I’ve come to understand that my business has four pillars. Metaphorically speaking, they’re the four legs of a table that can hold the weight of my customers’ aspirations.
The four legs are 1) my mindset, 2) marketing, 3) value pricing and 4) delegation.
Here’s what each of them consists of.
I see myself as an entrepreneur with a specialism in leadership team coaching. In that order.
No one owes me any favours and I have no right to business opportunities. I have to earn them.
I try to be incredibly useful to customers. Useful rather than helpful. “Helpful” is patronising, which is why people often don’t ask for help.
Also, when you help someone they become helpless, less responsible, more reliant. Coaching is about raising awareness and responsibility, not providing a crutch.
When I’m incredibly useful my customers come back.
I always seek feedback from them because my aim is to get better, not be the best. I experiment a lot.
When I start working with a team, I try and get them performing better straight away. I don’t sell some mysterious phase of transformation. It’s not necessary and there isn’t time.
There is an old saying that goes, “Fifty percent of your marketing doesn’t work. Trouble is you don’t know which fifty percent.”
Over 20 years I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on marketing. Dozens of consultants have worked up detailed strategies. I can’t say they’ve worked, or felt right for me.
Pretty much all my business comes from recommendations, so now I stick to connecting with the right people.
It’s a small group. They’re a lot like me.
I’m a Type A bloke, an engineer by first training, driven to get good results, concerned for my reputation.
So I write blogs about what I’m interested in, and that seems to work.
When I started out as a coach, I sold my time: so many thousand for a one-day workshop.
After a while all my time was sold and I couldn’t earn any more.
So I stopped doing that and started “value pricing”, which is based on the value to my customers of the desired business result that we are working towards.
Psychologically, this was a big step because it seemed presumptuous. I was undervaluing my own worth.
I got over that. My repeat customers understand value, and don’t sweat over day rates.
It’s not like they can go find someone else who does what I do a bit cheaper.
Frank Sinatra didn’t do stage lighting. He didn’t get involved in ticket sales. He turned up and sang, and when he did that he was earning thousands of dollars a minute.
He focussed on his unique ability and delegated the rest to competent people who have their own unique ability.
I try to do that. I have around a dozen great people backstage: my coach, various supervisors plus others working on everything from IT and accounting to admin and social media, who let me focus on doing what I do best.
My customers don’t need a frazzled coach bogged down in the weeds. They have enough of that going on around them.
Did I mention I wrote a book about delegation? It’s really good and is selling well.
So, these are the four sturdy legs that can bear the weight of my customers’ aspirations. I take care to maintain them. If one leg buckles, I’m in trouble.
Leadership Team Coach Dave Stitt works with construction industry executives and project teams enabling them to deliver remarkable results in a remarkable way.
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44 years experience in construction industry, last 22 as leadership team coach