I attended a graduation ceremony today. It was made up of a group of small business owners who have successfully grown their businesses with the help of a business mentor/coach. Each one of them shared how grateful they were that they were able to obtain help and what a positive difference it made in their individual businesses.
These were not businesses that were just able to keep their doors open; at the end of their sessions some bottom line profits were over six figures. A few of these businesses are on track to expand nationwide, others to grow into a local major businesses. The support was through professional consultants with different backgrounds that took the challenge to help grow a business that may otherwise have failed.
There was, however, something missing. Unlike a graduation from a University where the new graduates go on alone to find their destiny, these businesses still have “learning” to do. They are in business for themselves but they successfully grew their businesses by not by being by themselves.
In our personal lives and in our business lives, we must learn to recognize the need for ongoing support.
Many businesses spend thousands of dollars to develop a business plan, then try to implement it on their own. Unfortunately, most business plans end up under a layer of dust and are seldom looked at. Without the constant challenge present by a mentor/coach that helps the business owners achieve their true potential, the growth curve goes to a flat line; and either another consultant is brought in to start the process all over again, or the business goes away.
Each of us, as consultants, have our own strengths that we bring to a client but the most important factor in choosing a consultant is the compatibility that must exist between an owner and consultant. I don’t enter into a long term commitment with a client until I have worked with that client for at least 30 days. That gives me a chance to assess the business needs and to determine if my strengths are the ones that can best help grow the business. (If I don’t feel that I am the right consultant I will recommend another person from my group). This 30 day period also gives me and the business owner and myself a chance to see if we are compatible in a working relationship.
As a business grows, upon occasion, a new mentor/coach may be needed; someone to see things from a different perspective. A good consultant will know when that time has arrived and may even assist you in selecting your next mentor/coach. As long as the bottom line curve is pointing upward, work with your current coach and continue the learning process.
Momentum never sustains itself…………
Nick J. Petra CFP Business Consultant and Coach www.strategicduck.com
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