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.

Going Lean

July Business Tip: Going Lean

A lean program actively manages operational efficiency, which causes a chain reaction of business benefits. Efficiency promotes safety, saves time, controls costs, and ensures quality. Quality translates into high customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is directly connected to revenues. Safety is implicit in turnover cost management. And, of course, revenues and cost control are the components of profit margin. So, the operational and financial benefits of implementing lean practices throughout all business units are pervasive, including in administrative offices, sales, forecasting, and others in which lean policies are too often not recognized as applicable. A lean policy extends far beyond dictating periodic clean-outs. It’s a way of doing business—every day. There are multiple excellent models for lean operations. ISO provides guidelines. Universities teach “5S” structures in business courses (sort, systematize, shine, standardize, and sustain). The various versions of lean programs have key principles in common.


Success by Going Lean

A) Organization

Whether it’s called systematizing or just straightening up, getting organized cannot be overestimated. It really is the first fundamental for a quality operation. Some talented business managers imagine themselves as intellectually exempt from need to operate in an organized environment. Such attitudes fail to inspire confidence of customers, guests, inspectors, supervisors, and subordinates in the professionalism of the organization and have a generally corrosive effect on a positive business atmosphere. Further, until one has functioned in a well-ordered system, he/she cannot meaningfully predict how much improved his/her personal performance would be over time.

B) Controls

Remove obstacles that inhibit the smoothest flow of movement as employees conduct processes, whether in manufacturing production or office processes. Rearrange machinery and furniture that cause unnecessary steps. Archive unused paper files. Eliminate or reorganize electronic files that cause employees to search drives excessively. Implement inventory control methods so that new stock is purchased only when the supply level of a particular item drops to a specified level. Revise workflow processes to cut unnecessary peripheral distractions or tasks. Arrange schedules so that work of like-types or along the same routes is performed by the same employee, where practical. Reducing minutes and seconds wasted by all employees daily adds up to a staggering amount of time savings that can be used to increase productivity.

C) Maintenance

Establish self-monitoring systems. Hold all employees accountable for maintaining their piece of the lean program. Support this policy with routine assessments by management. Inspections may seem extreme to employees who are unfamiliar with lean systems. However, when a lean program is structured under a simple ABC structure, as above, most employees can be successfully helped to understand the necessity of managing operational efficiency and will grow to appreciate the significance of the professional benefits of working in a lean environment.

Think about how these processes can make an impact on your organization going lean.  When you ready to learn how to implement these strategies in your business contact us for your Business Assessment Review.

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.

SYSTEM: Save Your Self Time Energy and Money

Save Your Self Time Energy and Money

In our earlier post on SYSTEM, we discussed the importance of systematizing your business processes, and some high-level ways to go about reorganizing your internal business structure to create better efficiency in your organization. In this post, we would like to further explore the concept of systematizing your business.

systemTo more easily recall the benefits of sound business systematization, we would like to introduce you to the easy to remember acronym, SYSTEM. This stands for Save Yourself Time Energy and Money. When you think of this acronym, you can quickly recall the necessity of creating a system and process for your business.

Systematizing your business process allows you to save time by automating many of the tasks you do every day. Through automating, or delegating these tasks you can focus on more important matters. With a little research, you will be surprised what can be easily and quickly automated. As for delegating tasks, take a look at the small tasks you are doing each day, or week and see if they can be grouped into similar themes. These may be better assigned to another individual in your organization.

Through saving yourself time, you will have more energy to put toward other tasks. Expending energy on a variety of small tasks which others in your organization could be handling for you is not an efficient use of a business owner’s time. You are the individual with the vision for your business, and it’s up to you to get it there, wasting your creative energy on repetitive tasks throughout the day is only a hindrance.

As a direct result of saving time and energy, you will be saving yourself money. Less hours will need to be put in to complete the same amount of work in a day In addition, by making your business a well oiled machine, you will have less risk of costly mistakes, as every part in the machine has its own individual function that it performs expertly. As the business owner, you are meant to oversee this machine, keep it oiled and maintained, but not be a cog in it.

Business process word cloud

Now that you have learned the acronym SYSTEM, and the benefits of having a sound system in place, we hope that you can begin saving yourself time, energy and money by having a more efficient business process.

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.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of 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.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success

How Sharp Are Your Leadership Skills?

The effectiveness of leadership skills in any team or organization plays a critical role in the levels of success and harmony that can be achieved.

Leadership Skills Compass

Leadership Compass

Take this Self-Assessment to determine whether your leadership skills have been sharpened to a keen edge.

1. I’ve become more comfortable delegating tasks and managing the performance of others than doing things myself.

2. Before committing to a decision, I ask myself if it will serve my purpose. I say “No” to requests for my time and attention that are not aligned with my purpose.

3. Coworkers and those who report directly to me trust me and my effectiveness as a leader.

4. I successfully enroll others in my vision and influence their behavior at work.

5. It’s less what I say and more what I do that affects how others perceive my leadership ability, so I make sure to “walk my talk.”

6. It can be daunting to confront the issues, obstacles and people that block success. But in doing so, I model courage, persistence and a can-do attitude.

7. I hold myself accountable for my actions and the actions of my team/department. I don’t make excuses.

8. I will not be able to please everyone; leadership is not a popularity contest.

9. I view problems as opportunities to excel. In fact, I focus on the opportunities in every problem. A positive attitude can make a project or objective

10. I seek opportunities for education and skills enhancement, as I want to continuously grow my abilities.

11. Everything in my organization/department/team, both good and bad, is a reflection of my leadership. If things need to change, I need to change first.

12. I don’t avoid difficult conversations with those who are not performing to my standards.

13. I plan meetings to keep them short and effective.

Leadership Dart board

Sharp Leadership

14. I treat others how I want to be treated, with respect and dignity; this includes praising in public but expressing displeasure in private.

15. I am open to new suggestions and receptive to bad news.

16. I don’t hog credit and kudos but attribute them freely to my team.

17. I regularly communicate mission and vision face-to-face to my team.

Are you being seen as a Leader

Are you being seen as a Leader

If you answered true to 10 or more statements, keep up the good work! You have developed strong leadership skills.  If fewer, you may wish to hone your leadership skills with a coach.

Contact Sunrise Business Advisors for your complimentary Leadership Excellence Assessment Preview (LEAP). Thom Torode is a Morris County based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is also a licensed facilitator and co-principal for Elevate Your Leaders in NJ. 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.

Sunrise Business Advisors can be reached at 862-219-6890 or info@SBAnow.com

Author’s content used under license, ©  Claire Communications

6.5 Mindset Shifts for Business Success

Mindset Shifts for Business Success

Thom Torode, MBA, CBC, CEC

Mindset concept in tag cloud

Mindset and Attitude = Success


When I started down my career path to helping business owners, one of my mentors gave me the book: The Little Engine That Could “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”  Interesting choice as I look back, I had owned 5 different businesses was a senior manager for a fortune 500 company and had helped hundreds of people with their sales and careers by that time. In reality, he expressed later was the reminder of who I was and how I could make an impact on the mindset of others lives.  It was also a reminder to teach others what even children’s characters will attest, a winning mindset is a trait to adopt. It attracts happiness, health, fulfillment and success. But what is a mindset, really?

What is Mindset?

Consider these questions:

  • When faced with a new challenge do you react confidently?  Do you believe that with effort, practice, & time you can succeed? Or do you question your abilities, motivation and talent?
  • Do you view failure as part of the journey? Or do you avoid new challenges in order to protect yourself from potential embarrassment?
  • When you are faced with setbacks and criticism, do you rethink your strategy and persevere? Or do you give up and just cut your losses?

Your answers to these questions give insight into what type of mindset you may have.

A mindset is your established set of attitudes that are based on their assumptions. These assumptions predetermine a person’s reactions to and interpretations of any event, environment or situation.

Whether positive or negative, a person’s mindset is engrained, habitual and affects all aspects of his or her professional and personal life.

Is Your Mindset Working to Your Advantage or Holding You Back?

In her book Mindset Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck identifies two general mindsets: fixed and growth.

Fixed Mindset
•   Talent and intelligence is static
•   It’s better to avoid challenges
•   It’s okay (even preferable) to quit before failure
•   Effort is pointless
•   Ignores useful criticism and feedback
•   Views success of others as a threat

Growth Mindset
•   Talent and intelligence can be developed
•   Embraces challenges to grow
•   Failure is an opportunity for learning
•   Effort leads to mastery and success
•   Uses criticism and feedback to improve
•   Finds inspiration and learning from the success of others

It’s easy to tell someone to develop a growth mindset, but, if mindset is so deeply engrained, how does a person change it? Here are six ways to begin:

Six Simple Mindset Shifts to Improve Success

  1. Embrace failure instead of avoiding it. The faster the failure, the quicker the learning. Before starting his auto manufacturing company, Henry Ford failed at his first several businesses. What would the industrial landscape look like had he given up after his first try? Remember, embracing failure also means success can arrive that much sooner.
  2. Think abundance instead of scarcity. When it comes to spending money on self-improvement, many people resist due to cost. But clients and customers are attracted to people who believe in and value themselves. Instead of thinking of personal growth as an expense, think of it as an investment in your future.
  3. Embrace challenges. People who have a mindset of “growth” realize that challenges are just opportunities in disguise, and they choose to actively seek them out.
  4. Use setbacks as learning opportunities. No matter how thorough the plan, no matter how well-executed the details, obstacles will surface. Besides, who can predict with any real accuracy what setbacks will occur? Instead of wasting energy trying to prevent the unknown, why not just face obstacles as they show up?
  5. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes the best opportunities for personal and professional growth come from leveraging harsh criticism and negative feedback. How well do you listen to your customers’ and clients’ complaints?
  6. Stop re-inventing the wheel. Instead of resenting successful people for what they have accomplished, look to them to learn how they did it and turn that to your advantage.                                                                                                                           6.5 Have an accountability person to keep you in check.

Incorporating these simple mindset shifts will go a long way to help you towards business success by building your self-confidence.  Its amazing how a growth mindset “I think I can”, changed to “I know I can” coupled with strategic action can help you increase your productivity and fulfillment.  Let us know how these mindset strategies work for you.

Are you a highly motivated leader but struggle navigating the corporate environment? Do you wish you could lead with authenticity and more confidence? Would you like to break through to the next level? Go to www.actuateperformance.com or www.ElevateYourLeaders.com for free articles, information on private coaching, sign up for a 30-minute complimentary session.


Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications