- Letting an Employee Go. This is by far the toughest. Whether it's a firing for cause or a layoff for economic reasons, small business owners will tend to hold onto that employee WAY longer than they should. They see these employees as friends and don't want to cause pain. Fear of a terrible outcome keeps them from acting. Your job as the coach is to provide sound reasoning for the decision and a step-by-step process to get it done.
- Reducing or Expanding Space. Wow, what a significant decision that could affect the Profit-and-Loss Statement for up to five years! Entrepreneurs tend to get stars in their eyes and want to expand square footage very quickly. Make sure they are always thinking about expenses, profits, and capacity, making the decision based on business, not emotion.
- The Pivot. A concept that is emerging in the tech startup community, the notion of a pivot has been around since the day the first shingle was hung outside a shop (a print shop?). The pivot is a moment when a business shifts its primary focus from one product or service to another. For example, we've seen electricians and HVAC contractors completely shift to solar or energy efficiency. Entrepreneurs are restless folks with amazing energy and vision. They will often want to make major shifts in their business model. When they do, be sure to do an Industry/Market evaluation and see if that is really the road to increased revenue and higher profits.
The great thing about being a business coach and helping entrepreneurs make these decision is seeing the results. Expansion or cutting the right expenses or grabbing a new market can all have huge impacts on a business. Done the right way, the results will be extremely rewarding for you and your client.
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