When you’re busy taking care of other people its hard to look at what you need for your own self. That’s how I saw Alana and Rose. Two very capable natural therapists who were dedicated to helping their clients feel fantastic and have a new lease on life. Problem was as successful as their business was, with repeat clients, new services to offer and new products flying off the shelves, the business they were so attached to wasn’t looking after them. I see this kind of thing all the time. Amazing technicians who can give the highest levels of craft and service but they aren’t looking at what really matters in their lives, which in the case of Alana and Rose it was their incomes to support their family commitments.
They had almost had enough when they decided to find me and we met over a coffee in their local shopping haunt. Trendy, inner city spot with lots of hipsters. It was a perfect location for servicing professional, high income earners, baby boomer retirees and people who want to pamper themselves after a long work day. Their business idea was certainly not the issue.
“We work really hard Brett, and we love it. When the business can pay us after all our expenses are taken out, we get a little bit of pay, but it’s not much.” Alana and Rose wanted to have a regular income stream but it just wasn’t happening. That’s why they asked for my help. They worked for the business, paid its expenses, rent, equipment, supplies. I could see that it brought them down and they felt there wasn’t anything they could do about it.
So many business owners get stuck in this cycle so I was pretty confident when I told both Rose and Alana “if I show you some things and you learn how to look at all the different parts of your business, you can make regular payments to yourselves come out of your business”. They looked a little bit like they were beaten down by daily grind of their business and didn’t believe what I was suggested. Luckily they were willing to come on board with me and give it a try and give it 12 months to see what we could do together.
The first very big leap the girls made was that, with my guidance and support, they employed other specialists. Yoga teachers, remedial massage therapists, pilates instructors. It wasn’t all done overnight and took gradual careful consideration because it was a small team and they didn’t want to be in over their heads. What amazed them the most was the more services they put on the higher the volume of customers that came into their business. The position of the business was perfect!
After a few months, the girls experienced a solid customer volume at a good regular rate. This meant that we could work on the rest of their business. When we meet up each month, I found a gradual lift in their spirit and they started to feel like they could really make a go of building a fantastic service for their local community. They were all about customer service.
At the 5 month mark I sprung a little surprise on them by saying “now let’s look at your numbers”. They both looked at me, there was a silent pause and then Rose said “OK, where do we start”. And that was it. For the next few intense meetings we did it all. P&L and balance sheet management, liability management, asset protection. You name it. They weren’t afraid of anything financial in their business. In fact they went along to intense training workshops I sent them on so they could really get on top of their numbers. Coaching business partners like Rose and Alana was so much fun, they didn’t take their business for granted, they wanted to learn and it was a case of the more I gave them the better they got at leading their business.
By the 10 month mark the girls saw a complete turnaround in their business. The coaching they received from me made a business less than a year prior, now able to give them a regular income, they had more staff on board and they were no longer breaking even anymore.
“We want to tell you two things Brett - first. We made a profit!! And it’s not even been a year!!” Alana said to me when she called me up before our meeting to review their goals and targets. “That’s fantastic!” I told her, but between you and me, I knew they had already hit their targets and I was already working on some profit maximisation strategies to share with them. This is the best part of my role I have to say - seeing “business owners” turn into Business Leaders. They didn’t know it but both Alana and Rose were well on their way to running a strong sustainable business.
“Great! Congratulations Alana! What’s the other thing you wanted to tell me?” I asked her. “Well…..Rose is taking time out of the business because….she’s pregnant! Last year she was so worried and nervous and it was all too much. We are now relaxed and know what we’re doing thanks to you, and look what happened!” That was a surprise. Mind you, I don’t profess to help people feel that they can expand their family, but I did believe I had something to do with developing their peace of mind! Did I mention they were both already working mums of small children?
Alana and Rose’s business was set up to support them in their existing family life. In the beginning there was no real take-home wage so they couldn’t rely on the business to give them the stability they were after. Now, only 10 months down the track with regular income, actual profits, and a caring team, it is more than possible.
As a business coach, finding profits was the easy part for me, the harder part for the people that I coach, is to help them find a better work life. When that happens I know I have done a great job.
I keep in contact with both Rose and Alana and had the pleasure of meeting Rose’s new arrival, baby James. As far as their professional life was concerned, I can certainly say that I helped them fill in all the blanks on how to manage their business better, they not only did that brilliantly, they managed to add an extra special ingredient of their very own. Well done!