The first Small Fish Business Coaching newsletter for the Eastern Suburbs
Welcome to Small Fish Business Coaching’s first letter for the Eastern Suburbs. We hope you find these monthly emails interesting and useful and we’ll certainly try to make sure they are. They form part of Small Fish’s ongoing communication strategy. We want to stay in touch with you – whether you are looking for a business coach right now or whether you are not – we’d like to be in touch for the time you decide you need help or some of our services, for when you bump into someone else who does or for when we need to use yours.
As this is an introductory email, the first article outlines our Washing Machine analogy (see below). This is a simple way of describing how the systems we use address a business’ drivers of profitability. It provides a framework to help you understand how we operate and where we’ll focus our energy, if you choose to appoint us as your coach.
You may have already seen this picture and had the analogy described – if it is a duplcation, we apologise.
Business Coaching is more than just the business strategies we employ, though. In a business coaching program, you will assess your business – for strengths, weaknesses, risks and for your goals and dreams. You’ll work with your coach to make a plan and you’ll then work together to make the plan actually happen.
We really believe that this is where the value lies – in making the changes and implementing the initiatives that you decide are right for your business. Aided and held accountable by your coach, dragged out of the day-to-day to think about your plans and working within this powerful framework, you will see results.
Introduction to your Business Coaches
Small Fish Business Coaching is a rapidly growing (but still rather small) business. We began in 2006 on Sydney’s Northern Beaches when the business consisted of one coach (Jon Dale) and a lot of hope and hard work. There are now four of us – Jon, Sam McKnight (also Northern Beaches based), David Wayne and Dan MacLeod (both based in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs and working between there and Sydney metro).
Dan and David joined the team in mid 2008. They bring a wealth of commercial experience to the group and to our clients. Dan has spent time working in sales and risk management roles with large corporations and used to be a Chartered Accountant (I say used to be because it’s not something we like to advertise too strongly!). David has occupied a number of senior sales and business development roles within large and medium businesses, lately as Strategic Account Director for RedBalloon Days.
The Washing Machine
Think of your business as the square box over there on the right – it looks a little bit like a washing machine (front loader).
In it, your business does something – that’s what the arrows signify – whatever is going on in your business. You might buy something and sell it to a specific market, provide services using labour or expertise that you have yourself or that you source from somewhere else. Whatever, your business “does” something.
On the right are customers bringing dollars into your business in the form of Turnover.
At the top is Productivity which produces a dollar result using the resources in your business.
On the left, the demon Cost takes dollars out of your business.
Between them, these three determine the Profit your business makes you – money in, factored for how productive your business can be for the same resources and less costs – what’s left over is your Profit.
OK, it’s a pretty basic picture but it makes a useful point – it’s not complex (it might be difficult but complex it isn’t).
If we work on each of those drivers of profit, in turn and improve the performance we get from each, your business will make more money.
It sounds simplistic but bear with me. Each of these can be driven, in turn, by other drivers – things we can actually work at and change. I’ll list some of them below – it’s not exhaustive, of course but it covers most aspects of a business.
Sales skills, sales process, marketing (prospecting, branding, increasing the value of each sale, increasing the frequency of sales), pricing, activity levels.
Processes, systematisation, who does what in the business (does the boss have a hand in everything and is he or she a bottleneck?), personal effectiveness of the business owner, management and motivation of the staff, delegation.
(of course, we try to drive costs down)
Cost of goods sold (looking not only at the price paid but at other ways of getting value from suppliers – delivery, credit terms, joint markting); fixed costs, inventory, work in progress, debtors (or collections).
Your Business Coach will work with you to analyse your business in terms of these drivers – which of them can we improve, what opportunities are you neglecting.
We’ll think, of course, in terms of your goals – personally and for your business and we’ll also consider the risks to your business.
Once we’ve analysed, we start planning – to change your business and drive towards your goals.
The next stage is the ongoing process of making sure we (you) start doing the things you’ve planned and keep doing them so that changes actually take place in your business.
So, consider the above a taste of what coaching is and does and the item below is the first of those drivers.
You can do it on your own, of course – a coach is not essential. But I’m hoping that you’ll see the value in starting this process with someone to accompany you on the journey of change – to share ideas and inspiration, to think differently than you do and to hold you accountable, so you don’t lose sight of what you need to do in the hurly burly of your business week.
Next month, we’ll write about Driver Number 1 – Your Personal Effectiveness
Your local Chamber of Commerce
One of the most productive ways of generating new business is by referral and word of mouth. Whilst your coach will work with you to formally set up systems to take advantage of these, a simple way to get people to know you exist is to become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. Members regularly use, and recommend, other members to their network of clients, friends and associates.
As part of our first Eastern Suburbs Newsletter, we are providing you with contact details for the Chambers in your area. Feel free to get in touch with us about how to use them to grow your business.
Bondi Chamber of Commerce
Address: PO Box 1624 Bondi Junction
Coogee Chamber of Commerce Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 41 Coogee NSW 2034 Australia
Julia – 9665 4285 or Maurice – 0411 594 465
Kensington Chamber of Commerce
President: Maria Alexandrou
Address: P.O Box 81, Kensington, NSW 1465
Tel: (02) 9313 6066
Kingsford Chamber of Commerce
President: Janet Lembach
Address: PO Box 364, Kingsford, NSW 2032
Tel: (02) 9398 3418
Fax: (02) 93136894
Maroubra & Districts Chamber of Commerce Inc.
PO Box 248 Maroubra NSW 2035
Matraville Chamber of Commerce
President: Reinhard Skrandies
Address: 472 Bunnerong Rd, Mattraville, NSW 2036
Tel: (02) 9661 1004
Fax: (02) 9661 9174
There are four ways you can engage with me:
1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.
2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.
3. Attend my next Tools Down workshop.
4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.
See you later.