Do you feel like everyone knows how to make you more successful in this lockdown? Flashy sites and powerful words can pull you in, can’t they.
Do you want to know something shocking?
In the first lock down I was hearing from at least one person a week who had invested in some form of training, L and D or coaching for themselves and/or their team costing between £400 and £7500.
Not one was happy with the results. So to protect you, your business, your team and your profits here are some quick top tips on the right things to do for your business in a lock down.
1. Big paper and big thinking.
The first thing to do is write the answers to lots of questions (If you have a team remember to let them all express their own view – it could give you critical advise on the fundamental areas to improve and how to achieve it). I like big pieces of paper, coloured pens and the phone turned off.
No distractions. Make this count. Your organisation may have additional questions to ask. I like to write this in the style of a mind map so you can break it down into these types of areas;
- Our needs.
- Our customers needs.
- Threats to our business.
- Concerns for our customers.
- Areas for growth.
- Weaknesses – industry, company, me, team.
Ask these types of questions considering where you were going and how this may need to change due to the lockdown. And top tip – don’t think to the start of December 2020, think to the start of Dec 2021. It will make a far better growth mindset to your plan and make you far more resilient to whatever the next year holds. Questions could include (but not limited to);
- What are our goals and plans for the next 12 months?
- What obstacles do we face?
- Where do we see the need to invest?
- What does our team need?
- What are our goals?
- Who our customers?
- What issues/problems do we solve?
- What matters to our customers?
- How do we find our customers?
- What threats do we face? Company, individual, sales, growth, profit, productivity.
Before you consider anything else know where you are and how this may of changed in the new circumstances. Be mindful you have your own thoughts, believes and views on this – ensure you don’t bring them to the table without considering everyone else that is impacted. It will give you better answers and insights.
2. Invest very carefully.
It’s amazing how many get rich quick, motivate your team from home, achieve 7 figure programs popped up in the first lock down. I saw people invest thousands and come to me devastated that nothing promised had worked. Don’t assume a big price tag means big results.
One size in my honest opinion does not fit all. The reason my coaching clients from micro businesses to large corporate teams achieve great things is because the coaching process is tailored to that very first session. No preset, pay me this much plan. Listen to what you face and creating a plan together.
To ensure you are getting what you need;
Ask for proof, reviews can be copied and made up (shocking but true) so ask to speak to customers they’ve worked with. I can put you in touch with large companies who we’ve helped their teams in multiple ways from board meetings and leadership skills to burn out and email mountains. And with sole traders who love their business again. I’ve helped on everything from working from home, burnt out and leadership to high profit with a non existent budget. A very diverse range of clients that’s achievable because ultimately its about the people in your organisation and helping them use their minds in the most powerful way to get the results you all want. This ensures it’s lasting. My clients learn how to coach themselves and their teams.
3. What promises are you getting? I heard one business owner tell me they were told that the coaching would only be as good as the business owner. While I agree with this in principle if it’s not working what kind of coach, keeps taking your money? If you were working with me and we don’t see progress then we stop the coaching process to ask;
A) For what reason are you not seeing progress, does our focus need to change or are you not in the right place to deal with this?
B) Stop the coaching process – it’s not good for you or me. Wasting time and money.
The irony is that this guarantee means we always find the route cause of what is not working and find a plan to fix it. In all my years of coaching I’ve only stopped 2 coaching sessions. I wont dump you if it is not the right time I will be your confidante and friend via email and messenger and there when you are really ready. There’s lots of other ways I can support you too. In lock down I have only told 2 people that now is not the right time. Both had lost family members and needed time to heal before they invested in themselves and their businesses.
4. Do you like them? Okay this is dangerous ground when it comes to me because most clients will look at me with a wish to impart daggers at me, but that’s good, my job is to challenge what you believe is possible and ensure you find powerful solutions that give you the best years trading ever. Happy teams and a successful happy professional life.
I love it when someone says “It is what it is” because never in my experience is that true. With creative thinking we always find a better way of working and thinking. Look for the assumptions you are making about lockdown and possibilities.
It’s impressive how being honest with clients has led to them achieving profits they didn’t think were possible and helping teams work on average 5 hours a week less and achieve more!
So check you like the person. Have a chat and be honest. If they spend more time talking than listening they are probably going to push you into a programme or model they use. These can work but not as powerful as coaching. Here’s my number for that chat – +44 1206 381 482
5. Test the results.
I like my clients to give me lots of indiciators of where they are at right now. These are obviously different for all businesses. They could be;
- What are our profit margins?
- How many hours additional are we having to work?
- How confident do we feel about the future?
- How happy do we feel in our ability to thrive in a lock down?
- How successful is our sales funnel?
- What is frustrating about our work?
- How many new leads do we get each month?
- What do we see happening in 2021 / 2022?
We then use these answers to start the process and find out what needs to be worked on, what will the priorities be (you can not do it all at once and ensuring you start in the right place ensures you get the results you want) and of course it ensures you know your coach is getting the results you want to get. My clients can request coaching reports. These make a great record of you and your companies progress and further learning and development opportunities. It’s a resource to refer back to, so you can ensure you continually improve and progress.
It can be too easy in times like these to stop spending and batten down the hatches. Research from every crash, bubble burst or recession show that those that invest now will have a bigger share of the market afterwards, there are more than a few clients who are making the highest profits in their careers and for the first time really enjoying their leadership role thanks to their time with me this year. I’m happy to have a chat anytime to see if you like me and could see us achieving great things together.
Lock down is not the time to shut down it’s surprisingly the perfect time to think big. Let me know how you get on. I have solutions from £5 to £5000. So yes I can fit most budgets.