You’ve done it. Started your own business. You’ve had a great idea, identified your market, sourced the capital you need and now you’re up and running. You have even built a small team and you, and they, have done work that you are proud of.
The early months, or years, or running your own business are full of heady excitement, game-changing ideas and buckets of optimism. It is hard, in the middle of all this, to consider what can possibly go wrong. But go wrong it can.
The good news is that external support, from an experienced business coach, can not only help keep the wheels on the bus, it can stop the wobbles occurring in the first place.
Your business coach can help you...
1. Develop your long term game plan
Every new business starts with a business plan, although not every business plan makes it past the stage of mental construction. Your coach can help you download all the stuff in your head, or turn those notes on the back of an envelope into a plan that clarifies your business idea, and defines your long-term objectives.
2. Consider the challenges ahead and prepare for them
The day-to-day pressures of running a small business leave little time for thinking ahead. Take time out with your coach to anticipate and plan for the unexpected. These may be changes in your operating environment, or in your personal life, that will impact the business. Forewarned is definitely forearmed.
3. Prevent founder dependency
Your creativity and passion was what got the business started. But on its own, it is unlikely to be the thing that keeps it going. Or not without considerable personal sacrifice. Your coach will help you consider whether your work/life balance is out of kilter. She or he will also help you think through how you can reduce your business’s dependency on you, as the company’s founder and driving force, for example by building the capacity of those around you.
4. Keep director relationships on an even keel
Small businesses are often started by two or more individuals with complimentary skills, who pool their energies and resources. In some ways it is like a marriage. But, like a marriage, its continued success depends on shared expectations and values, and these can change. Your coach will work with you individually, and as a group, to keep you talking, and reduce the risk of things falling apart.
5. Grow and motivate your team
Recruiting and training people is expensive. It also takes time, and energy. Don’t become a test bed for talent. When hiccups occur, and you’re struggling to get the best out of someone, use your company coach to help you identify, and deal with, what’s going wrong. Keep the people you want to keep, and keep them motivated and engaged with you, and the rest of the team, so that they, and your business, can grow and flourish.