strategic thinking

Strategic Thinking

If you’re in a senior role or as a business owner, you may be thinking that the days are never long enough and the to do list is never done. Demands from staff or your team may feel relentless, the interruptions never ending and if anyone mentions planning or strategy, you feel things area bit foggy at the best or a feeling of panic sets in at the worst.

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The pearl and oyster analogy

Tools for resilience – the pearl and the oyster

Resilience: The pearl and the oyster analogy

During my time training as a resilience practitioner, I learnt many useful resilience techniques.  Learning that through adopting these, we can develop and become good at resilience was hugely inspiring as previously I don’t think I completely understood how much influence we have over our own reaction to challenging situations.

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Case study – planning for further, more focused business growth

Coaching for the next steps in business growth

Already the owner of an extremely successful business, client S now wanted to take a step back and consolidate before moving forward again.  He had grown the business to an extremely healthy level of turnover and profitability and had 50+ people working for him. He  had reached a moment in time where he felt that the business had reached a turning point with little strategy or planning and wanted to get some plans in place to ensure the next phase was more strategic.

His natural talents for seizing opportunities, disrupting the market, being committed to customer service and quality offering had got him this far, but felt that ‘winging it’ would be a risky strategy to carry on with.  He was clear that he wanted to continue with a strong level of growth but realised there were a number of changes that could be made to improve profitability and a restructure could be necessary to enhance productivity. There were some issues around work / life balance also which he wanted to address.

S chose to work with a coach as he felt he had a lot of the information and knowledge already but wanted to clarify how he wanted the business to be, with clear milestones and a plan for growth. He wanted to consider his own role in the business and whether an exit in the near future was something he wanted. He knew that an impartial view from the outside would benefit him and his business.

Take an outside view of the business

As a coach, I ask questions that an outsider might ask, which gets business owner thinking about a different perspective on how things are done. We started with the story so far and what had and hadn’t worked.  This provided invaluable learning and enabled us to spend some time looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the business.  A plan to address any weaknesses was put together as well as a plan for how to spotlight and further enhance strengths.

Marketing plan

One weakness identified was a somewhat scattergun approach to marketing.  There was no marketing plan, so S decided to bring in a marketing consultant to advise on a more cohesive marketing approach for the team.  Internal communications were sporadic and with staff levels growing, he realised this needed to change. There is now a comprehensive marketing plan with measurable targets that fits in with his overall plans and targets for the next stages of business growth. On the subject of marketing, we worked on a customer journey and a snapshot of how the customer might experience buying from their business.  This provided a great deal of useful insight into changes that needed to be made.

How profitable?

A large turnover is not enough to maintain business success.  Profit is vital and this had not been a priority.  We worked on a plan for increasing profitability and very soon, the results were seen, which was extremely satisfying.

Once an overall strategy for growth was put in place, S chose to continue with the coaching on a monthly basis, to ensure that there is accountability and a space for discussing any further challenges as they arise.  A level of business flexibility is required and S finds the coaching meetings valuable for decision making on a variety of issues which perhaps can’t be shared with others within the business.

This is a very short summary of the business growth coaching work with S, but hopefully will give you a flavour of the impact coaching can have on a business.

Delegation – what gets in the way

What is it about delegation?

Delegation has so many benefits and is a vital part of effective working, so why do we have such trouble doing it?

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