Business Coaching Services
What Is Business Coaching?
A buddy of mine runs a restaurant. Great place, really good food and atmosphere. Been open a couple of years but since last Autumn it's really taken off. We don't get together often - in fact since he opened his restaurant we've hardly seen each other because he's working 12 hour days and is too knackered at weekends to do anything else.
So I was stunned to see him in town yesterday, all relaxed and smiling. I thought at first that he must have sold up! He was always so stressed out, talking to fast and saying what a crappy living he was making.
Anyway, we went for a cup of tea together so I could grill him - I wanted a pint, but he declared he was taking a break from booze to give his body a rest. Hmm, he was clearly thinking in a whole new way.
I'm really into personal development and so asked him what was going on.
Turns out he's been working with a business coach since August last year. I'm intrigued by business coaching as you don't often hear from people who have done it for real, but I bump into a few at business breakfast meetings. I thought it would be good to hear from the horse's mouth how it's worked for him. Here's what he told me.
Before Business Coaching...
The last time I saw him, in the middle of last year, Steve was worn down and sounding at the end of his tether. He had lots of ideas for making more from the restaurant and developing it, but no time to do it.
His restaurant was dead quiet on weekday evenings, but even though the weekends were busy, they were subsidising the rest of the week's poor takings. In short, he was busting his guts to make a poor living. And worse than that, he was the chef and owner, so if he took a few days off, the restaurant had to close - reducing his wages even further.
I've known him since we were at school together, and it's horrible to see somebody who's always been so full of energy and enthusiasm become really worn down and beaten up. I thought that Steve would make a mint, because he's always been a bit of a natural at business, but this restaurant was killing him.
Anyway, it was a relief to see him back on such good form again. I asked him what he'd done to turn things around so much, and that's when he told me...
What His Business Coach Did...
Steve explained to me how business coaching works. His business coach started by asking what he really wanted. He'd said, apparently a bit desperately, that he wanted
- Time off
- More customers mid week
- More profit, to make being in business worthwhile
So they turned this list of wants into goals, then went through a few key steps, working week by week, to change things.
First of all, they worked on profits, because without more profit, he'd be unable to hire somebody else to work when he wasn't there. He explained, even though we're in a recession, that he's increased his prices 4 times since August last year and not lost any business as a result.
I argued that can't be possible, but he laughed at me and said he'd done it in lots of little ways, a bit like Gordon Brown has done with stealth taxes! A bit extra on the middle of the road wines, a pound or two more for the expensive main courses, dropping the fixed price menu at weekends and so on - all together adding around £5 per head to the bill - a huge increase.
His coach also made him use coupons and offers to measure the response from his advertising. Within a couple of months, he was booked up during the mid week thanks to these offers. And the best thing is, because he'd already put his prices up, the offers were still making him a good profit.
The Results Speak For Themselves...
Across the table from me sat the guy I grew up with. No longer stressed and struggling to pay his bills, he was back to the Steve I always knew. He'd just got back from a 7 day break in Florida and his relationship with his girlfriend was back on track (she was about to leave him when I last saw him, because he had no time away from work).
He was talking about opening another restaurant next year because he wants to re-invest the profits from this one into bigger and better things. He's also talking about becoming a consultant to help other restaurants improve too.
In just a year, he turned things around thanks to the help of a great business coach. It seems that business doesn't have to be so bad, after all.