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Business Coach 101: How to Choose the Best Fit for You

August 18, 2015 / Leave a comment / by Aaron Young

I've meet a lot of business coaches in my travels and I'm always amazed by the diversity.

There are specialized coaching for every little thing. Facebook Coach, Twitter Expert, LinkedIn Guru, Pinterest Maven. There are sales coaches, marketing coaches, financial experts, debt experts, and wealth experts... And that is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 575,600 new jobs created each year in the consulting industry. And trying to identify your perfect accountability partner can be a bit frustrating. After all, “Everyone needs a coach” and “Choosing the right coach will make the difference between success and failure”. 

Personally, I resisted the title of 'coach' and 'consultant' for a long time. I had hired a number of them for my companies over the years and I just didn’t want to be one of these people who swoop in and make a bunch of pretty recommendation, tell you where you and your team are failing and then sell you several copies of collected writings to study until the next quarter when they come back and do it all again.

But then (later in life) I realized it was time to start sharing some of the things I had learned from 32 years of running companies. I wanted to share my stories and admit my mistakes and maybe help new business owners have an easier time as they tred the entrepreneurial highway. I gave myself the title Strategic Thinking Partner and quickly earned the privilege of working with some very cool people.

Here is my take on choosing a consultant:

Most coaches have good intentions. Many have specialized knowledge and can go deep into their subject. Some seem cooler and can give a great talk and have excellent handouts. And there are a few who really have never done anything at all in business and provide nothing to their victims…I mean clients. 

My recommendation for the perfect coach goes something like this;

  1. Look for someone you like. Somebody you want to open up to.
  2. Look for someone who has demonstrable knowledge and has a track record on the subjects you specifically want help with now.
  3. Look for someone that can take you from where you are today and build things up from there. 
  4. Be confident that the person you're engaging has your best interest at heart because they'll give you a little piece of themselves as they work with you to build your dream.
  5. Remember what Wallace Wattles taught. The consumer should receive more in use value than what they have paid in cash value. In other words, your consultant/guru/expert/coach should be slightly over delivering on what you've agreed to.
  6. Get everything in writing. You have the right know exactly what you are buying. If a coach won’t provide that specific information, walk away.
  7. Always perform due diligence. You want to make sure they are who they say they are, and they can do what they say they can do. (trusted professional services are best) 

Once you have found the perfect coach commit to listening to them, weighing their counsel and learn to grow out of your comfort zone. 

A coach should be able to do two things: 

  1. To make you better than you are now.
  2. To test you and to track your progress.

Just as in sports the coach is not the athlete. They cannot run laps for you or shoot free throws or lift the weights. They teach and you perform. No matter how great a coach you find, nothing releases you from the responsibility of running your own business.  

When you've taken the time and found the right person the payoff is huge. Your burdens will feel a little lighter, your course a little clearer, and your successes a whole lot bigger because you took the time to find the right coach.

 

 

 

Four Elements of a Great “Turn-Key” Business Opportunity

July 16, 2015 / Leave a comment / by Ken Courtright

turnkey2

 

To say the phrase “I’m looking for something turn-key” is common, would be an understatement. Over 350,000 people type some form of the phrase “turn-key business opportunity” into Google’s search bar each month. This means that close to 1% of our U.S. population is looking for a revenue model that is “turn-key”.

The premise of a “turn-key” business model is that the business they buy into will come with a step-by-step formula for success. A person looking for something turn-key is usually in the hunt for something they can simply add in a little money or elbow grease.

Many people today acknowledge the need to bring in extra income but know they have no time or money to make mistakes on their first business venture. The fear of loss, being what it is, forces many to search out businesses that are truly turn-key. They're hoping these turn-key businesses will allow them to move into another revenue stream without a steep learning curve. And this concept has allowed franchising, the number one business model in America, to flourish.

Ray Kroc of McDonald’s showed the world that a turn-key operation is a “working model”. It's a model that is tried and true. It's a model that can be followed to create a fairly accurate predetermined financial return. Most importantly, it can be done by someone with no industry experience.

 

There are 4 main elements of a turn-key business:

1. The model can stand up to any forms of due diligence; there's a working, successful model in place.

2. A predetermined return can be forecasted.

3. No industry experience is required. Anybody can do it if they meet the financial qualifications.

4. There is some form of “out” clause or exit strategy in place.

 

The Pros and Cons:

The Pros: The Pros of a turn-key operation are clearly the four main components: The model has been fine-tuned and is up and running. It is so fine-tuned that based on either physical location or current website traffic - a predetermined financial return can be extrapolated. No experience is necessary. There is some form of “out” clause where the business owner can get all or most of their money back, like a franchises ability to allow a franchise owner to sell their franchise, often for a substantial profit.

The Cons:  The only Con I can see is that most good turn-key models are offline (not on the internet). It is also a general rule with a franchise that the less money you have to put in, the higher the risk of failure. The more money you put in, the bigger the budget earmarked for the support system, training module and marketing. Franchises are not perfect.  They are still susceptible to some of the landmines of business ownership. Even McDonalds, the most expensive franchise, once in a while, has to close a store. 

 

Best advice I can give:

If you are in a situation where you need an extra revenue stream coming into your household or business, then I’d look hard at a good traditional franchise. Good franchises can be had for as low as $10,000 or high as $1,000,000.  These franchises come with true gross and net profit models that provide immediate and sustainable cash flow.  Because they are a franchise, they come with an abundance of training and support.

If you don’t have the capital to step into a traditional franchise, there may be another viable optional.  If you’ve ever had a great idea for a product launch, a new service offering or a stand-alone business, but didn’t know how to get started, you may want to reach out to a business consultant or attend a business growth conference like CEO Space. Sometimes the only thing a good idea is lacking is a proper sequence. 

Unfortunately, too many people graduate from this life with great ideas inside them because they simply didn’t know where to start. Sometimes an initial consultation with a business consultant can lay out a quick step by step formula to launch a product or get your potential business off the ground.