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The 3 Keys Coaching Process

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Assessing Performance of Your Small Business | CEO Mindset Leadership Development Program- March 18, 2014

Take a more in-depth look at how a PESTEL analysis, SWOT analysis and your financials can be a treasure trove and not a burden when you want to know how well your business is growing. Click here to register or for more informationRegister today

What People Are Saying
“Please allow me to express my appreciation for your excellent business coaching. As our company continues to grow and present us with new challenges and opportunities, we are grateful that you are there for us with insight and understanding as to how we can better succeed in our marketplace. I particularly appreciate your thoughtful listening, and your innovative comments and suggestions. Thank you for all the books, articles, and other resources you have brought to our attention that have helped us a great deal."”
- Andrew Lutts CEO, Net Atlantic Inc.

When Growing Your Small Business Is Like A Resurrection

Growing Your Small Business, resurrectionLike a lot of small business owners, *Sharon has been scraping by over the past year or so. Sales are slow so there is less revenue. On the positive side, Sharon has been able to cut costs without harming how she serves her customers. Plus, there are some opportunities that look good over the next few months. The downside is that she has to be more involved in the tasks she used to delegate. It’s going to be rough until she can spark a resurrection of her small business.

Test of leadership and your CEO Mindset

When things are going well, it’s much easier to do those things that leadership experts tell you to do. You can listen, keep  your emotions on an even keel and take time to plan and consider tactics and strategy. That’s not to say you can’t do it now but it takes far less energy in good times. One story I hear from small business owners here in the US and Ireland is that it’s the day-in, day-out of finding ways to maintain the business with dwindling resources. They are questioning if their businesses will last until their pipelines produce revenue and if the revenue will be large enough. These are resilient people but the length of these challenges is affecting their optimism and motivation. It’s hard to balance the long-term view with short term needs.

Growing your business is more nuanced than at first glance

Many times we think of growing your business as coming from a place of strength and plenty. This is true but not necessarily the whole picture. When your business performs feebly and you set up a business development plan, this sets the stage for a growth phase. After all, you only have two options — resurrection or close the doors.

5 Ways to a resurrection

1. Check your mindset. It has to start with you. One of the hallmark parts of using your CEO Mindset is acknowledging your emotions. Sure, you might feel angry, scared, worried, frustrated, de-motivated or uncertain. These are normal responses and avoiding them doesn’t make them go away. They exist, recognize them and know you choose your next action.

2. Controlled expression of emotions. In 2008, I wrote a post about using freak out moments. One of my clients was so aggravated with how her business was performing, she wished she could have a temper tantrum. She was half-kidding and we were in a private place so I encouraged her to do it. She didn’t even last 5 minutes. Write, draw or act like a two year old so you don’t inadvertently take it out on your staff or other people. Note – Since you are the leader of your organization, do this with no staff present and you cannot be observed.

3. Decide how much urgency you want to place on growing your small business. There is a difference between emergency and urgency. Emergency is panic and interferes with your decision-making. Urgency is just enough pressure to communicate importance and desire. Does your small business matter enough to you to make it work again?

4. Make a plan. Once you assign urgency to creating growth, it’s time to decide on strategies, tactics and goals. Start with what is currently in place (do a quick SWOT analysis if you’re not sure) to know what is possible. Identify your target customers, why they should buy from you and how your business is specially suited for them. Tactics are how you want to reach these particular customers and the goals are the specific actions that execute the tactics. Focus the time frame to no more than 90 days with scheduled reviews and include accountability partners with every goal so things stay on track.

5. Begin immediately. When you’ve recharged your motivation (and, if applicable, the motivation of your staff), take action. Make a phone call, write an email or whatever you are acccountable for. Focus on your behavior and choosing action.

Resurrection your small business takes commitment and time

Small things like a five minute deep breathing exercise at the beginning of your work day,  making one phone call at at time to trusted people in your network and keeping a to-do list from the plan will add up. Use your CEO Mindset to lead the resurrection of your business. You can hold your head high when you give it your best shot.

What tips or ways would you add to resurrecting your small business?

How can small business owners manage expectations as they lead this type of growth phase?

 *Name and other details have been changed to maintain confidentiality

About the author:  I’m Elli St.George Godfrey, a small business coach and trainer who guides established small business owners in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US to be comfortable in their own skin. I have a deep appreciation for learning and understanding my client’s business style and culture. Whether you are re-focusing your small business or expanding in your own backyard or into another country, my 3 keys coaching process helps clients move from being excited about growing to having the tools to make it actually happen. Curious? Schedule your complimentary coaching session here.

iStockphoto by mycola

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Just What Is A SWOT Analysis Anyway?

I realized recently that I have never written a post entirely devoted to what is a SWOT Analysis. What?! The weird thing is that I have referred to SWOT analyses in various posts like this one or this one. This tool can help you design your strategic plan, objectively see how you and your small business are performing and even provide a few other advantages.

A straightforward tool
SWOT analysis and small business

You wouldn’t mind but I encourage people to do a SWOT analysis every time I present my webinar, Living Business Plan-The Best Kept Secret For Small Business Success. (Typically, I recommend to clients to make it a part of their quarterly review.)

It sounds so business-y and arcane but it’s really a straightforward tool. The four parts of the SWOT analysis are: Click here to read more »

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Celebrate Your 2012 Small Business!

Celebrate your small business successGiven the ups and downs of the last two years with my small business, I have deepened my awareness of how important it is to celebrate small and big accomplishments. In my latest newsletter (there is a sign up in the right hand column of this page, if you’re interested), I wrote about how celebrating is tied to looking ahead and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you. Click here to read more »

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Of Living Business Plans and Disaster Recovery

You might know that you can find more posts by me on KaizenBiz.com and TweakYourBiz.com. Just this month, I started blogging on a small business site, Corpnet.com. Check out my latest posts here…

On TweakYourBiz.com

Preparing and Responding When Natural Disaster Hits Your Small Business Since any one of us can be affected by a natural disaster, this summation post offers links of resources and advice for preparation and recovery. I wish you every success for the recovery of your small business if you’ve been affected by Hurricane Sandy or any of other recent severe weather events.

On Corpnet

Running a Small Business: What Is a Living Business Plan? As a reader of this blog, you are probably familiar with my encouragement that using a living business is good business sense so you stay focused and clear about planning and implementation of your business vision and goals. If you have missed some of my past posts on living business plans, this post is a good introduction.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts on these other sites. I appreciate any time you share my small business posts with your followers on your favorite social media sites.

About the author:  I’m Elli St.George Godfrey, a small business coach and trainer who guides established small business owners to be comfortable in their own skin. I have a deep appreciation for learning and understanding my client’s business style and culture. Whether you are expanding in your own backyard or into another country, my 3 keys coaching process helps clients move from being excited about a new business opportunity to having the tools to make it actually happen. Curious? Schedule your complimentary coaching session here.

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Managing Change: What Neuroscience Teaches Us About Burning Platforms

neuroscience, change management, burning platformIn 1988 in the North Sea, an Occidental Oil rig exploded killing 167 men. This disaster is possibly the worst offshore oil rig accidents in history (see more of the story here). Those that survived the inferno did so by jumping into the ocean waters despite the great height and frigid waters below. One survivor, Andy Mochan was quoted, “It was either fry or jump, so I jumped.”

Daryl Connor was inspired by Mochan’s story and commitment to survival led Connor to create the change management term of “burning platform.” Since Connor’s introduction, it’s become common in change management to create a sense of heightened urgency so organizational changes are adopted more readily.

The morphing of an idea Click here to read more »

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Managing the Business Owner: When Do I Hire A Coach?

business owner, choices, coaching It’s not unusual for a small business owner to be talented and intuitive enough to steer their businesses through early growth. In fact, you want that foundation! Then, one day, there is an  inspiration to go for a bigger push. Sometimes this inspiration is like a whack on the head…your biggest client leaves or you’ve hit some other financial wall. Other times it is illumination…your product or service feeds a need in your market or the business is attracting attention and interest from your uber-ideal customers.

What are you trying to accomplish?

Stephen Covey ( who passed away on July 16, 2012) recommended seven habits  and one of these is “Begin with the end in mind”. This is often the starting point when we consider our wishes, hopes and dreams. Sometimes we articulate them to our business partners or friends but often business owners keep them quiet. Like the business owner I was speaking with last week who said he wanted to increase his revenues by 50%, it’s easy to come up with huge goals. It’s harder to determine why they are the best ones for both your personal growth and the growth of your organization.

Where’s the gap between your big goals and you? Click here to read more »

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Small Business Owner, Why Hire An Executive Coach?

“Why should I hire you?” I get that question a lot. And frankly, I welcome it!

Since I work with established business owners, they want to know how coaching generates results they can see and feel. I can relate as a business owner. I don’t have time or money to waste either.

There are huge expectations for small business owners and most are ready to take on the challenges in front of them. However, it is common to want a place to express your dreams, aspiration, doubts and weaknesses. You want to maintain your authority and still make sure you have a solid support system that keeps you fresh and grounded.

What is coaching? Click here to read more »

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What Stressor Should You Tolerate In Your Small Business?

how tolerating stress can hurt your small business*Mary, a small business owner, is experiencing some difficulty fitting into her changing role in her small business. Over the years, she has been largely responsible for the actual work of her business. She often kept her strategic plan in her head and followed her gut instinct when opportunities came along. And it worked. The business has grown and is stable. Recently, she has been noticing a restless feeling; as if it is time to do something new. Mary is quite clear that she has no intention of closing her current business. She envisions her current business becoming so much more. Mary recognizes that the business is ready for growth and knows she wants the role of  leader; even calling herself CEO. She feels eager and apprehensive about making the necessary decisions that will move her business forward.

What’s behind her uncertainty? Click here to read more »

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Using Your Living Business Plan: Measuring Results

Measuring your small businessHave you been using your living business plan? As many of you know,  a living business plan is the internal business plan that is written for your use and that it follows this basic outline;

Basic Outline:

  • Executive summary
  • Services and/or products offered
  • Marketing plan
  • Financials
  • Goals and objectives

This is all well and good but how do you know if your business plan is working? Click here to read more »

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One Step Closer

Business Owners, Crisis and KnowingIn my previous post, Back At TweakYourBiz , I mentioned I had taken time to assess what I wanted to do next. Regular readers of this blog have probably noticed that I shy away from getting too personal.  But during a recent coaching session, I noticed that the questions I was asking my client were the questions I had to answer last year.

One Step Closer

A good friend of mine gave me a copy of U2′s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb about 9 months ago. I have a copy already and some of the songs have resonated with me for a long time. Strangely,  it was like hearing the album for the first time. Circumstances had created a perfect storm that nearly ended my business. At one point, I actually thought it was over and I should just get a job. I truly felt as if everything in my life had just upended but this U2 song, One Step Closer kept echoing in my head. Click here to read more »

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