Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

September 2012

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Did you know that 58 percent of businesses in the United States have already reported increased revenues due to strategic business coaching? The Sales Executive Council has done definitive research on the ROI of coaching and decision makers are listening and implementing coaching programs. This research has caught the attention of business owners.

The use of strategic business coaches is on the rise due to the fact that business coaching provides measurable results for small and large businesses alike. Numerous studies have already boasted about the increasing evidence showing strategic business coaching to be one of the best ways to develop and grow a business.

One study in Fortune Magazine discussed the results of a study conducted on over one hundred Fortune 1000 companies, which concluded that:

  • 53% of businesses had an increase in productivity
  • 39% of businesses had an increase in customer service satisfaction
  • 32% of businesses had a better customer retention rate
  • 23% of businesses found a significant reduction in overhead costs
  • 22% of businesses increased their bottom line profits

Overall, businesses who use a strategic business coach report they experience an improvement in performance and productivity, greater clarity and focus, and a significant, measureable bump in their growth.

Although some business owners avoid engaging a strategic business coach because they feel spending on a business coach will not increase their bottom line, in reality business coaching provides dramatically positive results.

Benefits of Strategic Business Coaching

Regardless of the industry or size of the business, there is a list of standard benefits that come from engaging a business coach. These benefits include:

  • Taking more, better, and smarter actions because you set the goals you really want
  • Having a balanced life the works well because you’ve designed it
  • Making and keeping more money because you’re worth it
  • Making better decisions for yourself and your business because your focus is clear
  • Having greater energy to reach for more and not be consumed in the process

When companies, big or small, work with a strategic business coach they are able to dig deep into their business and their own entrepreneurial skills to determine how to best move their business toward achieving its potential. By doing so, the entrepreneur creates a plan for overcoming challenges, creating opportunities, and pulls the business from average to exceptional.

The only question now is what are the benefits of not using a strategic business coach?

The answer: none.

Related Blog Posts:

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Grow Your Business With Strategic Business Coaching

The Industrial Age taught us to achieve goals in ways that reflected the system of mass inventory production.  When we figured out how to create factories and industrialize production, we changed the way we lived and worked. In contrast, the Information Age radically changed modern lifestyle. Technology disrupted and re-invented some of the most important elements of our society – including how to grow your small business.

Here are 5 steps to transform your business growth:

1.     Discover your personal mission.

A vision is about what you see as possible. A purpose is what you feel with your heart.

A mission is what you are doing that makes your vision and purpose happen. Your personal mission brings value and richness to your small business and helps in directing and focusing your activities on your main purpose – that being the reason you do what you do.

2.     Develop a reputation built on your strengths.

What strengths do you use every day? What strengths are you particularly proud of that are not currently used in your business?  How can you bring those strengths to your business? A strong reputation – one built on your unique strengths – is a differentiator that no other competitor can compete against.

3.     Expand your perspective.

People have a tendency to think within the box that has been created by their experiences. When we’re interacting with someone who comes from a different box, our own perspective (our box) can limit our perception. The ability to see a situation from another’s perspective is a powerful way to add value to your business.

4.     Learn by interacting.

A recent study of a hunter-gatherer society in New Guinea revealed that not one person living in that society suffered from depression.  Researchers attributed this high degree of mental health to the fact that the society is marked by a high degree of social interaction, trust, and cooperation.  Networking.  You are your network.  Make a list of those whom you would like to learn from – people who have skills and/or qualities that you admire – and connect with them.

5.     Help others create value from what you provide.

Halloween is just around the corner – and I bet you’re wondering what that has to do with adding value.  Remember as a kid, when you would come home with the huge stash of candy?  Remember how you’d try and stick as much as you could into your mouth at one time?

Just as you can fill your mouth so full of food that it’s hard to chew and swallow, the same thing can happen with adding value.  Help people get maximum value from what you’ve already provided rather than continue to add more.

Growing your small business in the age of technology is no longer about 1 + 1 = 2. Business growth today is based on personal learning and development that produces better performance and long term rewards. Think .

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Is Ungrowth the New Growth Strategy for Business?

The Four Stages of Growing Your Business

Is it Time to Rethink Your Business Growth?

Uncover the Moments of Truth in Your Business With a Strategic Coach

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When you run your own business, there are a variety of items you need to be successful ranging from an achievement mindset to learning the skill of business to technology and systems development.  There are, however, a few things you and your business can do without including:

  1. Uncertainty
  2. Fatigue
  3. Vagueness
  4. Indecision
  5. Hesitancy
  6. Should’s
  7. Ambivalence
  8. Distraction
  9. Inertia
  10. Worry

Have you experienced any of these dastardly emotional states? If so, you know the impact that it has on your forward movement. Any one of them can sink your dreams faster than you can imagine or, worse yet, cause you to veer dramatically off course! It’s just not worth it.

No matter what feelings we may experience, its certainly worth the effort to do what you can to eradicate as many as possible.  Here are three strategies worthy of immediate consideration:

  1. Look for the source. Any one of these are merely a symptom of something more, like a belief pattern.
  2. Apply your solutions to the source
  3. Eliminate that which contributes to these sensitive states such as interruptions, distractions, and information overload.

What strategies have you found most effective in keeping yourself confident and moving forward?

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4 Steps to Reduce Information Overload & Raise Your Confidence

Getting Past Your Fears and Growing a Successful Business

Saying Goodbye to Things That Bug You

Are You Stuck? What Keeps You Moving Forward

Grow Your Business From the Inside Out

As a busy small business entrepreneur, have you noticed how we’ve moved from information overload to overwhelm? Although we had silently hoped this was a temporary situation, an academic study by the University of California, San Diego, suggests that current data levels are the equivalent of each US citizen consuming 12 hours of information – or media – each day. Yikes!  We are drowning in information…and we don’t know how to swim!  Plus, it’s blurring our vision, affecting our decision-making, and eating away at our confidence.

We’ve tried stuffing, filing, organizing, and ignoring it yet it still overwhelms us! We really need an “Information Diet”.  To reduce the volume of information we consume, here are 4 steps so simple they can be implemented immediately to reduce the flow of information:

  1. Unsubscribe to newsletters and mailings that don’t add value to your day or further your goals.
  2. If you can’t say “Heck Yeah” to an offer or request, say no immediately.
  3. Set a timer when reading or gathering information to prevent over-consumption.
  4. Download email once – maybe twice – a day.

Take back your day…and your confidence. You’ll like the way it feels!

Related Blog Posts:

The New Killer Email App for Entrepreneurs: YOU

Say “Heck Yeah” to Growing Your Business

The High Cost of Indecision on Growing Your Business

Be Speedy in your Decisions: The Strategic Coach Perspective

Ten Signs You’re an Overworked Small Business Entrepreneur

When it comes to engaging a business coach, there are a multitude of choices available. What really matters, however, is whether or not the business coach you engage actually makes an impact on your business.  You’ve made a substantial investment in your business therefore, you’ll want to perform some due diligence in researching business coach candidates and ensuring that the one you select is a valuable asset to your business. In order to do this, you need to know what makes an effective business coach to begin with to give yourself a starting point for measuring potential candidates.

Skill and Knowledge Level

Anyone can call themselves a coach, but a worthy strategic business coach has industry know-how and skills they developed from attending a certified coaching program and from years of coaching. The business coaching industries is not regulated; therefore, you’ll find numerous individuals labeling themselves as a business coach – whether they have experience and training with actual coaching or not.

Ownership Experience

Although your friends can tell you how to run your business, only another business owner really knows the ins and outs of business. The best business coaches are not only coaches, but business owners themselves.

Business Results Achieved

Even a strategic business coach with 20 years of experience could fail your business if they do not understand business and know how to best coach you to get results. Reputable business coaches are upfront about the results their clients have reached.  Business coaches that boast vague or outrageous outcomes without measureable proof could be a costly mistake down the road.


While some business coaches spend over a year with a client, others limit their coaching services to  a few short weeks for each client. This timeframe greatly impacts the overall amount of learning, implementation, testing, and results you may achieve with that particular business coach. Business coaches in a rush to churn out clients and give quick coaching sessions typically have a bigger agenda in mind and are more concerned with how many businesses they coach each year, rather than the actual outcome of those coaching sessions.

With a little research and some time getting to know your potential strategic business coach, the more likely you are to engage an effective business coach the first time around – one that’s an ideal fit for you and your business. Not all business coaches are created equally. Exercising thoughtfulness while making your decision will net you a satisfying, long-term business coaching relationship that provides your business with an abundance of rewards.

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Strategic Coaching to Strengthen the Core of Your Business

Uncover the Moments of Truth in Your Business With a Strategic Coach

What to Discuss With Your Strategic Coach

What Entrepreneurs Benefit Most from Strategic Business Coaching?

The Anatomy of a Strategic Business Coaching Call

Imagine my intrigue when I read an article of a business that intentionally avoided growth as a company objective. That comes as a surprise to most entrepreneurs. It’s hard to fathom, isn’t it?  Could a business actually exist without a primary objective of growth?  In spite of conventional wisdom, some businesses who are adopting the ungrowth growth strategy are experiencing stunning business growth that is the envy of any of their competitors!

Vibram, for instance, is likely the best brand you’ve never heard of.  Although not immediately familiar, you may have seen your friends sporting their product. (The first time I saw my friend wearing these rather unusual-looking “gloves” on his feet, I wasn’t sure what to think – other than something horrible happened when he got dressed that morning.)  Have you seen the ones I’m talking about?  They really are gloves for the feet, with a finger for each toe. They look like the feet part of a gorilla costume or a frog and those who wear them say they feel incredible. This is the signature sporting shoe called Five Fingers manufactured by Vibram.

To the folks at Vibram, the originator of the Five Finger sporting footwear, growth is not on their radar screen.  General Manager Adriano Zuccala explains: “The real mission of the company is to maintain reputation.  We are not stressed by a quarterly review. We are stressed by reputation. Our vision is to grow but by developing products that sell through their high quality…The preservation of the brand is essential.” The Vibram brand mantra is brand: quality: innovation.  Not scale.  By applying the ungrowth strategy, they are experiencing triple digit growth.

And there’s Reddit, a social news website, purchased by Conde Nast. Conde Nast could have squeezed the life right of this innovative, unorthodox news website but they chose to leave it alone – or it could have been sheer neglect – and it continued to grow beyond their wildest imagination. Undoubtedly, the notion of ungrowth makes for a jarring juxtaposition.

Could ungrowth be the new growth strategy for your business?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Related Blog Posts:

Is it Time to Rethink Your Business Growth?

Small Business Ideas for Business Growth: Minnovation

Strategic Coach Uses Drafting to Accelerate Business Growth

30 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Grow Their Business

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The numbers are in on the “nonemployer business” (i.e. solo entrepreneur) – and they’re not pretty. An article released by The Business Journals noted that as of 2010 (the latest year for figures) there were 22 million U.S. businesses classified as “nonemployer businesses” with combined receipts of $950 Billion. Not a bad figure when you’re looking at the entire pie. When you divide the average revenue among the 22 million businesses, however, the typical “nonemployer business” made $43,000 in 2010!  Granted, when you’re grading on the curve, you get the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty “nonemployer business” revenue. None the less – we have to do better!

Solo and micro entrepreneurs (those who employ less than 10 people) add tremendous value to the economy. They’re an important source of competition in our global economy. They create jobs, enhance income, and add tremendous convenience to the business environment. In fact, here are some additional startling statistics:

  • Over half of all the solo and micro enterprises are owned by women.
  • Solo and micro businesses employ 52% of the private workers with the largest proportion being younger, older, women, or part-time workers.
  • Solo and micro entrepreneurs provide 80% of the net new jobs.  Sixty-seven percent of all workers received their initial on the job training from small business owners.
  • Solo/micro businesses are home-based 53% of the time and franchises three percent of the time

Advancements in technology and social media are leveling the playing field allowing solo and micro entrepreneurs to compete with their larger company counterparts. And, we can do better!

It’s not necessary to list all the reasons why solo and micro entrepreneurs are not earning their due – it’s certainly not from lack of hard work and passion. What does matter, however, is where we go from here to make sure that those who make up the heart and soul of our economy – the solo and micro entrepreneur – earn equal to their contribution.

If you’re a solo or micro entrepreneur, we’d encourage you to download The Core Business Assessment.  The Core Business Assessment provides an objective self-evaluation of the strength of your business. It identifies the 100 fundamental business skills, tools, and systems needed to grow a service business from start-up to $500,000 annual revenue or a manufacturing firm to $1.5 million.

The Core Business Assessment uncovers where your business is succeeding and where opportunities for improvement and growth exist. You know you’re better and smarter – it’s time for you to be richer!

Related Blog Posts:

A Strategic Business Coach’s Message to the Accidental Entrepreneur

Strategic Alliances – The Future of Small Business Growth

The Essential To-Do List for First-Time Entrepreneurs

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         The Small Business Pricing Conundrum: Underpricing

Did you know that only 2% of entrepreneurs consistently follow-up with potential clients? In this crazy economy, one would think it would be much higher, especially since studies show that 80% of all sales are made after the 5th attempt. 

There are likely many reasons that 98% of entrepreneurs are not following up regularly. If you happen to be an entrepreneur who is follow-up challenged, pick your poison. These are some of the reasons we’ve discovered for not following up:

  • not wanting to appear pushy
  • forgetting to follow-up
  • stress associated with the actual act of follow-up
  • not wanting to be rejected
  • no follow-up system in place
  • not knowing how to follow-up in a way that gets results

Anyone care to add other reasons to the list? Even from the partial list, it’s easy to see how follow-up can be challenging. No matter what the reasons, it boils down to one thing – it’s not fun!

Could injecting a little fun into your follow-up make it easier to do? We think so, as do other experts like Dr. David Abramis, a Management Professor at the University of California at Long Beach. Dr. Abramis has studied fun for years. He’s discovered that those who add a little fun to their work are more creative, more productive, and better decision-makers.

Fun creates bonds, relieves stress, prevents emotional and physical burnout, and releases endorphins, that feel-good, legal drug that boosts confidence and satisfaction.  In other words, injecting some fun in your follow-up makes it “more fun” to do.

What are some ways to add fun in your follow-up?

  • Surround your follow-up time with things that bring you joy – like your favorite latte or snack
  • Use a fun, upbeat screensaver to inspire and make you laugh
  • Learn how to juggle while on hold
  • Create the “follow-up game”by setting a timer to see how much you can get done before the timer goes off
  • Give yourself a standing ovation after each follow-up
  • Infuse each follow-up with your superpowers

You get the point. Adding a dash of fun to your follow-up certainly makes it easier to do. And, before you know it, your fun follow-up will become your business’ secret growth weapon!

What other ways can you think of to inject fun into your follow-up?

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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