My clients range from very small (a single lawyer with one assistant) to mid-size (a chemical company with 40 employees and $15Million in sales). What they all have in common is a desire to see their companies grow without growing pains.
When he hired me, John was the CFO of a software company with about 55 employees and $5 Million in revenue. He had just made some hires and rounded out his team of 7 directors. His goal was to grow the company to $100 Million. In addition to regular coaching, I’ve done projects for him: directors training to align everyone’s performance, facilitated meetings, and done strategy sessions. We are in the process of reorganizing the corporate structure to add business unit leaders to champion new products and open new markets. They now have over 65 employees, did $7 Million in revenue last year and when the directors set their long term strategic goal, they felt 100 Million was too low and opted for $150 Million.
Kathleen hired me because she thought “It was about time I had a coach.” Her hair salon with 12 employees was doing OK but she wanted more. She was frustrated by lots of little things falling through the cracks unless she was around, she hated doing her books (so they were often left undone) and she wanted to take a month away in Europe. As I write this (April 2011) last month was her best month ever. She’s got systems in place so her managers are handling the details that used to be ignored till she showed up. She still hates doing the books but now has a routine in place to keep it up to date with as little hassle as possible. And she’s starting to look at her numbers with “an entrepreneur’s eye” – so what she’s learning helps her make better decisions.
Rodger was a lawyer in his own practice. He has one assistant when we started working together. A few years later, he drove me around and showed me three houses. The first was where he lived when we started working together. It was nice but nothing spectacular. The second was larger and where he moved to after I’d helped him expand his practice. The third was where he was currently living. It was huge – in a community with a pond, it had a pool and a casita (guest house). But the thing I loved most was when he said “This just doesn’t happen to guys like me.” I beg to differ. When I last talked to Rodger, he had another attorney working for him, and a staff of eight. And you know what Rodger’s goal has always been? To play golf twice a week. Since early in our work together he’s played consistently on Mondays and Fridays. I don’t know what his handicap is – I’m not that kind of coach.
When Robert hired me he said “Why do all the dumb questions end up on my desk?” I told him I didn’t know the answer but we could find out. He had smart people working for him – most with college degrees and many with PhD’s. But what the company lacked was a management structure. When he took over the company from his dad, it was 10 people all working in one room. It didn’t need much structure. But now it was 40 people spread across 2 buildings and the lack of structure was causing people to waste their time. Robert had 6 direct reports and no one (including him) knew who the second in command was. In the process of uncovering this we eliminated redundant work and made some changes in work flow which he estimated saved him $100,000 per year.
To be honest, I don’t know what I can do for you. But I know if we chat for a few minutes we can discover if there’s a reason for us to work together and what the benefits might be. If you’d like to find out, give me a call at 203-775-6676 (I’m on Eastern Time) or send an email to john@BetterCEO.com.