Salvador FiguerosYou’ve vetted the field, conducted interviews, and found the perfect business coach. Now what? Identify and tackle your biggest business frustrations. It may be tempting to start small, by bringing lesser concerns to your coach, but we strongly advise against this.

Tackle your toughest situations first, to improve business processes and spur growth. Doing so will create momentum, and motivate you and your team to keep striving for improvement.

Business coaches help business owners define and eliminate major hassles. Because it’s hard for any human to take an honest look at what’s not going well, most business leaders need help looking problems directly in the eye. An exceptional business coach will speed that process, letting the business owner get back to work quickly and minimizing wasted time.

With that said, here are a few of the most common large-scale problems that business owners struggle with, and that business coaches can help leaders overcome.

Common Challenges Small Businesses Face

The Challenge: Quality Control and Consistency in the Customer Experience.

Whether you call it customer engagement, customer service, or quality control, the bottom line is that every successful business needs turnkey systems to ensure the brand promise is consistently delivered to customers. Who determines the excellence of your operations? Your customers. Business coaches can help companies create systems for monitoring and improving the customer experience.

Strategic Solutions: Each business coaching firm will have its own systems for quality control. At EMyth, we use the Quality Management Cycle, which includes 8 ongoing steps gathering objective customer experience information and applying it to improve the customer experience.

The Challenge: Recognizing and Applying your Leadership Weaknesses, as Well as Strengths.

It’s obvious that a business coach should be able to help business owners harness their own strengths. Perhaps you’re talented at seeing the big picture, and the connections between departments and employees. Or perhaps your enthusiasm is what drives your team. But true transformation only occurs when business owners also focus on their own weaknesses. What about your leadership style tends to hinder progress? Perhaps you’re fantastic at flexible thinking, but unable to properly focus on the details of process. A business coach can help you evaluate your weaknesses, and find ways to counterbalance them.

Strategic Solutions: Ideally, a business coaching service will have a tried and true system for improving business processes. Our “Transforming Frustrations into Solutions” guide lays out EMyth’s approach to systems improvement. In this guide, we empower leaders to uncover patterns—including their own weaknesses—that are the root cause of business frustrations. At the same time, a coach must recognize that each business transformation is a personal, unique process.

The Challenge: Transitioning toward Sustainable Growth.

It’s too easy to get wrapped up in daily operations, and completely lose sight of long-term growth. Business coaches can provide the objective perspective that business owners need to develop realistic growth priorities. Where do you want your business to go in the next year, five years, and ten years? Your business coach can help you define your dreams and set a course for making them a reality.

Strategic Solutions: Again, each business coaching firm will have its own system for envisioning and manifesting growth. We offer the EMyth Annual Plan to help business owners develop growth plans, create success metrics, and keep employees and leaders accountable for progress.

Procrastination only stalls growth. Once you’ve hired a business coach, don’t dilly-dally with second-tier concerns. Take on the big problems early for the biggest results.

About The Author

Jed Bickford is the Director of Marketing at EMyth, the global leader in transformational business coaching. With business coaches located around the world, small and medium sized businesses can connect with a certified coach to grow their business.

Why Businesses Use Umbrella Companies

by Editor on December 30, 2013

ID-10026242Business owners who want to save their time and money while increasing their administrative efficiency should consider using umbrella companies. These companies gained prominence a few years ago and have steadily risen in popularity. They mainly take over daily administrative tasks and payroll services from small businesses, independent contractors and self-employed people.

Umbrella companies act as intermediaries between small firms and their clients or hiring agencies. Their mode of operation is simple – a contractor first has to join a chosen umbrella company. Next, they sign a contract with the company and submit regular timesheets detailing the hours worked and the expenses incurred.

After this, the company will invoice the clients for the work done and will collect funds on behalf of the business. Once the payment comes through, the business owner receives a pay slip detailing the PAYE tax and National Insurance (NI) amount deducted as well as the umbrella company’s service fee.

All umbrella companies use the same calculations to determine the tax and NI contributions a particular enterprise should pay. They only differ in the type of services they offer and the rates they charge for these services.

Benefits of using umbrella companies

Umbrella companies provide the following advantages:

  • Ease of use. All the business owner has to do is submit timesheets and expense claims then wait for the pay slip.
  • They ensure correct calculation and deduction of all tax and NI contributions.
  • Business owners can easily keep track of their venture’s paperwork including timesheets, invoices and tax returns.
  • No long-term financial commitments. Business owners can break ties with the umbrella companies as soon as the contract period expires.
  • Convenience for those who do not wish to start limited companies.
  • They are suitable for all salary rates.

Why businesses turn to umbrella companies         

Making use of an umbrella company can save a business valuable time and money. Since there would be no invoices to chase down and little paperwork to deal with, business owners can concentrate on completing the work they are hired or paid to do. This can lead to business growth and expansion.

Additionally, by using umbrella companies, business owners are spared the hassle of calculating tax returns for themselves and are saved from any costly mistakes they might have made in the process. They are also provided with a simpler way of claiming any work related expenses (such as transport and accommodation costs) and offsetting them against tax. However, individuals are advised to retain relevant receipts as evidence of their expenditures.

Working under reputable umbrella companies also guarantees that small firms or contractors are paid for their work on time and in full. These companies have the resources and manpower to follow up with reluctant clients or employment agencies to ensure they pay up for all the work that was done. They also know the legal procedures to follow in case such clients default on the required payment.

Umbrella companies will also deal with payroll and other administrative tasks for businesses if required to do so.

Corporate Retreats Shouldn’t Be Boring

December 5, 2013

Sometimes it seems all we ever do is work, work, work! The pressure to succeed and get on, or even to hold on to our jobs in a turbulent economy, can turn us into drones. Long term, this can cause low morale and performance can be adversely affected. Smart employers know that happy workers are […]

Read the full article →

4 Main Skill Requirements for Bookkeepers

December 3, 2013

Most businesses need a bookkeeper to keep track of financial documentation. When it comes down to it, a business with ten or more employees and a whole host of transactions needs a full time bookkeeper to make sure that receipts and all other documentation is well kept. Usually, a bookkeeper will keep detailed tax notes, […]

Read the full article →

Why Work at an NGO

November 27, 2013

Working at nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, is one of the most influential ways you can help bring about change in developing nations. These nonprofit corporations often focus on education or health care in places where the government cannot or will not provide assistance. Working at such an organization will bolster your resume as well as […]

Read the full article →

Obesity on the Increase in Australia

November 23, 2013

New research has revealed that there could be millions more obese Australians than was previously understood, as the method by which it was measured may not be entirely accurate. The study looked at 4,000 Australian adults and revealed that 27% were clinically obese according to their body mass index (BMI). BMI measures the relationship between […]

Read the full article →

Business Confidence Up in Australia, But Not for SMEs

November 23, 2013

While the Australian economy has cause for celebration, this newfound optimism apparently does not include the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. Or at least that’s what the recently released business confidence surveys for the year’s third quarter say. While the confidence of local businesses has been on the up and up and even hit […]

Read the full article →

5 Pieces of Career Advice for Aspiring Nurses

November 23, 2013

If you’ve been strongly considered becoming a nurse, based on all of the benefits that come with having this kind of position, we can certainly understand why. Not only do nurses have a highly-respectable job that provides plenty job security, competitive wages and a flexible schedule, but nurses are also heavily relied upon to provide […]

Read the full article →

6 Ways to Get Cash Owed for Unpaid Invoices

November 21, 2013

Being your own boss and making your own hours are two of the biggest upsides to starting your own business. The downsides? Never knowing when—and, sometimes even, if—your list of billings will convert into the revenue your business needs. It always helps to work with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to handle payment processing andonline […]

Read the full article →

5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Career in Plumbing

November 20, 2013

Typically, when you hear people talk about the kinds of careers that they want to pursue, things like being a doctor, lawyer, businessman, accountant, teacher or even entrepreneur will come up. What you usually won’t hear a lot of people say is “I want to become a plumber.” Yet, the reality is that there are […]

Read the full article →