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At ThinkPositive Coaching we work with clients to ensure they get the best out of themselves and out of their business. for many people looking in from the outside then the title of this post might seem a bit of a no brainer. However talk to any accountant and he will tell you that the biggest issue many of the business that he looks after face are cash flow problems based on not having a secure system for collecting payments. This timely piece from CEOBusiness Consulting serves asa useful reminder. It ain’t a sale till the money is in the bank.
“A small business that we know almost closed their doors because their customers owed them over $1.5 million in outstanding receivable and the average days of getting paid were in excess of 224 days. They were making sales but they were not collecting the sale in a timely fashion.
When you make sales on credit you are acting as a bank for your customer. (Is that the business that you’re in?) Many businesses are required to sell on credit. When you do, you need to treat it as a loan. This means that you need to determine if the customer is trustworthy. How do they pay? Do they have other creditors? How long do they take to pay their bills?
How many days, on average, is it taking for your clients to pay you? This is one of those important numbers that you need to know. (Accounts Receivable divided by sales x 365 days). Every day someone owes you money cost you money.
Some ideas to consider in extending credit:
Do these processes remind you about your business? Or do they remind you of what is lacking. So often our mental barriers block the way to effective business practice and collecting money is one such issue. Book a free consultation to discuss these issues and get guidance from one of our coaches.
Should we wary of CBT?
Increasingly business coaches ate looking at the means by which they can help clients adjust their behaviour and shape their attitudes to improve their business. Many coaches and potential clients shy away from any exploration of CBT as it carries with it the negative connotations of mental illness. It is quite a challenge for a coach to examine aspects of coaching which encroach on the medical and for a client to delve into a realm that quite frankly scares us.
It is worth having a look at what CBT actually is and the allow you, the reader to make a judgement as to its relevance to business improvement and coaching.
“Cognition – The way we perceive and think
Behaviour – The way we react and behave
Change – Therapy, coaching and other methods of changing behaviour
CBT looks at why people think and behave a certain way, the findings provide evidence so they have a choice over their behaviour. Most people in life have been conditioned to behave a certain way, it could be life experiences or it could be learnt behaviour from a young age (watching parents etc).
If life experiences have been kind, then chances are you will act ‘normally’, but if you have had a fairly turbulent life, chances are you will be more inclined to behave in a different manner. Please note, I do not believe there is `normal’ it is just used to highlight the point. For example, if we have experiences that teach us to cope, to survive and get through crisis or abuse, we will have built-in defence mechanisms, this is widely discussed in CBT at length.
CBT isn’t just to use in personal life, it can be transferred into your business by measuring things and taking the emotion out of it. Looking at patterns of behaviour and coming up with solutions or strategies that will work.”
The association with “abnormality” should not stop coaches examining the value of CBT.
All of us have behaviours that are governed by past experience and which if left unchecked can be damaging to our business. On the other hand we also bring vey positive behaviours to the commercial world: skills and attributes that other s value can be appraised and then deployed in other areas of our business. The therapeutic part of CBT does not necessarily have to be putting right the negatives.
ThinkPositive Coaching.com delivers a comprehensive business coaching programme that will enable you to assess your positive attributes and effectively redistribute those around the areas of your business that may cause you some doubt or concern. Rather than working with you to cure psychological blocks, we encourage you to magnify your strengths. We believe that seen in this light than Cognitive Behaviour is a both relevant and a positive boost to the coach client relationship
For so many people (business coaches included perhaps!) there is some confusion about business coaching what it is and more importantly what it is not.
“The simplest coaching definition is to say that business coaches work with a business owner over a specified time period to bring about a change in behavior or performance.
“Coaches are not for the meek. They’re for people who value unambiguous feedback. All coaches have one thing in common, it’s that they are ruthlessly results-oriented.” Fast Company Magazine
Business coaching involves coaching people who can influence the performance of the business.
The business is the ultimate beneficiary of the coaching process although the client may also experience some form of personal development as a result of the coaching.
The business owners vision for the business drives the coaching and it works best when a high level of trust has been developed between the coach and client.
To be perfectly honest though there’s really no guarantee what you’ll be getting when you hire a business coach unless they are ICF certified. That is the only way to know for sure that you are working with someone who is trained in coaching and not just in ‘how to do business’.
At this point in time anyone can call themselves a coach which can make it difficult to know what you’ll be getting.
It may help to make the distinction between coaching and other professional services:
Business consultants are often mixed up with coaches purely because they work one on one. One coaching definition is this: a coach asks you questions and a consultant gives you answers. Coaches look for ways to grow and develop the individual client.
Consultants are generally experts in a particular area eg. finance, marketing etc and they give you answers to problems based on their experience.
A business consultant comes in to your business on a short term basis, gives you a diagnosis of what needs fixing, advises how to do it and then leaves you to get on with it.
Business trainers are educators who give you specific knowledge about a topic. In contrast, coaching is more akin to facilitating than educating. Trainers generally deliver one-off seminars or workshops.
Coaching by definition requires a longer term relationship. Given that its estimated that less than 10% of what people learn on training courses is actually applied afterwards (it increases to 80-90% if combined with coaching) many trainers now back up their training courses with coaching.
A business mentor is someone who has ‘been there and done that’ who can share their own experiences with you. So, a business or entrepreneur mentor could be someone like Richard Branson.
A coach is an expert in the development of people, whatever their chosen path. Business coaches don’t necessarily need to have done what you’re trying achieve themselves (similarly Roger Federer is not coached by former Wimbledon champions).
Counsellors and Therapists
A business coach does not delve in to your emotional issues like a counsellor or therapist. If, for example, you have an anger management issue that is affecting your business, a coach will want to raise it but it is not their job to cure you of it. They should refer you to another trained professional who can work through it with you.
On a side note: we have known business owners who have hired a business coach purely to help them with their marriage because it’s tax deductible! Not recommended – find a relationship counsellor.
This coaching definition sums up this distinction: therapy involves looking back to fix things; coaching looks forward to create things.
Business Coaching Definition
In the purest sense of the term, coaches are experts in people. Their goal is to get the best out of the person they’re working with whether they’re a business owner, sportsperson or parent.
Our coaching definition is that coaches work with an individual to bring about a change in behavior or performance.
A business coach’s ultimate goal is to change the behavior and performance of the business owner in order to improve the business.
In order to do this business coaches may also choose to educate and train their clients in order to plug knowledge gaps. Yes, they have a lot of business knowledge to share but their ultimate aim is to strengthen the business by strengthening the individual too.”