By Jacki Hart CLP
Is it still May? If so, congratulations! This means that you are taking a few minutes away from your hectic pace and endless to-do list, to work ON your business rather than just in it.
The Prosperity Partners program at LO is now off the ground, and fostering better work-life balance and business management for 95 business owners around Ontario. These hard-working folks made the time this past winter to attend the Prosperity Partner introductory seminar. In this full-day workshop, I teach business owners the importance of, and how to, work ON their business, rather than just in it.
The seminar offers a great toolbox for training yourself to ask better questions of yourself and about your business, and help to bring focus and clarity about what your business is, where it's going, what it will need and when. We also use a helpful tool to determine which skills you can provide to your business as it grows, and which skills your business will need as it progresses. Herein lies the gap in most trade businesses: the owner tries to 'do it all' without the proper training, passion or interest in 'doing' everything a prosperous, profitable business needs to have in place and managed well in order to operate successfully.
As a result of this gap, many owner/operators get overwhelmed with all the management and planning details of the business, because they are so hands-on in the field. Late nights trying to prepare quotes, invoices, correspondence and schedules become the exhausting norm; forget about having a healthy work-life balance.
The Prosperity Program is all about teaching the business management and planning skills you need to close the gaps, and open up your personal time. I use relevant examples from my own 16 years spent building a successful business — the painful, hard, self sacrificing way — so that you don't have to. Rather than trying to take business coaching and principles from a consultant from outside of our industry, this program is developed for us, by us and delivered by us. The Prosperity Partnership is relevant, portable, painless and easy to incorporate, one step at a time.
The feedback on this program from our Prosperity Partner businesses is OUTSTANDING. Here's just a few of the comments I've received:
"Thank you so much for creating this program, sharing your experiences and offering your insight. I am certain it will be helpful for many people. It was a pleasure to spend the day listening to you and very insightful to work through the follow up questions you left us with."
Daniel Shoag, Thornhill
"Thanks for your excellent advice, when I first came into this field there didn't seem to be much in the way of business education/support for start-up companies. Your presentation was 'spot-on' and you are an excellent business mentor."
Susan Potvin, Toronto
"Thank you for your wonderful presentation. Your seminar has provided me with inspiration, some new ways to use old business tools and new ones — a day ABSOLUTELY well spent."
Wolfegang Bonham, Burlington
"We were impressed with the vision that was needed to put a seminar such as this together and I would say that it was certainly the most productive of seminars I have ever been to for my business, and I have been to MANY."
Raffy and Marcello, Elite Concrete Ltd, Toronto
"I enjoyed everything you presented and I will be taking the next step to spend more time on this. I have never seen this type of initiative before. This seminar is a very unique opportunity for the members of this industry (as long as my competitors don't take the course! LOL)"
Enviromasters Lawn Care Company
These are just a few comments from a long list of participants for whom the introductory day seminar has helped move their business toward the next level.
Watch this space next month, and www.horttrades.com, for the dates of the newly developed follow up seminar, Best Practices for Prosperity. This second seminar will be open only to companies who have completed the introductory prosperity seminar. We will include a list of best practices for the five pillars of prosperity (Professional Operations, Financial Health, Sales Success, Leadership and Developing Customers for Life). These best practices will be discussed and brainstormed for your own business with your peers, and much more.
Also, the upcoming dates for the introductory prosperity seminar will be announced here next month and on the horttrades website as they become available.
Jacki Hart is available by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.