with Simplicity Expert, A.Michelle Blakeley
Seeking outside professional help is one of the best ways to turn your business around when you find it is stagnate, stuck or sinking. Business coaches and consultants have been effectively used by Fortune 500 companies as well as “mom and pop” shops. The common denominator is the fact that the business owner recognized the existence of a specialized skill or knowledge gap and took action on getting the necessary help to close that gap.
With such a wide variety of business coaches and consultants available, entrepreneurs and small business owners can get in depth assistance in a core area of expertise like marketing, branding, finance, operations, client service, sales, social media, organization, legal, etc.
Micro Business Therapy™ takes a holistic approach to sourcing the root of problem areas by realigning your principles, practices and purpose. Every business coach and consultant operates within their area of expertise and with their own approach. The following questions will help a Micro Business Therapist™ realign your business purpose, core values and infrastructure with holistic business practices to ensure your principles reflect your practices, so that you can organically attract clients and grow your business.
1. Have you worked with a business coach or consultant before? It’s good to share your experience with previous coaches and consultants. Not everyone works the same way, uses the same strategy, techniques or agenda. What worked well and what did you wish had worked differently? Regardless of this being a new experience or you’ve used a coach/consultant before, communication is essential and getting a clear understanding of expectations will aid the process.
2. Do you know what your purpose is? Before we get into the deep stuff, it’s important to know if you are clear about your purpose. Why are you doing what you are doing? What’s your reason for expending your time, energy and effort into your business?
3. You’re at your best when…? We all have natural areas for optimal performance, whether it be a certain time of the day, when we are eating right/exercising, when we have the support of family/friends, when have access to…? When gotten a certain amount of sleep, etc.
4. Are your goals and objectives clarified? Are you clear about what your end game is? What does success mean and represent to you? Are your goals tied to family, finances, emotional, etc?
5. What is the problem you are hoping to solve? What is your perspective on what needs to change or happen in your business in order to get back on track, be productive and/or achieve your version of success?
6. Do you know what your core values are? Your core values and purpose are the foundation of your business. Everything is built around them. Your client experience, your business culture, your brand/identity, etc. It is what keeps you centered and focused when distractions, disruptions and detours happen.
7. Do you have a clearly defined client profile? Before you sell a product or service, you have to know who you are selling to, their demographics, where to find them and what problem or need you are solving for them. How they want to be communicated to/with.
8. Do you have a compelling value proposition? With all the white noise coming across in ads, conversations, social media, television, etc. You have to be able to distinguish yourself from the competition with a unique selling proposition. What makes your business so unique? What do you offer head and shoulders above your competition? What’s your differentiation?
9. Do you know what is currently happening in your profession and industry? What are the current trends? Are you up-to-date on industry standards and offerings? Certifications? Licensing? Terminology? Laws? When is the last time you attended an industry-related convention or trade show? Seminar? Webinar?
10. Do you still enjoy working in and on your business? If not, why? Before you can get reenergized and invigorated to shift gears, you have to find the source of your passion and determine if it is sustainable passion or misguided passion.
11. Is your income and/or revenue where it should be? Do you have a budget and financial projections written down? Do you know what your industry standards are? Do you know why sales are/are not where they need to be? How did you get there? Is your pricing competitive? Effective?
12. Where do you want your business to be in 2 years? Entrepreneurs and small business owners used to be able to plan and forecast for 5 and 10 years down the road. However, technology and our current society forces us to adapt and change much more often. Though it may still make sense to plan for 5 years down the road, your active plan should only be for 1 or 2 years out.
13. Are you ready for change? Acknowledging and knowing what the problem is completely different from taking action to fix it. You have to be ready to accept and prepared for change, before you can change. Change is often uncomfortable. It forces us to stretch away from our current position. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it can be exhilarating. You have to be able to take the easy parts along with the hard parts.
It’s important to speak candidly and effectively communicate your needs when you are working with a coach, consultant or Micro Business Therapist™. Put all of your cards on the table so that they have an opportunity to get the full picture regarding the state of your business. You don’t know what you don’t know. A fresh pair of eyes and non-judgmental pair ears can be just want you need to get the inspiration, knowledge and direction you need to get unstuck.