Why Coaching not Training?

Training is a part of Coaching. Sometimes the client is missing some skill or set of skills to make them successful. So, why does such a person do better with Coaching than Training?

Think of this as like having a Personal Trainer. They teach their clients specific exercises to perform. One of the things that I find interesting is that they often don't teach the theory behind the exercises. The one thing that they surely do is hold clients accountable, at least while they are at the gym.

One of the things that is different between Coaching and Training is that Accountability. The Coach is there to hold the client to his or her plan. With Training there is a transfer of knowledge but nothing about an implementation. Implementation is the most important part of the Coaching program. If no action results, then nothing will have happened. Training will make you smarter but if it is not put to use then no value has been created. There is nothing wrong with Training. There are lots of good applications for Training to ensure that people have the skills they need to do their job. It is just that Coaching does more.

When is it appropriate to use Training? The best use is when there is an internal resource that will replace the Coaches Accountability partnership. An example would be a Manager who is using Training to grow his employee's skill base. The challenge for Owners and Executives is that they often do not have an internal Accountability partner. They either do not have a boss or have a boss with large responsibilities in other areas. People in this situation can turn to an external resource to hold them Accountable to meet their obligations.

Back to the Personal Trainer as a comparison, they hold people Accountable by having regularly scheduled sessions. What they can't do (nor can a Business Coach) is force the client to do the right thing between meetings. They can ask. They can cajole. They can demand. The client has to do the work. The more they put into the program the more they get out. This is the way to get the most out of a Coaching Program whether it is about your Health or about your Business. Commit, Follow-through, and just do it!

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Visit the FocalPoint Norcal Forum - We have many tools for helping your Business!


Time and Employees: Onboarding Context

Last time I posted about Onboarding. This is the process of taking a new employee and integrating them into your business. Many business owners that I talk to think this sounds like a lot of overhead. To me, it is simple expediency. To that end, I want to provide a couple of pieces of context around this. First, is your Brand. If you look back through my posts, you will find a significant number of them that deal with Branding a Smaller Business. Large Enterprises spend a lot of money on Branding. Smaller Businesses need to rely on how well they execute their Products and Services. Think about going to a fine restaurant and having a great meal. Now imagine that meal coming with terrible service. Would you go back? What would you think about that Business. Your employees are likely to be your front line to your customers and prospects. You need them to represent your Brand to the outside world. Is investing time in people post-hire to help them add to your Brand seem like a good investment in that context? I hope so.

Second, is the cost of recruiting and hiring the right people. It takes a long time to get new people to come on board. It will take more time to integrate them to be effective in their new role. That time is a resource expenditure just like cash. And hiring probably had some cash expenses as well. By having lots of voluntary turnover (the term that means that people leave on their own), you are spending time hiring. Assuming those positions are productive and producing money for you, then by having them open you are losing momentum in what you are doing. Plus, you are spending more time and more money in recruiting people to replace those that left.

Third, is based on what I call the 3Ps of Management: Products, Processes and People. Products are what you are selling today. They drive today's revenue. But for many companies, they will change over time and be replaced by other products. Processes are the way you do business. As most of you know, it costs more money to operate a business each year. There are raises, rent increases, insurance price increases and other increases in general. When I was at AFC, we used to estimate it was 7% per year. That means that you need to generate 7% more Gross Margin (the direct profit on goods sold) to keep the same level of profit. That is without hiring or expanding. Just doing what you are doing. So, you need to constantly update your business processes to be more efficient. Finally, there are People. When it comes to making new Business Processes and creating new Products, they are the folks that are going to do it. It means that in the long term the vitality of any company is the People. You want to hire, retain and grow great people.

Given these motiviations, does it make sense to pay attention to your new employees and make sure that they become productive and happy as soon as possible? I hope so.

Have a great day! Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Visit the FocalPoint Norcal Forum - We have many tools for helping your Business!

Sonoma County: News and Notes

This will be my post in this format about the Workshop I am co-hosting on October 20th. The workshop is titled "How to Grow and Manage Your Business Profitably" with Don McMahan and Shane Campbell. The Workshop will be held at Noon at the Finley Center and Lunch will be provided. You can click HERE to register for the Workshop on EventBrite. The cost is $25 and each attendee will also receive a copy of "The Exit Strategy Workbook". I am looking forward to seeing many of you there next week. This is going to be a great event! I also want to let you know that the Lime Foundation (run by my friend and BNI compatriot Letitia Hanke-Ryzhkov is holding a fund raiser on November 7th from 6 - Midnight at Sally Tomatoes. All the proceeds will be used to help those hurt in the Valley Fire. You can register for the Fundraiser by clicking HERE! The Lime Foundation is also accepting gifts of Food and Water to help those in Lake County. You can find out more about the Lime Foundation if you click HERE!

On November 12th, two coaches within FocalPoint are hosting a conference in San Francisco. It is called "Green and Gold: Making Money While Saving the Planet". It will be held from 9:00 - 5:30 at Conference Center located at 499 Illinois Street in San Francisco. There will be many fine speakers and you can find out more information about this event HERE! The cost to attend is $99 and you can register to attend by clicking HERE! If you are interested in learning how to raise capital, market, and operate a Green Business for Profit, then this is the event for you!

As an update to the issues that I talk about regularly, let us start with housing. The Average Single Family Home price has now crossed $500,000 in Sonoma County. This means that first time home buyers are going to find it dificult to get into homes straight away. The issue continues to be the availability of homes to buy (aka Inventory). There is nothing that is going to change this very soon, but there is some relief coming eventually in Rohnert Park. There is a substantial development near the Green Music Center that might see homes begin to be sold in a year or so. The pricing out of first time buyers and the prospect of new homes coming on to the market, might put a cap in the rise of home prices for now.

Now, let's move to water. The good news (I think) is that El Nino continues to look like it is going to happen. The last time we had an El Nino of this magnitude was 1997. I remember that well as it was my first year in Sonoma County. We had flooding that brought water to the doorsteps of AFC. I remember buy lunch for the entire building that day so that folks would not have to go out for lunch. I think it was around 50 pizzas. But it was the right thing to do to keep our employees safe. We had a number of them cut off from homes in Marin County so we put them up for the night in local motels. Not the Ritz, but we did try to help!

Finally, this week I want to let everyone know that the FocalPoint Coaches in Northern California have opened up a new site called the FocalPoint NorCal Forum. The goal of this site is to provide educational videos on various business topics to those who want to view them. You can also learn about the different FocalPoint Coaches in Northern California and their expertise. I hope that many of you will take a look and find something of interest. It is all free and please feel free to use it as you will. Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Branding: Place

I think people have a better feel for Place as a customer than they do as a Business Owner. One of the ways I have seen this is when I watch "Restaurant Impossible". If you have ever watched the show owners call in a gentleman named Robert Irvine. Robert and a team makeover a restaurant in 2 days. About 80% of the time, the decor is one of the big issues. Well, I should back up and say that the "Place" is a big issue. It seems to be a pattern that bad restaurants have cleanliness issues on his show. Not all the time, but most of the time. Now if you walk into a restaurant and it smells bad, what do you think as a customer? Something is wrong. The same is true if you look around and there are filthy carpets, dusty blinds, and general clutter.

This is where Place comes into your Brand. I work out of my home as do many people in my business. The majority of my meetings happen at my client offices. Some of them happen at coffee shops and the rest happen on-line. So, I get to travel to see where people work. And that first impression makes a difference. That is why Marketing folks put such an emphasis on logos, signage, website design and colors.

But the quality of your office space and location of it makes a difference. We have a high end Steakhouse in town that is in a relatively bad neighborhood. I have seen needles in the parking lot while I was walking in. This does not provide a good feeling as someone who is planning to spend $50/head for dinner. I am surprised that this location was chosen and they have stayed there.

So, you can see how this all plays together as part of your brand. What people want and expect is that the location is convenient and safe. They want the style to represent you and yours. If it doesn't then they are disappointed with your company and it hurts your Brand. None of this has to be fancy or overdone. Unless, you are a fancy and overdone brand. Simple can work just fine. It all depends on expectations.

I like to use Hotels as a good way to think about it. Now, you can imagine that a Motel 6 and the Ritz-Carlton are going to be very different. But we can go further and look at others in each of those price classes. The Ritz is known for opulence. But imagine staying at a "W" Hotel. Look them up if you want. They are supposed to be trendy and fashionable. Would you expect the Ritz to be the same? No - Opulent and more Old World. Mahogany and Deep Pile versus Sleek Black and Chrome.

Both can work and have markets. But put the W's music in the Ritz and it would be a big branding mistake!

Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Change Your Business - Change Your Life! Business Coaching, Sales Training, Web Marketing, Behavioral Assessments, Financial Analysis

Planning a New Business: Next Steps

We have completed the planning phases for the new Business. Now its time to implement. My next story arc will be on a different trajectory, so I want to wrap this up. There are a lot of mechanics to opening a new business. I don't recommend a Sole Proprietorship, but they do go much faster than LLCs or Corporations. I won't do any recommendations on structure, you should talk to a Business Law Attorney about that. Most of the issue relates to liability and separating personal liability with business liability. But again, talk to an attorney.

I live in Santa Rosa, CA and here we have to have a City Business License to open a business bank account. That in turn depends on any State or Federal Tax IDs that are going to be issues. Each city is slightly different, but this is one of the bigger time sinks in the process.

You probably need to talk to a Business Insurance broker about at least liability insurance. Some businesses of course will need performance bonds and other insurance products as well. So, this is another person to talk to.

You need to consider what you are going to do for Bookkeeping. Most small businesses use Quickbooks (I use the online version), but there are several worthy products. If you are going to have a large number of company transactions (my coaching practice does not), then you will probably want to hire an bookkeeper to help.

Then, there comes the time to consider various consultants. I operate as a Business Coach but I also do specific Consulting work for clients. These projects can range from Marketing, Operations, Human Resources, or Sales. If you are not an expert in a particular area of the business, you need to consider hiring an outside expert to help you with one or more of these functions. IT support is a place where many folks outsource some of the work.

Last but not least, should you consider a Business Coach. As a new business, you might consider this an extravagance. 90% of all new businesses fail in the first 5 years. If hiring a coach can get you into the 10% then it is very likely worth it. If you look around you will find Coaches that can give you a sense of how to move past issues and get your business up as quickly as possible. For example, I have various ways that I have built my curricula to address specific business functions. The difference between Coaching and Consulting this way is that as a Consultant I am doing the work (I am fishing). As a Coach, I am teaching the Business Owner to do the work (Teaching him or her how to fish). Depends all on your needs. Feel free to contact me, if you need help.

Onto the next Story Arc!

Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Change Your Business - Change Your Life! Business Coaching, Sales Training, Web Marketing, Behavioral Assessments, Financial Analysis