Tag Archives | business coaching

Should you plan for 2021?

After the year we’ve all had, we are certain of one thing: you want to create a plan for 2021 to be A LOT better than 2020!

But just as the week before Christmas showed us, the best laid plans can be sent into disarray by circumstances out of our control.

As disappointing as it may be to have to change plans last-minute, or to not achieve goals due to the unexpected, it’s still important to design your business, career or life the way you want it.

We call it having a life by design, not by default.

(And even if your plan for 2021 is thrown into chaos, we’re now all experienced in delaying plans and going with the flow!)

So whether you are a business owner, manager, or employee – or you are just thinking about your personal life – there is a quick and easy way to start on your goals.

Your wish-list for 2021 might include work-life balance, a profitable business, a happy and productive team, and achievement of some personal goals around fitness or lifestyle.

So how do you ensure you get what you want in 2021, and what happens is by design and not default?

Follow the four simple steps below…

1. Review 2020’s Highlights

Before making future plans it’s important to review where you are now and how far you’ve come.

Start by thinking back to January 2020. How different was life and business then? Despite 2020’s challenges, what did you accomplish over the year? How did your business grow and change? What happened in your career? What personal goals did you achieve?

Write down your achievements in all areas of your life and work – business growth and mastery, career, learning, family, fun, health and wellbeing.

Take a moment to appreciate how your life has changed and what you’ve done to create that. Congratulate yourself on your achievements so far.

And if all you feel you have achieved is survival, congratulate yourself on that too! You will have learned a great deal about dealing with disappointment, overcoming obstacles, dealing with change, and resilience.

2. Picture Your Future In Review

Now imagine yourself this time a year from now, at the end of 2021, doing the same exercise. If you were looking back on 2021, what would your achievements be?

Assume that the year will largely go to plan. Take at least 10 minutes to really think this through. List all you’ve gained in terms of business turnover and profit, the types of clients you’ve attracted, career moves, office relocation or upgrades, success you’ve helped your clients to achieve, fitness or family wins, personal achievements, what you’ve learned… any result you’d like to see by the end of the year.

3. Create Your Plan for 2021

Bring your mind back to the present day. The list you’ve just made is now your goal list for 2021. Make sure each goal passes the test of being measurable, realistic, and time-framed. Get specific. Instead of grow business you might write increase turnover by 20% and profit by 10% by 31 December 2021.

Put a date next to each goal. If you can’t be specific, narrow it down to be something you’ll accomplish by end of Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4.

And make sure what you want to achieve is within your sphere of influence or control (other than the unexpected like a global pandemic). There’s no point stating what you want someone else to do, if you have no power over their actions. So instead of Get supervisors to perform to standard you could write Learn skills to more effectively manage supervisors and enforce their KPIs by 31 March. You can choose to be a better manager and hold them accountable, but their response and actions will ultimately be up to them.

4. Get A Coach To Help You And Your Team

If you’re a business owner, as our clients appreciate, setting goals and having a business plan is just the start. Finding someone to support you, guide you, and keep you accountable will ensure your success.

A great business coach will work with the business owners, managers and team to ensure the business reaches its goals. A great business coach will also support you to achieve your personal and lifestyle goals.

The Yellow Coaching team at our office in Morpeth

Are you a business owner? Do you need to plan for 2021?  Book your complimentary discussion with our business coaches today.

If you’re a business manager or employee, suggest Yellow Coaching’s services to the decision makers in your business. We’ll arrange a complimentary meeting with them to discuss the needs of the business and team.

How Business Coaching Will Help

Business improvement helps owners, employees, their families, and the community. When shown what’s possible and given the right tools, strategies and support, businesses and the people in them can achieve their full potential.

Yellow’s coaches work with the owners, managers and teams of established businesses of any size within the private sector; and with executives, managers and team members at all levels within Government and not-for-profit organisations.

Whomever they are working with, their goal is to assist business leaders to maximise the potential of themselves, their team, and their business.

Yellow’s coaches achieve this through:

  • business coaching
  • executive mentoring
  • leadership and management training
  • strategic planning
  • conference and workshop facilitation
  • keynote speaking, and
  • team member coaching.

They also provide team training on numerous topics including effective sales techniques, business marketing, outstanding customer service, time and priority management, improving team culture and morale, efficient systems and processes, resilience, and change management.

Get in touch with us to find out more.

 

 

Business advice: How to get better business results

Getting sound business advice can be challenging. You might be wondering, Who can I trust? How will I find the time? How much will it cost? But finding a trusted business advisor can help you achieve results faster than doing it on your own.

Business improvement can be related to Albert Einstein’s famous quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Your current knowledge, goals, skills, experience and actions have created the business you have today. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your business, you need to do things differently to get a better outcome.

business success

Marshall Goldsmith wrote an invaluable book, the title of which says it perfectly: What Got You Here Wont Get You There. Setting a new direction is key to taking your business to a better place.

Trial and error is one way to improve – and making mistakes certainly can be your best teacher (provided you actually learn from those mistakes, and don’t make the same ones time and time again!).

But a far more effective and faster approach is use solid business advice to learn from the mistakes and success of others.

Fast track to business success

You could find a business leader who has achieved success in the area of business in which you want to excel. By asking about their experiences and modelling their actions you could achieve similar results.

You could also find a professional business mentor, advisor or coach whose sole purpose is to help business leaders succeed. Through their experience working with businesses over many years, they can let you know what works for businesses like yours, and fast-track your business success.

Engaging a professional for business advice will help you to:

1. Improve your knowledge

Business coaches, advisors and educators package up the knowledge of countless authors, speakers, academics and business leaders to help their clients achieve greater success. Through their research, training and experience they teach proven methodologies that have worked successfully for other business leaders. They also know the pitfalls and can steer you clear of obstacles.

2. Get clear on your direction

Every business leader needs clear goals and direction. A good business coach will help you establish, reconnect with, or expand yours, and keep you on track. You could think of them as your GPS … when you wander off track, they will steer you back to where you need to be.

3. See from an outsider’s perspective

When you’re busy working day to day inside your business, it’s hard to take a broader, objective view. Your business coach can help you see the bigger picture. They can provide this viewpoint with honesty; not telling you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear to get better results.

4. Be accountable

Knowledge without application is worthless, and part of your coach’s role is to push you to get things done – in the right way, at the right time, and for the right outcomes. They’ll also remind you why you set your goals in the first place, and the benefits of getting the work done.

5. Keep going…

There’s no doubt that business can be tough, which is also why it’s so rewarding. When things are challenging, your coach can reconnect you with your ‘why’ and remind you of your greater vision and purpose (while giving you the tools to continue on when things seem difficult).

While there’s no short-cut to success, partnering with a business coach can help you achieve business results more quickly and effectively.

Business Success

We work with established businesses, helping them go from good to great.

We do this by working with business owners, leaders and their teams to achieve success in areas including strategy, marketing, sales, customer service, team culture, systems, profit, and cashflow.

We know that business success takes courage and action.

Business advice from Yellow Coaching

If you’re ready to achieve the next level of success, contact us to have a chat about your business. We work with business owners and their teams throughout Australia to help them achieve all they want through their business.

Our business advice and coaching will help you increase profitability and create a happier and more productive team – so you can work less and enjoy life more.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Is my business doing as well as everyone else’s?

Do you ever feel like your business challenges are worse than what other businesses go through?

Do you often think other businesses are doing better than yours?

Do you wonder what you’re doing wrong to have so many problems in your business?

business challenges

As a business owner, it’s common to compare your business to others and wonder how well they are really doing.

Without knowing what other businesses go through, you may think you are the only one struggling with team issues, tight cashflow, poor profit, customer complaints, or a lack of leads.

To protect their image, business owners often keep their true situation private. Not wanting their competition or clients to know they have challenges, they’ll say “we’re flat out!” and keep up the facade that business is always great.

You may fall for the psychological trap of ‘comparing and despairing’. Just like on social media, where it’s easy to contrast your own behind-the-scenes with others’ highlight reels, you can start to believe that everyone else’s business is doing better than yours.

business challenges

As business coaches, we are in the privileged position of seeing the truth behind the outward image. Even though we don’t work with broken businesses, but rather those that want to go from good to great – we know that no matter how successful a business appears, one thing is constant – challenges. Just like waves on the ocean that keep coming, problems are a part of every business.

Particularly this year, so many businesses are doing it tough. They are relying on the lifeline of JobKeeper, and wondering what to do when it ends in September. Many have staff on reduced hours, or have had to let staff go. The constant threat of business restrictions due to Covid-19 has many on edge. But from the outside things may appear ‘business as usual’.

So if challenges are inevitable, what’s the secret to overcoming them?

To succeed in business, you must focus on what you can control.

In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, he outlines the concept of circles of influence and control.

Imagine a target with three rings. On the outside is the largest circle, which is full of things we have no control over. In business this may be the weather, the economy, and certain recent pandemics…

The next slightly smaller circle is what we can influence but not control. This contains the actions of our prospects and clients (whom we can influence by our marketing and customer service), and our preparedness for the unexpected (for instance, having procedures in place to ensure the health and safety of our team and customers).

The smallest circle contains the very few things we can control in business – including our thought processes (what we focus on) and our behaviour (decisions and actions).

How other businesses are faring is out of your control. What you must focus on is what you can do to ensure you overcome your challenges quickly and effectively.

To get ahead you need to tackle challenges early while they are still small, by growing your own ability to overcome them.

It’s not the business without challenges that comes out in front, but the business which overcomes its challenges the fastest.

When faced with challenges in life and in business, you have three options.

  1. Turn around and run in the other direction

It may sound comical, but this is a common response to challenges. Some think that if they flee in the other direction, they can outrun any problem. Ever known someone to change their situation but end up facing similar problems down the track? Even when you run, some problems follow you wherever you go. As you haven’t learned to deal with them, you’ll be in the same position next time they appear.

  1. Stand still, ignore them, and hope they go away

Just like running away, this choice does nothing to defeat your challenges or grow your own ability to deal with them. In fact, ignoring your problems often makes them grow larger. It’s almost as though they increase in size to demand your attention!

  1. Face them and tackle them head on

Addressing problems immediately is the choice made by the most successful business leaders we know. When you choose to confront your challenges, you are forced to grow to overcome them. When you do this, instead of your problems growing, YOU grow. Next time you face a similar situation you’ll overcome it easily, and be ready to jump the next hurdle that appears.

Business is a journey of constant and never-ending improvement, and problems are often the push we need to grow and take our business to the next level.

If you’re ready to overcome the challenges in your business, contact us for a chat.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Business by design: How did yours perform in 2018?

Do you have a business that brought you everything you wanted this year – what we call a business by design?

In terms of how much money it makes you, how much happiness it gives you, and how much time it allows you to do what you want when you want, how has your business performed this year?

December is a good time to reflect on how your business has served you, and decide what you want it to provide for you in the next 12 months.

You may have started your business with definite goals in mind. Despite this, your business may have evolved to this point by default, rather than by design! It’s time to define and focus on your goals, and from this point on create the business you want.

business by design

Where are you now?

As with any journey, you must start where you are. List the following areas of your business and give each a score between 0 (couldn’t be worse) and 10 (couldn’t be better):

  • Money (financial management and profit)
  • People & Culture
  • Systems
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Sales
  • Operations & Efficiency
  • Overall vision and direction

If each area of your business isn’t exactly as you want it to be, it may be because you’ve lost focus and direction.

Map out a destination

The first step is to decide where you want to be at this time next year. In December 2019, what do you want to be reflecting back on and congratulating yourself for achieving? Reflecting from the future, what profit did you make in 2019? How much time did you have outside the business for yourself, family, friends, vacations and other interests? How much happiness did you get from your business? When you start with the end in mind, it’s easier to map out the way there. If you need inspiration on what you want to achieve, start with why.

Plan your journey

Make a list of all the things you could do to get the results you want. Don’t edit at this stage – just brainstorm. If you want more time for instance, you may need to recruit additional staff, train existing staff, delegate more, and put better systems in place.

If you’d like more profit at the end of next year, you could review expenses, negotiate better deals with suppliers, sell off old stock, and review your pricing.

If team issues have affected you this year, in 2019 you might want to introduce a culture statement, implement performance KPIs, and learn new management skills such as giving feedback and coaching your employees for improved performance.

Plot your milestones

Once you’ve made your list, prioritise your actions and set a date to achieve them. Spread your goals throughout the year, taking into consideration peak times for your business (you don’t want to introduce new technology or systems in the busiest sales month of your year!).

Diarise your actions

Now you know what you want to do and when, put these actions into your calendar or diary. Review it daily to keep on track.

What help do you need?

To achieve a business by design in 2019, you might need new resources. This could include new skills, advice, knowledge and tools. You may also need new ways of thinking about your business, a sounding board, encouragement and support. Accountability will be invaluable to keep you on track and to task.

Assess what resources you already have and how you’ll utilise them. If you need assistance, make a time to find it. Books, podcasts, audios, fellow business leaders, seminars, coaches and mentors are all valuable tools to consider.

Create your business by design for 2019

Yellow Coaching provides consulting, coaching and mentoring to take your business or organisation to the next level. Our coaching is ideal for established businesses that have reached a certain level of growth and success, and are ready for more.

Business mastery and growth may involve improving your business systems, financial controls, people leadership and management, marketing, sales, time and priority management, and thought processes.

Yellow Coaching’s difference is that we work with you and your team to achieve faster results.

We work with business owners who are committed (not merely interested) in achieving more from their business and their life. If you’re committed to having the business you want in 2019, start here.

 

The 3 Pillars of Business Growth

No matter how well your business did last year (and we hope it was a brilliant year for you), there are 3 fundamental things you need for continued business growth and mastery.

The new year is the perfect time to reassess where you are now, and where you want to be when Christmas rolls around again – and trust us, this will seem sooner rather than later!

Over the last 15 years we’ve helped business owners and teams achieve everything they want. We focus on the 3 things that are essential for continual business growth and mastery. We call these the three pillars of business success. Here’s more about them, and how to get them to support you and your business in 2018…

business growth, business success, business advice, business mastery,

1  Mindset

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that successful people have positive mindsets. They look for solutions rather than problems, and focus on the end goal rather than obstacles. Knowing that challenges will continually appear, they face them directly and quickly to ensure they get back on track with minimal detour.

As Brian Tracy says in his talk The Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires (get it here on audible.com), problems in business are like waves on the ocean that come in sets, with one towering above the others: “Problem, problem, problem, problem, CRISIS!” Successful people understand that as they learn to deal with challenges they grow as business leaders.

Successful business leaders learn the skill of goal-setting. They challenge themselves constantly by pushing outside their comfort zones. Familiar with perturbation – that uncomfortable feeling of tension when you’re moving past your previous limits – they have learned to think big and dream bigger.

They acknowledge that they can’t do it all on their own. Their support team includes a proactive accountant, responsive business banker, trusted legal advisor, and qualified and experienced business coach to help them reach their goals.

 

Business growth, business goals, business success

2  Knowledge and Education

Successful business leaders know what they don’t know. They commit to continually improving their knowledge, and rely on experts to assist them to achieve business growth. Instead of stretching themselves too thin by trying to be the best at everything, they work with their skills and talents. They focus on their core strengths, while learning what it takes to achieve business growth and mastery.

Clear on the difference between being the technician and the business owner (as defined in Micheal Gerber’s classic business book The E-Myth Revisited), they are free enough from daily business operations to work on business growth. Rather than learning from their own mistakes, they use a business advisor or mentor to fast-track their success. They learn and grow from the mistakes and success of others.

3  Accountability

Taking responsibility and being accountable for your own business success is critical for business growth. When you accept that your past, current situation and future are all a result of your own actions, your can truly make improvements. Yes, the unexpected will happen. Challenges will occur (refer to point number one above). But with resilience, grit, and taking charge of your own destiny, you will hold the keys to everything you want.

Masters of business growth rely on a business coach to keep them accountable to their goals. Just like a sports coach, a business coach will push you to work harder than you would on your own, and ensure you’re operating in top form to reach your desired results.

 

Business Growth, Business goals, business success, business mastery

The Next Steps For Your Business Growth

Have you achieved a certain level of business success but are ready for more?

Are you not only interested, but committed to business growth and mastery?

Are you are ready to take the action needed to get the results you want from your business?

Yellow Coaching will help.

Discover if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation to discuss the future of your business.

We look forward to hearing from you.

5 Ways To Increase Your Business Profit

Would you like to increase your business profit?

Here’s five simple strategies to make more money in your business and boost your profit margins …

business profit, business finance, increase profit, business profitability

1) Increase your prices

This is the fastest and easiest way to boost your margins, and we’ve found that business owners tend to be more afraid of raising prices than their customers are.

We’ve also noticed most customers won’t notice the increase and the ones who complain about it probably already complain about something else.

Start with at least 10%, and chances are you’ll see the benefits of your increase faster than your customers notice the difference.

Now, you don’t want to draw attention to the increases, but if customers ask, explain the reasons and then focus on the benefits of your products or services.

2) Stop discounting

If you constantly discount, why have a regular price? Remember, you never want to be thought of as a discount business.

Discounting costs you money and gives the impression that your usual prices are a rip-off.

Customers may not buy from you today because they think an item might go on sale tomorrow.

Instead of discounting, focus on the value and benefits you provide and offer add-on value as much as possible.

3) Know your actual costs

In many businesses, expenses are never truly evaluated. If you know what your actual costs are, you can find ways to reduce them.

Sit down and spend a few days checking all the expenses in your business.

As you go forward, take what you’ve learned in your evaluation and seek numerous quotes when purchasing anything of an ongoing nature.

4) View costs as a percentage of sales

This gives you an idea of how many sales you need to make before you start showing profit.

How much does it cost to keep your doors open every week?

What time of the day or week or month does your business become profitable?

Once you view your costs as a percentage of sales, then you can figure out how many sales are needed to cover that cost.

To get the most out of this, you’ll need to communicate the information to your team, since they need to know what your business needs to stay open.

Put a big whiteboard up in your business with a countdown to break-even and profit. You will be surprised how much your team will respond to this.

Having a reward system that kicks in after you reach your break-even point is a great way to keep your team motivated and understand what you need to make your business profit grow.

5) Decrease your range

The greater the range of products, the more suppliers you have, the more shelf space you need, the more money you have invested in stock, and the more costs you have.

It’s a never-ending cycle for some businesses …

Eliminating slow-moving stock or bundling is a great way to make more money per item sold.

You should be able to negotiate better deals with suppliers if you are buying fast-moving items from them, which can lead to better deals for your customers.

Remember to monitor the movements of every item you sell and invest more in stock that moves quickly.

Which of these will you implement to increase your business profit?

To discuss the best strategies for you, contact the team at Yellow Coaching to see if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Leadership Training and Development is Essential for Your Business

Are you one of those still doubting the need for training and developing the leaders in your company? You might argue that leadership training and development does not come cheap. And that your organisation has bigger issues to tackle, and money should be allocated on those rather than on training. But I advise you to look at those areas where you are struggling. Chances are, it will lead back to how your organisation is being controlled and guided by its leaders.

Good leaders and how they manage and motivate their employees are critical in the success and growth of a business. That is why you should treat leadership training and development as an investment and not just as an additional cost incurred by the company.

4 reasons you should invest in leadership training and development

1) For improved profits. Training leaders in your company will lead to better bottomline figures. This is because of the clear link between effective leadership and customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers keep coming back. As such, good leadership leads to financial gains.

2) For better performance. Poor leadership practices lead to a drag in employee performance, leading to sluggish results when it comes to customer satisfaction. In this fast-paced world, and with so much competition in the business arena, you should not remain stagnant and resistant to change. Saying yes to leadership training and development should be one of your priorities. If the leaders your employees turn to are highly trained, your workforce will be more motivated to perform well. Well-trained leaders will lead to a driven and passionate workforce. Training and development of leaders will bring out the best in your employees. They will be focused, efficient and more effective in addressing day-to-day work.

3) To build a competitive edge. If you do not want your business to be stuck where it is, you need to focus your goals on growth and expansion. You need to constantly keep up with changing times and a competitive environment by boosting your own edge. In order to develop these strategies, first take a look at your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Proper leadership training and development allows you to reexamine how you can effectively manage your business, specifically how you run things inside the company and its effects on how you transact with your customers.

4) For employee retention. Various business research has proven that there is a correlation between a company’s leadership structure and operation and employee motivation and retention. Studies reveal that the most common reason employees leave is not because of stresses of work, but because of the people – particularly the managers and leaders – those in authority. If you want your people to stay, then you should invest in good leaders.

With so many issues going on in your business, training and development might be the last of your worries. But if you do not take this crucial step in your business, you might lose out on new knowledge and potential learnings you will acquire that will eventually bring your business more success. In the short term, you might need to invest time, energy and money on leadership training and development, but in the long run you will surely gain a lot more than you have invested. Let Yellow Coaching help you. An expert business coach will help you run your training and development programs smoothly and effectively. Contact us today.

 

Why Coaching is Essential for Mid-Level Managers

There are many skills required of supervisors, team leaders and managers within large organisations. They need to deliver on the expectations of shareholders or government, senior management, their direct reports, as well as customers or clients. These mid-level management positions require this 360-degree view at all times.

Managers rise to this level due to their own career goals and aspirations, which they also focus on progressing for their own fulfillment and the benefit of the organisation. For these reasons middle management positions can be the most valuable yet challenging in an organisation.

Supervisors, team leaders and managers deliver on the objectives of the organisation through the people they manage. They are responsible for giving team members training, guidance, support, encouragement, and affirming and adjusting feedback to improve performance – which all requires skill, patience, time and energy.

business coaching, mentoring, coaching, business advice, teamwork,

Why executive coaching is essential for mid-level managers

Simply being in a management role does not necessarily give managers the skills required to manage their team effectively. While some managers are ‘natural leaders’, others are brought up through the ranks of the business from technical roles. While they may be brilliant in their area of expertise, many find that being a manager requires another set of skills altogether.

Managers need specialised people skills, excellent communication, and a clear management strategy. Most importantly, they need the confidence that they have the right and responsibility to manage their team.

Too often managers are unsure how to manage difficult behaviours, and instead of addressing these, they choose to do nothing, hoping the situation will rectify itself over time. This condones poor performance and can result in frustration for team members who are performing well.

Change and uncertainty in the organisation (due to such things as staff turnover, budget cuts, downsizing, amalgamation or office relocation) puts stress on every member of the team. During this time middle managers must continue to deliver on business KPIs; manage not only how they themselves are impacted by the changes but the effects the changes have on all those that report to them; all while ensuring exceptional levels of service are maintained for customers.

At times these managers are in a position of knowing information but not being able to deliver it to their team, or having to communicate it in a way that will mitigate disruption and distrust. They often bear the brunt of team members’ anxiety and anger about changes to their role.

To ensure the smooth operation of business through such challenging times, and minimize the risk of WHS issues caused by stress, it is essential that team leaders, supervisors and managers obtain outside guidance, support and mentoring through executive coaching.

Executive mentoring assists these leaders to get an outsider’s perspective on what they are experiencing from professionals who are not emotionally connected to the changes taking place. As well as this clarity, executive coaching provides managers with an opportunity to express frustrations, seek advice, and plan strategies and actions to overcome challenges.

Any organisation undergoing adjustments to roles, processes or structure should implement executive coaching for mid-level managers as part of its change management process. Contact Yellow Coaching to find out more.

Why you don’t want your customers to be satisfied…

A key goal in business is satisfying your customers, right?

Wrong. Satisfaction is a word that has become synonymous with customer service, but we don’t believe it’s good enough.

In legal terms satisfaction can mean repayment of a debt. It can also mean having your expectations met.

Sure, when you go to a store you want to be repaid in goods or services for the money you’ve handed over. This completes the transaction. You also have an expectation that when you pay your  money, the goods or services will be provided as you expected them to be. Again, the business has been settled.

But is that what customers are really after? A satisfactory transaction that meets their expectations? Yes and no. We say it’s the bare minimum of what your business should provide, not its ultimate goal.

Satisfactory service keeps your customers staying – for a while. At least until they get a better offer. Delighted customers keep coming back time and time again, and bring their friends. You want to provide the kind of service that gets people talking about your business, and turns your customers into a tribe of loyal followers that wouldn’t go anywhere else.

When teaching our own clients about how to provide exceptional customer service, we first ask them when they’ve experienced it. For some it might have been when a business has gone above and beyond to fix a problem, thereby turning a bad experience into an exceptional one.

customer service, business advice, business coaching

One of our clients had checked into a hotel room which wasn’t cleaned (there was even still dirty sheets on the bed). The hotel fixed this by providing an apology, a clean room, and a return stay for free in the best suite of the hotel. They fixed the unsatisfactory service with an exceptional experience.

Another client checked into a hotel and the room wasn’t ready when promised. They were given free drinks at the bar while they waited, and their drinks for the remainder of their stay were complimentary.

It’s natural for businesses to make mistakes now and then, but how they fix them can either break their relationship with the customer, or get them a customer for life.

Of course, the best customer service is given straight off the bat. As a customer, when have you received something unexpected, surprising or delightful?

I once attended a hair salon in the U.S. that had its own DJ spinning tunes, and wine by the glass. That was unexpected. A week after that visit, I received in the mail a hand-written card from my stylist, saying how much she’d enjoyed our discussion about a particular topic. That was delightful. Did I go back? You bet.

If you want to assess your current level of customer service, write a list of all the things you provide your customers under two headings:

Expected | Desired

Your customers need certain things from you. This is what they pay for and what they expect. There are also certain things you could provide that they desire. This is what delights them.

You may find that things you are currently doing (eg. appointment reminders, coffee on arrival, gift on their birthday) have actually become expected, and are no longer adding extra value to your customers. They would expect to get them from anyone who provides your product or service.

There are other things that you can do above and beyond that they would love. Have their favourite coffee ready for them at the start of their appointment, ask how their son’s soccer grand final went, buy them a book you know they’ll love for no reason, serve pastries from their favourite patisserie at your next meeting. It doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture to be delightful service that makes them feel appreciated.

Think about things you’ve done for your customers in the past that have delighted them. Do more of those. Ask your clients: What would delightful service look like to you? What would keep you coming back time and time again?

And if you mess up? Make up for it with exceptional customer service, something that will get them talking about how you made up for the mistake rather than the mistake you made.

As a business owner, it can be hard to see from the outside in to get your customer’s point of view. Your business coach can help. Call (02) 4933 6622 if you’d like to find out how.

Top Time Management Tips

Time is your most precious resource.

Time is one thing we all have that’s not replaceable. We can’t slow it down, stop it, get it back or create more. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Each life lasts a different amount of time, and none of us know exactly how much time we will get. Some people race to the finish line leaving a trail of accomplishments, and some find themselves at the end of their life never having discovered their purpose. Some say it goes too slow, while others feel it races by faster each year. Some people waste it, and some savour it.

So how much time do we actually have?

In every week there are:

168 hours
10,080 minutes
604,800 seconds

On average we each have around 4,000 weeks to live.

How you use your time is the main determinant of your success (whatever success means to you).

So if we all have the same number of seconds, minutes, and hours in each day, why do we spend them differently?

Why do some people end up with accomplishments and wealth beyond measure, and others find themselves chasing every dollar?

Why do some write 60 books in their career, and others pass away with an unfinished manuscript?

There are certainly many things in life we can’t control. While we can do our best to maintain our health and safety, accidents and illness happen.

But when it comes to what we have influence and control over, we spend our time according to our values.

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If you value family above all else, a large part of your time may be devoted to family activities. You may choose to work fewer hours so you can spend more time with your children, or direct your finances into shared experiences rather than creating long-term wealth.

If you value health above all else, you may prioritise healthy home-cooked meals over dining out, and exercise over other activities.

If you value wealth, you may invest time in education, work, your business, and professional growth.

Simply put, we make time for what’s important to us. There is no right or wrong when it comes to values, just choices and consequences. There is nothing good or bad about prioritising wealth over family, or leisure over business. But each choice you make will get you a different result.

So what if you want a different result from what you’ve been getting? Perhaps your business isn’t performing as well as you want it to, or you are concerned you won’t have enough money in retirement. Perhaps your health is not allowing you to do the things you want.

With only so many hours in each day, you may need to forego one thing in order to spend time on another.

Want to increase your fitness? Do one hour of yoga at night instead of watching television. Want to increase your wealth? Attend investment seminars, and read books on wealth creation instead of novels. Want better family relationships? Dedicate one block of time each week to doing something fun together.

A large amount of time, effort and money is spent doing things we don’t want to do. Perhaps we think we ‘should’ do them, or that other people expect us to. Sometimes we might do things that we don’t truly value to impress others (and interestingly, sometimes we don’t even like the people we are trying to impress!)

It’s time we redefined what success means, in business and in life. Success is not about achievement in general, it’s about finding out what you truly care about and spending your most valuable resource – your time – on that.

When working with clients, one of the first and most important things we do is discover their values. Sometimes how they spend their time isn’t in alignment with what’s truly important to them. Sometimes what they think they value isn’t really that important to them after all. Either way, we make sure their time is spent on the right things – those things that will help them achieve what they really want out of life.

Business coaching is not just about tweaking a good business to make it great. It’s also about personal and professional development for the business owner and their team. We want your business to be the vehicle that helps you get all you want out of life.

Are you using your time in the most effective way for you?

Find out how working with Yellow Coaching can help you and your business.