Updated: May 21
Recognise this: Your working hard 24/7 on your business, sales are hard to come by and cash flow is a bit of a challenge to say the least!
This happened only recently so to keep the client confidentiality, I have changed the names, scenario etc. BTW A coaches job is not telling any business how to run their business, but if required to raise awareness by getting involved as another pair of eyes and ears for the client.
John had contract work in addition to domestic work, but very little repeat business and cashflow was always a challenge. The business was a family run firm so was quite close knit so a key role of Administration Manager was fulfilled by Johns sister. She was passionate too about the business and was quite a force in running the business.
John drove around doing quotes, he would go from one quote to the next until the light faded and he could see onsite. He was a professional, built his business up over many years and had qualifications coming out of his ears. He just knew what the job involved and gave is clients real confidence in the service they were buying. He was really well turned out and very polite too. The prices were great, competitive and he gave 5-10 year guarantees on the work! He loved his job and he too was passionate about delivering great service and work
So the admin office would call, really polite and to book the job in with the client. Great.
The works team where like John, well turned out, polite, only used freshly laundered dustsheets, etc you get the picture.
So everything looked and appeared great so what was the problem, or was there one?
John felt that he was working 24/7 for nothing and felt he offered a great service but could not see a future in the business! On the surface it looked exactly like that! But our job as coaches are sometime like Sherlock Holmes...elliminate the impossible and work through the likely.
So, what did I know up to this point?
Great Business Ethics
Great Professional Team spirit
Sales where not coming through*
Cashflow was a challenge*
* Can be symptoms, not a cause!
Using diagnostic tools and spending time with John and the team, it became clear that the key area to focus on was sales, but not new sales, but the lack of repeat sales.
What was happening? John decided to make calls personally to the bigger one time customers.
What this revealed was more of a challenge than John wanted, but it had to be dealt with.
The admin team where great during the initial startup of the job, but then it all fell apart with failed calls to keep the client up to speed, deliveries didn't arrive on time to the site, so the job was moved back without the client being told. If the client did complain to the admin team then. they could be really quite defensive and in one case quoted Johns sister got heavily involved which made it worse
John didn't know as the client did not have his number, only the office. I meantioned earlier that John's sister was quite a force and any not so great behaviour can be picked up by her team and mirrored. This is quite normal in business that the department leaders personality will in many cases rub off.
This could have been really tricky to deal with and could create major family problems. John did communication styles profiles on his key team members and will look to do the rest in due course.
This raised the awareness with his sister about her Fiery Red communication preferences and how that might not be great at dealing with problems head on and this would be best left to a Green Steady member of the team!
He also introduced Customer Feedback Questionaires that he got personally to ensure that the service level was high throughout the job.
Passion needs focus and control!
Repeat business started to flow...