ICS Magazine

Management Training Options #6 for Your 'Micro' Cleaning Service

September 11, 2000
With the help of technological devices, such as the Internet, computers and bulletin board forums, a “micro” cleaning business can participate in high-tech coaching programs and access badly needed business training...

As I see it, there are a number of reasons contributing to the increasing popularity of coaching today, especially in “micro” cleaning businesses. They are: 1. We are maturing as businesspersons. 2. The new breed of consultants referred to as “business coaches” are now more affordable—both financially and in time flexibility. 3. Flexible time scheduling, as well as affordability, are related to today’s advanced communication devices—phones, computers, plus e-mail and discussion boards via the Internet. 4. Small businesspersons are coming to the realization that “hard work and doing it on your own” does not hold all the answers to success for small businesses in today’s new service market. 5. The desire to be successful in business has never been stronger than it is today, and taking the time necessary to learn by apprenticing is no longer acceptable in this time-deprived era.

How it Works

There is no precision involved. The information I have gathered will give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to use a coach.

Face-to-face meetings are always the most costly. Technology and “tele-coaching” often makes such meetings unnecessary.

Most “tele-coaches” work on a monthly basis. They design a program based on the client’s needs and financial constraints. Additional follow-up phone calls are sometimes arranged if the client wishes.

Group coaching and “tele-seminars” are becoming popular in our industry, further lowering the amount of the coaching investment. A tele-seminar is an interactive discussion or training session using a “telephone bridge.” This method allows many people, usually up to 30, to interact with the coach.

What Does it Cost?

My survey indicates that costs can vary widely, depending on the client’s desired level of service. On average, however, prices range from $275-$500+ per month. The variable is usually the number of phone conferences, which can range from 30 minutes to one hour, one to four times a month.

Most coaches will gladly design a program that fits the client’s time and money budget.

Group coaching and “tele-seminars” can often run as low as $95 per month. Just about all that I researched offer a “no charge” consultation before starting, including the “tele-seminars,” if you request it.

Will it Work for You?

The following is a short Business Coaching Readiness Test. Rate the following statements as they relate to your attitudes about coaching. Score each statement from 1 to 5, with 1 meaning you disagree and 5 meaning you agree with the phrase. 1. I will make myself available for all calls and appointments with the coach and respond promptly to all e-mail contacts. 2. I am ready to accept coaching and follow the guidance of a business coach. 3. I can accept the concept of working with coaching by doing my part and allowing the coach to do their part. 4. I can do the things I agree to do and not make excuses or blame someone else, including the coach, if I fail to do so. 5. I am prepared to follow coaching recommendations to try new ways of doing things, and/or introduce new concepts into my operation. 6. I will commit myself to telling the coach the unvarnished truth in answer to any and all business questions that arise in our sessions. 7. I will openly tell the coach when and if I feel that I am not getting what I need or expect from the program. 8. I am willing to change behaviors, which the coach feels are limiting my business progress. 9. I have adequate cash flow to pay for professional business coaching, and I see coaching as a necessary business investment. 10. I am prepared to commit to the coaching process for a period of at least six months to a year. Scoring Key 10-20 You are not presently coachable. 21-30 Just barely coachable. 31-40 You are ready for coaching. 41-50 Very coachable—ask your coach to set goals high.

This is the final article in a six-part series in which we have considered specific areas where today’s “micro” business can access badly needed business training. I strongly recommend that you review them, especially the Mentoring and Coaching articles.

Send your comments or questions via e-mail to cleanlee@aol.com, or share them online at ICS bulletin board, www.icsmag.com.