Ed Erickson is a Chicago-based business coach and marketing consultant. Ed has an MBA from the University of Chicago and 20 years of business development experience to offer the businesses he consults. After working at several marketing jobs, Erickson finally went into business for himself in 2006. Erickson may have begun his entrepreneurial career consulting large businesses, and to this day Erickson still offers some marketing research services to larger firms; however, Erickson considers his true calling is to be acting as a trusted advisor and consultant to small businesses who are wrestling with common sets of challenges. When asked to describe his ideal client in a recent interview, Erickson remarked, “My ideal client would be the owner of a service-based business that employs at least a few people and has an annual revenue ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars up to a few million dollars. I’ve worked with solo entrepreneurs and bigger companies; however, the people that really receive the full benefits of my help are business owners with a few employees”.
Erickson notes that when his clients have finally come to see him they are typically feeling very tired and burned out, and often ready to quit running their own businesses. As Erickson observes, “The problems plaguing so many of my clients arise when they begin to feel like they have worked very hard only to reach a point which is below the place they want to be in terms of earnings, and this same point of exhaustion where they have found themselves is also way above the place where they want to be in terms of the amount of effort they’re expanding”.
By Erickson’s estimation, his clients are very good at performing some type of task and this is the reason they have gone into business for themselves. “For example, the plumber starts a plumbing company, the lawyer starts a law firm, and so on”, notes Erickson. When evaluating the roles of owners in growing businesses, Erickson had this to say, “One of the most important objectives of my coaching process is to help my clients begin to view their businesses as systems that create results for both their customers and themselves. For the owners, who are the designers of these systems, their real job is to build the systems that do the work as opposed to the owners constantly feeling like they have to endlessly roll-up their sleeves and go-out to do all of their business’s work themselves”.
When asked to name the most important aspect of his coaching process, Erickson had this to say, “Every change that one of my clients makes has to start with them”. For the clients Erickson chooses to coach, he goes about actually achieving the desired results by asking his clients to participate in a proven five- step process of his own creation. The first step in Erickson’s process involves asking his clients to re-evaluate the nature of their businesses. The successive steps ask clients to define and documenting their business activities, improve their marketing strategies, and learn to manage their businesses by systems of defined measurements. Erickson promises no magic solutions for the people he coaches; however, he believes good results will come to those who have the patience and the willingness to put-in the work he asks of them.
Alicia Williams-Dibrell is a Best Selling Author, host of Business Innovators Radio and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.