[Original air date: 11/17/18]
Every small business owner knows that increasing profitability is easier said than done. Sometimes you need the help of a professional to get on the right track. On today’s show we talk to Joyce Bone, CEO of Bone Up on Business. At the age of 28 she took a $10,000 risk and co-founded EarthCare, and grew it into a $125 million powerhouse. Joyce is also the author of Millionaire Moms: The Art of Raising a Business and a Family at the Same Time.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Welcome to the Atlanta Small Business Show, Joyce.
Joyce Bone: Thank you Jim. I appreciate you having me.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. Let me ask you this. Why does a small business owner need a coach?
Joyce Bone: A small business owner definitely needs a coach because you are wearing so many different hats at the same time that it’s impossible to be fantastic in all areas. So, a business coach can help you in areas where you’re weak, and also strengthen your natural areas of giftedness.
Jim Fitzpatrick: So, let’s drill down a little bit. Specifically if in the event that we were to hire you here at the Atlanta Small Business Show, or our company, what would you do? Would you sit down with us and say, “Okay, what are your objectives, and how do we map these out and get there?” Or what’s the next step?
Joyce Bone: When I start working with somebody, I get together with them. First of all I listen to what their needs are to make sure that I can deliver on those. And then assuming there’s a match, I’ll come and sit down with the business owner, and we’ll spend about two hours going over strategy, and also where they’re at and where they want to go.
Jim Fitzpatrick: So, I would imagine a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs they look through life through rose-colored glasses many times, and they see sometimes only what they want to see, that this new business is gonna take off and be a great success. And maybe they haven’t always thought out the little details along the way. Is that a safe assumption?
Joyce Bone: I think you have to have an element of optimism. If you’re starting a business you don’t go into it thinking, “Oh, I’m gonna fail,” or, “This is gonna be rough.” It’s usually about the midway point where you’re kinda like right there in the middle and you’re like, “Holy cow! What have I done, and how am I gonna get there?” So, it’s like, “Well, let’s win. You’re already halfway there. Let’s take it home and get you to where you wanna be.”
Jim Fitzpatrick: So, I would imagine hiring a coach, in many cases, you’re hiring also a cheerleader. You’re there to cheer them on and say, “Okay, stay on course. Here’s what we need to focus on, and let’s get it to the finish line.” Right?
Joyce Bone: Exactly. I remember one of my clients, I walked in, she had been doing x amount of dollars, and my first session with her, her largest client left, and it was like crash. And the look on her face. And I said, “Hey, there’s nowhere to go but up from here, and we’re gonna get you there.” And we did.
Jim Fitzpatrick: What does somebody look for when they’re hiring a business coach? What are some of the fundamentals?
Joyce Bone: Well, you want somebody who’s walked the walk, right? You don’t want to hire someone with limited, I guess, experiences. You want a seasoned business person. You can look at their track record in their own businesses. You can also look at their education level. So, there’s kind of a blend between those two. There’s also chemistry, just like with anybody you hit it off with. You’re gonna be working very closely with your coach, so you wanna make sure that you enjoy being around them. If their personality is too different, then that’s not gonna feel comfortable. And you have to find someone that you feel like is trustworthy. If at the end of the day you have to feel like this is someone who’s my biggest cheerleader and is on my team to help me get where I really want to get to.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And what are some of the pitfalls, or I should say, the most common issues are with small business owners that gets them to the point that they may be in trouble?
Joyce Bone: Most people, when they are in business and they’re making a change, whether it’s starting a business or ramping up to get to the next level, underestimate how much time it’ll take to get there and how much money it’ll cost to get there. Coaches can shred the mystery around things like that. So, if you know how to find the right one.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Well, Joyce Bone, CEO of Bone Up on Business, thank you so much for joining us on the Atlanta Small Business Show. We very much appreciate it.
Joyce Bone: Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s been a pleasure.
ASBN Atlanta Small Business Network, part of JBF Business Media.