By Peter Knight & Kate Groom

Business coaching has become a hot topic over the last few years, and for a very good reason: coaching can really improve the performance of your business!

An independent business coach can be really helpful even in a franchise – especially if you want to be a top performer. Those at the top in business, sport, or even politics have coaches to help them get the best results.

To us, business coaching is about three things: setting business goals, sticking to those goals and learning as they go. This article explains these three areas in more detail and provides straightforward tips for you to follow.

Set Goals

There’s a lot to keep you busy in your business, just with day-to-day activities such as serving customers, managing staff and doing paperwork.

Being a business owner isn’t about keeping busy. It’s about achieving good results. And this means knowing the results you’re aiming for.

This is why goals are so important. They help you focus on your priorities and give you something to aim for. And it also means there’s something to celebrate when you achieve your goals.

We’ve seen extraordinary results come from the setting a goal.  For instance, achieving record sales, spectacular profits, and even winning national business awards. It all starts with clearly defining what you’re aiming for.

The best way to start is to physically write down your goal on a piece of paper, and stick it somewhere you can see it often. Next decide what you and your team can do to achieve it. Finally, set out an action plan which outlines the steps you need to follow.

Being accountable

Most of us find it hard to stick at things for a prolonged period of time.

There’s so much going on in our lives! We know there are important things to do, but we can so easily get distracted and burn our energy on urgent but less important tasks. As a result the big, important activities go by the wayside.

To avoid this you to keep focussed on what’s important. There are two parts to doing this: a structured approach and people to hold you accountable.

Being accountable for something is accepting responsibility for your actions and reporting on them. It is a foundation for getting things done.

When accountability is built into a coaching program, it can be one of the most powerful tools to help you achieve your business goals. Without it you might find yourself becoming distracted and floundering.

To create more accountability in your business:

  • Find someone you respect and can work with
  •  Engage them to hold you accountable 
  •  Clearly define your business goals and targets 
  •  Share your goals with your coach
  •  Arrange regular meetings to review your progress

Keep learning

There are three things you can do to become a wise business owner. First, learn and develop the skills you need. Then apply them in the workplace. Finally learn from the experience so you can do better next time.

So, it’s important to attend courses and learn the principles of business. But it doesn’t stop there! You need to keep learning.

For example, you can learn the theory and principles of sales and marketing. But it’s not until you actually get out there and make the sale and do it that you truly learn about selling.

You consolidate your learning through self-reflection. This means looking back on the results you’ve achieved and considering the areas to improve. But it’s hard to do this on your own. This is where a business coach can help.

A good coach will explain what needs to be done, they then let you go and do it. They will help you review on your experiences and identify the areas to improve.

As you can see, the whole purpose of a coaching program is to support you in your business by helping you set goals, take action in pursuit of your goals, and identify area to improve.

Peter Knight and Kate Groom are the founders of Smart Franchise, which helps franchise owners make well informed business decisions. They also created the Franchise Accountants Network, a network of independent accountants around Australia.