Coaching – Work “on” your company, not “in” it.

Role: I coached the business owner

Project goal

The owner of a small business was motivated and had great social skills. He found it easy to gain customers, and was always extremely well rated. From the outside his company appeared to be a dream. He was, however, permanently let down by a lack of organisation. In common with so many other entrepreneurs, he enjoyed the “real work” and, he hated the accounting, reporting and documentation that is so important for continuing stress free success. Instead of working “on” organizing and optimizing processes, he spent all his time working “in” the company. He never took a step back to watch “what was happening” and think about whether it made sense.

How to ruin a great day
How to ruin a great day

All the internal business processes were “difficult” and ignored as long as possible. Invoices were paid irregularly, customers were billed later than they could have been, there was no overview of projects so reporting was always a “major task” and everything to do with accounting and bookkeeping was pushed until the tax advisor or the authorities forced his hand.

Needless to say, the owner was permanently stressed by all the unfinished tasks and could not really enjoy his free time knowing he should really be “getting organised”.


The coaching was long term, lasting over a year. We began by documenting which internal processes were the problem, how they were running and how they should run. Most importantly we established that everything should be simplified so that it could be done immediately and not add to the “pile”.

As an example we completely automated the customer billing process so that writing an invoice became just a case of filling out a formula and pressing “OK”. The invoice was produced, a copy was printed for the customer, a digital copy created for tax purposes and all the relevant data saved to the IT system and then to the offsite backup. The end of month reporting became just one “mouse click”. The system already contained all the data so on the first day of the month it was a fully automated process to collate, format and send the report.

Incoming invoices were no longer kept in an overflowing in-tray to be dealt with “one day”. On receipt they were immediately uploaded to the accounting software either via email or with a scanner app on the mobile phone.

The owner was relieved of these and many other administrative tasks, and could thus concentrate on that which he enjoyed the most – his customers and core business.

In a testimonial he wrote “I won so much time that I have now started a second business which runs concurrently and just as effectively.” What he didn’t write was that he has now found the time to achieve his long term aim of learning to sail. He now owns his own boat.

... to achieve his aim of learning to sail
time to achieve his aim of learning to sail

A fantastic example of a manager achieving his true potential through targeted coaching.

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