Question: Does Business Coaching work?
Question: What does Empower Business Solutions know about my business or profession?
Answer: We have produced significant increases in profits in many businesses, ranging from soletraders to large corporations. We will never claim to know as much about your business as you do. What we do know, without question, is why customers buy, why they chose one business over a competing business, why they continue to buy from a business and why they stop. We know what kind of advertising and marketing strategies catches their eye, attracts them and motivates them to be a continuous, repeat and long term customer. And we know what all businesses must do to survive and succeed.
Here is a partial list of just some of the types of businesses we have helped in the past:
- Appliance Installation
- Architectural & Drafting Services
- Beauty Salon
- Building Services
- Cleaning Services
- Corporate Gifts
- Custom Spray Painting
- Educational Supplies
- Electrical Contracting
- Engineering Services
- Financial Services
- Fitness Centre
- Health Services
- Hiking & Camping
- Insurance Broking
- Internal Communications Systems
- IT Services
- OH & S
- Oil Company
- Plumbing Contracting
- Project Management Services
- Quantity Surveying
- Security Services & Systems
- Statistical Services
The size of the businesses have varied from soletraders with under $100,000 annual turnover to business that turnover millions. We offer coaching that is designed to suit the business tailored for where you are in the Business Lifecycle.
While few of these clients are household names, being small businesses, Dr Chapman has also worked with the professional associations where many of his clients are members providing seminars and workshops on small business topics.
The fact that your business is not in this list does not mean we can’t help you. Our wide range of experience with hundreds of businesses means that we are able to recognise patterns quickly in any business and identify its strengths and weaknesses. And work out an action plan for Your Business.
Find out more about Empower Business Solutions coaching services by requesting a Complimentary Business Evaluation now.
Question: How do I know you can help me?
Answer: Wondering whether any consultant can help you makes good sense. The answer is quite simply, you don’t know! It would be fool-hardy for us to say you do know. We understand your concern and that is why we take the risk on our shoulders. Because we know we will deliver for our clients, we can guarantee our programs.
Question: What if you suggest things that I know won’t work for my business?
Answer: Before we suggest anything, we take the time to understand the drivers of your business. All our suggestions will be based on your business goals. We take a strategic and systematic approach rather than a scatter-gun opportunistic approach. This ensures you get maximum leverage from each change you make. All suggestions are fully explained and examples given where they have worked before. That way you can be confident of results before you make the changes.
Question: You will probably suggest advertising methods that will be too costly and much too expensive for my business.
Answer: Any good business person is concerned about whether advertising will be cost effective. We understand the potential high cost of advertising. But advertising is just one of a number of marketing channels. Very often, we redesign, redirect and refocus your present advertising methods, turning them into profit producing tools with little additional cost to you. Or if we think there are better ways of getting customers, we will recommend strategies that cost almost nothing to implement.
Question: What is the difference between a Marketing Company and a Business Coach?
Answer: Marketing companies focus on branding and campaigns for your business. They often have developed from graphic and web design businesses and advertising agencies so their recommendations, unsurprisingly, will be focused on the branding, website and advertising solutions which they provide inhouse. After all, if all you sell is hammers, every problem looks like a nail.
A good business coach starts with the business structure to determine where the underlying weaknesses are. It is no point building websites or re-branding a business around an unsustainable business structure and strategy. Business coaches often find that there are hidden cross subsidies in a business and just promoting the business as it is will just make it lose money faster. Marketing companies take the existing structure as a given.
Business coaches may recommend re-branding at some point, but often there are much lower cost and more direct and beneficial marketing strategies that an owner should implement first. For example, Empower Business Solutions regularly finds websites built by marketing companies that are not properly integrated with the business’ marketing funnel, sales pipeline and other business systems, and while they may ‘look good’, they don’t produce sales. In addition, many highly effective marketing strategies cost almost nothing to implement and are unlikely to be recommended by a marketing company focused on, say, advertising.
As business coaches don’t provide these implementation services, they can be truly independent in their advice on which marketing tactics are best and most cost effective for your business. Only once you have done the analysis either yourself or with independent advice, does approaching a marketing company that specialises in the strategy you seek to implement make sense. Otherwise you may be putting a very expensive cart before the horse.
Question: How much does it cost to do a Business Plan?
Answer: This is like asking how much a house costs. A bedsit in the suburbs will be significantly less expensive than a Sydney harbour mansion. The cost of a Business Plan depends very much on the complexity of the business. You can go for a do-it-yourself Business Plan Template for under a hundred dollars, to a consultant provided plan for a highly complex business for an investment in excess of $10,000. However for most small businesses, the investment will be a fraction of this figure. At Empower Business Solutions, we try to incorporate the Business Plan as a product of our coaching, so you develop your plan as you improve your business. But if you just want a Business Plan, we can do that too.
Question: How much does Coaching cost?
Answer: Like a Business Plan, it depends. Some of our programs require an annual commitment (subject to guarantees) while others only require 3 months. It depends on the number of workshops per month and what other resources are supplied. Whatever the program, you always get oncall support. So to answer the question, the cost per month ranges between $2500-3500. Dr Chapman also provides a low cost alternative to private coaching at the Small Business Success Club.
This club is ideally suited to solopreneurs and businesses with turnover under $100,000 or larger businesses who feel they are not sure if Business Coaching will really work for them. Or if you are on Dr Chapman’s waiting list.
Question: What does Business Coaching actually involve?
Answer: At Empower Business Solutions, our coaching is undertaken in workshops with the individual owner, and with their staff, as appropriate. It involves education, problem solving with the owner, and advice with some consulting. The workshops, which are over two hours each, are based on a question and answer format where we challenge the existing way of doing things and roadtest new ideas with the owner. When we propose a new way of doing things, we explain how and why it will work. We adapt each idea to the specific situation that exists in Your Business.
At the first workshop we set goals for your business and the coaching program. We ask you some tough questions about your business, and you may hear things you don’t want to hear. We will be very honest with you about what we think is good about your business, and those areas that need attention. At the end of each session, there will be some homework.
When we come together every few weeks, the first thing we will do is review your homework. In this way we ensure your progress towards your goals. And then we will cover an area of your business that requires attention. We might, for example, review your workflow process to find ways to reduce your costs and increase efficiency. Or we might put together a strategy to target your best buyers.
The end objective of the coaching process is to transfer to you the skills you need to take your business to the next level, on your own. We EMPOWER YOU. We know we have done a great job when you don’t need us any more.
For an independent review of the benefit of Business Coaching, including an interview with Dr Greg Chapman, amongst other coaches, download this Management Today article.
Question: How long does Business Coaching take?
Answer: Some programs are very quick, like our Marketing Audit, which really is Business Consulting. This can be done in under two weeks, giving you a whole host of strategies you can implement straight away. For others, who want systemic changes in their business, and want to take their business to the next level, the change process will occur over a longer period, because you will be changing your habits and your business culture. And you want this change to be permanent. This takes much longer, and we like to recommend a year. But some people just want to focus on particular problems, and may only want to commit to a few months. Whichever program is right for you, remember, they all came with a money back trial period.
The commitment for you, will be about 2 hours a week, to transform your business. If you are not ready or not able to commit to that time to work on your business, you are not ready to change your business. (This is typical of the frank advice you will get from us- you don’t pay us to tell you the things you want to hear. You pay us to tell you the things no-one else will! And to explain why you need to change.)
Question: Can I hire a Business Coach for a short term special project?
Answer: Of course. But as typical in business, you usually find that everything is connected in some way, and when you change one thing, you see the benefit of making other changes. So often, the relationship continues after the original goal is achieved. But that is entirely up to You.
Question: What is the difference between Empower Business Solutions and a Franchise Coach?
Answer: Like any business franchise, people go into business coaching franchises because they don’t have the confidence to rely on on their own experience. They pay a fee to the franchisor to show them how its done. There is nothing wrong with this. Any good franchisor will provide detailed systems for the franchisee to follow to make up for gaps in their own experience. This is a selling point for a franchisor. When you visit one of the franchise sites, you will usually find a link for people who want to be business coaches. When you follow that link, it will take you to a page where it encourages people to buy a franchise. You will also usually find a statement along these lines:
“Anyone who has any experience in business can become a business coach by following our system”.
Do you really believe that? The way it works, is that when you become a franchisee you go for a week of training, where they teach you how to sell to business owners. Not how to coach, but how you can sell the franchisors manuals packaged with your time. Now, you may come across a very experienced coach from a franchise, but the quality will be very variable. We know of Amway salesmen who have bought franchises. Because it is a franchise, the approach has to be a one solution fits all. When you say anyone with business experience can become a coach, how else can you do it? How do you think McDonalds can teach a teenager to cook a burger in a couple of hours? They are not going to give them freedom to try new recipies for people with different tastes. Don’t take this the wrong way. The McDonalds model is exceptional. Its just that business coaching is just a bit more complicated than flipping burgers!
The alternative to the business coach franchise style training, is extensive relevant business experience and qualifications. So check the coaches experience beyond just coaching. Even a franchise coach may have relevant experience. But its not about the manuals- its about the coach!
Empower Business Solutions greatest point of difference is its bottom line understanding of your business issues. We take the time to understand why your business is different. We are able to do this, because we have run businesses ourselves. We don’t use generic solutions, we analyse your issues and create a unique solution for your business.
Question: Can you help me with my Testra Business Awards application?
Answer: As Dr Chapman is a Testra Business Awards judge, that would be a direct conflict of interest, and he would be unable to assist you in that way. But if you are seeking assistance for another award, there would be no conflict.
Question: What is Your availability to help my business?
Answer: Because Dr Chapman is highly in demand, he only takes on a handful of private clients at a time. Not everyone who applies for his coaching is accepted. At times owners may have to wait for several months for a vacancy. Although they can still access him through the Small Business Success Club, where he has been able to leverage his time. Something he shows his clients how to do.
Question: I live in a remote location. Can you help me?
Answer: Empower has clients around Australia, and as long as you have a phone and internet connection we can help. We use a communication technology where we can share our computer screens and you will be able to see us as we provide you support.
Question: I definitely could use Business Coaching. Unfortunately, I am too busy to do the things I know that I need to do.
Answer: Being in business is demanding and time-consuming. It is a 24-hour commitment. The beauty of our coaching program, is that we make any actions systematic and easy to execute. They are implemented in step-by-step fashion. They can be done by other employees because they are so easy to follow.
When you undertake coaching, you are making as much of a commitment as we do in providing our service. It doesn’t matter how good we are, if you aren’t ready to commit to spend time to work on your business, rather than in it, you aren’t ready for coaching. But if you change nothing, nothing changes!
So the question you need to answer is: Am I happy with the way things are?
If you want to change the way things are in your business, request a Complimentary Business Evaluation