Four Frequent Business Problems Expressed by Many Small Business Owners that Business Coaches Help You Address

As you’re reading through the following problems, think about how help with strategy, tactics, accountability and results could mitigate these problems.

The ‘I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know’ Problem
The ‘I Don’t Know Where to Start’ Problem
The ‘I Can’t Seem To Get Anything Finished’ Problem
The ‘Comfort Zone Upper Limit’ Problem

It doesn’t matter if it appears to be marketing, sales, management, leadership, innovation, or getting your product or service created and into the hands of your clients. It’s basically these 4 problems.

The ‘I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know’ Problem

If you ask better questions, you get better answers. But what if you don’t know the questions to ask? For instance: How can you make emails easier if you don’t know that autoresponders exist? How do you know how you can be part of a more appropriate networking group, if nobody has told you who to ask or even if one exists? How can you create a great proposal template if you haven’t had the benefit of seeing some options in use elsewhere?

If you look at all knowledge as an ever expanding universe, you know about a pinprick of it. You know that you don’t know about a thimbleful. (You know that Chinese exists, even though you don’t know how to speak it.) But that leaves the rest of the universe of knowledge that you don’t know that you don’t know. We need someone outside ourselves to share what they know that we didn’t even know to ask about.

The ‘I Don’t Know Where To Start’ Problem

Sometimes I’ll have a client who says I have to do this and I have to do that and then she adds about a dozen more things, gets totally overwhelmed with the work, the choices, the mounting dollars she imagines it’s all going to cost, and then says ‘I want to escape and do nothing’. She doesn’t know where to start, how to take things in small pieces in sequential order (even though it’s not clearly sequential), put one foot in front of the other until more and more gets done. She doesn’t remember to keep the long term goal out in front of her, remember her purpose and passion and why it’s all worthwhile.

This client needs a coach to ask ‘what is the next step? Let’s just do the next step.’ For instance, get a focus group together and ask questions about your marketing or your service, then write it up in language the prospect uses, then use that wording to write the website, then create a video using the same wording, and then build it into a seminar. Often the chicken and egg syndrome can throw some people for a loop until they just get started. A coach gets the process started and nurtures you along the way.

The ‘I Can’t Seem To Get Anything Finished’ Problem

Accountability is a big word in most people’s vocabulary. We all get distracted. There is so much to pay attention to, emails, customer requests, website updates, banking, deadlines for this and for that. Do you start a project, get distracted by a client emergency and then never get back to it? So something is half done and never really sees the light of day. All the effort you’ve put into it so far is wasted if you never roll it out. How often do you put a lesser priority on strategy, growth and proactive initiatives? That’s what will propel your business forward. If you’re working with a business coach, you’ll be held accountable for what will really get you to the next level.

The Comfort Zone Upper Limit Problem

Why is it that people who win large amounts of money in the lottery blow it all in 3 years or less? Why is it that Donald Trump can go into bankruptcy and then get it all back in just a few years? Why do small business owners hit a ceiling no matter how hard they try to get to the next level? Why do highly paid pro basketball players seem to have everything and then blow it with drugs and crime? We all have comfort zones, levels of success that we’re used to, levels of abundance that we think we deserve before we start feeling guilty or undeserving (and then psychologically self-sabotage). Often these are set in childhood. Sometimes we can handle just so much positivity in our lives and then we start to worry what will go wrong, or start arguing or start blaming? We’ve identified an upper limit (most often unconsciously) above which good thoughts turn to bad thoughts and bad thoughts lead to negative behavior. Sometimes deep inside we don’t feel we deserve too much success because we’re fundamentally flawed, or because we would be disloyal to the less successful people in our lives, or we believe more success would mean a bigger burden, or we can’t outshine a sibling, friend or parent. Whatever the barrier, we set an upper limit. We need someone outside ourselves to understand us, question us and look at us objectively. (Read more about this in ‘The Big Leap’ by Gay Hendricks)

I mentioned Strategy, Tactics, Accountability and Results because these are the pillars of the STAR Burst program that I’m currently rolling out. Now is a good time to start planning for 2011. It’s a good time to get help with the Four Frequent Business Problems. Please look at the program description on the side column to read the stories of people who have achieved great things using me as their business coach. Send me an email for a conversation or give me a call to find out if this is right for you.

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


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