In the first post in this series, we talked about how the economy is still hovering between sort of good and not good and small business owners are looking for ways to jumpstart their profits and sales. We discussed email newsletters as a way to encourage a conversation with customers as one possible solution.
In the second post, I'd like to discuss how to jumpstart a small business owner's interest in the business itself. Perhaps there is another angle on your business you haven't considered, or perhaps your business has moved past its original existence and has morphed into something else entirely.
In a recent article on Scotsman.com, as an antidote to boredom and burnout, author Peter Ranscombe suggests a life coach.
"A life coach may not be the first person a small business turns to when times get tough. But James McKim, one of Scotland's leading practitioners, thinks companies should treat coaches as trusted advisers, in the same way they would an accountant or solicitor – and he's not the only one who thinks so."
Now, before you panic, a life coach is not voodoo. A life coach is not even a therapist. A life coach is someone who takes stock of where you are in your life, what your goals are, and helps to match up the day-to-day activities between the two. A life coach won't fix your family issues nor will it save your marriage (unless you get that work/life balance down and rekindle the romance with your significant other), but it will help you to find ways to deal with your business as it affects you on a daily basis.
"McKim's training for small businesses runs from skills such as resolving conflict and public speaking through to tips for managing stress or achieving a balance between work and life. ‘It's business coaching but incorporating sales training.'"
Interested? Good. But let's say you're not really into a life coach, but want to learn how to be more objective about your business and its impact on your life. Two books might help: Arlie Russell Hochschild's Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work and Michael Port's Beyond Booked Solid: Your Business, Your Life, Your Way—It's All Inside.
Addendum: Port's first book, Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even If You Hate Marketing and Selling is also really good.
Moral of the story: Maybe the solution you're looking for is already there and you just need poke around a bit inside in order to find it.