Business Coach Shares Four Keys to Success at Ferndale Event

Business Coach Shares Four Keys to Success at Ferndale Event

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Feb. 18, 2018)

Ferndale, MI – Less than 10% of small businesses succeed and less than 4% actually thrive.  The big reason for this, according to Tom Powers, is that entrepreneurs are often good at the product or services they provide, but not good at running the business itself.

“You have to fall in love with business,” he said.

Powers gave a free presentation to entrepreneur at a workshop Feb. 13 hosted by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Ferndale, and Ferndale Michigan Works explaining the four key pieces to the puzzle of a successful business.

Those pieces (getting the business, doing the business, guiding the business and running the business) can provide a platform to prosperity.

Powers is a business coach, and the founder of Insight Business Coaching.  Before that he worked in sales and started several businesses including a mobile home manufacturing company and a series of craft and antique stores.

He works with businesses of all types and sizes. And the thing most have in common is a need to improve how they run their businesses.

“I’ve got someone in a heating and cooling business. They’re a technician. They’re good at their work, but they’re not good at business,” he said.

Obviously “getting the business” is crucial. “This is a business. It’s all about getting money,” Powers said.

He explained that most business owners don’t know the basic things, like how many leads they get each week.  He recommended that business owners learn more about where they are getting leads, and what percentages of leads get converted into sales.

But another way to increase profits is in having each customer interaction be a bigger sale and a more frequent sale.  He said business owners should not just be looking at getting new customers, but doing more with the customers they have.

The second piece of the puzzle is “doing business.” This is where entrepreneurs usually do well, particularly if they are doing business they are passionate about.

The third piece of the puzzle is “guiding the business.”

Powers asked the audience to imagine being on a plane where none of the gauges are working, and the pilot says “we don’t know how high we are or what direction we’re going, but hey we’re making good time.”

“You have to know where you’re going,” he said.

He suggested looking at where the entrepreneur wants to be in ten years, and to know what the core values of the business are. He spoke of how business owners often just tread water, bringing in enough money to get by without looking at the real growth potential.  For some it may not even seem like a grand idea to be so profitable that they don’t have to work all the time. “People like what they do, so they don’t see past doing it,” Powers said.  “But being free of the business gives you time to think, to enjoy life and to be better at the business”  For example, each year Powers takes time off to go up north, to a cabin in the woods, where he can step back from the work and make time to dream. Doing this helps him have clarity and stay in love with what he does.  Economically, times like this are more likely to happen if the business is stable.

Knowing what makes a business unique is crucial. He urged the audience to consider what make them someone that people want to do business with, stating“If you own a house painting business, why should someone pick you over another house painting business?  What is the unique brand promise that you have to offer?”

Lastly “running he business” is the fourth piece.

Powers talked about how a business can be broken down into tasks, and how small improvements in each task can add up into bigger efficiencies and profits.

Five key accelerators of business are leads, conversion, transactions, average sale and margins.  “10% growth in each area is 60% growth in the business,” he said.

Once a business owner understands those pieces, they can put systems in place so they are constantly building in each area.  Powers works with companies to create scorecards and measurable goals to help owners and employees stay on track.  His business consulting company, Powers Business Coaching, makes these and other principles accessible to those who want to learn how businesses work.

Among the budding entrepreneurs in the audience was Kelli Green of Green Properties Detroit. Green and her husband have been investing in rental properties and are looking to take this part time effort and grow it into their main profession.  “I’m happy there are events like this to help entrepreneurs.  I love Ferndale, and I learned a lot,” Green said.  “We’re in the very early stages of planning our business and I want to learn all I can so we can be part of the ten percent that make it.”

Related Links:

Insight Business Coaching

Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Ferndale

Ferndale Michigan Works

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