CASE STUDY #2: Growing a Business
Coaching can be powerful for CEOs and entrepreneurs who are growing their businesses - to open up new perspectives and thinking about the challenges they face. We recently worked with a small business owner who wanted to grow her business.
This small business owner worked in the design industry and had a small team of employees. When she contacted us, she indicated that she struggled with time management and setting priorities. As a result, she also suffered from lack of strategy or business planning. She considered herself financially successful but did not think she was effective in running her business, and thought financially she could be delivering much better results if she had more time.
This is a common scenario in small business and in teams, when the leader believes that he/she must do most of the work in order for the work to be done correctly - and the business can't grow as a result.
We started the engagement with a behavioral work style assessment to understand how she naturally works best. The assessment gave us some insight into her strengths as well as limiting behaviors. Specifically, our client was very strong in taking action to achieve results, challenging the status quo, and taking on a wide variety of challenging tasks. These strengths were meaningful as a small business owner. On the flip side, she did not always include her staff in her thinking, did not listen to their ideas, and "did not feel comfortable depending on them" to get the same results that she did. She often found herself micromanaging her staff. The assessment helped our client see more clearly her leadership style, and to understand that her time management issues were partly the result of her underutilization of her staff.
The business owner and coach designed a coaching engagement with the desired outcome of utilizing her staff's talents and their involvement in daily decision-making in order to have more time for her to engage in strategy and business planning. A secondary outcome was focused on better daily planning and scheduling of her own calendar.
By the end of the three month engagement, the client had implemented a new organizational chart in her business to elevate one staff member to take on more decision-making and daily management of the business. She was delegating more to her staff members, including responsibility for the initial design meetings with her customers (which previously had been done by both our client and a staff member), which freed up as much as 30% of her day - and did not negatively impact quality or results. Additionally she outsourced her business accounting, which she had been doing herself, giving her even more flexibility to focus more strategically on her business, and importantly, herself. Finally, better scheduling and planning habits improved her personal efficiency. Our client found herself less stressed, more clear on the direction she wanted her business to take, and with more time for herself, her business, and her family. Business revenues increased 20% within six months of putting her new process in place.