After fifteen years of coaching and mentoring all kinds of businesses, this week I finally noticed the mindset behind some of my most successful clients.
The people who do well with me as their business coach are the people who want to have a “grown-up business”.
They are the people who have some serious ambition and are at the right stage in their business journey to scale things up. And they recognise that they don’t know it all and that they are embarking on a journey where they need some help.
What do you mean, a “grown-up business”?
I don’t necessarily mean people who want to make a million, or 10 million, or even to have a business employing dozens of staff. Some of my most successful clients have decided that they don’t want to have a big team or be working what most of us would call full-time hours.
A grown-up business for me is one where even a little tiny business does things in a conscious and managed way. A grown-up business is one where the owner sets milestones and targets, and measures them, and is conscious of the need to have the kind of systems and processes that you might have a much bigger company. I’ll give you an example:
Fred (not his real name obviously) is setting up a new company out of the ashes of a reasonably successful freelance business. He got bored with freelancing business and knew that he didn’t want to do it any more and that it was never going to make him the money that he wanted for the lifestyle that you wanted to lead.
It’s been a glorious experience working with Fred, He has leapt into mapping out processes, and he has costed out the time and labour costs in every part of his production process. He took away the pricing grid we did on the whiteboard in my office and came back with calculations of gross profit margin for each of his three routes to market.
This might sound like deathly dull business speak, and put you right off getting any business mentoring with me. But if you spoke to Fred, he might tell you about the day that we giggled over selling hippopotamuses, giraffes and rhinos (not his actual product items, obviously) to “randoms”, “uncle Jeff’s mate” and “Ms Smith in Hong Kong”.
The difference between a “grown-up business” and “just do it.”
Most people who are running small businesses adopt the “just do it” approach. We put up a website telling people about what we do, we maybe send out a press release about a new product launch, and we follow a few people on social media. We’re busy all the time, just getting on with it. And we’re often exhausted by doing all of this.
Because we are busy doing a million things, we don’t realise that we don’t need to do about 900,000 of those million things. We fill our time working hard but we don’t have a plan, and we don’t have a strategy. We don’t test what works, we don’t look at where the money comes from, and although we might have Google analytics on our website, we don’t realise that 80% of our traffic goes to just one blog post.
Why someone who wants a “grown-up business” might want a business coach
We all know the importance of planning and have a strategy for growth. Just like we all know that is important to eat vegetables to be healthy. But knowing these things doesn’t necessarily mean that were able to put it into action. And often putting together the plan can be an excuse to procrastinate, and do the opposite of getting into action.
By working with a business coach, people who want a grown-up business can quickly put a plan together with the coach and get help on identifying the priority actions. Add to this, advice about how to do those actions, such as writing a brief for a web designer, or using power terms in your signup copy, and you’re halfway to having a grown-up business.
That’s why I think successful people who want to get their “grown-up business” into action fast work with a business coach.
That all sounds good, how do we do this?
If this has made you think that you want to transform your business and get it to grow up and go out in the world and earn some money, here’s how I work with those successful business people, and how to set up a chat about us working together.