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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Discussion in 'Business & Startup Investing' started by quoll, 3rd Jul, 2006.

  1. quoll

    quoll Member

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    adelaide
    Experience with investing in managed business's.

    Bought a Video Ezy 12 months ago, this is good, going very well.

    Bought a non franchise furniture store, bad, have had to do heaps of working getting it back on track.

    Ugly, spoke to a few business coaches, charging between 5 and 20 k for the privilege of using their services. What The .....

    Seems like a lot for what they are offering.

    Anyone ever used a business coach?

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  2. Mark Laszczuk

    Mark Laszczuk Well-Known Member

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    hahahaaha geez, that's bordering on spam.

    quoll, if a business coach helps you to get your business back on track and running smoothly, what's the problem? Baulking at spending 5 - 20 grand now to make potentially hundreds of thousands down the track seems to me to be a very short sighted view.

    Charging money for the 'privilege' of using their services? What are they supposed to be? A charity? They could very potentially be saving you a lot more than what you pay them.

    Mark
     
  3. -T-

    -T- Well-Known Member

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    quoll: I'd tread with care if I was you. Put your thoughts to paper and try to come to a decision about the viability of the business. Most importantly, if you think there's only a remote chance of it becoming a success, cut your losses while they're manageable. Think of the opportunity costs too; would it be better to get out and pursue another business? Be honest with yourself, try to be unbiased, use real numbers in your calculations, consider risk/effort vs reward, etc.

    Sure the right business coach could help turn any business around, but I think there's much more to it than that. I've just been through this same issue. You can probably guess the outcome from my tone. :)
     
  4. quoll

    quoll Member

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    Very spammy and 2 posts.
    It's a big IF, with investing and most other study, I have done the book work, done the study and sat the test without doing a lot of classroom learning. So I'm not comfortable with asking others for help, so the coaching is something new. It might work, but not sure, it might mean that we get to the next hurdle quicker which would be fantastic, but if it doesn't pan out then the cash is gone.

    In the big picture $20k for a possible $200k return is chicken feed and if the outcome was 100% no problem but I'm not sure on the success chance when comparing the coach vs me+wife+learning ?????

    Big decision.

    Which is why I thought I would ask if anyone had ever used a business coach. Maybe I should have a better heading.

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  5. quoll

    quoll Member

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    Cheers

    We have thought about the cost of bailing, maybe up for 6 months rent unless we find a tenant. Options, go bankrupt, but we don't have to grow the business much to get it going very well, it's so close, you have great days but just can't string enough of them together to go from paying bills to making heaps of cash.

    The opportunity cost is huge, I could have stayed in the 9-5 job and we would have been better off $$$ wise but this has been a better learning experience.

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  6. Mark Laszczuk

    Mark Laszczuk Well-Known Member

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    Yes you can, you just need to open yourself up to how it needs to be done. Look at what Donald Trump was able to achieve. 9 Billion dollars in debt, could've given up, but he didn't.

    By the sounds of it, you know that you can make it, you can see it/taste it/feel it, just reach out and grab it.

    Mark
     
  7. Smartypants

    Smartypants Well-Known Member

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    Hi quoll.

    Just interested in knowing how much time (per week) you put into the running of this business.

    You say it is a 'managed business', so do you have a full time manager running it for you?

    How do you go with the trust factor?

    Was it not part of the sale that you had to put in so many hours per week, like with other franchises or do you just do the paperwork etc.

    Sorry for all the questions, am just interested.
     
  8. Mark Laszczuk

    Mark Laszczuk Well-Known Member

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    quoll,

    Check out www.emythmastery.com. They have business coaches the world over. Don't know how much they charge or whether they have a coach in Adelaide, but worth a squizz I guess.

    Mark
     
  9. Dr Lobster

    Dr Lobster Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is a retail consultant that you require rather than a business coach. A retail consultant will be able to help you with merchandising, shop layout, signage, pricing structures etc.

    Either way be very careful of who you engage, I have seen a number of business engage business consultants, make changes and still go broke, although not solely the fault of the consultant but partly due to the business owner waiting too long too fix the problem and then running out of working capital and not being able to survive long enough to reap any benefits of the changes (if any).
     
  10. aef

    aef New Member

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    Location:
    ADELAIDE
    Business SA

    Hi Quoll,

    A friend of mine (based here in Adelaide) that runs an IT company is facing the same challenge as you at the moment.

    He was using a coach that went bankrupt :eek: .

    He has found another one but is still not sure whether he is getting value for money.

    I am not sure that he has quantified what it is he is trying to achieve and therefore is unsure of the value he is getting.

    The point of this is to have an end goal in mind. That is what exactly are you trying to achieve that a coach will help you with.

    This should point you in the right direction as to which type of coach to use and also allow you to do a cost benefit analysis on the fees charged.

    I would recommend approaching Business SA or one of the council sponsored Business and Export centres for their recommendations.

    Good luck.
    A
    PS: Maybe try approaching the owner/manager of a business you admire and see if they would become your unofficial mentor
     
  11. quoll

    quoll Member

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    I don't put anytime into running the business, my wife does the payroll, pays bills and does the banking so about 2 hours / week. We spend time thinking about the business and how to grow it, so I chat with the manager once every couple of weeks and my wife talks to him twice a week.

    Yep full time manager and 4 other staff, we don't do any behind the counter work, the trust thing is something YOU have to deal with, I don't have a problem with it.

    We did the required training, I show up at franchise meetings each month for 1/2 a day. The requirements are different for each franchise, some expect you to work behind the counter for 12 months or be heavily involved. We bought this as an investment and we let them know this at the time.

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  12. quoll

    quoll Member

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    That's a worry.

    my point entirely, are they value for money, do they do what they say or is it all just hot air!

    The end goal is there, just need to fix the middle bit up.

    The type of coach is similar to sports coach, bit of motivation, bit of skills practice, some pointers here and there when they notice you going off track.

    The mentor is taken care of but the coach and mentor can be different, not many business owners take the step from working in the business to working on the business or walking away from the business and letting someone else work on it for them. HUGE difference.

    But thanks for the reply. The more I learn and find out the better I can be.

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  13. quoll

    quoll Member

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    Ordered the book on Amazon last week, should be here soon. Also got some other books on coaching and profit and cashflow.

    hadn't thought to go looking for his website. Thanks for the link.

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  14. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    Hey Quoll

    I think your original thought was valid. A good mentor (whether they are a business coach or whatever) could be a great shot in the arm for your business. Personally I wouldn't worry what they charge, as long as they have proof of their abilities, and you don't have to part with a huge amount until they put some runs on the board. I'd happily pay someone $100,000 if they can make me $1M :)

    The 'business coaching' sector in Aust has a bad reputation (and probably deservedly so). Its easy to set a scope of engagement for a lawyer or accountant, but I think the 'business coach' trap is expecting some silver bullet from someone who is only human.

    Just getting out and talking to clients renews my enthusiasm, but I still have lots of 'strategy' to revisit that was jotted down on an aeroplane then gets lost in the daily drudgery. I'm always looking for good mentors and like-minded business people, but I've run into a fair amount of puffery in mentor-land :)

    While I agree with aem's points, my experience has been going to the 'traditional' channels (particularly the Govt sponsored route, chamber of commerce etc) generally provides failry conservative and possibly restricting points of view. (The whole "those who can, do, those who can't, teach", thing :) )

    Also I should mention what a friend of mine, who is a h-i-g-h-l-y paid e-comm consultant in corp/govt sector, said is the big advantage of being a consultant - you simply listen to the business owner for a little while, then paraphrase, re-phrase and report exactly what they have told you are their challenges, attach an exciting project plan and budget in a well-worded strategy doc, and there you have earned your huge fee :p Then move onto the next project/customer, knowing the one you just left probably won't implement any of the suggested changes.

    Good luck on your quest - I'll post if I have any joy in the same area ;-)

    Cheers
    Carl
     
  15. quoll

    quoll Member

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    G'day Tryhard

    I agree, so many sales guys seem to paraphase you and find out what you want then spew it back at you as their ideas and what they think you should be doing.

    The problem with the cash, you have to spend it first and hope the rewards happen. Haven't found any coach who wants to work the other way around, give away the ideas and receive a pay out when the profit kicks in.

    cheers
    quoll
     
  16. Peter Terry

    Peter Terry Member

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    good bad ugly

    Hi Quoll,

    I'm personally thinking about using a business coach from Action International www.action-international.com they have a good reputation so I believe. Also I have read the book "Billionaire in training" extremely good place to start written by Brad Sugars. this may lead to other great books to read that may help you. Both the web site and book(s) have opened my eyes to the possibilities.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers
    Pete Terry
     
  17. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pete

    I read and liked Billionaire in Training too :) I've heard mixed reports about Action International though, as its basically a franchise and will only be as good as the individual you end up with, or so I was told (still, could be quite good). Brad Sugars has moved to the US (or was in the process of it last I read) so may not be as closely involved in it any more - I went to a couple of his seminars and there were a bit rah-rah but interesting.

    I also found a company called www.managers-directors.com.au but nothing eventuated after I was passed around a couple of 'part time' people and subsequently my suggested representative never called back, so I can't rave about them either.

    Just as an aside, if anyone can get to one of Bill Zheng's (www.investorsdirect.com.au) presentations they are really quite motivational in this mentoring / personal development area. The company is getting mixed feedback / reviews about its aggressive finance and investment strategies (particularly on Somersoft forums) which may or may not be fair ... but ... ignoring the other aspects of their business for a moment, Bill says some really good things in the area of business and personal improvement. Runs a mentoring program for a few thousand bucks which I would have definitely taken a risk on if it was closer to home (the 2 onsite workshops are only run in Melbourne at the moment).

    Cheers
    Carl
     
  18. quoll

    quoll Member

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    G'day Pete

    Thanks for the reply, I got onto Amazon last week and order a couple of Brad Sugars books, the coach one and the cashflow one, also added emyth while I was there. Was a bit iffy about the billionaire one but I did think about it.

    Maybe later.

    At least I've got a bit of reading to keep me going for the next month.

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  19. quoll

    quoll Member

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    Spot on, I've decided that you really need to give them a job interview for the position of business coach, reverse the roles, with the amount they are asking it is more of a salaried position. The current thought is if we find the right coach we would be 70% about doing it, rather than the current 40%

    Cheers
    quoll
     
  20. Mark Laszczuk

    Mark Laszczuk Well-Known Member

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    quoll,

    You needa be a little realistic mate. If someone came to me and said 'I want you to do a bunch of work for me and I want you to do it for nothing, but I'll pay you when I see results - so basically you can pay all the outgoings until I'm satisfied' I wouldn't want to work for them either.

    How about suggesting they take a certain percentage now (to cover their costs of being your business coach) and get the rest - when they help you to achieve results. Those results of course, are agreed upon by the both of you before anything gets started.

    Mark