We are running a blog series featuring small business owners in multiple niches and industries. It is our aim to help facilitate connections and raise the visibility of small business owners around the globe. COVID-19 caused many small businesses to pivot and retool to sustain a profitable business. Sharing lessons learned will strengthen us all! Today we’re excited to introduce you to small-business owner, Daniel Brown. Daniel Brown is a business coach and consultant with Green Arrow Coaching and Consulting.
What is the WHY behind your business? What motivated you to get started?
Having been an auditor for a number of years and worked in the accounting and finance department of different organizations, I was able to get a really deep understanding of how businesses function and what makes them work and what challenges they face and some ways to overcome those challenges. I decided there was a real need for small businesses and solopreneurs to have access to this type of support to structure their business the right way and grow their business in a way that will allow them to not only achieve their goals in business but also create the life outside that business that they dream of.
What I really love is when I am able to work with a business owner and see them having "a ha" moments as we implement things into their business. My vision when working with someone is to be their co-pilot on their business journey. So this means that we discuss everything in their business (thus my tagline - I get up in your business because that's my business), but they are in complete control and make the decisions. I mean it's their business and so I see myself as a sounding board, someone that they can bounce ideas off of and can bring fresh perspective and new ideas to them that could change the trajectory of their business. At the end of the day though, it's up to them as to what they want to implement, how fast they want to implement these things and whether their focus for our time together each month is on implementation or problem solving a challenge they are dealing with right at that time. The worst feeling for a business owner is to feel trapped / stuck or unsure of how to proceed which can all lead to less than optimal decision making which can really hurt the business. Not just in terms of the immediate impact to the business in terms of potential cashflow hit, but also to the psyche of the business owner. As most of your readers know, being a business owner is not easy and the issues of self doubt and lack of confidence can have a hugely detrimental impact on them personally and professionally. If I can help them navigate these waters and avoid some pitfalls then we can make the journey a smoother one and less of a roller coaster of emotions which is a huge reason I decided to use my background to help solopreneurs and small business owners take the next step in leveling up their business with clarity and purpose!
Did COVID impact your business? If yes, how did you pivot and overcome the challenges?
Yes it did. I found that a lot of potential clients were impacted by the shut downs and the changes in the economy - the uncertainty mostly. As a result they were reluctant to invest in a coach or consultant during that time. I thought them being able to access the PPP would help open up the opportunity to start or continue a working relationship, however for most business owners the funding they were able to access from the PPP was not sufficient to offset losses in income they experienced. During this time I re-evaluated my service offering to further dial it in to ensure that I knew exactly who to work with and how to work with those business owners to get them the most success for their business. Essentially I wanted to position myself to be ready to support business owners as the pandemic was winding down and so Q4 of 2021 was a real growth period for the Company and I'm excited to continue that growth in 2022.
What lessons did you learn that made your business more resilient and sustainable?
The biggest lesson for me was probably patience. It's hard as a business owner when things outside your control have an impact on your business. All business owners felt the pandemic to a degree - some industries much more than others of course - and so it was the change from face to face networking to online networking that was something that I had been doing previously but was forced to embrace during the pandemic. A silver lining for my business - and many other service businesses - was the incorporation of online meetings into the regular daily activities of many business owners which has made them much more open to working remotely with a coach/consultant.
Who do you serve and how do you help them? (what problem do you solve?)
I serve business owners at two specific stages of business. The solopreneur who is looking to build a team. They are feeling overwhelmed with doing everything and are reaching a capacity level when it comes to their hours available for clients which puts a cap on their earning potential, while also leading to burn out and often frustration with their own business. I help them to determine what the business needs in terms of team members and then we create a system to help them attract and bring on the right people to help them grow. When you are adding team members as a solopreneur, the first couple of people are the most critical to your success because you need to make sure you are able to support them with work, as well as making sure that the quality of work doesn't drop. This is a huge fear for many business owners is that they lose control of the work quality by bringing someone else into their business but the reality is that they are still ultimately responsible for the quality control piece of their business ... at least until they get comfortable with the work output of the team member. So there is some mindset shifting that needs to occur in this phase and success with the first couple of team members makes a huge difference to them embracing the building a team to build their business model.
The other business owner is the owner that has built a team of people to help service their customers. Often within a small team environment (20 or less) there are dynamics and factors that cause issues that if not addressed can lead to major issues for the business owner. The most alarming outcome is the loss of work due to poor quality or lack of responsiveness from a team member. Depending on what systems and processes are in place will determine how exposed the business owner is to this type of thing happening and typically I see it happening when they get past 2-3 team members and start to create that management layer for their business. I help them to identify these bubbling issues and either work with the individual to improve their performance/engagement or share some ideas and feedback with the owner to allow them to handle the next steps internally. That decision is up to the owner whether they want to have those conversations or ask me to do that. In doing this review there are almost always some process improvement recommendations that are shared with the business owner to help create greater efficiencies within the business while also identifying any gaps in the team skill set that need to be addressed.
Why/How did you select this niche?
As I mentioned earlier, I saw how businesses of all different sizes worked and what made some more successful than others and I knew there was a need within the self-employed world for assistance in getting what I call the foundational items of your business set up and strong enough to support the growth of the company. I want to work with people that want to build something that is life changing for them, their team members and their customers and so that means finding people with big visions that are just struggling to see the stepping stones to get them from where they are to where they want to be. Too often we see small business owners and solopreneurs closing their business and going back to corporate or taking a job with someone that doesn't fill them with joy and passion and my goal is to help some of those people that may be in that position to see different opportunities and create that path for them that helps them realize their goals in business.
What types of programs do you offer?
I work mostly 1 on 1 with clients but also offer group coaching programs. It's like the personal trainer at the gym. You definitely get benefit when you are in a group class, but if you want to make real strides to grow your business fast but in a sustainable way (for both the business - cashflow; workflow; and also for the owner - time management; stress; quality control) then 1 on 1 coaching is the way to do that and I really enjoy working with business owners (and their key employees where it makes sense) to help them see the path to reach their goals, and then guide them along that path offering encouragement, redirection when needed and helping them to learn how to manage their business in a way that allows them to enjoy the perks of growing a business through time off and earning potential. The group program is designed as an entry point for people that either haven't worked with a coach/consultant previously, or aren't ready to commit to the 1 on 1 coaching (either because of financial constraints or because they aren't ready to make big transitions within their business).
What kind of results can people expect from working with you?
When working with business owners 1 on 1 my primary goal is to set them up for future success. Typically I want to get them a 4x or greater return on their investment of working with me. Sometimes that happens in the first year and other times that is something that happens in the second or third year. It really depends on the stage of business they are at and how effective they are at implementing the action items from the Growth Plan. The overarching objectives depend on the individual business owner and so that is why a customized Growth Plan is the starting point; but typically those goals involve some combination of - work less hours; earn more money; enjoy the business and life that they are working to create. I want to hit all 3 of these topics when working with them either individually or as part of the group coaching programs. The real beauty of this approach for business owners is that the changes we make to the business are designed to help them out immediately and ongoing so savings or increased revenue or time creation are all designed to be recurring benefits for the owner.
How can readers connect with you and learn more about or support you? (share website, email, social links)
They can check out my website - www.greenarrowcoaching.com or they can send an email to me firstname.lastname@example.org or if they would like to check out a group coaching class I offer one of those each week on Monday mornings at 9am MT via zoom for free to help business owners think through specific challenges they may be facing, or more general questions that they may have around different aspects of business they can register by visiting www.greenarrow.coach