Should Business’ Employ a business coach? – Absolutely!

A note from Paul

Over the years I have seen many people that say they are business coaches and I really would not trust them to deliver, especially those that are part of a franchise and just follow set procedures.

A business coach should understand your business, understand you and work to empower you to put your business in the direction that it wants to go.

Our first coach

My first encounter of a coach was about 20 years ago and the lady Gabriel Blackman-Shepperd was a life coach, she helped me to understand issue facing me at the time and my vision of the future, interestingly some of my vision at that time remains today.  Gabriel understood me and worked really hard to focus me.

Coming to present day I have used three business coaches, all of whom have had a significant impact on my business.

Tough Times 

Starting 1 Accounts Online was at a really difficult time, coming off of a terrible experience in my business career & my youngest daughter becoming confined to a wheel chair; I had lost a bit of the original spark I had and needed some guidance on where we were going.

The government had a great scheme in place where they funded a coach and I took on the services of Dominic Bowles who really helped me and my wife Jenni.

Dominic worked hard on the ethos of our business and his advise will always be part of our business regardless of changes.

Dominic helped us get personal and business goals which we smashed!  We also learnt  that family values are so important to Jenni and me and that this had to come through our business as well, something we had lost sight of over the previous couple of years!

Dominic has been back a few times since and we really value his input.

Pricing change

When we first started our Online business we had a specific business model that we identified would not work in the long term and this was based on price.  Price was OK to start with as it was only Jenni and me working from home but to move the business forwards I needed to really understand my pricing.

I signed up to a program with Mark Wickersham who is well known in our industry and via webinars and reading I started to understand pricing, my market place and the real psychology behind price.  This time spent with Mark was really important to us.

Once I had what I wanted I stopped the coaching and I think it is really important to know when you have gained what you need from your coach, but do not be afraid to return to brush up on your knowledge.

Skip to the present 

Our latest coach Heather Townsend has been a really interesting partnership.  I first met Heather at the Practice Excellence Awards where we won best New Practice in the UK, as you can imagine I was on top of the world and thought I knew everything.  Heather said that she would love to work with us and could really help us, at the time I really doubted that!

Six months ago we joined Heathers Millionaire Accountants program and it is really only today that I have seen real value in the process.  Heather no doubt will tell people that I am a really difficult person to recognise my achievements as my growth is never enough, she constantly reminds me that 62% growth last year is really good and yes I suppose it is.

Sitting back today reflecting on Heathers input to our business has been enormous.  With Growth comes pain and my real pain was systems and lack of robust systems to grow with us.  We started setting up Karbon four months ago and Jade (our practice manager and my daughter) has worked relentlessly in getting this right for us.  Karbon have also been a great partner in improving the software.

We have also changed our Tax and Accounting software to TaxCalc and the monthly saving has been over £800 per month, more than covering Heathers fees.

We have introduced daily team meetings, led by Jade and weekly full meetings led by Jade as well, these meetings have really helped to Gel the team together and our apprentices are now flying and having an important and significant impact on our business and our clients businesses.

We are also instigating our monthly management meeting with three of us focusing on driving the business forwards.

I also spend Wednesdays working from home and specifically working on the business, as a business owner this is so important to the business.

All of the above has been so positive on the team, our client service and the bottom line that we are looking forward to Heather and her team working hard to reach the goal we both promised our selves at the start of the process.

Top Tip – 

Chose your coach wisely, give them at least six months to prove themselves and re-evaluate what they deliver to your business.  Heather may not want to be but she is stuck with us for at least another six months and more than likely beyond!


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