Is Business Advisory Right for You?

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Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?

“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.

Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.

You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.

Transcript

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Blackboard Fridays and I want to start by thanking all those people who have been sending in questions about their business and thoughts about topics that we could cover in Blackboard Friday episodes. I want to know that the conversations we’re having here are having a real impact for you in your business so if you are having any specific challenges, you’ve got a question you loved answered, then I’d love to hear from you so that I can share my thoughts and a process not just with you but with all of the people who are watching these.

One of the common questions I’m getting is how does business advisory potentially help me in my business? I want to just flip that question a little bit because from your perspective (as the business owner) the question isn’t how business advisory helps you, it’s what needs you have in your business that may benefit from a business advisor like myself, someone specific in my team abroad a network, or any kind of advisor or consultant. We think about the business strategy journey. We talk about the growth plan to take your business from where it is now to where you want to be—your vision with the specific steps documented along the way.

Your needs along that journey are probably going to fall into one of three categories. One, you may have a specific need. When you look at the next strategic step that your business is undertaking, you may identify a gap in capability, focus, inspiration, or even just executing that within your business. You can say specifically I need some support or guidance in this area.

Two, you may need greater understanding of the directions that your business is taking. You might have some idea of the key steps you need to take to be the business that you want to be, but you are not a hundred percent sure about the strategic direction that you’re undertaking.

Three, maybe you’re just unsure. You’re feeling a little bit stuck, confused, maybe you’re not even clear about where the business is now, you’re not a hundred percent sure that vision is. You certainly don’t have specific idea around what that journey is going to be.

Those are three distinct needs for you as a business owner. A specific need, a focus of directional need, and an unsticking need to help you really drive your business forward. And given those three different needs, the business advisory work that I lead with my clients tend to fall into one of three different processes.

One for those specific needs in a business, it looks a bit like a personalized coaching mentoring guidance experience. So, on a monthly or a quarterly basis, we sit down either one-on-one with the business owner or with the leadership team to identify where they’re getting stuck, which could be around inspiration, it could be around the strategic design of planning, how to address that specific need, or it could be around the challenges of executing into their team.

Two, when you’ve got that direction lack of focus challenge, we tend to talk about strategic workshops. There are three strategic workshops that I largely lead with my clients. There’s the kind of annual planning session, what I call navigating the year, which could be done at the beginning of the calendar year the beginning of the financial year or frankly at any point in the journey where you feel you need to really focus on where the business is going.

The second workshop that I tend to run is called business by design. This is specifically targeted at either startup businesses who need to have a look at all the different aspects of their business to prioritize immediate and future needs and businesses in that step-up phase who have found after 15 to 20 years of being in business that they’re starting to get stuck, they’re starting to get lost and perhaps competitors are starting to overtake them. They also need to look at their whole business unpacked decisions they’ve made in the past and remake those decisions with a new direction in mind.

Sometimes the strategic workshop is more focused on your team. You’re having some challenges handing over responsibility, getting the team to step up, or just feeling confident that they are all on the same bus and you’re driving it in the same direction. So those are the three most common strategic workshops I run with business owners.

The third need is when you’re unclear you’re questioning, you confuse, too you’re just feeling stuck, tend to look more like a strategic project basis and that starts with a strategic business review. Somebody objective coming in analyzing your business across all the different areas—wealth, growth, revenue, and administration to identify what your business does well that you can leverage and maybe some of those roadblocks that are going to show up immediately or at some future point as you take the journey towards your vision.

Based on that business review and the recommendations we’ve reduced for you, working with you on the specific project, and it’s been watching previous blackboard Friday videos you’ll have identified a whole lot of different areas of the business that I work with clients in that project space. Everything from applying their brand to sales and marketing, may be team management, culture, structure, operations, improving profit efficiencies. The business review is designed to have a look at all those different areas and focus you on the two or three strategic priorities that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck in that immediate term.

The other question that often follows the conversation about how I work with clients and which of those three is best applicable to an individual’s need is how much does this cost? The reality is that range depends on the size of your business and the size of your business vision. But for me, the range stems from $89, to jump online and undertake one of the team compass indicators to give an idea of some of your specific behaviors and how they may be impacting the business, all the way up to some specific strategic projects that might see a business invest one hundred and fifty thousand dollars over 12 or 18 months.

My ideal clients the client to get the biggest ROI from working with me and my team are businesses that are privately held, may have multiple business owners or stakeholders which could be spouses, and have between 12 and 96 staff. On average, these businesses invest between twenty and fifty thousand dollars a year in the business coaching process, knowing that at no point are they locked in and at every point they’re clear about where we’re working along that journey.

Again, on average, they see a return of either a 20 percent increase in revenue, if it’s revenue growth that we’re working, on or a 20 percent increase or more in profit, if it’s profits that we’re focused on in that project. They tend to take that extra revenue, that extra profit and reinvest it back in the growth of the business. That reinvestment also sees growth in our relationship because my relationship with all my clients is there for the long term.

Whether I’m helping you design and implement a specific project, helping you come up with the inspiration for how to make it happen, or just coming in from time to time along the journey to be there is a bit of a sense check and a mate that you can call. The relationship I have with my business owner clients is always paramount because what gets me up in the morning and what really excites me is knowing that every day, you’re accelerating your business towards your specific vision.

Next Steps

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