Growing Your Business
How you choose to engage with coaching is up to you. What you are seeking to address with coaching is unique to you. You might be looking for help with the business, or for help personally. Either way, Business Coaching usually addresses one or more of the issues discussed below. This is not a list of every possible issue, but rather it is a synthesis of the issues we see and how we approach them during business coaching.
Your Definition of Value
A colleague, friend, or your Asser Incorporated coach asks you the question, “What’s valuable to you about your business?” It might be revenue, or your clients, or a means to more time with your family. You can get very clear on that critical question, and then grow your definition of value.
Your definition of value informs the Vision you have for your business. Your business vision is something different from today, different from the status quo. Consequently, having vision means change, it means transformation. Vision then is inherently inspirational.
Russell Ackoff wrote that Leadership “requires the ability to implement pursuit of the vision.” The field of leadership studies is robust, with in-depth work into multiple aspects of what constitutes leadership. An essential distillation we like Jim Collins’ Level 5 Hierarchy, where Level 5 “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will.”
At the individual level, developing vision is equally as important. Developing a vision for your business life and career is essential to create meaningful change and transformation.
Strategy is a tool that business owners use to make their world more manageable. Strategy contains a core set of ideas about:
▪ How to define the business and success;
▪ The best techniques to analyze the business environment and your capabilities;
▪ Creating and developing choices;
▪ Identifying strategic options & scenarios; and
▪ Testing your options
At the heart of strategy is your ability to make the right choices. One way that strategy helps you make choices is by the process of eliminating alternatives. For example, your strategic decision to focus on a certain market segment precludes your entertaining other markets. Your strategy may change, but for this point in time your choice is made. Strategy is your clear plan of action around achieving the vision of the business.
Businesses, like people, often do not change when they are successful. Consequently, they don’t question, or challenge if they will continue to be relevant, or if their model is sustainable. Understanding that things need to change can occur too late, and often too painfully.
Having a strategy for your working life is equally important.
Role Development and Accountability
You live in an open system. An open systems theory approach to growing your business means working with some complexity. There are some key elements for you to consider, such as the importance of role, authority, and the design of work systems and processes.
Designing your own role in the business is closely tied with the first two areas of focus above, i.e. Defining your value and strategy. Being absolutely crystal-clear on what you want to do in your own business then determines the “Right Next Role” in the business. All key role accountabilities must tie in with your overall goals for the business. This is essential for effective delegation and accountability. Uncertainty can cause change to stall.
For many, how you view your role and how your business views your role are often different (even if it’s your own business!). Role definition work creates clarity and purposefulness. This is abundantly clear if you are in career transition. Our coaching helps you through transitions, whether imposed or voluntary.
Strategy is your clear plan of action around achieving the vision of the business. The articulation of strategy is your business plan, which contains your operational strategies. Operational strategies describe how you will implement and execute what is required to achieve your objectives.
Your business plan does not have to be complicated, but it does need to address some key elements. You can also use the business plan format to work your way through career transition and to design your career path. Remember, this is business coaching, which includes you as a business.
Client Engagement and Sales Effectiveness
Client engagement describes how clients come to trust you and your organization. As we describe it, client engagement is both a process and an outcome. Your early experiences with people need to convey aspects of trust that lead to client engagement. Your sales process is an important element of client engagement. How you work with your clients early in the relationship can build positive client engagements.
Sales effectiveness is a rigorous process. Peter Drucker wrote that, “Effectiveness is the foundation of success—efficiency is a minimum condition for survival after success has been achieved. Efficiency is concerned with doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” Sales effectiveness is not simply discovering, preparing, and presenting, these are conditions for survival.
Sales effectiveness needs reflexive ability. Sales effectiveness is a reflective process that challenges you to critically examine the “truths” within which you operate, and to explore what you do not know. Sales effectiveness is critical when pursuing large deals.
Client engagement and sales effectiveness is important for your career as well. You might not have “sales responsibility”, however having a client engagement and sales effectiveness discipline can lead to your success within the company, as well as potentially profitable career opportunities.
Marketing and Client Experience
A useful way of thinking about marketing is “. . . making promises through value proposition, and enabling the fulfillment of individual expectations created by such promises” (Journal of Marketing Theory). These are powerful words because it places the emphasis on your being able to communicate and then deliver on the promises you make.
The Client Experience describes how your clients move through your organization from your client’s perspective. You can start by “future imaging” and then working backwards to understand what organizational structures need to be in place to realize that ideal client experience. Some important areas in this section can include:
- Developing an Ideal Client strategy;
- Defining profitable service levels;
- Designing and implementing ongoing client service interactions; and
- Creating marketing and communication efforts that build your brand.
Whether for Personal or Business Success
You might need to be more effective in your current role, or be planning for your next move. You might be recently promoted and need to be productive at the get go. You might be exploring new opportunities. You might find yourself stalled in your career, or possibly terminated.
In your role as business owner, functional head, or department manager you too are facing decisions. Your business is facing challenges.
Asser Incorporated can help you.