Keep that Engine Running
In the complex world of business, it can be difficult to identify—never mind monitor, maintain, and improve—all of the elements that fall under the umbrella term, “performance.” Employees working at the micro level are responsible for their output but may not have an understanding of the big picture, and leaders are engaged with macro concerns that overshadow daily issues. Neither group can be reasonably expected to account for the other, yet the performance of a business relies on it. This is where a business coach can help.
“Business performance is all about the key drivers and metrics that are critical to a business—and how they are performing in it and outside of it,” says Eloise Pasianotto CPA, CMA, MBA who is a certified business coach and owner at Effective Professional Consulting Group in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. “If you think of a car,” she says, “in order for it to run optimally, there has to be a series of components that come together…it’s more than just putting gas in it.” The same, she says, is true for a business.
Just as the idea of performance can be vague, so can the symptoms that signal a problem. Typical issues include a lack of momentum, overwork with little result, inability to define or execute strategy, a lack of alignment between employees and management, problems attracting customers, and loss of customers to the competition. While all these concerns can affect the bottom line, they can also degrade internal communication and morale, causing ever more complex reasons for declining performance.
This is where a coach like Pasianotto comes in.
“I like using a profit-driving model to break apart the business into its key components, and then deep dive into each to get each humming and working together to improve profitability.”
Pasianotto recalls working with a client in the high-end jewelry industry.With her help, they were able to define the sales process to optimize coverage and profitability, while expanding their brand image. “The result,” says Pasianotto, “was increased accountability, a measurable sales process, standardized reporting the owner can review, and more accurate sales forecasting, without sacrificing a high level of customer service and the support its customers require.”
For another client in the custom window coverings industry, the issue was profitability. Pasianotto went to work analyzing their existing cost structure and building a pricing model which they then compared against their existing customer base. The work allowed them to identify where to discontinue service and where to increase prices, resulting in increased profitability. As a final example, Pasianotto shared her work with a client in the health and wellness industry. “The company was not growing in the areas which were critical to its success,” she explains, “so we developed and modeled a tiered compensation plan.” This task involved analyzing the product mix, the market, and the strategic direction the owner wanted to take the company into. “The results to date are amazing,” Pasianotto says, “with a dramatic shift to more sales of the right type, bringing in more profit than ever before.”
“Every time I work with a client we are focused on some component of business performance,” Pasianotto explains. “There are necessary components critical to the success of the company from what it does, its people, its processes—just to name a few. These need to be defined, monitored, maintained, and improved to keep the business viable and on the growth curve.”
If this seems imprecise, it’s helpful to return to the automobile metaphor. “In a nutshell, I work with each client to help make sure what they have under the hood of their car (their business), is what they need, and it is monitored, maintained, and improved to keep that business accelerating.”