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  • Jeannie Doherty

Getting support to do better in business – what's that look like?

For today, we'll be talking about how the right kind of support in your business can and will be game-changing, and I'm going to keep this short and sweet but impactful.

getting the support for your business

One of the reasons I was driven to write this is that I was at the.. let's call it the gym. I was at EMS training the other day (electric muscle stimulation), and a couple of years ago I have just decided to give it a try, and now I have been doing it for almost two years. Previously, I was in the gym for like, goodness gracious, more than 30 years, but I was having a bit of trouble. So now, every week, twice a week, I go and I feel like I get electrocuted for 20 minutes.

The one I go to is called 20v, and I'm on the Gold Coast, so I go to their Broadbeach one. Anyway, I was in there talking to one of the exceptional trainers they have, and for me to say that, I am picky, I have a lot of acumen in this area. She's amazing, and she also runs her own little business on the side in the kind of yoga space. We were just chewing the fat on business and on accountability and on coaching, and she was saying to me that when she does her EMS training session herself, if she's got to do it all by herself without a trainer there, it is so hard. And, will she get the motivation to even do it? Will she do it? Maybe not. She runs her business with her partner and they are having a bit of trouble taking the action that they need to take in their business, and so she used that analogy with him. She said to him, "I feel like we need to pay a business coach to kind of kick our arse into gear so that we can get done all these things we're not getting done."

Look, it isn't as simple as I'm just not taking action.

Actually, the way I think of it is you need to make sure that you've got PEOPLE and RESOURCES that can give you the education and the information that you need to know. Because so often as business owners, we can be acting on either the wrong information, or we don't have information that can be just so game-changing and can fast track our results and rocket our results. So, what kind of support does your business need?

When I wrote this, I was thinking about small service-based businesses. So as a strategic bookkeeper, a small business can be pretty big, but we still categorize them small. It's one of the reasons we say SME, small to medium enterprise, which is mostly small service-based businesses like trades and professional services. Now, I could go into the nuts and bolts and the nitty-gritty, but I'm going to keep it a little bit more high level. I'm going to share with you a story of what it looks like in real life when you get the support that you need, and then absolutely, I'm also going to tell you about what the right support looks like. I feel like the best way I can tell you this is to tell you how I work with clients myself.

Here's how I think about it: everything begins and ends with the numbers. Absolutely, that is not my opinion. That is just how it is, okay? Because if you think of it this way, the business –

it doesn't matter how great the idea is, how great the team is, or how great your systems are,

if you don't find a way to translate that into the right amount of profit and cash, the business is going to close.

And so everything begins and ends with the numbers.

We need the beautiful, up-to-date, accurate accounting records, and then we need to make those numbers not just accurate, but meaningful. Then, we need to be accountable to what those numbers are telling us. We need to understand what the numbers perhaps need to look like, and then think about the kind of action that needs to be taken in order to change the numbers, which is all about improving profitability and cash. So everything begins and ends with the numbers, and so what we do here (which is to educate you around exactly what you do need to do), we guide you through everything, beginning and ending with the numbers in our Numbers Mastery program.

So each month, we need some of your time so you can help us help you to work on optimizing your profit and cash, and there is a magic that happens when you simply lean into this process, and that's the magic that I see when I work with clients. Because, time flies and sometimes I'm looking at a client's numbers, especially in order for me to have a look at the results that we're getting together, and I think, "What, it's been two years?"

There is a magic that happens in the process over time when you play the long game, okay?

This is what success is made of— knowing your numbers and then using them in a way that moves you to business optimization.

Our structured numbers model and agenda is

Numbers 101, Numbers knowledge, Numbers strategy, Numbers targets, and Numbers monitoring

We have a structured model and agenda, and so expect to create and follow an ACTION PLAN. The thing about the action plan that I definitely want to tell you is it should be designed to use on the fly, as well as in a more structured way. Life is not perfect, business is not perfect, it's all kind of a bit messy and stuff gets in the way with the best intentions, and so you should be trying to take action all the time from what you learn on the fly.

I see that with business owners. I'm watching it at the moment with someone I'm supporting and she's coming back to me and like, "Yes, I did this and I tried this and I tried this," and she has got hardly any time, but she's implementing stuff on the fly. Will it get better over time? Will she get more organized and structured and strategic? Yes, but you should be able to implement on the fly as well as in a structured way.

Then, there's the day-to-day business operations. Let's start with the model and agenda.

That is: Plan, Team, Marketing, Selling, Standards

Now, this model is both a way to diagnose what's going on as well as the moving parts, and what we need to nail. When I say we, if you're working with us, this is what we do, but this is to educate you around what you need to do generally, okay? This isn't my opinion. This is kind of what I would call, general knowledge. It's out there. It's just whether you have the knowledge yet, okay? There's all this knowledge and some of it we have, and some of it we don't have.

We work with you to diagnose your pain points from that model, and then work through strengthening up all the key areas

of your day-to-day business operations.

Sounds boring? Actually, working around the business operations is really fun and exciting. All of my clients love it. Probably when they've got to pay attention to the numbers with their Numbers Mastery coach, they feel like it's not quite as exciting, but there can also be a little bit of fear attached to sitting down and being accountable to your numbers because numbers are so black and white and linear. It's something that I really love. I like clear rules and I'm a really super direct, clear and direct communicator.

For me, the numbers are like, you're making money or you're losing money, or cost of sales is too high or it's spot on, or rent as a percentage of turnover is on benchmark or it's not very black and white, and so the answers can come quite quickly. And the numbers are either up-to-date, accurate, and easy to read or they're not, whereas the business operations can be more like throwing paint to the canvas, so clients tend to have a lot of fun with me around that area. But interestingly, I always say to them, "You are not allowed to miss your Numbers Mastery meeting. You can miss the one with me, but everything begins and ends with the numbers." So really, really important.

So then, there's the other stuff, and by that I mean,

first off, mindset, then productivity, and then whatever is bespoke to you because you're unique

– and everything we do, everything that needs to be done, this isn't just around working with us, this is to educate you generally, so everything we do is customized so it fits you. The way we communicate with you, the way we work with you, the way we coach you. One of my clients says he just loves having someone with a really high level of acumen that he can come to and get help from, and I call that style corporate coaching. Different to someone that needs just something different, like another client where I might put together a dream team of three people from the organization and we're working together in a different way. So that's the other stuff, mindset, productivity, and then just the bespoke custom fitting to you.

In terms of resources, your team and time – I'm kind of drawing on what we do to educate you around the kind of support that you need. Support isn't just people. It's also the things, like the resources, like the standard operating procedures. So here's what that looks like: When I say team, I'm kind of referring to our team. So it looks like your numbers coach will need about one structured hour a month with you. If more structured time is needed, we discuss that with you.

For example, there are times where we're working with a client and we say, "You know what? We feel like we need to catch up once a week for four weeks and then just see where we're at." You can see how that relates to customization. Sometimes we just need to catch up more often, about one structured hour a month.

But here's the thing, the less time we have to spend with you, the more we're giving you.

We're giving you the gift of time, and time is money.

Let's say you caught up with us for half an hour and you get all the results you need, boom, but basically it's a bit structured. You also have unlimited support from your numbers coach, and just ask the questions you need to ask, the what-if questions. That is always really important. Like I said, there is a magic that happens in this process.

Now, the same kind of thing applies when you're working with your business strategist. We need about an hour of structured time with you, plus you'll get support, and if we need to catch up more, or I get times where a client might just say, "Hey Jeannie, are you free? I'm going into a really important meeting and I could really do it with some help before this." We jump in, we spend whatever amount of time is needed, because the support is needed then. I like to think of it as an organic, moving, evolving program with the end in mind: doing better in business, thriving in business, optimizing your business.

We also welcome working with any key people, like your executive assistant or operations manager. Team is the second part of our model. We often find ourselves doing recruitment jobs for clients, and we ensure you have key people supporting you – and working with us is something that we'll work on with you too, because it's an important part of helping you kick your goals.

Let me tell you right now, finding those key people and having them on your team and having them work with a key person on your team, like your business coach or numbers coach, is massively impactful and also frees up your time. The goal is always to recruit people that are better at us in certain jobs, okay?

You also get access to an online academy. So as appropriate, we'll point you to resources stored in there. You'll use them to do better in business. So let's say I'm working with a client (and this happens regularly), around helping them to be more proactive and structured with their team, and get their team reporting to team, which makes everything more efficient. Guess what efficiency does? It frees up profit and cash, and it frees up time. So I might point to resources around team rhythm and team meetings, which will give you agendas and how-to videos, et cetera.

Imagine you had this for yourself or an executive assistant, and then we're just making sure you know how to implement them. And then you might come back to me and go, "Oh my goodness, nobody's interrupting me anymore. The team is working better and more efficiently, and with all that spare time, I went and did something that I've been wanting to do for ages or I want another big job because I could actually focus more."

And actually, these are all true stories. I'm giving you true examples.

Now, in that online academy, we do give you coursework as well, depending on the way we work with you – because we have various packages and you can absolutely opt into programs that give you really good coursework like we do, and that is back to the education piece as well.

We work with a lot of clients in a more premium way, where they kind of feel like they don't have the time and discipline to sit down and do that themselves, and so they really just want the handholding and support.

So we still use the course content because to a large extent it's driving what we do. It's a framework, but rather than you have to do it yourself, we have options around doing it either with you, or for you, so that we're just stepping you through everything in a way that means that you don't always have to sit down and do that coursework, but that is definitely learning what you need to learn, but it's also helped to implement what you need. So that's just another example of the kind of support that business owners need.

Now, I'm going to tell you three impactful things that links to success leaves clues.

Number one, we won't necessarily ask you to work harder, but we may ask you to make harder decisions.

That little sentence, just keep re-reading it because success does leave clues, and the clients that allow me to push them, and sometimes I push a little hard to make the harder decisions, they're the ones that basically... if you do this, I can pretty much guarantee you'll at least 10x your investment in us.

So if you're working with someone, whether it's us or someone else, or you're finding a way to be supported.. I'll go back to that amazing personal trainer that I was working with only yesterday and what she said about needing the support to do better in business. No matter who you're working with, if you are trying to do it yourself or you're working with someone, I think you need to know that the investment that you put into this kind of thing, it is an investment, it's not a cost, because you will get a return on investment if you make the hard decisions.

An example of a hard decision is stepping up as a manager and a leader.

So that was two things. So harder decisions, and

second one, a guarantee you'll at least 10x your investment if you do the first thing, whether it's with us or someone else.

If you're not prepared to change anything, nothing will change, and then we probably won't get great results. So if you're not prepared to change anything or learn anything new, yeah, probably not.

The third thing is play the long game.

I said earlier, time flies when you're having fun, in the blink of an eye, I do find myself like, "Wow, has two years gone already?" – you're not going to get results in a month or two months or three months.

Do we kick goals and get your results? Absolutely, but what I have seen is that when our clients get really excited about results, and we do too (I've been brought to tears getting a restaurant to benchmark profit!) – but basically, here's the way I think of it. Sometimes when we're working together in the early days and we get amazing results, I think of it like if you were sick and we got you well. You can't just go and run a marathon. You might need to take care of yourself for a while. So even when we get results early, it's about playing the long game and bedding all those results into habit, and proving that we can get them again and again, and continuing to pull profit, cash, and prosperity out of your business as we're working on those three things all the time.

I'd like to wrap this up by kind of reiterating that

every business needs support in order to thrive.

We know you've probably heard me talk about the shocking business failure statistics. On top of that, a lot of businesses just are making less than they would do in a job, and yet the businesses that we see that are leaning into spending time and money, investing time and money in being educated, in being held accountable to taking action, basically being coachable and being coached in a structured way that works for them – those are the businesses that we are seeing thrive and go from strength to strength, like in my personal trainer.

When I got up yesterday morning and think, "Imagine if I had to do this myself, it would be so much harder." Yeah? It's not not doable, and I do heaps of stuff in between, but twice a week I do a structured strategic training program that keeps me in incredible shape, and I do that with the support of really great professionals. That just strikes me as so much like business. Like I said, this trainer was saying absolutely they were using that analogy around the fact that they are struggling in business, and they recognize that they need the support of a coach.

So definitely, I'll tell you: for Better in Business, for me, everything begins and ends with the numbers. Coaching begins and ends with management accounting, and beyond that it's about having the framework and the structure around the business operations, and mindset and productivity and all the other stuff to pull it all together, and then back to the numbers.

If you've read until the end of this read and you're thinking, "I do feel like I need some help, but I don't know where to start," let me give you a few places to start. You can absolutely reach out and have a complimentary chat with me, okay? Action costs nothing in that area, but inaction can cost you everything. But I would actually direct you to a podcast I did called Is My Business Healthy? – it's a really short, but it will help you further self-assess with a bit more detail where you're at now, and the opportunity that exists to do better.

We have lots on the menu in terms of how we can help you. It's all about you doing your due diligence, gathering your information, and then making a decision around getting support. We would love to support you if our vibe is your vibe.

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