ICS Magazine

Management Training Options #4 for Your

June 15, 2000

The "Micro-Business Coach" — An Affordable Service Using 21st Century Electronic Media Tools!

In the last few “Training Corner” articles, we have carefully examined the “Mentoring Concept” and its potential for micro-businesses in our industry. These last articles have prompted more e-mail and telephone response than anything I have ever written! However, a major concern was brought up by the persons responding; They pointed out that as good as it sounds, mentoring is simply not available at present to most of the micro-businesses that need and want it. Their next question was, “Are there any other options?” The answer is a qualified yes. Qualified because the next affordable step requires more investigation by the micro-business owner before committing hard earned money to an unknown party that claims to be an expert.

It is my firm belief that the “Business Coach” concept, as it has evolved with the aid of today’s electronic technology, is currently the most available and affordable resource for micro-businesses we have in this industry.

Every single business in our industry is absolutely unique, and there is no simple set of rules available that will work for the endless management challenges that face the micro-business owner on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we have deluded ourselves into believing otherwise because of our common technical roots where systems and processes exist to reliably guide us.

It may or may not come as a surprise to you, but many business owners in our industry today simply have no idea what they want from their businesses. It’s almost like getting into a car and driving with no idea of where you want to go! They need direction.

Then there is a much smaller group of people also in our industry who know exactly what they want, but can’t figure out what is keeping them from getting it. As I see it, it’s usually the case of being unable to see the forest for the trees. They may temporarily need another set of experienced eyes to help them stand back and re-examine things.

Today a large percentage of all professional cleaning businesses experience financial problems periodically because of the very nature of marketing demand in the cleaning business. In many of these cases, the problems are not caused by a lack of money, but because of a lack of financial knowledge and business structure (and a generous serving of procrastination).

Never has the need for structured financial management been greater than it is today for the “micro” cleaning business.

The “micro” cleaning professional today must not only manage the day-to-day and month-to-month finances of the business; but must also put together a program of long-term, continual financial investment. If not, the probability will be to wake up some day to find the dreams of a financially secure retirement will simply not happen because of a lack of planning and implementation.

What can happen when you hire a compatible business coach? Many things can happen, but here are just a few of the most important:

  • They provide direction.

    • They stand back and examine with experienced eyes.

      • They help you develop structure.

        • You will take yourself and your responsibilities more seriously.

          • You will take more effective and focused actions almost immediately.

            • You will stop putting up with whatever is dragging you down.

            In next month’s “Training Corner,” we will discuss some of the reasons for the growing popularity of business coaching. We will cover what it could do for your business, how it works, how it is delivered and what fees you might expect to be charged.

            Continue to send your comments or suggestions via e-mail, to cleanlee@aol.com or visit ICS’ bulletin board at www.icsmag.com