealthy habits and attitudes develop which in turn affect the level of customer service the business offers to its clients. Ultimately the businesses’ growth is stunted by its own people.

 

One of the most important things you can do as the founder of your business, is to develop the company culture, and this can be done with your team.  It doesn’t have to get too technical, but having a ‘why’ statement that resonates with you and your team is a great start at inspiring the engagement of the leaders within your business. Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”.  Why inspire the leaders in your business? The same survey from the Corporate Leadership Council found that the single most effective factor in driving engagement of a team was its leaders.

 

How does having common business goals fit into all this? Very simply, it unites your team. As a team, map out the company’s annual goals (either calendar or financial) and make it juicy. Use words like build, launch or create. With the team working together to achieve a common goal, engagement goes up and you have a cohesive company culture.

What Tech does your Business need?

 

 
What Tech does your Business need?
Business owners often ask me, what technology do I absolutely have to use in my business? The truth is, none (yes really). A business can operate without technology,  but achieve far better results in a shorter amount of time if they do. 

Cloud based tech, and technology in general are tools business owners can use to accomplish so much more, in a shorter time frames and for less financial outlay, and this is particularly true for start-ups. Businesses are now able to scale in ways that just weren’t possible before, accessing talent globally while still offering flexibility to its workforce.

Technology is evolving so fast that the tools we use today are going to look vastly different to the tools we use in 2 years, and this can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can be hard to determine what will move the needle for your business right now. I have put together a list below of areas I see technology making a difference in businesses today:

Financial – You need to have a means of storing, monitoring and tracking your finances. It has to be user friendly and this could be cloud based, such as Xero. I use the app Receipt Bank to upload my receipts, and this integrates with my accounting software. Your business may also need a payment gateway, a method for accepting payment online from your customers such as Eway or Ezidebit.

Administrative – As we move more towards virtual teams, storing data, documents and standard operating procedures (SOP’s) in a way that can be accessed online is becoming more and more important – Google Drive, Google Sites, and Sweet Process come instantly to mind here. Scheduling software such as ScheduleOnce and Calendar apps can be particularly useful to the day to day running of your business.

Communication – As we move towards a more flexible and diverse workforce, we need more than just email and text messaging for effective internal communication. Apps such as Slack, WhatsApp and Voxer are great.  Technology means we are better able to communicate not only with our virtual teams, but also our customers. Video […]

Growing sustainable teams – An Intro to 5 Key Principles

 
Growing sustainable teams – An Intro to 5 Key Principles
 

 

A common complaint I hear from business owners is that they just don’t have enough time. Flat out with the day to day running of the business they spend all their time working in the business, with no time left over to work on the business. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

The truth is even if we could magically add an extra couple of hours to a 24 hour day, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference – because the problem isn’t time, it’s team. If you find yourself saying you don’t have enough time,  what you are really saying is you don’t have the right team supporting you.

 

Much like the movie Ocean’s 11 where Brad Pitt assembles a handpicked group of individuals, each with their own unique skill set to pull off the ‘job’ – a business owner has to build the right team around them in order for the business to gain traction, and flourish. But how? So many business owners were never trained on how to be a leader, and with no clear leadership framework, it results in poor leadership effectiveness.

 

Three of the most common problems I see owners encounter in growing a team are :

The old school, top down hierarchy is missing the mark. Telling people what to do just doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t invite fresh thinking, and it doesn’t encourage innovation.
People do not want to wait in line for 10 years. Nobody has the time or patience to be held back from growing within the business. Great employees leave, seeking opportunity to grow elsewhere.
The team is not engaged. Employees who are not engaged become dissatisfied when their job lacks meaning and the team stagnates.  

 

What I have found is that there are 5 key principles for growing a successful and sustainable team.

 

Common Goal & ‘Why’. Clearly define the the business’s goals and what is is hoping to achieve, and also its essence, its ‘Why’. Establishing these two things help build an office culture that resonates with your team
[…]

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    What it means to be selected as a State Finalist for the 2016 Telstra Business Awards

What it means to be selected as a State Finalist for the 2016 Telstra Business Awards

 
We are honoured to announce our selection as
Qld State Finalists for the 2016 Telstra Business Awards

To submit an entry to the awards, a business owner has to examine their business with a critical eye, to delve deep into their “why” – why are they in business to begin with, and what is their motivation for turning up each day and giving their all? I highly recommend every business enter these awards, regardless of whether you as an owner think you will win or not – because without question, the process of entering in itself will help you build a better business.

We found the optics of the Business Health Check to see where our business truly stands, a practical and useful tool and one I can heartily endorse.  For me, it was an eye opening experience, and one I am incredibly grateful for. Compiled for every entrant, the Business Health Check is a robust report that details where a business is in good health and where it could perform better. Rather than being just an overview, it also makes recommendations for how a business can improve its’ outcomes.

The Telstra Business Awards are about so much more than winning the award itself. They are the ideal platform for business owners to take a look at their operation with fresh eyes, and have it assessed by experts in the field. They offer networking opportunities and a chance to reinforce a business’s credibility, and the ability to pursue new ventures and build profiles. Equally as important, they’re an occasion for celebration, for sharing stories and inspiring others. You need look no further than past and present award nominees for inspiration, and a bird’s eye view at how entrepreneurs are forging the future of this country.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn states that SMB’s ‘inspire us all because of their creativity to innovate and find better ways to do things, their persistence and resilience, their courage to take risks, and, above all, their outstanding talent and commitment’. As a business coach and mentor of entrepreneurs from varied industries, I have seen first hand the incredible achievements and entrepreneurial spirit we have in this country, and to be a part of […]

19 Strategies to Unlock your Business Growth

Strategies to gain business traction and become a successful start-up
 

Whether you’re a start-up or a well-established business, do you have a clear path to achieving significant growth in your business? Defining a clear strategy to achieve growth is one of the main challenges facing entrepreneurs and business owners, especially in the launch phase of a business. Without a clear strategy, many business owners end up implementing random marketing techniques that result in wasted time and resources.

In response to this problem Justin Mares and Gabriel Weinberg interviewed more than 40 successful business founders and listened to successful growth stories to pinpoint the techniques and strategies that repeatedly led to business traction in start-ups. They found that successful businesses grew using only these 19 key channels:

Viral Marketing
Public Relations (PR)
Unconventional PR
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Social and Display Ads
Offline Ads
Search Engine Optimisation (SE)
Content Marketing
Email Marketing
Engineering as Marketing
Target Market Blogs
Collaborative Partnerships
Sales
Affiliate Programs
Existing Platforms
Trade Shows
Offline Events
Speaking Engagements
Community Building

 

These strategies form the basis of Justin and Mares’ book called ‘Traction’, which aims to provide a framework for businesses to systematically approach marketing. They observed that most start-ups end in failure. Almost every failed start-up has a product. What failed start-ups don’t have is traction – real customer growth.

In my subsequent blogs I will guide you through what each channel entails and how to implement it, which will hopefully help you decide which channel/s is right for your business. Even if you can only get one channel to work, it will be worth the investment of your time and money – it might just be the one thing that kick-starts your business growth and saves you from the ill fate met by the majority of start-ups.

Onboarding Your Startup Team

 

What do you consider your company’s most important asset to be?

No matter what your answer was, wipe it from your mind. Now that you have decided to branch out and hire employees, your answer to that question should always be your team.

The reasoning is extensive. There are countless studies on the success of companies who put their employees first. But consider this right off the bat: Anyone applying to a startup organization believes in the owner’s vision, and shares their innovative spirit. Otherwise, they would accept a job at a more established corporation.

That alone—the fact that your potential employees are willing to risk their livelihoods to help you follow your dream—should be motivation enough for you to reciprocate their commitment. The first step is to give them a proper onboarding experience.

Hiring Your First Employees
Not every applicant is a godsend, though. Really think about the type of team culture your business might foster as it operates day-by-day, and evaluate applicants based on how they might adapt, thrive, and contribute to that culture.

If you haven’t thought much about that aspect of your business, there is a tool called the Wealth Dynamics Test that can help you understand your leadership style, what kind of environment you will most likely flourish in, and critical steps to take to overcome some of your perceived weaknesses. This information will get you thinking of yourself as a team manager. A team culture, which we will talk more about later, will start taking shape from there.
During the interview process, focus on the potential you see in each interviewee, not just their work history. Does your own work history perfectly reflect your passion, creativity, and hard work? On a related note, were your own answers to interviews in your past mostly – how do I put this? – fabricated to appeal to the interviewer? Don’t let yourself be fooled. It’s not good for business. Have tasks prepared for your applicants to complete, so they can demonstrate the skills they speak so highly of. Have a variety of tasks, even. Present them with a solo job; have them take part in a collaborative task […]

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