Starting a new business isn’t for the faint hearted. It can be a daunting experience and not without considerable challenges.
Seeking good advice is something that can benefit a start-up venture and an existing business but is often not sought because the business owner may be determined to go it alone and so it doesn’t always end well.
The fact is getting the right advice can often mean the difference between success and failure, and this is where Action Coach and its mentoring program for business owners and senior managers comes to the rescue.
Headed up by Charlie Chambers, Action Coach Mildura is part of a international franchise that was established 27 years ago in Brisbane by Brad Sugars and which now boasts a global network operating in 84 countries and has more than 2000 franchisees – a business success story in itself.
Explaining how Action Coach works, Mr Chamber uses a sporting analogy.
“Someone like Dusty Martin doesn’t just emerge from high school and suddenly become an AFL superstar with the Richmond Football Club! He would have had coaching along the way. He would have a performance coach and a fitness coach and several others helping to develop his career on the footy field.
And yet generally we go into business thinking that we can do it better than the bloke we used to work for.
“For example a concreter might start up his own business and he’s very good at the concreting but when it comes to running a business they have little or no knowledge or expertise.
“They don’t know how to grow a business or to survive COVID-19. And that’s where I come into the equation. Action Coach offers a range of programs for individuals or companies providing advice and guidance to help them manage some of the challenges and put a strategic plan in place.
“We offer one-on-one coaching. That is our premium product and means I meet with the business owner or, in some instances, the general manager once a week for an hour. This is either done via zoom or face-to-face.
“We also have group coaching, which will have anywhere from four to 10 businesses that I coach in the one session working through a program as a group.
“The third option allows people to attend the various workshops I run. It could be ‘building a winning team’ or ‘how to sell’ plus many others.
“So there is an option to suit all businesses and as my clients will attest the result speak for themselves.”
One of Mr Chamber’s clients is Jarrod Waters, general manager of Enzed Hydraulics and Mildura Forklifts, and he spoke to the ‘Weekly about his experience with Action Coach.
“Charlie was originally responsible for my advertising and marketing when he managed WIN Television in Mildura,” Mr Waters said.
“I came on board as a client of Charlie’s and Action Coach in October 2020. Since then, Charlie has coached me with outstanding results in building a better culture within my team and helping us all to better communicate.
“Our revenue has already increased and profit is up after only two months of coaching!
“I look forward to achieving more growth with Charlie as my business coach.”
Mr Chambers said that there were three main dangers in any business.
One is not growing, another is shrinking and the third one is growing too fast.
Growing too fast is just as dangerous in a business as not growing or shrinking. The reason for that will usually be that the business isn’t geared up for the extra sales for example.
Utilising a coach in this instance would see the coach mentoring the client through a gradual growth phase ensuring that they can cope with each stage of the growth step by step.
Mr Chamber said that Action Coach runs a Growth Club that meets every 90 days where issues are discussed and progress evaluated and plans are put in place.
“We meet at three monthly intervals and we put a new 90 day plan in place,” he said.
“At these meetings I invite members of the public and my clients and people talk openly about their challenges in their business and the other business owners in the room will have empathise with those issue and discuss the challenges in their business.
“So, when a plan is being formulated to overcome these challenges there might be 10 brains in the room contributing to the plan of action – a community of business owners all working toward a solution- the next 90 day plan to tackle the challenges.”
Action Coach operates a four pillar approach to the mentoring.
• Firstly time, and what a business owner does with his or her time. People often have grand plans of having more time off and having more money but often it doesn’t play out that way.
The tend to find themselves working even more hours than they were working for someone else and are often paid the least!
So we find out what the business owner is doing with their time and we prevent them from working too much in the business and get them working four or five hours on the business each week and there is a distinct difference.
• Then the other element is money. Working to generate more profit in the business, reducing expenses and the cost of goods sold, finding more efficiencies across the board and in doing so increasing profit margins and the revenue in the business.
• The third pillar is systems. In this instance systems stands for save yourself time, energy and money. By implementing systems you are leveraging yourself and saving yourself time and so once a business has implemented enough systems you then hire people to run the system.
• The fourth pillar is people. We need to have the right people ‘on-the-bus’, with the right attitudes and culture – all pulling in one direction. Having the right managers in place to run the systems and manage the people within those systems without being too top heavy because you will spoil the ‘broth’.
Mr Chambers said that many businesses had been adversely affected by COVID-19 and Action Coach has developed a program to help assist with recovery.
“We have adapted our coaching style to what we call ‘growing during COVID ‘.
“Not every business is affected by COVID – some businesses have done well, others have pivoted.
“One example of this is a business that I know of which is making masks at the moments − they have been able to pivot part of their business to adapt during COVID , turning adversity into advantage. And locally we also saw a Gin Distillery diversify into manufacturing hand sanitiser. It’s called making hay while the sun shines − and dealing with the cards you are dealt.”
Mr Chambers said in business the unknown is the factor that is an intangible risk.
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” he said.
“That is often in the feedback we get from new clients. One or two months into our program they will often say: “I just didn’t know that there was so much that I didn’t know about running a business”.
Anyone wishing to contact Action Coach in Mildura can go to their website www. charliechambers.actioncoach.com, and the site has information about a free coaching session, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.