What is a Business Advisor?

Have you ever felt like you’re “buried in the weeds”?

 Do you feel like your business could be more profitable if you only had someone to advise you on how to keep things on track?  Does the idea of hiring a business advisor seem extravagant or mean that you have failed?  Not at all, so maybe it’s time to consider the value of bringing in someone with a different perspective.

A trusted business advisor can help you at all levels, having experience as an entrepreneur as well as coaching others grow their business.  You don’t need to have a multi-million dollar, or even a multi-$100,000, company to justify hiring an advisor. If you are committed, assessing where you are and getting you to where you want to be is more than worth the time and money you will invest.

Expect to fill out an online assessment questionnaire that will give the business advisor a good idea of your current state and your objective.  Like the forms you need to fill out before seeing your doctor, this step is important for the advisor begin to develop a plan just for you.  

What’s my Time Commitment?

You will then meet with your advisor for a free 60-90 minute consultation.  The first discussion will be to clarify your vision, or mission statement, by identifying your core values.  At this time you’ll discuss the status of your company, review the questionnaire and brainstorm ideas on guiding you to your vision.  Listening to your advisor is key because you want to get the most benefit from their experience. Value that will be added to your bottom line when you work together.

Generally you will meet with your advisor weekly or bi-weekly for a couple of hours, depending on the terms you agreed on together.  In addition, you may call or email if you need to discuss an issue before your next face-to-face.  Advisor accessibility is part of the package.

Where do we start?

You will delve into the strength of your corporate vision and culture.  It is not uncommon to have miscommunication between the leader(s) and team members regarding vision, issues and processes. Your advisor will coach you through anything from setting up metrics to track important numbers, personnel evaluation, efficient meetings and goal setting.

Quarterly group sessions that focus on setting and attaining goals are offered free of charge to the clients.  Attending these half-day sessions are important because they get you out of your day-to-day tasks while you brainstorm issues with like-minded business owners.  Since these sessions are open to the public, you might consider paying the entrance fee so you can see the advisor in action.  You will be inspired and energized at the very least, and it will give you a glimpse into how this advisor could benefit you in an on-going capacity.

Your advisor’s goal is help your company grow.

Thom Torode, MBA Certified Business & Executive Leadership Coach, EOS Implementor

Generating more money does not automatically mean that your profits will rise.  Your business advisor will work with you to establish the processes you need from the ground up.  With these tools in place you’ll will know exactly where your company is because you’ll be tracking the right data.  Your people will be better informed and focused.  You’ll minimize wasted time and money.  Your company will be healthy and profits will rise.  When you have a question or concern, your business advisor is only a phone call away.

If you would like to have a Review Session with coach Thom Torode, click here to schedule.

Thom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach and EOS Implementer. Having owned and operated over 5 different businesses he is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.   Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally, Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

The Why Behind Your Goals

Your Why Behind Your Goals

Setting Goals is important understanding the why behind your goals is critical. Learn 3 steps that will almost guarantee you the results you desire.

It is something of a cultural phenomenon for everyone to focus on future goals and new resolutions around the end of each year. Whether or not you participated in this process as 2015 started, it is worth stopping here at the end of the first quarter and complete a quick assessment. Are you, in fact, pursuing the goals you consider most important? Do your daily priorities and accomplishment move you along the path to achieving those goals in a timely manner?

As you pause to reflect on these important questions, it is worth evaluating every task you undertake each day and week by some simple, yet vital, criteria. As you already know, it is very easy to be quite busy every moment of the day and end that day feeling like you accomplished very little of importance. In fact, some of the most important tasks you set for yourself are easily put off if you don’t tackle them based on properly assigned priorities.

Themed photo 'Reaching your goal via a bullseye'Below we provide three basic questions that almost every time management experts concur are part of properly organizing your time and achieving your desired success targets. While these are not the important principles related to effective time management, they serve as an excellent starting point.

1) When is this specific due? The word specific is very important to this question. Most people understand the idea of eating an elephant a bite at a time, (that’s the only way to do it!) and grasp the idea that all major projects must be broken down into digestible elements. If you don’t have that significant and looming To-Do broken down, it is easy to tell yourself you’ll tackle it later – and suddenly the due date is upon you. When you find yourself constantly against deadlines and rushing to get priority products done, that is a good indication you aren’t taking the time to plan your work correctly. And, another popular trope says it all, Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.

2) What’ll happen if I don’t do it? It is vital to understand the second component of getting things done, and that is not doing the unimportant until the important is accomplished. Often called the Tyranny of the Urgent, many people who fail to get where they want to be lack the ability to say no, or on the other hand say yes to the wrong things.Priorities List

Each morning, you will undoubtedly start off with a longer list of things to do than you can possibly accomplish. You’re on the right track when you do the thing that must be done (to meet your goals) first. Of course, this assumes you’ve done a good job of aligning your priorities with those of your employer and supervisor. If you are your own boss, that makes this discipline all the more important.

3) To whom do I owe the responsibility of completing this task? The answer to this question usually has at least two, and maybe more, dimensions. Certainly, we must accomplish the tasks we assume that are directly related to helping our business grow and thereby earning money. That is the first dimension. Secondly, we should be designing our work flow where the accomplishment of each task is meeting our personal needs and expectations.

Beyond these, there are your stakeholders: Your team of employees, customers, family and other players. Here is where the answers to the first two questions come into play. Others will always task us with expectations, tasks, and responsibilities. However, eventual success again comes down to first meeting your own carefully determined priorities and expectations, freeing you and/or positioning you to help others.  In other words, understanding the why behind your goals.

golden-circleHere’s a bonus tip. Successful and effective time management is never an accident. It should be your first goal and your first priority – this will make all other goals more feasible and attainable.do something awesome right nowThom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally, Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.
In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, Thom is also a Certified Franchise Business & Leadership Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients.

Bring Your Zombie Business to Life

Has Your Business Entered Zombie Land?

There are a number of movies and television shows today that deal with the issues of zombies, or the undead. While this is, of course, fantasy,Businessman manipulation there are unfortunately a large number of companies that operate daily in a zombie-like state.

Understanding the Situation: How did you become a Zombie Business?

These businesses are like the undead in that they continue to make sales and pay their bills, but they aren’t growing and barely get by each payday. Other signs of a walking dead operation include:

  • A lack of any effective marketing
  • Lack of growth goals
  • Few, if any, new customers
  • An outdated or broken website
  • Ignoring advice
  • A lack of adequate financials and accounting systems
  • Low employee morale and high turnover

The reality for many of these firms is that they will eventually run out of even the few customers they have and shut their doors. One of the saddest scenes you can see it to walk up to a formally vibrant business and find it closed, a sign on the door that it has closed and is no longer in operation.

Finding the Cure

If your business seems to have hit a wall, it’s time to take a hard look at the reasons you can’t seem to grow and are losing ground in your market. On the other hand, it is often difficult for the business owner to take that hard look in the mirror and understand how they got where they are. It is even difficult for many to recognize the seriousness of their situation.

Whether new competition has entered the market, the local demographics have changed, or any of a number of other factors arises to negatively impact your business, it often takes dramatic action to change your direction. Unfortunately, if you are still able to make even a moderate income, it is easy to just continue in that zombie mode, waiting until it is too late to make necessary changes.

When you find yourself in such a situation, it is often much wiser to take one of two steps. You might liquidate the business and Everything Must Go Boxes Overstock Inventory Store Closing Salespend your time at another job where you will make more money without the challenges and risks of continuing to run a dying business. On the other hand, you can wake up to the situation and decide to tackle the issue head on.

Many people find it extremely helpful to bring in fresh eyes and attitudes to help in a turnaround, providing an objective assessment of a business’s condition. For many, hiring a business coach is the first step to a new path of growth and profitability. When you take the time to work with someone who is committed to your survival and success, you receive the benefit of extensive knowledge and insights.Growth - Business Concept

If you feel your current situation is something like the plot of a late-nite show, wake up and turn to a coach who can help you bring new vitality and a bright future to your operations.Thom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally, Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.Coaching!
In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, Thom is also a Certified Franchise Business & Leadership Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients.

How FEAR Impacts Your Results

In his first inaugural address, Franklin Roosevelt famously stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

At the time of this proclamation, the U.S. was nearing the depths of the Great Depression. Millions were discouraged and convinced things would never get better. In reality, these people had some real reasons to be afraid, but the false evidence they were seeing made their fear paralyzing for many.

The idea of self-generated fear is now a concept that professional consultants and coaches now express in the acronym : F.E.A.R. or False Evidence Appearing Real. This is a way of expressing a fear of the unknown and the future, based on current perceptions of events and other “circumstantial evidence.” There are two other common ways to express FEAR:

fear concept choiceAlthough the sense of fear this false information creates is real, it can be effectively managed by realizing it is actually subconscious, manifested worry. This type of FEAR creates apprehension, can progress to forms of paranoia, and even paralyze your ability to be proactive in accomplishing your goals.

Oftentimes, the only way to resolve this debilitating problem is to consult with an experienced and qualified third-party who understands the problem. As with many subjective issues, your FEAR can overwhelm the objective truth, and it can blind you to viable options.

Understanding the Mind of the Franchisee

As with many things in life, the communications between a franchisor and prospective franchisee can result in misunderstandings, confusion and misperceptions. There is a natural source of potential tension between these two parties that can result in difficult situations, regardless of the best intentions and efforts of both parties. It’s helpful to examine for a moment why these difficulties are to be expected.

First, the franchisor is working hard to grow their business by adding quality franchisees. These business people invest a great deal of time and effort in developing a workable business model with training and support systems. When a new franchisee is signed up, there is an expectation to provide training and to help that new team member through the setup up and implementation phase. However, the franchisor also expects to wean a new franchise operation after a certain period of time, and is looking for franchisees to operate as independently owned businesses.

On the other hand, the prospective franchisee works hard to overcome the fears and insecurities associated with starting a new business, especially with a large monetary commitment. When they hear terms like “we will work with you” and “we’re here to help you” it is easy to misread this as providing an ongoing womb-effect that covers all anticipated problems and challenges. In other words, the mental emphasis is often more on maintaining that umbilical cord, rather than separating it.

When an experienced, professional franchise coach enters the picture, there is an instantaneous benefit to both the franchisor and the franchisee. These coaches understand the F.E.A.R. syndrome often affects both sides of the equation in the franchise world. The franchisor is accountable to a growth plan that investors, employees and existing franchisees are depending upon. At the same time, the franchisees are focused on their specific commitments, market and operations. They both may see false indicators of problems or potential problems and be discouraged or worse.

Having that professional business coach is often invaluable in pulling back the curtain on these unsubstantiated fears and concerns. With the insights and skills of the right coach, both franchisees and franchisors can recognize their own capabilities, and work toward overcoming those discouraging concerns.

The problems of running and growing a business are real enough and challenging enough on their own. Adding to them because of F.E.A.R. is a futile exercise that the right franchise coach will help you avoid.FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL

Thom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally, Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.
In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, Thom is also a Certified Franchise Business & Leadership Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients.

Prevent a Summer Sales Slump

Business managers and sales prospects alike are typically operating in summer mode, creating a summer sales slump

seizing the limited seasonal opportunities for warm weather activities with family and friends and vacation travel. But, of course, you still want your business to enjoy a profitable sales season. Often, suggestions offered for avoiding a summer sales slump are actually fundamental year-round business requirements. However, there are time-proven sales-boosting initiatives for businesses that typically experience reduced sales production during summer months.

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Summer Sales Slump

Create a summer surge

Mine your archives of unclosed sales prospects, and re-engage with these valuable leads.

So much of the sales work is already done. Follow up with these prospects offering an opportunity to wrap up their decision-making before they embark on personal summer plans.

Fourth quarter pre-selling

Summer is the naturally ideal period for setting up fourth quarter sales.

Use the opportunity to cold call, or otherwise create new leads, or work to nurture existing leads. Cultivating leads for closing by year-end is the smart way to avoid a summer sales slump. In utilizing slower summer months to build toward a larger yearly sales total, strong closers can often effectively inspire prospects to make the buying decision during the summer as a convenience. Prospective customers may prefer completing their business transactions with your company in third quarter if a hectic fourth quarter push toward their year-end deadlines is predictable.

Business socializing

Embrace the mood of summer culture by mixing business with seasonal pleasures.

Organize activities to entertain clients and develop mutually beneficial business relationships. These are ideal venues to promote repeat sales. Such strong business connections also generate referral business, which perpetually breeds referral business as each new client referred, in turn, provides referrals.

Manage distractions

Staying on track during vacation season is challenging.

Especially for business professionals with children at home from school for months, personal responsibilities might be much increased during this time of year. With so much going on, burn-out is a heightened risk. The most consistently well-performing business managers and sales professionals are characteristically those who understand the wisdom of relaxing to recharge the mind and body. So, take a vacation at some point during the year. If you don’t vacation during the summer, do take some time outdoors during these months to enjoy the nice weather.  It is prudent for you and your staff not to dismiss this important step. Decompressing periodically sharpens mental focus, contributes to physical health, and helps sustain motivation. These are essentials for maintaining high-intensity sales efforts over a long-term.

Internal contests

Shake up the routine with some outdoor meetings, if practical. Consider creating friendly competition for reaching seasonally applicable performance benchmarks in obtaining new leads, new sales, repeat sales, up-sells, referral leads, etc.

External messaging

Adjust the language of your marketing and sales messages to relate to the seasonal interests of your prospects. A presentation modified to make it refreshingly summerish will represent a new idea to your prospects and impress them with an image that seems energetic, imaginative, and forward-moving.

Use this tool: 10-Things-for-Your-Best-Summer-Ever

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach.

He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.