Our founder, Lisa Wight, shares an incredible story that demonstrates just how important a holistic view really is.

As business coaches, we mainly work with business owners. We see these business owners as our clients. But the thing I learnt about ten years ago is that the business owner isn’t necessarily directly our client. If we see the business as our client instead of the person we speak to regularly, we’ll actually offer a much better service.

Let me tell you a story so you can see what I mean…

About ten years ago I got my first business coach. This was a big deal for me. I was working in a growing business and I wanted support. I saw him for an hour a week and he charged £250 per session. So that’s a grand a month. But I thought it was worth it as I had big plans to grow and scale the business.

Working with him was great and we started doing lots of good stuff together. I was really enjoying it. About 18 months in – when I’d seen him 72 times and I’d paid him £18,000 – the business hit a wall financially. Things were bad. And I mean bad. At the next weekly session, I explained the situation and asked him what I could do. He said to me, “Lisa, where’s your cash flow forecast?” I answered, “What is that?” He told me that it was the most important document in a business and again asked me where it was.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say my jaw hit the floor. All I could think was that I’d seen him 72 times over 18 months, had paid him £18,000, and not once in all that time – not once! – had he ever as much as mentioned a cash flow forecast. I asked him directly why this was the case, and he simply answered: “Well Lisa, you always wanted to talk about marketing and sales.”

Lasting Mark

This moment left its mark on me. When I became a business coach myself I knew that I couldn’t take that approach with clients. It is actually one of the main drivers for why we created hubbix. I knew that to really help clients, I had to easily identify all of the important elements that businesses should have. This means you advise clients on where there are gaps and explore all potential issues before they become massive problems that begin burning down the house. If you can catch things when they’re a little tiny fire, you can easily stamp them out – but you need to ask the right questions.

If you let your clients lead each session, then they’ll tell you where they think they’ve identified problems. But if they’ve identified them they’re already on their way to fixing them. Of course they still need to be discussed and resolved, but that’s only part of the story. It’s the problems that no one is yet aware of, that are lingering in the background, potentially getting bigger and bigger every day, that you need to bring to the fore if you’re really going to help your clients. They’re probably not going to ask you about them, but that doesn’t mean it’s not your job to help identify them.

I’m sure it won’t come as a shock that I stopped working with that business coach. While we did do some good work together, he ultimately failed to help protect me from fatal errors. I talked about sales and marketing because that’s what I knew best and felt most comfortable with. He should have guided me to look at other areas.

For anyone working as a business coach or adviser, I hope this story gives you food for thought. If you really want to help your clients’ businesses thrive, then take that step back and explore all angles. If you spot a fatal error that could potentially bring their business to its knees, you’ll probably end up with a client for life. Don’t be the one who only does what your client asks for. Give them also what they need.

If you’d like to explore how hubbix could help you do this, why not sign up for a free 30 day trial?