What coaching can do for your small business

What coaching can do for your small business 

Is it time you considered using a business coach? These entrepreneurs explain how it helped their small businesses. 

No matter how successful your small business may be, no owner has all the answers. But knowing when you need outside help – and who from – may be challenging for most. We spoke to four small business owners who enlisted the help of business coaches to give them a leg up.  

The first step – take a step back 

Small business owners often don’t spend enough time thinking about where their business is going, as opposed to the urgency of the day job, says Andy Mee, a ‘business doctor’ covering the Oxfordshire area. Entrepreneurs need to focus more time towards working on their business, rather than in it, he says.  

Landscape architect, Anthony Stiff has been working for Mee for 18 months. During the recession, for maybe five years, we survived but it wasn’t the happiest time. We thought we’ve got to do something positive and grow the business, and this was a way we could do that,\” he said.  

One lesson Stiff took away from working with Mee is to make time for what she calls the ‘golden hour’. So on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon you should spend an hour looking at your business and reviewing the week that’s just gone by and planning the week ahead she said, just being conscious of the goal that you might set yourself. It’s very easy to lose sight of that.

Build your confidence 

Whether you have a team around you or not, running your own business can be lonely. Sometimes you may not have anyone that you can turn to for reassurance that you’re on the right path when your chips are down. 

Nila Holden, who runs a luxury biscuit wholesaler, used a business coach for reassurance that she was doing the right things for her business. Holden received coaching by Jo Densley, founder of Relish Marketing. For several months Densley helped look at potential markets to launch into and what would be required to do so. I have my aspirations for the business; I think about the sorts of places where we should be selling and the partners we should be working with. But I never had the confidence to do those things, Holden said. She thought her ambitions were just pipe dreams, but having a mentor by her side telling her that her goals were actually realistic, gave her the confidence to take steps forward.  

According to Mee, small business coach training  helps owners realise the potential of where their business can go is a big part of consultancy. We try and make business owners see what the opportunities are for their business. You become pre-conditioned by what’s happened in the past, not what can happen in the future, he says. 

Change your outlook 

Like many small business owners, journalist Natasha Courtenay-Smith found herself running a small business unintentionally. Back in 2008 she launched an online press agency, ‘Talk to the Press’, where she sold exclusive news stories and real life features to national magazines and newspapers, maybe because my background wasn’t business, I didn’t massively grasp that I was running a business, she said.  

She said the greatest benefit of working with mentor was helping her to change the way she thought about her company, it completely shifted how I looked at Talk to the Press, she says. It gave me the vocabulary and everything I needed to understand that it was an asset and it had value.

Understanding the value of her business quickly led Courtenay-Smith to think about the potentially for selling it, which she did. I don’t think actually in the process of working with my mentor we started packaging it up for sale, I did that myself. But it did give me all the vocabulary and the understanding I needed so that when I came to sale I knew how to make it look really compelling.

 

  

Best Practices for a Website Redesign

There are a few best practices that apply to any type of site project. It doesn’t matter if you’re only making a few tweaks to a website or redoing the entire thing. The data management system doesn’t apply to those best practices, nor will the business that your organization is in.

 

By taking into account these best practice benchmarking ideas, your website redesign job program will go smoother and with fewer glitches.

Research your present website

 

It’s completely possible that the whole site redesign that you want to do is a much bigger job than what you really want to attain. By conducting website user testing on your own site, you have the ability to ascertain whether or not a complete redesign is warranted, or if instead you only have to add extra conversion chances to the design and tweak the header. Even if the results demonstrate that a redesign is essential, you might use the information for a reference to examine the new custom web design against it.

 

The analysis typically runs on customers’ sites is the 5-second evaluation. In this viewer sees your site for 5 minutes, and then answers a few questions about the plan, such as:

 

  • What is the company name?

 

  • Where could you find pricing details?

 

  • What’s the service or product the website provides?

 

  • Would you think this site is trustworthy?

 

By running this short evaluation for 100 or so results, you get answers to the big picture questions for your site, such as does your site have strong branding and logo design, does this convey your distinctive value proposition, is it easy to navigate, etc.

 

UsabilityHub is perfect for consumer testing. You may use whatever audience they develop with, or you might pay extra to target specific demographics, such as your ideal customer.

Have a web site content plan

 

Among the biggest challenges in completing a website, redesign will be overhauling your posts and getting it ready to go to your designer. Not having a plan for who your digital copywriter is for reviewing the content and when can indicate the work deadline has to be pushed. Writing content for a site, or other stuff always takes longer than expected. It’s not an easy thing to put into words exactly what your company actually provides, or what you’re trying to educate your reader.

 

Doing a web page content first website redesign means utilizing the material almost finished before the design even begins. The plan should match the content and display it as much as possible, not the other way around. Furthermore, your designer can read your posts and also have new suggestions for the design, especially when it comes to getting a good hierarchy on the page.

Successful communication

 

It has been seen on several tasks before in which the designer has been brought to the work much later than they should have. There are places where they may have shared expertise and the job may have taken a different route, which might have benefited the client.

 

Bringing on your designer earlier than you think means that they can observe the tradition of this job and discover a better sense of how the project will unfold. Should they see the content is taking longer to be produced, or that there are questions on how much of the site there is to redo, they might have their own opinion. Building a website that’s profitable due to their customer is a principal aim.

 

Powerful communication also involves sharing expectations which all parties may have concerning the redesign procedure. You might believe that the designer needs something, but it ends up they need other things first. Getting on precisely the exact same page as your designer generally means nobody will be left feeling frustrated and the job will run simple.

Deadline obstructions

 

Every job has its own quirks, and a few other projects lasting over a month or two will experience unforeseen troubles. Sicknesses, vacations, technical challenges, and business changes can all affect how in which the project deadline functions in real life. Ideally, all deadlines are met and everyone’s happy, but the reality is that we’re all human and things come up, this even occurs with top business advisors believe it or not.

 

The question is how to greet these issues and find a way around them.

Possessing the job

 

Your website redesign job must be a priority for you, not just something you’re working on on the side. Your new website is a priority for your own designer, and if you treat it exactly the exact same way, and require ownership of the procedure, then you’ll have higher communication and fewer issues.

 

The very best salesperson for your company is the website. It is often the first impression someone has about your organization.

 

Taking ownership means being available to your designer, following up on questions which they ask, and asking questions to get everyone on precisely the exact same page. This means pulling in additional resources if necessary to discover the work done (like a content writer or photographer), and you’ll feel accomplished when the new site is up and you’re proudly sharing it with your co-workers.

Wrap up

 

The online design method is an iterative thing, and often every job differs from my end. Maintain these best practices on your mind and carry out a strategy out with your designer to be sure that you’re all on the exact same page. Remember that fresh attributes might need to wait until after launch, and websites will constantly change and it doesn’t have to be ideal.

Point 3 Revolutionising Basketball Apparel

It Started with a concept to choose his wife’s kitchen towels and hang them on his waistband just like a quarterback.

Michael Luscher, today the Founder and Chief Executive Officer in POINT 3 Basketball had a difficulty that assails several basketballers – he’d play basketball for hours at a hot gym, his palms getting sweatier and sweatier. The frustration of needing to cease play to wipe off his palms eventually became enough of a hassle. Plus, it spawned the notion of producing his existing business, which places smart technologies such as terry fabric detailing in shorts and dominate loop sleeves which place silicone grips onto a participant’s hands. The idea to re-evaluate the basketball apparel sector came to Luscher at August 2009. From there, things moved quickly. POINT 3 filed its initial patent application in September 2009, went via a family and friends round of financing quickly thereafter, and officially launched as a completely operable firm with a craft web site in 2010. Luscher spent this year seeing factories and textile mills, attempting to discover a means to construct basketball shirts and equipment the “right way.”

Dubbed as the man you just don’t want to guard on the basketball court since he sweats heaps, Luscher went on a mission to make equipment that solved his very wet and uncomfortable problem.

POINT 3 today generates what it calls “The World’s Greatest Basketball Shorts,” including DRYV panels for ballers to wash their hands on, bonded pits (not stitched) so that they never cling or stick while running and leaping, heat transfer panels for easy venting and cool maintenance when playing inside and heavy, articulated pockets to keep valuables from falling out (and out of the way when running). Not merely are the shorts ideal for basketball, but they’re comfy for additional athletic applications too. What might be of all import into this consumer is that they’re also quite aesthetically pleasing.

The basketball shorts are just one of many advanced products now Offered by POINT 3 Basketball. The organization’s line of product includes comfortable basketball hoodies; comprising thumb loops at the sleeves which set silicone grips at the hands of the participant – ensuring that a pass is never missing, a “SNYPER” top with built in DRYV panels onto your shoulders and a “Base Tank” with compression technologies.

Luscher understood that there was a gap in the space for a brand focused primarily on the demands of basketball players. He noticed that when people consider basketball equipment, they think of product designed for the ankle and below. In his words, “There hadn’t been a basketball innovation in the basketball space above ankle since the tank top.”

While there’s lots of promise with this youthful three-and-a-half-Year-old firm, it’s already faced its own share of challenges. Initially, Point 3’s thought was to market its merchandise wholesale to retailers. In May 2011, Modell’s Sporting Goods became among Point 3’s earliest customers. But, Point 3 immediately recognized that its margins were reduced and its capability to develop through its current business model was slender. Therefore, it did a pivot and purchased all of its things back from every merchant under contract with them. It sells its revolutionary products directly to the user through four stations – its web agency designed e-commerce site, direct to basketball players in tournaments around the nation, an “Alpha Program” – 25 agents based around the USA that are fulltime coaches and coaches and sell Point 3 equipment to children they train and coach, and the organization’s own catalogue. Luscher has decided that his firm has the best opportunity to increase if he concentrates on grassroots outreach and places particular focus on the growth of his Alpha Program.

Point 3 also discovered itself filing lawsuits early in its own existence. But, it was a litigation that it hailed as a plaintiff. On April 21, 2011 Point 3 Basketball registered a complaint at Nike in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where it alleged that Nike infringed on the youthful firm’s trademark. Point 3 claimed that Nike’s “Jordan Fly Wade” lineup of basketball footwear and related apparel comprised a stylized “3” design emblem, which was almost identical to Point 3’s federally documented emblem. The situation resolved when the case was voluntarily dismissed by the parties on October 6, 2011. The lawsuit unintentionally served to increase the profile of Luscher’s brand.

The next challenge for Point 3 could be the increasing of funds, Although Luscher seems to have a grip on this too. While he couldn’t discuss specifics concerning the sum which his firm plans to increase, Luscher did disclose in a FORBES interview that his company is at the center of raising capital for a Series A round, that was established approximately April 1 and needs to be closed within 30 days. Point 3 isn’t yet earning a net profit, but it did record that a triple digit percentage earnings growth has been achieved within the last two years.

Luscher believes he has a fantastic product, with his biggest challenge being “getting the word out, scaling up and getting people to know who we are”. Luscher is by no means a newcomer and has had plenty of experience around the sports industry; he has spent 6 years at the MLB Commissioner’s Office and then worked for the NFL for 4 years.

Point 3 has invested a great deal of time building its brand on social websites (over 60,000 likers on its own FB page) and wishes to mimic the amazing project Under Armour has achieved in telling a wonderful story about what its own new brand signifies on a wide scale.

Point 3’s plan would be to redefine its own brand in the brain of this consumer as a company that’s evolving basketball equipment. It’ll focus mostly on the user in the upcoming few years of its presence. Meanwhile, the Point 3 includes 3-to-4 designs for new goods in the hopper which Luscher claims are equally as advanced as “The World’s Best Basketball Shorts” fabricated by his firm.

“If we can’t make a product that’s better, it’s not going to have our logo on it,” Luscher said as he finished an interview with FORBES.  “We will continue to push the bar in thinking what a basketball players needs around their body to help them perform at their best.”

Is This the Worst Ad for Plus Size Clothing Ever?

An online  shopping site called wish.com, was recently advertising some plus size leather look shorts at an extremely  low price of only $9. But what  caused some super reactions was how they were modeled on the site.

Unbelievably, they showed  images of a skinny model standing with both legs inside one side of the shorts, making it look like a skirt. What they should have done is find a pluz sized model to actually wear the shorts the way they were meant to look.

A recent article in Cosmopolitan.com.au had this to say:

“The brand of the pants isn’t actually listed on the site – probably just mass imported from China, which is what would make them so cheap – but apparently this isn’t the first time this tactic has been used by the image supplier, Herry He’s.

While the images themselves may not violate any rules of the site, they are just plain rude and insensitive, which begs the question, where do these mass online stores draw the line when it comes to human compassion and common decency? All of that fluffy stuff aside, what about customers just actually wanting to see how the shorts look on a body they were designed for so they can determine whether or not they should actually buy them? It’s all just a bit of a mockery, really

Is it not a standard practice that these types of site check the images before they are published on a site? Cosmo asked the question, “WHAT ON EARTH WERE THEY THINKING”?! While it is true that they cannot always control the way their products are shot, they certainly would have the last say when it comes to what goes live on a site and what does not. How hard would it have been to find a plus sized model to model those shorts?? Or was there more going on?