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Questions about business coaching?

If you have a question that is not on our list, why not contact us through our form here?

Can I pick which Small Fish coach I would like to work with?

(Yes, it’s your money)

Yes you can.

You can call the coach direct – their contact details are listed in Find A Business Coach and in the appropriate Contact us page.

Or you can send an email enquiry through requesting which coach you would like to contact you. Or call Head Office and do the same thing. Or book a 10 minute chat with me.

Coaching is too expensive is there anything less expensive?

the answer to this question is a little complex, so bear with us. We’ll explain why coaching is so expensive (yet worth it) and we’ll explain the cheaper alternatives.

Why is it expensive and worth it?

It’s expensive because you’re paying a highly trained and experienced business coach to spend quite a lot of time with you. They spend time with you to bridge the gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

That’s the essence of coaching – helping you to make sure you actually change the way you run your business, so you make money. This involves long term accountability, coaching, coaxing, arguing, deciding and generally having someone at your side (metaphorically) all the time.

So, yes, it’s expensive (sorry).

We have two programs to fit two different sizes of business, which means you get less time with your coach and spend less money:

Programs Cost For businesses…
Full Program $2500 per month Bigger than $500,000 or so
Half program $1500 per month Bigger than $500,000 or so

You might still think this is expensive and, lucky for you, there are still some alternatives, though now you are trading effectiveness against cost.

Group Coaching programs – where you share a coach in a group with some other businesses. Carl, in Colorado, runs some group coaching programs. You could call them a pilot for us.

His customers meet on a webinar, 6 of them sharing Carl’s time and using a structured process where they address different aspects of their businesses in different weeks.

It’s $250 per month and not yet available in Australia.

Workshops – where you attend a workshop (either online or in person) and learn some aspect or several aspects of business. We’re piloting these, too.

If you are interested, please contact jon.dale@smallfish.com.au for more information on the workshops.

Do I get any guarantees that the business coaching will work for my business?

(The only guarantees in this life are death and taxes)

Yes. Small Fish offers you a Guarantee. Small Fish Business Coaching guarantees that the coaching program and process will return you at least as much additional profit as we have cost you over the course of a year, though this guarantee is reciprocal – you must participate fully and fairly in the program in order for the guarantee to remain valid.

If you do not make at least as much additional profit as we have cost you during 12- months, we will continue to work for no charge until you have recouped your costs.

Do I have to meet with the coach in person?

(Err…..probably good to meet once at least)

No. While it is quite common for you to meet your business coach in person, and certainly more common in the early stages of your business coaching program – it is also quite possible to successfully participate in your business coaching program remotely using the telephone and our webinar facilities. In fact, this is quite often a more productive approach.

In addition, all of your coaching meeting minutes and tools are stored for you online in our secure extranet environment, so you can securely access them from anywhere – meaning you could be anywhere as well.

Do you have coaches who are expert in my particular business/ industry/ specialty?

(Jon says probably, what’s your industry?)

Business coaching does not rely on the business coach to have expertise in your industry. Business coaches are experts at business coaching, and your business coach will utilise your industry expertise as part of the business coaching program to help you drive change into your business.

Having said that – it is quite possible that we have coaches who have experience in your particular industry. You can find out more about more about each of our coaches’ background and experience here.

Do you use a system, if so what is it?

(Of course we do. Do you think we make it up as we go along? We’re not that clever.)

Yes we do. We’re very proud of our business coaching system and of the structure and rigour we apply to our coaching programs. It’s difficult to describe the system in a short paragraph – best to read the Business Coaching page or attend one of our webinars or workshops.

In brief, we use a three step process of Audit, Plan and Action. Coach and customer together assess the situation; build a common understanding of what’s going on and where you want to go; then make a plan for how to get there (and document it); then implement the plan. Much of the coach’s role is to help the business owner make sure things get done.. Of course we use tools to help us make the right choices. We use the Business Mastery Program and a detailed audit tool as well as many other toolsets we’ve built up, bought or borrowed.

Our system is a structured and strong process but it is not a step-by-step guide to doing business – it assumes that coach and business owner know something (!) or that you can find the best strategy for a situation, it doesn’t have a store of appropriate choices for every possible situation you might face. That’s not its point.

The point of business coaching is not to have someone come in and tell you how to run your business. It is to have someone work with you to help you make better decisions and take effective actions – consistently and to keep doing it until you achieve your goals (or decide you don’t need to be coached any more – because you can do it on your own).

How do I find the time to add this to my list of things to do?

(Make time)

This is often the “Catch 22” in business, and relates directly to one of the major benefits of starting a business coaching program.

Many business owners are too busy working in their business to take the time to work on their business. This is exactly what business coaching is all about – taking you away from the day to day, to focus on the important things that often you are too distracted to act upon.

You really do need to find the time, and best of all, we can help you to find that time and get back in control. If your list of things to do is already too long, then we might suggest focusing on that as a good starting point in your coaching program.

How do you measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of a business coaching program?

(With a ruler)

ROI, or Return on Investment can be measured in a number of ways.

First, there is the financial benefit that can be achieved. This is generally measured in terms of how the coaching program drives increased profit into your business. Financial ROI is a key benefit of a Small Fish Business Coaching program because the program focuses on the drivers of profitability in a business.

Non financial ROI measures could include an improved work:life balance, environmental returns.

The returns for your business will be unique to your business, and the objectives that you have for your business, and in turn the business coaching program. One of the key features of the Small Fish Business Coaching program is measurement of results along the way to ensure that progress is made against the plan, and a return on investment is achieved.

Did we mention our guarantee?

How does business coaching work? Will it work for me and my business?

(Jon says of course it will, you fool)

Business coaching works in that it uses a structured 3-step process of:

  1. Audit – understanding where your business is currently at, and then work with you (as the business owner) to decide where you are going to take your business into the future;
  2. Plan – determine (and document) what changes and course of action needs to be implemented to get there; and
  3. Action – driving accountability for progress against the plan, and measuring results along the way.

Obviously, the results will vary depending on your unique circumstances and objectives for the coaching program. We have many testimonials from happy clients who have achieved results with their business coaching program.

We like to say “It is about getting things done”. Having a business coach will ensure that you are getting things done in your business, and getting the right things done for your business.

Did we mention our Guarantee?

How much does business coaching cost?

(What? Did you think it would be cheap?)

It’s a significant investment, not just of money, but of your time and energy.

We offer a 12-month Full Business Coaching program at $2,500 ex. GST ($2,750 inc. GST) per month. This includes a Business Audit Report, 4 x half-day workshops in the first month, and approximately 40 x 1-hour coaching sessions for the remainder of the 12-month program (1 per week, excluding holidays).

We also offer a 12-month Half Business Coaching program at $1,500 ex. GST ($1,650 inc. GST) per month. This includes a Business Audit Report, 2 x half-day workshops in the first month, and approximately 20 x 1-hour coaching sessions for the remainder of the 12-month program (1 every 2 weeks, excluding holidays).

Best of all, we also offer a Free Business Coaching session, valued at $500. If you think that business coaching could be useful to you and your business, then this is the best way to find out. What have you got to lose? Why not book in your free business coaching session right now. Click here for more information.

How much extra time will I need in addition to my coaching sessions?

(It depends on what you decide to do)

Because business coaching looks at your business strategically and holistically, ALL of the time you spend working in and on your business is time that you can use to make progress against your business plan. As such, there is no limit (other than the number of hours in a day) to the amount of time, in addition to your coaching sessions, that you could be working on your business.

Having said that, one of our core values is work:life balance – we don’t believe that you need to work ridiculous amounts of time to achieve results. The focus of our coaching sessions is always on making sure that progress is being made against the plan. It is for you to decide at what pace that progress is made, and also how much time outside the coaching sessions you can be working on your business.

The bottom line is that if you do not take action in your business outside the coaching sessions, then you are limiting your ability to make progress against the plan.

I can’t spare an hour every week. Can you still help me?

(No.)

Ignore Jon. Of course we can help you but only if we can help you find that hour and then some more time to spend on improving your business. Let’s face it; you won’t improve your business much if you don’t do anything. We are not magic and we don’t have a silver bullet. Nor are we going to come in and take over and do it all for you. Sorry.

If you can’t spare an hour a week, something is very wrong with how you manage your time or with what you feel compelled to do yourself. We need to find out how to free up some of your time to work on your business, without leaving important work undone, of course.

My local business coach doesn’t have experience in my industry. How can they help me?

(You’re not stuck with your local guy. Pick another one.)

As stated above, it is not imperative that your business coach is an expert in your industry.

First and foremost, our business coaches are expert in business coaching. You are the expert in your industry and your business. It is this combination that makes business coaching a powerful force for your business.

Your local business coach helps you by leading you through the business coaching program, and providing accountability along the way.

What if I don’t get along with my coach?

(Sack him (or her) and find another! It’s your money)

Business coaching is a personal business, and it generally doesn’t work well if you do not get along with your business coach. (Hey, it is possible they will tell you things you may not want to hear – so you better be ready for that).

While it would be nice to tell you that all our coaches are lovely (they are!), and we are sure you will get on with them – we do acknowledge that there are going to be times when this might not be the case. (Let’s call it a clash in personalities.)

In most cases, if there is going to be a potential clash, this will become apparent quite early in the discussions – usually before you commence your coaching program. If it is before you have commenced your coaching program, and you really feel that you can’t get along with the business coach, then we would encourage you to consider some of the other coaches that we have in your area (usually there is someone else nearby).

In fact – a business coach does not even have to be in your area as you can successfully participate in your business coaching program remotely using the telephone and webinar facilities – rather than face-to-face in person. (In fact, this is quite often a more productive approach).

If you have already commenced your business coaching program, and you feel that you cannot get on with your business coach, then we would strongly encourage you to discuss that with your business coach directly in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact Small Fish head office, and we will try and assist in resolving the situation – which might include changing business coach.

What if I don’t see any benefit from the business coaching?

(Stop doing it. It’s your money.)

It is very unlikely that you will not see any benefit from a business coaching program, as the business coaching program is structured around achieving results against objectives.

Our record of success with clients is a testimony to the benefits that can be achieved from business coaching.

If there was a possibility that benefits could not be realised from a business coaching program, then this would most likely have been identified in the initial discovery phase and discussed with you before commencing the coaching program.

Once the coaching program has started, benefits range from “quick wins” to lasting improvements in the long term sustainability and profitability of the business. The biggest benefits of business coaching are generally those that are long term (and lasting!) in their nature.

It is possible that part way through a business coaching program, after the “quick wins” have been realised, you may feel that a lot of work and effort is going in with little or no return. We tend to refer to this as “The Dip”, as the amount of effort that is going in outweighs the returns in the short term – which can lead to some disillusionment.

At this point, it is important to keep making progress against your plan, and your business coach will be a very useful asset to you and your business at this time – to help maintain momentum, focus and drive accountability for continuing to “get things done”.

If you feel like you are in “The Dip”, talk to your business coach about it. They are trained to help your business get through this, and realise the longer-term benefits that have been identified in your business plan.

Remember also that we provide a guarantee with every business coaching program. Click here for more information.

What is business coaching?

(Please tell me you haven’t gotten this far without some idea of what it is…..)

Coaching evolved from sports coaching where it is widely known that sportspeople achieved far greater results with a coach than without one. Your coach is here to help you…to push you on, to help you prioritise your tasks and your business goals and help you set a path to achieve them. Your coach will help you stay accountable, to yourself.

A good coach will leave you with a business in better shape and with you as a better business manager – you should not be dependent on your coach to do things for you but build the skills yourself. At Small Fish, we believe we are only doing our job right if we do ourselves out of a job!

For more information, read “What is a Business Coach?”

What Is the Difference between a Micro Business program and the other programs?

This program is specifically designed for very small businesses and does not touch on issues faced by large businesses. This is really for one man band and sole trader businesses.

What sorts of business benefit from being coached?

(All of them, of course!)

Any business can benefit from applying the principles involved in business coaching – whether that is setting a plan and sticking to it or reviewing marketing, sales, people management, leadership or any of the other areas we focus on. Even very large businesses can benefit. Most of our coaches have worked in large companies and almost all of us can see where these large companies could improve their business practices by applying some of the principals we use.

We’ve found that large corporations are not our market, though – too big and already well serviced by the large Management Consultants. Business Coaching is (sort of) Management Consulting cut down to the basics for small business – we lose all the fluff and complexity (that is probably appropriate for large and complex businesses) and focus on getting on with it and making sure stuff happens.

At the other end of the scale, very small businesses either cannot afford it or have a single, simple focus (like finding some customers). It’s not really for very, very small businesses. Our core market is those businesses who have revenues of $500,000 to about $20,000,000.

Not only that but they have to be wanting change – usually growth but not always. (Don’t get a business coach if you like your business the way it is).

What tools and systems do you have available to help my business?

(A magic business coaching wand to fix all problems with a flick of the wrist. Honest)

We have a suite of tools available to help your business as part of a business coaching program – the most fundamental of which is the Small Fish Business Coaching system itself.

The Small Fish Business Coaching system works through a 3 step process of Audit, Plan and Action to make sure you are getting things done in your business – and getting the right things done.

To compliment the system, we use a comprehensive Business Audit. This extensive Audit looks at your business in-depth focusing on what we like to call the Drivers of Profitability, and culminates in a detailed Audit report, complete with Thematic Analysis and Recommendation points for consideration in the Planning Process.

Our Strategy on a Page tool is ideal for small business owners, as it condenses the complexity of a business plan onto one page. This is a powerful planning tool that has been used by hundreds of businesses to maintain focus and momentum on achieving results.

We also have a suite of specialised tools that can be applied in specific business situations, some of which can be found here.

 

Why does a business coaching program take a year?

(Because we’re slow)

Small Fish provides business coaching as a 12-month program because the business coaching program involves long-term plans and the ongoing implementation of “bigger picture” changes to your business.

It is therefore not realistic to expect long-term lasting results to be measurable in the immediate term. 12-months is a medium term time horizon, within which time results can generally be measured.

It is also true that some short-term improvements can be measured quite quickly after commencing a business coaching program. We call these “quick wins” – and while these are nice, these are by-products to a structured coaching program.

We do not work using lock-in contracts that you cannot escape from. We firmly believe that if you continue to see value and benefit from the business coaching program, then you will continue to use it.

In fact, many of our happy clients have continued with their coaching program long beyond 12-months.

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