Every business mentoring consultation I run as part of Range of Motion Business Mentoring is different.
They’re different because every business faces different challenges, has different focuses, and is at a different stage of their journey. My mentoring is individualised.
But there are some common themes, so let’s take a sneak peak at what our clients experience during each consultation.
At the start of each video call, we go broad, and will ask the client about a big picture summary of how business is going. I’m looking for a general bird’s eye view, which allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of the general trends of the business.
Staying with ‘big picture’ stuff, we then move on to a discussion around how the business is impacting the business owner’s life in general. At the heart of what I do is the belief that business should exist to improve your life, not the other way around. If the general quality of life of the business owner is being compromised, we need to have a deeper discussion around the purpose of the business and the effect it’s having.
This leads me to asking the business owner about their current biggest business stressor – the thing that is currently worrying them or causing some anxiety. You know, the sort of thing that keeps you awake at two in the morning. It might be getting more clients, a staff issue, uncertainty around the business model, lack of time and direction, or any one of hundreds of other things. Ultimately, my job is to provide guidance around the best way to solve the biggest problems in the business. Problem solving is a big part of what we do. If there are any fires to put out, or urgent matters that need addressing, we cover these here too.
Next, we do a quick KPI check. KPIs are ‘key performance indicators’, the numbers we track to gauge the health of the business. Each of the businesses I work with updates their KPIs every month, and while there may be many different metrics they’re looking at, we use our time during a consult to focus on the most important four or five. Often these include things like number of enquiries, new clients or members, retention rates, revenue, and profit. Discussing these numbers, and how they’re tracking, allows us to determine where our focus and attention should be to move the business towards the goals we’ve set for it in the future.
These KPIs allow us to determine the three biggest current focuses of the business. This ‘focus list’ is something that I keep updated for each business I work with, and we check in on it often. This focus list should remain pretty consistent and unchanged over each quarter. Rapid changes in focus means there isn’t a clear direction and priority for the business. If this is the case, we go back to basics. A big part of the role I play for business owners is in helping them to avoid the distraction of shiny objects and new ideas, keeping their focus on the items that will really move the needle of their business in the right direction. As part of this, I ask them what the three biggest uses of their time have been since our last consult. If their uses of time don’t match up with the current business focuses, we re-examine their calendar and productivity, and re-prioritise their time to better reflect what we’re working on.
That’s all the big picture stuff. And it looks like there’s a lot there, but in reality it only usually takes about ten minutes of a 30 minute consultation.
Then we zoom in to the tasks at hand.
I’ll ask the business owner about how they went with the ‘homework’ I set for them during the previous consult. Every consultation we do ends with a clearly defined task or series of tasks, and a well defined deadline for completion. Defining the task ensures we’re focusing on the most important things, and setting a deadline allows me to keep the business owner accountable to the commitments they’ve set – and keeps them moving forward.
We review this homework – the work they did on their business since we last met. They talk me through their progress and we work through any difficulties or challenges they faced.
Then, we move on to discussing our next task – the next thing we need to work on to move the business towards its future. For each business I mentor, I keep a unique, updated list of upcoming priorities. As we tick off each item, we move to the next one on the list.
Items on this list are different for every business, but they’ll include things around business operations, systemisation, staff management and development, marketing, branding and advertising, business culture, and loads more.
I’ll talk to the business owner about the next focus, clearly defining what it is we’ll be working on, why it’s important, and exactly how to achieve the task.
Then, we set the homework, the big focuses and priority – the things we want achieved before our next consultation.
At the end of our video call, I email the client detailed notes from our conversation, outlining each of the points we’ve discussed. I also include any resources or extra readings that are required to complete that day’s homework.
Then, before our next catch-up, I’ll email the client to ensure they’re on track to achieve the tasks by the deadlines we’ve set. In addition to this email, I’m always contactable and on hand to guide the business owner through their tasks, as well as anything else that pops up. Communication between consults is just as important as communication during consults.
Again, every meeting is different, but that’s an overview of a pretty standard business mentoring consultation, and the sort of thing you could expect from working with me.