Ask any entrepreneur – launching a franchise business is probably one of the most difficult challenges you ever take on. Stressed out, overworked, and mired by the day-to-day operational activities it takes just to keep the lights on, business owners are commonly left with no time or energy to focus on strategic initiatives.
Enter the business coach – somebody who helps you move from where you are to where you want to be, and does so by solely focusing on your goals. A business coach will challenge your thinking and your willingness to grow, acting as a role model because of the experience that he or she shares. Of course, you don’t want just any business coach – you want knowledge, experience and top problem solving skills. If you’re considering enlisting the help of a coach to get the best out of your franchise business, make sure they are able to answer these four tough questions first:
How are you going to help me manage my time better? Time management is one of the greatest challenges for a business owner, causing undue stress and adversely affecting work-life balance. As an entrepreneur, you may be frequently interrupted or pulled in different directions. While you cannot eliminate interruptions, you do get a say on how much time you will spend on them versus the thoughts, conversations and actions that will lead you to success. A business coach can help you prioritise, let go of non-essential tasks and delegate important ones, in order to free up your time for more valuable activities.
How will you maximise my franchise business’s ability to attract and retain customers? Particularly in the early stages of franchise business, the majority of the sales and marketing efforts fall on the shoulders of the owner. A business coach can assist you in implementing strategies to attract customers and increase sales. A seasoned coach who has experience with branding, marketing strategy and tactics can lift your sales numbers and keep you from wasting time, energy and resources on what doesn’t work.
How can you help my business operations run more smoothly? Lack of effective systems and chaotic operations are more than an annoyance, they drain valuable time and money from a business, not to mention resources like labour, rent, consumables and much more. In a cash-strapped franchise business, leanness and agility are essential. A business coach can help you trim the fat and streamline operations to help your franchise business get more done, with less.
How are you going to help me manage people more effectively? Enlisting the help of a business coach is not supposed to be a permanent partnership, so while they are helping you work out the wrinkles in your time management, systems, operations, sales and marketing, they also need to be passing their leaderships skills on to you. Effective business management is an ongoing process, and new problems will pop up. Your business coach needs to be working on you as a leader, not just your business, in order to enable you to continue to make progress for years after the coaching period is over.
Reference: Piece by Harry Welby-Cooke, Co-Master Licensee for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa provided by Clockwork Media.