Tag Archives | business help

How to increase business profit without marketing

Business owners often tell us they want to increase business profit. To get more profit, they want help with marketing to get more leads.

Our answer is always yes, we can help you with that, but not yet.

Think of your business as a bucket. The water you pour in is leads generated from marketing, and the leaking water is your profit.

Even with one small hole, no matter how much water you pour in, some water would leak out.

All businesses have holes that leak profit, that must be plugged before new leads are poured in.

Let’s see what this means for a manufacturing business.

How much profit is your business leaking?

An engineering business we worked with appeared from the outside to be doing well. They were generating over $100k per month in sales. But their annual profit was less than $50,000.

They came to see us to work on their marketing game. We quickly identified that they didn’t want to do more marketing, they simply wanted to increase their business profit.

At our first session we discussed all the small problems in their business. They told us:

  • Our apprentices and tradesmen often make mistakes which leads to rework
  • Our quoting is sometimes wrong
  • Customers use us once, but we never see them again
  • We haven’t had a price rise in over 4 years
  • We have a lot of levies to pay which the customers don’t know about
  • The guys are taking too long on jobs, and aren’t recording their time on job sheets
  • Our supervisor is too busy doing paperwork to supervise the guys on the floor.

When we looked just at the mistakes the tradesmen had made in the previous 6 months, we identified over $80,000 worth of lost profit that could have been in their bank account.

Together we created an action plan to ensure that all the holes in their business bucket were plugged.

This started with reporting on business activity so we knew where the profit was leaking.

Next we worked on strategies to fill the holes.

Then yes, we worked on marketing their business, knowing that the work they did for those new customers would generate profit that would make all their hard work worthwhile.

When you work with Yellow Coaching and implement the strategies we devise, business coaching gives you a huge return on investment – not only saving you money, but making you money.

Get in touch to see if you’re eligible for a complimentary 90-minute discussion about how to increase your business profit.

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.

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.

Do you still want a dream team of employees in your business?

Do you want a team of high-performing employees in your business? 

Have you got some star players, but a few stragglers bringing the team down? 

Do you want to stop “oiling the squeaky wheel” so you can spend time developing your key staff?

When you started out in business you dreamed of having a team of passionate people working with you to build the best business in your field. If you’re like most business leaders, sadly after a few years you’ve found the reality falls short of what you’d hoped for.

Some business owners resign themselves to the notion that having a great team just isn’t possible.

Better employees, better business

But we believe having a great team isn’t only possible, but a certainty when you implement the right systems and manage your team in an effective way.

The team you’ve got today is a result of the standards you’ve set until now. Are you ready to stop settling for second-rate performance from your staff?

To get a different outcome you’ll need to do different things. Are you ready to do what it takes to get your team to either step up or step out?

Follow our tips below to get them moving in the right direction …

Leadership, employees

How to create a high-performing team …

The first step is to ensure each team member knows what great performance looks like. You can ensure this by providing them with the following:

1. Team Culture Statement

Every team has a culture, whether it’s defined or not. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a toxic one! The behaviour you’ve settled for means that the original standards of performance you set may have slipped. As new employees join your business, they follow the ‘norm’ of how everyone else is behaving rather than performing at the level you’d like.

It’s important that you create a culture statement in your business that outlines expected behaviour. We call this the Rules of the Game.

Our culture statement includes our non-negotiable values, including excellence and fun. Each team meeting we assess how we’ve lived up to those standards, and how we’ve observed it in each other.

A culture statement isn’t merely a laminated piece of paper on your office wall, or a statement on your website! It must be the ingrained way of ‘how we do things around here’.

2. Position Descriptions

As your business has grown, you may not have taken the time to record what each person’s position involves. Even if someone has been doing a role for years, it’s essential that their duties and main areas of responsibility are visible to them and their team-mates. This avoids the notion that ‘someone should ….’ and lets everyone know who is responsible for what.

As well as a position description, an updated organisation chart should be provided to each employee so they can clearly see where their role fits within the business, and their reporting lines.

3. Key Performance Indicators

In addition to knowing the rules of the game, key responsibilities and where they fit in the organisation, it’s essential that employees know how and when how they will be assessed on their performance.

A document outlining key performance indicators for their role should be provided to each employee and reviewed at regular intervals.

KPIs should include not only the technical aspects of their role, but also categories such as customer service, admin and systems, WHS, and team membership.

Most business owners hire for skills but fire for behaviour. Have you ever employed a brilliant technician who despite their great technical skills was terrible at customer service, who your other team members didn’t like, or who rarely completed time sheets or followed systems?

Ensuring each team member knows the expectation of them in each of these categories means that you can manage them up or out based on any area of their performance.

Download our e-book “How To Get A Great Team Culture: Bringing Out The Best In Your Team” 

Leadership, teamwork, employees

 

Keeping standards high
How to ensure they stay on track

When you set guidelines for your team by providing a team culture statement, position descriptions and KPIs, you’ll find that your team members either rise to the challenge or deselect themselves.

It’s not unusual for a few changes to occur in your team when standards are raised and enforced.

This is a positive step forward, as now you can recruit new people who will perform from the outset according to your high standards and expectations.

To ensure continued excellence, you can then:

  • Maintain standards using regular communication
  • Give feedback to adjust or encourage performance
  • Coach your team members to improve their performance, and
  • Delegate effectively to grow your employees’ abilities.

Find out how by downloading our e-book: The 4 Essential Habits of Effective Managers.

 

Is It Time To Get The Employees You Deserve?
Yellow Coaching will help
Yellow Coaching assists established businesses and organisations of every size to improve their team culture, business efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.

We do this through business coaching, executive mentoring, team training, and workshops for owners and staff at all levels within organisations.

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses improve their profitability, provide outstanding customer service, and get happier and more productive employees.

Want to take your business from good to great? Get in touch to see if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke

Why You Don’t Want Satisfied Customers

7 Reasons to Improve Your Customer Service in 2017

Matthew had an anniversary surprise for his wife – a limousine trip to the city, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and a night in a suite at a 5-star hotel. He had planned it for weeks, and was excited to spoil her with a special weekend away.

A week later we ran into them and asked her how it was. “It was satisfactory” she said. When she saw us exchange puzzled glances, she explained, “I was satisfied with the food, the room and the service.”

customer service

Now exactly the response Matt was hoping for!

And the restaurant and hotel probably wouldn’t be too happy with her feedback either.

Now of course this is a metaphor, and hopefully any thoughtful person would at least act more excited about such a kind gesture from their spouse.

But let’s relate this to business for a moment. You started your business to romance your customers and provide them with something special, right? A quality product, outstanding service, and enough ‘wow’ factor to keep them coming back and telling all their friends.

Most business owners start out excited to provide something exemplary, and to delight their customers.

But somewhere along the way they get jaded. Customer complaints trickle in despite their best efforts, and it seems some customers are just never happy. Their energy and effort slips, and so does the level of customer service. And when team members see the business owner feeling defeated, they also drop their standards.

Sound familiar?

Even if you haven’t given up completely, you may be thinking that if your customers are satisfied that’s all you can hope for. But wouldn’t you rather have delighted customers?

We believe that if you want a successful business, it’s not only desirable, but essential that you focus on customer service.

Here are 7 reasons to focus on improving the customer service your business provides in 2017…

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1. People have a lot of choice

Unless you have a truly unique product or service, or are the only provider in your region, people will have other options. If you don’t give them the level of customer service they want, someone else will. You might remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld and think that if your product is good enough, people will come regardless! Rarely is a product that incredible (and if you have one, you’ll know about it).

2. Word gets around

We’ve heard that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. That’s in person. Now with online communication they could reach 2000 or even 200,000 easily. If you don’t believe us, read about American restaurant chain Applebees’ social media crisis.

This example also shows how important your online response to customer service complaints is – you want to calm the storm, not fuel the fire!

customer service

3. When you do it right, it’s free advertising

Happy customers don’t spread the word as far and wide as unhappy ones, but word still gets around. It’s human nature to ask people for recommendations, as we don’t want to make a mistake when choosing from several options. How often have you asked a friend what butcher they go to, their favourite restaurant, or how a movie was? Social proof is the psychological concept of trusting what others say and wanting to go with majority opinion (and people believe what others say about your business far more than what your advertising says!).

4. Happy customers are less sensitive to price increases

One mistake businesses can make is increasing prices without first considering if their customers are happy. As their customers leave in droves, they hear “you give us an ordinary product and bad service, and now you want to charge us more for it?” When customers love what you offer they will be more likely to stick with you when inevitable price rises occur.

5. You outplay your competition

While we don’t advocate a business strategy based solely on crushing your competitors, we do encourage you to be the absolute best you can be. When you continually improve your levels of customer service, your customers will be less likely to shop elsewhere.

6. It meets two fundamental human needs

Anthony Robbins talks about the six needs that drive human behaviour. Two of these are the need for significance and contribution. By giving great customer service, you contribute to the happiness of your customer and the success of the business. You are also likely to feel significant when your customer, employer or P&L is grateful for your efforts! We believe the majority of customer complaints occur when the customer does not feel valued or heard. Great customer service makes people feel important to you, meeting their need for significance.

7. Because it’s what we’re designed to do …

This quote from Winston Churchill sums it up:

customer service

And Albert Einstein said, “The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.” Who are we to argue with a genuis?

– Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke

Two Business Secrets You Need To Know

(one your competitors won’t tell you, and one everyone should be told!)

Do you sometimes feel that your competitors have a secret that’s allowing their business to do better than yours?

Do you look at other businesses and think they are smooth sailing, while yours is weathering rough seas?

If you’re like most business owners, at some stage you’ll be comparing yourself to your competitors and wondering what their secret is to getting ahead.

There are many secrets in today’s competitive world, and keeping your important information confidential is essential.

Details about your finances, marketing, and team concerns should be shared only with trusted professionals – such as your business coach, accountant and banker.

While privacy is important, this secrecy among business owners can lead to misconceptions. No-one wants their competition to know they have challenges, so you’ll usually hear business owners say “we’re flat out!” and keep up the facade that business is always great.

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

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.

As business coaches, we are in the privileged position of seeing the truth behind the outward image. We don’t work with broken businesses, but rather those that want to go from good to great. No matter how successful a business is, one thing is constant – challenges, frustrations, and worries are a part of every business.

As Brian Tracy says, problems are like waves on the ocean which just keep coming (with the inevitable dumpers mixed in) … problem, problem, problem, problem, CRISIS!

subway

So are you ready for the two secrets?

The secret other business owners don’t want you to know:

They all face challenges.

The secret everyone in business should be told:

Challenges are inevitable. To get ahead you need to tackle them 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.

So if business challenges are inevitable, how do you ensure that you deal with them effectively?

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

  1. Turn around and run as fast as you can 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 and hoping they go away 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

This is always 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.

Let’s see how choosing to ignore or face your challenges can result in very different outcomes.

Hoping it goes away …

A business owner meets with us to discuss his challenges. He started his business nearly three years ago, and it has now grown to a team of 7. His staff turnover has been high, and customer satisfaction is low.

He tells us that his staff members are the problem. After initial training, they stop following procedures and start doing things their own way. Their inconsistent service results in customer complaints, and loss of profits due to inefficiencies and wastage. One or two employees started out okay – but they’ve lost their motivation and just don’t try anymore. His newest team member in particular, Tom, is dragging the rest of the team down.

He tells us that he doesn’t know how to deal with this problem, that he just wants them to shape up, and that he’s angry and frustrated. He is reacting rather than responding to situations, and is losing his cool often at home and at work.

His comments include:

  • My staff never do what I ask them to do
  • I have to tell them again and again how to do things and they still don’t get it right
  • I always have stay back at work to fix their mistakes
  • The team doesn’t like Tom, and I don’t want Tom to stay, but it’s easier than having to replace him. I don’t have time to train anyone else – it’s coming up to our busiest season
  • I earned more money and had fewer headaches when I was working on my own.

He complains that he can’t believe the bad luck he’s had with employees. “You just can’t get good staff these days”, he says.

We explain a few things to help him. As he’s not giving the team direction and guidelines for performance, they are setting their own bar. When poor performance is ignored, it’s condoned. He needs to give Tom feedback and an opportunity to improve, or standards throughout the team will slide. We suggest that he learns some new communication and management skills and ways of dealing with business challenges.

Unfortunately he decides that he is too busy to make changes right now. Besides, he tells us, it’s the staff that’s the problem, not him!

Three months later we heard from him that Tom’s performance had deteriorated even further, and other team members got more and more frustrated at having to pick up Tom’s slack. They started leaving one by one. As the business became under-staffed, standards slipped further, and the business lost more customers and profits. The owner had since recruited a new team member, but he wasn’t happy with that person’s performance either.

By ignoring the problems, the problems had grown, but the business owner’s ability to deal with challenges hadn’t. As he was finding out, ignoring problems and hoping they go away doesn’t work.

Tackling it head-on …

In our second scenario, let’s imagine the same business owner comes to see us to discuss his challenges. Just like before, he tells us that he doesn’t know how to manage his staff. They are not following procedures, are losing motivation, and it’s impacting business results. In particular his newest employee Tom needs a lot of direction.

His outlook this time is one of finding a solution, rather than focusing on the problem. He tells us he doesn’t want his frustration to impact his enjoyment of work, the service he can provide his customers, his business profits, or his home life.

His comments include:

  • I need to learn how to communicate more effectively with my team so they do what I ask
  • I want to learn how to hold my employees accountable
  • I want advice on how to improve their skills and behaviour
  • I want a strong team throughout our busiest season
  • I want to grow my business and team, so the team can work without me there every day.

The business owner has clear goals for his business, and doesn’t have time for distractions. He knows he needs to deal with this problem before it grows.

He decides to learn some new management skills, knowing that to get a different result he needs to change his own actions. As he puts into practice what he’s learned, team morale improves. The team creates a company culture or ‘rules of the game’. The standards rise, and he finds the team members holding each other accountable to perform to their best.

He gives Tom feedback, support, and extra training, but unfortunately Tom’s performance doesn’t change. After receiving a written warning, Tom chooses to resign. The other employees are relieved that they no longer have to take up Tom’s slack.

This business owner has a new problem – he now has to replace Tom as they enter their busiest season. But now he has skills and experience in dealing with underperforming employees, and can focus on a solution and move forward. The team help recruit a new employee in line with their new company culture.

Instead of the problem growing, the owner’s skills, ability, and confidence to deal with team issues has grown.

Three months later this business has employed another two team members, and is looking forward to a year of record growth.

As this business owner found out, business is a journey of constant and never-ending improvement, and problems are often the push we need to grow.

Challenges are inevitable in business and in life. To be successful, we need to focus on what we can control, which is the way we deal with them. Having a solutions-focused approach and choosing to grow – rather than allowing our problems to grow –  is the secret.

3 Things You Need To Know About Business Success

Think of the successful business people you know. What makes them successful? Is it their wealth, management ability, respect they get from others, perseverance, determination, or character? People you perceive as successful have something you admire. Perhaps you see similar characteristics in yourself, aspire to have what they have, or want to be like them in some way.

Whatever it is you aspire to, if you want to be successful, there are 3 things you need to know about business success:

  1. Success means something different to everyone
  2. You need to know your values in order to achieve success
  3. Success is a result of the actions you take and choices you make each and every day.

pablo-22

What is success?

Each person has their own unique set of values and their own definition of success. For some people success means a happy and healthy family; for others it means financial independence; for some it’s quality relationships; and for others it’s about accomplishments.

Achieving what you want in areas you value essentially equates to what success means to you. 

Philosopher Dr John Demartini says to help work out your values, think about what you’d like written on your tombstone – known as your epitaph – a short statement summarising your life. It could be:

  • Loved life
  • Bloomed where he was planted
  • Never gave up
  • Made the best of everything
  • Dedicated her life to others

Interestingly, what you’d like written on your tombstone may not have anything to do with the ideas you have of what success means, such as wealth or health. But having the things you believe define your success, like money and health, allow you to live a life that’s meaningful to you and that’s in line with your values. Financial independence, for example, allows you to give to others when contribution is high on your values list. Health allows you to appreciate the beauty in everything when gratitude is one of your values.

How do you achieve success? 

You achieve success by living your life according to your own values.

Success is a by-product of the actions you take and the choices you make. When you know your values you can prioritise the many possible things that compete for your time. At each and every moment you can identify what is most important to you to do, and define and accept the cost of doing that (yes, there is a trade-off for every choice you make).

Want to train for a half marathon? You may need to go to bed early instead of staying up late watching tv, so you can be up at 5am to run before work.

Want to get a qualification? You may need to enrol in a course and reduce your work hours and income until it’s complete.

Want a more productive team? You might need to learn how to be a better manager. You could choose to read management books instead of novels, meet a mentor instead of a friend for coffee, and attend seminars instead of sporting events.

Those that say business success requires sacrifice usually follow it with a story of someone who achieved it at the expense of their family, friends, or health. Yes, we’ve seen this happen. And we agree that anything you want in life takes effort and involves some sacrifice. The simple fact that there are only 24 hours in each day means that you need to make choices about what’s important to you, and make time for it at the expense of other things you could do.

There’s never enough time to do everything, but when you know your values and stop doing things that aren’t important to you, you make time for things that are.

Does success mean having it all?

Many people believe that balance is the key to living a good life. The idea that you can have equal amounts of time for exercise, relaxation, family, business, spiritual pursuits, innovation, contribution, friends, and fun is wonderful – but not plausible!

At Yellow Coaching, we don’t believe in helping people find balance – but we do believe in helping them understand their values and be at peace with their choices. There is no right or wrong when it comes to values, just choices and consequences.

We ask our clients to list their hierarchy of values from options such as family, health, wealth, lifestyle, life partner, and contribution. We then ask them to assess if how they are currently spending their time is a reflection of those values.

An unfit business owner might list health as number 1, but has not exercised in the last 3 months. An executive may say her children are her main priority, but she doesn’t see them Monday to Friday as she’s at work early each day and home after they are in bed. There is no right or wrong, and no judgement from us! But we do ask them to decide what needs to change – their behaviour so it’s in line with their true values, or how they rank their values at this particular time of their life.

The unfit business owner might choose to prioritise exercise and commit to a program and a goal, or alternatively acknowledge that exercise is not that important to him right now, and he’s okay with the consequences of that.

The executive may choose to commit to a couple of nights a week being home earlier to put the kids to bed, or she could accept that work is her focus right now, and admit that she’s happy with the consequence of that decision.

Whatever they choose, if it’s line with their true values, it will lead them closer to their definition of success and a fulfilling life for them.

At Yellow Coaching, we work holistically with business owners and their teams, and executives and their team members, to find meaning in their work and achieve their goals, both personal and professional. Call us to find out how we can help you and your team.

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.

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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.