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a blog by Chris Barrow

Building the coaching practice

I couldn’t resist this shot of the “boys toys” as I arrived in Devon yesterday for a strategy meeting with Simon and Ernie. Just in case any clients are out there thinking “I supposed I paid for that” – the answer is “yes you did” and “thank you”. Personally, I would want a business coach who arrived in a quality car and not something boring or cheap – that’s just how I am wired – and we attract the type of clients who are wired the same way. Cheapskate clients attract cheapskate professional advisors, suppliers – and dentists! – have you ever noticed that? Although Ernie did ask:

how many exhausts do you boys need between you?

 The answer is 8. Moving on to the business in hand. The purpose of our meeting was to reflect upon our progress in the first 57 days of Breathe Business. What have we got right? What have we got wrong? What are we enjoying? What’s making us unhappy? Most importantly – what are we going to do about it? An important conclusion from our meeting is that just about everybody in the Breathe Team is in what I would describe as “transactional overload” – let’s call that TO. TO = you are good at what you do but you just have too much to do. The effect of TO can be that, in an attempt to carry on being good at everything – you make mistakes. And we have made our fair share of mistakes in these early days – simple stuff – but the kind of stuff that can irritate clients and unnerve the team. Guilty as charged – all of us. The good news is that, 57 days in, we recognise that – have listened to the constructive feedback from our clients and prospects – and we are taking action. Perhaps no surprise to find that the action will be about:

  1. more financial capital to fund

  2. more people to do

  3. more things

  4. more effectively

So we have set the finance team a target – to have started work on a revised cash flow, business plan and funding requirement – to be presented at our next board meeting a week on Friday. We have to go deeper into the “J” curve if the business is to keep it’s promises and realise it’s potential. We cannot afford to run it on a shoe-string. We will end up with a cheapskate business. And as you can see. That’s not our style.

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