“As it’s just me in the office, I have no-one to be accountable to, or to bounce ideas off. For me, coaching is all about seeking out another person to talk to I find you can mull something over in your head for days and get nowhere, but actually saying things out loud is so important. Even just hearing it yourself that first time can provide insight – and then having an expert on your side to pose questions and review ideas with you is so valuable.”
Initially, Ian was looking for someone to help refine his business direction and to focus on strategy for getting clients through the door.
“I had been working hard in the first year of establishing my business, trying to make contacts at networking and corporate events but my ideal clients are difficult people to meet. They’re typically too busy to network, and have their heads buried running their own business. Lucy helped me focus on who I needed to approach to find my target customers, moving away from my scattergun approach to a more productive strategy.”
After a couple of years of good progress and business growth, Covid hit and lockdown affected Ian’s business – along with so many others. Finding his clients were hard up too, made sales difficult. It was time to be creative about business development.
Ian says, “Lucy encouraged me to look at breaking down my services into more easily attainable, bitesize pieces so companies felt my services were more accessible. I started marketing smaller sales such as business MOTs and reviews. These more affordable products did well and I discovered a new opportunity in providing financial scenario planning. I received a lot of interest in this from businesses all eager for help during such an unstable economy. Lucy’s outside input really helped me differentiate my services and find new business.”
Coaching, whilst it’s a commitment in both cost and time, should pay dividends elsewhere. Small businesses like Ian’s can feel coaching is a luxury they can’t afford but he says his experience shows its value at all levels.
“Ultimately, you can carry on ploughing your own furrow and moving forward at your own pace, but if you take a step back and invest your time in working with a coach you can plan and formulate actions which should progress your business much more quickly and in a more structured way.
Lucy was so good at questioning me which helped me rethink my strategies. She is also a great resource of ideas from her own experience and that of other businesses she’s worked with. I find explaining my actions to someone else really helps check my motives and keep business development on an upward path.”