What were the drivers for your wanting to work with a Business Coach?
Kelly and I felt that our progress with the business had almost plateaued. We’d had a lot of very fast growth in the first few years – we went from zero clients and one member of staff, to having a team of 20 within four years. Our turnover was reasonable, but our ambition to take on a second veterinary site wasn’t coming to fruition – we simply weren’t moving forward.
As a husband-and-wife team we found it difficult holding each other to account. We were comfortable to do 1-2-1’s with our team and hold them accountable for the things they said they were going to do; but it wouldn’t be appropriate for Kelly and I to do that with each other – it just wasn’t going to happen. We recognised that working with a Business Coach was an opportunity to help each other to grow – we needed an outside perspective.
Why did you choose REACH Business Coaching?
Jas was recommended to us – we’d heard many positive things about him. Someone suggested we go along to his REACH seminar, but we couldn’t make it. Then Angela got in touch and arranged for us to spend some time with him.
With Coaching it’s all about the relationship. We liked Jas’s approach and what he was saying, it resonated with us. It is a big investment, so we said we’d give it 3 to 6 months and see where we are. We saw the benefit quite quickly with the things that Jas has helped us to achieve.
What were some of your specific challenges and outcomes?
Our biggest challenge was time – we were doing a lot of work but not really achieving anything. We were concerned that we’d become busy fools. Plus, we were working in the business all of the time and not on it. Jas’s discipline around time management has definitely helped us.
Something else that has transformed us collectively and individually is the work we’ve done with Jas around mindset. I don’t think we appreciated what that was until we were introduced to it. Every year I would set objectives for the business, but by the end of that year I’d only achieved a handful of them. One of our aspirations was to open another veterinary site – it’s something we’d been saying for years, but we were no further forward. But by working with Jas for just one year and him holding us accountable – we’ve literally just done it – we’ve purchased our second site! We’ve achieved it because we have the appropriate mindset now and we’ve had the confidence to go out there and do it.
Having Jas’s financial mastery behind us has helped enormously, too. Take our cash flow forecast and profit and loss reports – I’ve worked in enough senior positions to know how useful they are, but I’d never found the drive to get it done. We now have a fully functioning 13-week cash forecast which means we have a much better understanding of the business and the ability to make informed decisions.
We’re now working towards implementing more systems and processes. Recruitment has been a challenge for us – as it has for most businesses in the current climate. I used to hate recruiting, so we’d have probably buried our head in the sand. But Jas’s recruitment tools are brilliant and by following them to the T, has saved us a huge amount of time and frustration. We’ve used it twice now and we’ve ended up with phenomenal staff who we wouldn’t change for the world. We’re also a firm believer in team meetings. Jas has introduced us to something called ‘team meeting rules’ which has helped us to reflect on how things work, and to make them work better for us and our team, which has been very beneficial. All the tools that Jas shares are tried and tested and have made a massive difference to our business.
We’ve still got a few challenges, but we’re in a much stronger position than we were a year ago.
What is it about Jas you’re buying into?
Jas has similar values to us. He’s honest and transparent and tells it as it is. We trust his opinion. He exudes passion. We often joke about going to one of his seminars and getting ‘Jas’d’ because you get that real buzz and energy and sense of direction and focus. It’s like nothing else.
We know that Jas is there for us and that we can call him if we need to talk outside of our 1-2-1 sessions.
What would you say to someone thinking about working with a Business Coach?
Have an understanding of what it is you’re trying to achieve – even if you can’t articulate it. Don’t be afraid of being open and honest. For Jas to be able to help you, you need to be able to share and almost bare your soul a little, and your financials – what you put in, is what you get out. You also need to be prepared to work. When you take this path, you’ll reap the rewards – just like we have.