In my experience of coaching and talking with hundreds of CEO’s, Directors, entrepreneurs and business owners, is that they find there are three things often missing in most business coaching relationships. These are:
- 1. An overall metaphor allowing coaches and clients to share an understanding of how their business really works
- 2. A step-by-step, easy to follow process that coaches can take clients through that produces results they can see
- 3. Genuine, tangible results with honest feedback and accountability.
These limitations can make business coaching and any success a frustrating process. So, everything I do is centred around those core missing themes plus one other. You.
But here, I want to give you a simple metaphor for how your business really works.
By doing this, it’s the start of how business owners can separate each area, work on them or maintain them, but then understand that the business can’t work as it should until ALL the areas are working properly.
How Your Business Works – A bit like an aeroplane
I have, in my mind, a distinct and real life picture of how a successful, growing and thriving business works. This allows me to compare and contrast any business with a picture of a healthy organisation.
The metaphor of an aeroplane helps you and I agree on how to get the parts of the business working together and in proportion to each other so the business does not crash and burn.
The simple metaphor that a business works like an airplane provides a common vision, vocabulary, and understanding of how a healthy and successful business that is going places operates. I then, serve as airplane engineer and mechanics helping my clients grow and sustain healthy businesses.
Through this metaphor we look at the key 6 aspects of a successful, stable and growing business:
- Products and Services
- Cash Flow
Let’s Put This Plane Together
If you were walking up to a plane and the body of the plane was enormous, the wings tiny, and the engine on those wings even smaller, with tiny little propellers coming out of them, you’d know intuitively not to get on that airplane! You’d know the plane was going to crash and burn.
Just like that plane, and understanding the frameworks of successful and profitable businesses, I’m able to see what is wrong with a business and know how to help you fix it. Planes are engineered to be flightworthy and maintained to stay flightworthy by using a series of checklists. These checklists are used to build the plane, fly the plane, and maintain the plane.
I use my intuition, 30+ years of experience starting, managing, running and creating successful businesses, my people skills, and also a series of checklists that make business coaching simple, easy, and effective.
A great business coach guides their clients through these checklists so their clients’ businesses can fly far and fast. This is important as so many people depend on the business they work within to survive and succeed in life.
Let’s Pull This Plane Apart (sort of!)
There are six important parts to a plane that are each useful to understand to safely counsel my clients in growing their business.
- Cockpit: Leadership and Management
- Wings: Product and Product Creation
- Right Engine: Marketing
- Left Engine: Sales
- Body: Overhead
- Fuel Tank: Cash Flow
In order for a plane to be safe and airworthy, these six parts of the plane need to be in working order and also exist in the right proportion to the others.
For instance, tiny engines will not provide enough thrust to move a large plane through the air. In business, that means minuscule marketing and sales efforts will not give a business enough thrust to overcome the cost of overheads. If the engines are not powerful enough to overcome the weight of overhead, the business will crash.
But keeping marketing and sales efforts strong while managing the weight of overheads are not enough. If the body of the airplane is lean and the engines are producing enough thrust but the plane runs out of fuel, it will still crash and burn. In a business, fuel is the equivalent of cash flow. If a business runs out of cash, it will crash and burn, no matter how well the business is engineered and maintained.
Once we understand the metaphor of the plane, we have a common vocabulary and checklist to engineer and maintain a safe and growing business.
As a Business Coach, I help you understand the responsibilities and skill sets of the leadership team (what happens in the cockpit), how to clarify their message and create a marketing sales funnel (right engine), how to manage a sales team and how to guide a sales team through a process and framework (left engine), how to audit overhead and reduce overhead expenses (the body of the airplane), how to produce products that are in demand and highly profitable (the wings), and how to manage cash and arrange their bank accounts (fuel management).
Hopefully you can now see how much your business is like the simple metaphor of a plane. Everything needs putting together and maintaining separately, but will only work it all comes together and will only take you where you want to go if they are all working to the maximum efficiency and capability.
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