If you're like many small business owners, you're a self-directed, self-sufficient, driven person. Those qualities are a big part of how you got to be where you are. But no one can go it alone forever. At various stages in their career, many small business owners find themselves in situations where they need a little outside guidance and perspective. This isn't surrender or a sign of weakness: It's a natural part of a business' development.
But many people aren't sure how to identify those crucial moments when a business should pull in a business coach to bring them forward. Read on to learn the three biggest signs your small business should call a business coach.
You're in a Rut
Small businesses often have trouble making their way past certain pivotal periods. These will strike at different times, depending on the business and its market, but there are a few common ones:
- Your growth has plateaued. You've grown as big as you can under your current business plan, and right now you're just coasting. Breaking into new markets or otherwise shaking things up may involve money or other resources you simply don't have available, and you may be reluctant to take out a loan.
- You're losing customers. Maybe a new competitor has emerged, or maybe the quality (real or perceived) of your product has changed. Either way, you're starting to see a dip in revenue. You're worried that this trend will continue. If it does, you'll be in the next situation:
- Your business has contracted, and you haven't bounced back. Maybe you lost many customers for some reason, or maybe you had to cut back operations for reasons outside of your control. Either way, you've taken a serious hit and you're not sure if your business will ever be the same again.
When you hire a business coach, one of the first things they'll ask you is to give them as much information about your company as you can. They'll assess your current situation in its entirety and then give you a plan to get out of your rut. If you hire them on for a longer period, they'll guide you through the process of righting your business.
You Need New Ideas, and You Need to Put Them Into Practice
Businesses are like sharks: They die if they aren't always moving. Staying competitive in the modern market is about constant innovation.
But that's hard to do. People tend to fall into certain comfortable thought patterns. Groups may collaborate and innovate, but even then, they'll still tend to come at problems the same way. Many companies innovate for a brief golden age and then fall into a groove, only to have someone else come in, disrupt things and start taking over the first company's market share. Innovation and creativity will break this cycle.
There's another aspect of this sort of problem, which is the inability to put good ideas into practice. Just because you have good ideas doesn't mean you know what to do with them. Maybe you know you need to partner with another business, but you have no connections you can lean on. Maybe you need to break your business into a new arena to stay competitive, but that means you're operating in a completely new market that you're inexperienced with.
In moments like these, a business coach can help. Business coaches have perspective from working with many businesses across many industries at a very high level. They've probably seen your problem before, and with their outsider perspective, they can give you the new information and new ideas that can keep your business vital and innovative. And if you're implementing new ideas, you can rely on a business coach's perspective to help you figure out the best way to integrate them into your current business model — or even upend your business model entirely.
You Are Overwhelmed and Have No Path for the Future
This is a dire situation for any small business owner, and you'll have no doubt when you're in it. Maybe you've seen a dramatic change in the market, that's left your ability to operate in peril. Maybe you're facing legal problems or a serious PR crisis. Maybe you've even filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy: You're taking a serious hit but may be able to restructure and get back into business. But how?
These are serious crises. But they're much more manageable when viewed with an outsider's perspective. A business coach will be able to help you pick up the pieces, restructure your business, rewrite your business plan and move forward. You will need to change things dramatically, and it may be uncomfortable, but with a business coach's guidance, it'll be a lot easier. Play your cards right, and you'll survive and even thrive.
Business coaches trained in the Entrepreneurial Operating System® know how to realign your business' structure, goals and vision so it's maximally profitable. If you're ready to transform how you do business, contact Chris today for a free 90-minute consultation. With Chris' guidance, you'll move your business out of whatever problems it currently faces and into a bright, profitable future.