I’ve been working with Ashley for six months now. We started working together because I’d realised I needed to do more than what I was doing. I knew I had to do something in order to be able to expand, and I didn’t really know how to go about it. I know a lot of CEOs of a lot of different companies, and like me they started off knowing a particular trade and decided to go out on their own because they had a few entrepreneurial skills. But running the business is totally different – unless you’re trained in the area, it’s a lot of hit and miss. And I’d been doing that for 20 years – the company just bowled along week to week. I looked at it and thought that was extremely unprofessional on my behalf. I didn’t really have a proper company structure set up with a plan for expansion, so really I was letting my own company down. I figured after 20 years it was time to do something about it.
Having a Business coach works for me because we get into areas such as marketing and sales – “how do we get new clients”? Over 20 years of business, I’d never really looked at doing that. The type of service we provide speaks for itself and we’d been going by word of mouth and just picking up clients along the way. Of course I had no idea – I said, “I’m not a salesman, I’m not an ad man”. I don’t know how to do that sort of work, so I figured I was lacking there.
Ashley’s help has made me change the procedures in the company. I’ve now employed more people, I’m not working the hours that I had to work, and I’m not stressed under the hours that I’m working because I’ve delegated most of my problems to other people. It means I can put more thought into other areas ‘ instead of working IN the business, I’m working ON the business. It’s been a help to have someone to tell me what to do and which way to go. The business is more valuable and more professional, and I’m a more relaxed person because of it.
Before I started the coaching program, I could see some major dramas approaching us in the future. When you’re worried about something you don’t enjoy your work – sleepless nights, and then your family takes the brunt of your stress. Six months later, suddenly now I can see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been very, very good, and I can see that we’re building up clients – which has been very lucrative for us – we’ve put on new staff, we’ve got structures and procedures in place, and things are running without me.
We’ll work together past our current twelve month contract, because there’ll still be issues we need to work on. There’s no end to learning more about running a business, and running other businesses. You need to reeducate yourself on a daily basis, and I understand that so the business coaching will probably go on for a long time.
I’ve got the choice now to do what I want to do during the day. It’s giving me more enthusiasm to find new ways of running the business – life’s pretty good at the moment.