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5 Years in Business – 5 Top Lessons – Lesson 2

Lots of books and articles have been written about business, some by those who have never started one themselves, but merely picked up where others have left off. So I thought I would offer my wisdom into the mix and give a bit of detail on my most important lessons so far.


Lesson Two

After accepting that you’re mostly wrong, get help!

As an expert Financial Adviser for the past 20 years it’s easy to think that the only person who knows best is another more experienced Financial Adviser, but you would just be talking to yourself again.

When you’re out at networking events you will bump in to many business coaches and it’s important to find the right one for you. A business coach in my humble opinion should
have run at least one business themselves, or have a hell of a history helping other businesses for many years.

The first thing you’ll think is hang on, I can’t afford to pay my baby sitter let alone a business coach, especially after that lousy first year or this terrible second year. However, as I will explain later on, you will save a lot of money with a business coach, much more than they will cost you in the first place. So I had actually had a good first year’s figures and my accountant said well done for making a good profit in the first year as many don’t.

However, I told my accountant that I was worried about year two as I had run out of ideas and was running out of cash. If you’re a Financial Adviser who goes self-employed
after working for a firm, you will take a hammering on your income!

I started networking and met several business coaches, the first one that I used was Philip Grundell of the How Academy. Phil is very experienced in business and very well read, if only I’d seen him when, or even better, before I started. He sorted me out on my pricing structure, helped me see where my strengths and weaknesses were and stopped me
spending too much on marketing, why market when you have no brand of presence?

Since then I’ve met other coaches who do different things. I would suggest that Phil is very good at dealing with your doubts and fears and I also rate Adrian Wales of LPD
associates for dealing with the many personal and emotional issues around running a business. Too many people don’t understand the demons that being on your own might unleash, or even worse, don’t recognise self-destructive tendencies. A good business coach will be able to recognise you’re going off the rails a bit and either help directly or know someone they trust who can help.

Business advice takes many forms, it’s not just cash flow, pricing and market place; it’s your emotional wellbeing and that of your families who are having to go through this journey with you.

As your business grows you might use other business coaches depending on your business development, it can also be very much about your personality and that of your coach at a given time. I currently use ‘the business coach with a difference’ Neil Jagger of Jackroyd Developments; could the difference be the amount of bacon Neil can consume?

As my wife is a Director in the business and the business is in a new phase of expansion Neil was chosen to help put the business in a position to expand and eventually sell in 15 years’ time, which is our exit time frame. His knowledge of many different types of business and his experience of selling several businesses he set up from scratch make him the right coach at this juncture, however not every coach is right for every firm or will cover everything. My wife and co-Director Dee has started working with Adrian Wales
on the challenges of being involved in a well established business. She felt his calm voice and demeanour made him the right coach in this regard, so we currently have two coaches doing two different jobs.

I would recommend Adrian, Phil and of course Neil to anyone, but they do slightly different things and have different styles, so let me know what type of coach you’re looking for and I will let you know which might suit you at this moment in time.

So the second lesson is pay for services of business coaches that are likely to know much more about business than you do, it will be money well spent and will likely save you money rather quickly.

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