Matthew Brown runs a successful multi-award winning boutique financial services business, Your Corner, in Sydney, Australia. Unlike most financial services practices that focus solely on their client’s financial well-being, the key to Your Corner success is in coaching small to medium enterprises on how to efficiently and effectively manage their finances, marketing and time management so they can create success in their business and their lives.
Brown’s approach is holistic. “The ethos within the entire company is ‘creating success in life’ – whether that success is the client purchasing their first home or investment property, ensuring they have an adequate wealth protection plan in place with insurances, helping people identify what their core values are and living true to those values, and having a business plan in place with time management systems that they can actually implement. All of it is around creating success in life for our clients – whatever it is they need. Business coaching is just one pillar of our business,” says Brown.
Business owners continue to face increasing challenges from competition, tighter margins, time management and work-life balance. In addition, many do not have the skill set or tools to manage their finances and rely on old school advice from their accountants who typically only look at the history of the business. They summarize what happened in past years, instead of being more forward looking and giving assistance with ideas on what can be done to improve the business in the future. This leaves the majority of small to medium business owners spinning their wheels, battling cash flow, working longer hours and often making less money than their employees.
CPA Australia’s Small Business Survey agrees: “Cash flow management, customer retention and innovation are essential for the growth of small businesses. Small business is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to economic uncertainty and volatility and this survey should send a clear warning throughout the region that all is not well with the sector. With the cost of running a business and competition being the most challenging factors for small business, innovation, it seems, is key to success. Businesses should continue to explore new ways to retain their customer base, a fundamental of business management, through innovation as well as look at new ways to increase cost efficiencies through smarter productivity strategies.”
According to Brown, many business owners fail to seek help from qualified mentors as they struggle to understand the value for money equation and how business coaching is going to happen and help them. “When everyone was learning how to play soccer or netball they went to a coach to learn how to do that. As adults, we forget we need to regularly sharpen the saw and you don’t know what you don’t know so they just don’t go out and seek coaches and mentors who can help fast-track their success. A lot of small business owners don’t actually know what their goals are so we help them identify what their personal core values are, what the values are in the business and then we put that together in a plan to help them achieve all those things.”
Coaching as a business tool continues to gain legitimacy. It is important because the right coach is an independent sounding board with business experience and great wisdom. A coach is not a consultant who comes into your business and tells you what to do or does it for you. Rather, a coach spends time listening to where you’re at in your business and then initiates discussions to facilitate problem solving and strategic planning. The best thing about a coach or mentor is that they keep you accountable to your vision. Often as a small business owner you can get caught working in your business and not spending enough time working on it and moving toward your business goals. Having weekly or even fortnightly meetings with a coach forces you to take a few hours out to specifically think about your business and where it’s heading. In addition, a business coach can stop you from learning the hard way and making big mistakes. All in all, the benefits of having a business coach in your corner will far outweigh the dollars invested.
As Brown says: “Are you creating success in your life? Are you happy and fulfilled living a life of excellence – do you feel you are in flow, have balance between your physical, emotional, and financial well-being? When you can find your flow everything is just easier.”
For more information, visit: http://www.yourcorner.com.au.