If its not working, invest in coaching
By Neil Perkins
It was 14 months ago that I invested in some business coaching, this turned out to be money well spent. I was embarrassed that I was seeing a coach for guidance on running a business. Like all ‘Consultants’, you know what to expect?
Someone who is going to highlight all the things that you are doing that is wrong, tell you that you shouldn’t be doing it and then charge you a premium for it?
At the end of 2017, my energy levels had diminished, and I was burnt out. Flying solo, my emotional management with impulsive new strategies wasn’t working. I had got my gym to a break-even point and was paying myself a ‘wage’ every month with little profit left over – I was not ‘succeeding’. Along with my poor mental state, long hours and stress ensured that I was physically deconditioned too. Three budget gyms opened within a 1-mile radius and their aggressive marketing coupled with my operation still having weak links took its toll on my membership numbers. After a boom 3-6 months after opening, from July 2017 to November 2017, our membership numbers and revenue were shrinking month by month.
The reality of ‘business coaching’ was very different to what I expected and like a counselling session it was nice to vent to someone who was not emotionally attached to my business.
I still recall the meeting with a note pad and colouring pens to demonstrate weird and wonderful diagrams. For those of you who know my affliction to mind mapping and colouring pens, this could have been mistaken for a nursery school art lesson for someone looking in. Fuelled by Saint Kitchen’s coconut milk cappuccino’s we worked through our notepad’s each making notes in bright coloured felt tip pens.
Lesson 1. There are three things you must manage to succeed in business
- Know your numbers
- Your systems and processes
- People and how they relate to 1&2 – both staff and customers
I realised on lesson 1, that I knew nothing of my numbers. My systems and process where questionable and that I couldn’t quantify their success because I didn’t know my numbers. What do I take from this – KNOW YOUR NUMBERS.
These rules have been the blueprint to a 12-month transformation. I recall an exercise that we carried out in relation to my team. As I had no quantifiable data to support my reasoning (didn’t know my numbers), this exercise was based on emotion. I was asked to give every member of my team a 1 to 10 score with 1 been awful and 10 been a top-rated member. This could be applied to different aspects of skills required, so someone delivering Personal Training might offer have a higher score than the same person running group sessions. When I explain this exercise to people, they naturally start thinking of their own work environment and score their team or co-workers? Have you just completed this exercise in your head???
Now it is time for the catch, you can’t give anyone a 6 or a 7 – they must be a 5 (poor) or 8 (very good) – This exercise separates the men from the boys. You are looking for team of 8’s (very good), 9’s (outstanding) or 10 (exceptional)
It highlighted a few kinks in my arsenal, I identified a team member as a 5 and alarming me from a front of house perspective me as 2 in dealing with customers. I got to know my numbers and my hunch of my coach who scored ‘5’ was proved right with poor attendance in classes that I monitored over the next 3 months ( I knew my numbers) and I removed myself immediately from all front facing enquires – instead opting to utilise the skills of others who are far better to suit the role.
Putting a strategy in place from someone who knew more about running successful businesses was key to me evolving and progressing. I paid for this expertise, but I chose the right mentor and leveraged someone else’s knowledge for my own personal gain. The results far outweighed the financial cost. The knowledge ‘gained in the trenches’ and the systems and process that I applied transformed my business. I am very fortunate to have built up a network of people that has enabled me to leverage their knowledge for my own enrichment – some of it I have paid for and some of it I have extracted freely.
I can safely say now that my team is firing on all cylinders – the numbers proved it. Recently I’ve employed someone full time to market both businesses, I will know of the success of this acquisition because I can quantity the data. A combination of knowing my numbers, putting the rights systems in place and using this knowledge to identify the right people for these systems. I now have a community of flowing knowledge that is transforming the way people look and feel – I am truly grateful for the paid and free knowledge that I have acquired that enabled me to realise this ambition.
My recent catch up with Mike (business coach) enabled me to plan my next 12 months. My focus is on guiding people through white collar boxing shows, this is my specialist area and I love the journey I take people on – for this I score an 11 (god like)
My life has truly benefited from two major things – community and coaching, this is something that both my businesses (Henrietta Street Gym and Fighting Fit White Collar Boxing) excel in. If you want to change, you need to decide what you want to achieve and then find the right mentor/ guidance/ coaching to get you there. Ensure the person who guides you has either done it themselves or guided other people to realise your ambition.
I give thanks to a memorable 2018, I connected with some wonderful people, acquired some great persons in my businesses and strived towards success. I am moving forward rapidly and I am grateful to do something that I truly love. I am excited for 2019, as Mcfadden and Whitehead ‘There aint no stopping us now’. If you want to change your life, your body or your mindset the right coaching is worth investing in. Choose your mentors wisely, ensure that their success and desires match you ambition and keep taking one step forward.