In recent years, organisations have experienced extreme challenges, the likes of which have not been seen for over five decades.
From the financial crash of 2008/9 - affecting business output for almost five years - to COVID-19 lockdowns, and more recently, the cost of living crisis. In the world of business, there is almost always a fresh challenge just around the corner. Where there is a crisis, though, there are opportunities - provided you are prepared to reach out and achieve them.
Business coaches offer a wealth of expertise and experience in helping professionals and organisations assess the risks they face, prepare growth plans and adapt to change.
What problems are organisations facing?
Companies are being adversely affected from every angle. It’s no surprise that expert advice is required across all departments – from mitigating risk and managing change, to cost-cutting and engaging with stakeholders.
The modern ways of working – a lot of which were facilitated by the COVID-19 lockdown – have forced business to rethink their strategies for winning new clients, retaining existing clients, and recruiting and retaining the talent to service those clients.
A business consultant can help guide a business owner through these choppy waters.
Liquidity and cash are key players in any organisation, and during a period of economic instability – such as a recession or period of high inflation – a business can feel the strain of reduced consumer demand and disruptions to the supply chain.
A business coach, with an area of expertise in financial performance, can help companies assess their cash position and understand the options available to them. Options could include access to funding via lenders and investment, government schemes, and even releasing trapped cash, as well as determining how to reduce business costs without impacting on performance.
Engaging business guidance for improved stakeholder communication
A key area in which many businesses can benefit from the guidance of a business consultant is stakeholder communication.
Of course, stakeholder management requires excellent personal skills and clear and consistent communications. The art is in keeping all stakeholders happy and aligned toward achieving the same objectives. As an example, the goal of company shareholders could be to improve profitability and improve shareholder value. This could mean the company looks to reduce costs, which could upset another shareholder group within the company, the employees.
The bottom line is, actively engaging with stakeholders and keeping them updated is vital for success and harmony. Hiring a business coach to help develop a strategy for stakeholder engagement could help to improve clarity, staff morale and the business as a whole. Improving human resource via coaching and guidance
Though businesses are open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, very few opened in the same way. Many workplaces have adopted a hybrid working model, allowing employees to spend a number of days working from home.
Working from home creates its own problems for managers and for employees alike. Issues such as communication, professional yet comfortable work areas, motivation and day planning, isolation and mental wellbeing, have all come to the fore and must be managed carefully. Solutions to support these factors still need to be established for many businesses, which could include the restructuring of internal teams. Again, this type of planning can be made easier with the help of a business coach.
A business coach can help you work through issues such as:
Finding ways to prioritise staff wellbeing, e.g. devising initiatives to stay active, and creating plans for activities such as team socials and skills development days as a group.
Helping employees to work effectively from home by managing behavioural risks with techniques such as structured monitoring and giving employees bitesize chunks of work.
Finding better ways of communicating with and engaging employees, both face-to-face and via digital channels.
Updating work policies. This could take into account instances such as enforced working from home due to a crisis.
Restructuring teams to facilitate greater performance
Embracing innovation and remarketing with the assistance of a business coach Changing markets can be daunting to some business owners, but it offers a chance to innovate. Businesses that do not invest in innovation risk being left behind by competition. There are many examples of this over the past twenty years, where high street stores didn’t embrace the shift to online sales quickly enough and were left behind and subsequently, closed altogether.
Those organisations who were digitally-savvy were well placed to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those that were not had to learn very quickly to adapt and create new ways of working.
For example, if a company needs to revitalise sales, there is an opportunity for a consultant to devise a strategy focused on customer loyalty and brand image. In essence, coaches can help by delivering ideas which provide a route to positive press, raised brand awareness and competitive advantage. Scenario planning
All business owners can benefit from expert support in scenario planning.
One issue that has affected many businesses in recent years is supply chain disruption. Products that we are used to purchasing have experienced supply shortages, including wheat, fruit, petrol, and natural gas. Exploring the different options available to keep business running as normal can help ensure an organisation is financially able to continue and prepared for any situation that may unfold.
Through scenario planning, a business consultant can develop an action plan that outlines how each member of the organisation can manage and respond to a given situation. It can also prepare companies for worst-case scenarios and identify what that would mean for each stakeholder group. The benefits of working with a business coach
Business coaches, trainers, and consultants can be vital cogs in the engine of success. In summary, the guidance of a business coach can help with:
Increased productivity, better profitability, and greater revenue.
Lowered costs and more efficient business processes.
Greater clarity and focus on business goals.
Improved internal culture.
Enhanced stakeholder and employee engagement.
Accountability and support to stay on track towards set objectives.
Objective assessment and feedback on performance.
Expanded knowledge and skills within your organisation.
Avoidance of costly mistakes and guidance toward financial success.
This blog was provided by Markel. Markel are specialists in providing business insurance for contractors, freelancers and the self-employed.