Business Coaching – The importance of intent

13 Nov 2013
This week I completed a business coaching session with a client that has had a few obstacles within her business. Throughout the business coaching call she had a number of light bulb moments. This led me to remember the importance of intent. For the purpose of this case study let's call this client Linda.
A bit of background on Linda: her business is in training and consulting in the HR industry (human resources) with both government and private sectors. For all intents and purposes business had been good, not booming, but a profitable business with a niche that was never going to become irrelevant. Linda was seen as an expert and her team had a very good track record of delivering outcomes, be it enterprise agreements, dealing with unfair dismissal claims, or just setting up HR systems and procedures.
Over the last 6 months Linda had her emotional energy directed in other areas. Her mother had been sick and as a result Linda had to spend time interstate, dealing with family and personal matters that would, for anyone, be very distracting from running a business.
Following that, Linda had a fall and bumped her head, which resulted in serious damage. This prevented her from focusing on work for extended periods of time, and left her less than resourceful when needed for complicated matters and/or difficult people.
Subsequently she was not actively chasing new business and had existing government contracts expire. So all of a sudden Linda was faced with a balance sheet looking very unbalanced and heading towards financial trouble. It was clear that some action was needed.

Throughout the call we discussed a number of things:

  • Number of existing clients
  • What are the profit points?
  • What is the purpose of the business?
  • What can you do today that can move you towards your outcome?
Through these questions I discovered that Linda had a number of business coaching programs that had not really taken off. I also discovered that within her sector there is a lot of energy spent dealing with issues at the point of the problem, and not much attention paid to incentives to prevent her clients from having HR issues. As an example, Linda explained that she is needed most when her clients have made mistakes with unfair dismissal, and inappropriate management of employees and contractors. In the latest example, I learnt that one of Linda's clients received an invoice for $16,000 for ???. I'm sure any business would prefer to have a prevention strategy and pay less than that. Not to mention that on top of that they had to pay out the employee. In response to these recurring situations, we looked at how to package Linda's business coaching programs and how to market them to her HR clients.
The process was very simple but effective. We did a process of chunking logical levels. We got two contexts and concepts and created three coaching packages that now have marketability.
She implemented a number of the concepts and managed to start coaching and selling $5000 coaching packages with referrals and clients coming forward very quickly.
Following up on the business coaching session we did, Linda's business started to evolve in a way that worked very well for her and allowed her business to grow in an area that was both profitable and gave her much satisfaction.
Since our coaching, her business has increased and is on track to outdo the previous benchmarks that had been set. Linda was even featured in the Australian Financial Review.
This all started with understanding her intent and what she wanted to do, helping her change her focus, setting some goals and taking small steps that moved her towards those goals.
So what is your intent with your business?
When was the last time you had a good "logical level think" around your business?
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