Business owners can feel isolated running their organization.
Sales may be flat, they’re feeling stuck, margins are getting squeezed, or they lost a key customer. These are just some of the issues they may confront as they lead their company.
Leaning on their employees to work harder or smarter may provide some sort of relief. But regaining focus and traction again in their business may provide a pathway to better results.
That's where personal coaching can have an impact on a business owner's inability to see the forest for the trees. Being too involved in the details of managing the business can prevent an owner from looking at the business as a whole.
Coaching an owner one-on-one can help uncover what they would like to achieve in their business, what concerns and problems they are facing, followed by advice on the steps to take in order to address their issues and meet their goals.
Where to Start
Exploring a business owner's vision, mission and goals for their company is often a first step in the coaching process.
Conducting this first step is not only important for the owner, but also relevant to recruiting and retaining their workforce who increasingly want transparency.
Younger workers in particular want a window into their company's overall picture, to see and understand how their individual efforts contribute to the goals of the business.
Diving into the current state of the organization by examining sales revenue, customers, operations, profitability, and workforce issues is another important part of this step.
Performing an organizational chart review can often reveal salient information about a company.
This includes identifying performers, underperformers, high potential staff, upcoming retirements, open positions, and critical roles within the business.
The business owner can now determine where their workforce is best utilized and can plan better knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their bench.
Connecting the Dots
Another step involves understanding how the elements of the company's current state align with what are considered limited resources—time, budget, people and capabilities—and seeing how they connect with the vision and goals of the business owner.
Determining how an owner spends their time each day and tracking it against specific activities can also help reveal areas that are suffering from a lack of limited resources and that need more attention.
Just as employees are accountable for getting their job done every day, the business owner must be responsible for ensuring goals are being achieved and expectations are being met, both for customers and their workforce.
An actionable plan should ultimately be created, prioritizing what efforts are required to deliver on the company vision and to meet desired goals.
Specific initiatives should be developed, identifying what actions are required, who should work on them and when they are needed.
One-on-one coaching is not a set it and forget it proposition. It is most useful when the coach regularly checks in for status updates and progress reports.
This can be done one-on-one with the business owner or with a team responsible for an initiative. It can also be a time to address any issues or obstacles inhibiting efforts.
Competing in today's economic and business environments can be challenging, especially if you are the sole leader of an organization.
Freeing up more of an owner's time will allow them to work more on their business and work less in it.
Personal coaching can help provide business owners with a fresh perspective of what they are trying to accomplish and guide them on the path to fulfilling their vision and achieving their mission and objectives.
For more information about one-on-one coaching, contact CONNSTEP (firstname.lastname@example.org; 800.266.6672).