Monday, December 15, 2008

Send Napoleon Hill Ahead to Prepare the Way

With all of the negative in the news today, it is sometimes hard to envision positive outcomes for the year ahead. I was talking about this problem with my good friend Ron Hoestery and he shared something amazing with me. With his permission, I am copying the note he sent me for all of you to read. Think about Ron's message and see how it changes your plans for the coming year.

To my friends,

As you know, there are a group of guys I meet with each Tuesday morning that sit as a kind of Board of Directors in my life. This morning we made the first of our plans for next year. I wanted to share the first goal with you.

"Next year will be the best year of my life regardless of the circumstances I am in"

Napolean Hill was a famous motivational speaker during the depression and through the war years of the 40's and early fifties. He would always send his positive side of his mind ahead (he called it Norm Hill) to make things happen before he got there. For instance he speaks of a time when he was demonstrating this principle to a friend as he was going to the bank. His friend said, "Napoleon, you know there won't be any parking at the bank at this time of day." Napoleon replied, don't you worry, I sent Norm Hill ahead to make sure we had a spot." As Napoleon recounts as they pulled up, a spot right in front opened up and they pulled right in. I have found this principle to work when I am going to meetings or uncomfortable situations or any circumstance when there is uncertainty to prepare my mind for success regardless of the outcome. It is interesting that when this principle is employed, the outcome is usually better.

So, using this same concept, we have decided that we are going to have a great year and find those things, activities, and perspective that will make it a great year whether or not we are making money, losing money, living high on the hog, or looking for the hog.

Thanks for all of your continued support and friendship.

Ron Hoesterey

Source: (Kevin Kragenbrink) Back to Denver Business Advice

Advice for Setting up Your Business

Are you thinking about setting up your own business? Have you an idea for a new business but are unsure about how to proceed? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, this article could be of benefit to you. I am going to write about how to plan and create a successful small business.

Many people are looking at ways in which they can become self-employed as they have had enough of being dictated to and fed up of long and frustrating commutes to work. They want the freedom of being their own boss and to be able to choose their own hours of work.

Leaving a full time career can be quite a scary prospect however. The security of having a regular income and other benefits such as a pension and a share save scheme can seem hard to let go. I am sure many people whether rightly or wrongly have opted to stick with this security and to merely keep their business plan as an idea, which they never see through or use.
Other people are willing and happy to take the risk and see it as a way of getting out of the rat race.

When you have an idea for a new business you then need to think of a name to call it. I would keep this name quite short as it makes it easier to remember for people. It obviously needs to have something to do with the business sector you are entering.

You will now need to work out how much money you will need to set up the business. This can be quite daunting but is essential. In the short term I would advise to keep these start up costs as low as possible, you can always buy or rent better machinery in the future as an example.
Once you are aware of how much money you need, you then have to find it. You may have enough yourself via savings or a redundancy payout, however most people are not in this position. If you do not have enough money, you could try and raise money via the family, by seeking a partner or by releasing the equity from your house. There is also the option of a business loan.

The next stage is to market your product or service. There are many ways of doing this including:
  • The internet via a website
  • An advert in the newspaper
  • Direct marketing in the form of leaflets
  • An advert in the yellow pages
  • Exhibitions
  • Trade fairs
  • I would advise finding out where other people from your industry advertise as they will have tried and tested many of the above options.
  • Speak with a Business advisor or business coach in your area to help develop a business plan

You then need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. I always keep these charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many people as I can and to get some income in. I then hope that word of mouth will take over and the idea is that after a few months I will be in a position to increase my fees.

It is also important to realise that we will make mistakes along the way. When this happens we need to think positive and not to beat ourselves up. It is an experience we can learn from.
Always have belief in yourself. At times any business will go through a rocky period, this is when we need to be strong. In my opinion the more work we put in, the more rewards we are likely to obtain.

Self-discipline is one of the keys to your success. Being able to choose your own hours of work may seem like a dream but it can prove to be many peoples downfall. We have to ensure that we work the required amount of hours. It is far too easy to stay in bed for that extra hour or to arrange yet another game of golf. These things are fine once you are established, but this is a long way off at this stage.

(Source: Steve Hill)

Home based Business Advice

Here is some helpful business advice for the individual starting a home based business:

People may start a home-based business for several reasons. Some of these reasons include dissatisfaction with their employment, being jobless, having a wish to be their own boss, or a need to spend more time at home with either their small children or aging parents.

The first thing to remember while starting a home-based business is to be realistic in your expectations from the home based business. There are too many advertisements of home based businesses that boast of making quick money, but in reality, it actually takes between one and three years to make a significant profit from the business.

People who want to make fast money or who think they can start a home based business without spending any money until earning some money should not venture into the small home based business arena. Another piece of advice for home based business entrepreneurs is to spend time as much time possible researching their business idea by making sure there is enough of market for your product or service.

Learn as much as you can about small business by going through the various small home business sites. As with other jobs, it is better to write a business plan and to earnestly stick to it. Seeking the advice of a tax professional is very important in a home-based business. Although this activity may seem a bit expensive in the beginning, you will certainly make up for this expenditure by the different forms of savings you will be taught by the tax professional during the tenure of the home based business.

(Source: Kent Pinkerton) Back to Denver Business Advice

Monday, December 8, 2008

The BIG 10 Questions that Could Change your Business

by Life & Business Coach Dieter Pauwels October 17, 2008

Successful organizations understand that the key to increased productivity and profitability lies in the ongoing professional and personal development of people.

These companies create an environment where people can grow, develop their unique talents and align their values with a corporate vision.

Your answers to the following 10 questions might illuminate some areas for improvement:
  1. What is your level of commitment to the personal development of your staff?

  2. Do you know what motivates and inspires your staff and/or employees?

  3. What are your company’s vision and core values, and how do you communicate them within your organization?

  4. Are you confident your top people will be with your organization 1 year from now? How do you know?

  5. If you would be asked to rank your leadership skills on a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rank yourself? How confident are you with your answer?

  6. How do you empower your staff or employees to help them co-create your company’s culture?

  7. Does your organization inspire creativity and open dialogue?

  8. Are you getting the results you want?

  9. Do your managers and/or employees have the necessary tools, skills and commitment to help others develop their true potential?

  10. What do you want more of within your organization? What’s missing?

More and more companies hire a business coach to work with individuals or teams within their organization to facilitate changes within the context of the organizations’ culture to achieve extraordinary results.

Business coaching is focused on individuals, not business systems. It allows you to move your organization to the next level by investing in your employees at the highest level: in them as people.

Coaching is about developing the most important aspect in business today: leadership from within. It is only when people can effectively manage themselves that they can effectively manage, inspire, encourage and lead others.

Companies hire a coach to work with individuals or teams within their organization to:

  • Improve individual performance and self confidence
  • Increase effectiveness and productivity
  • Establish open dialogue and creativity
  • Improve communication skills (interpersonal and negotiation)
  • Retain employees
  • Align personal values and beliefs with a corporate vision
  • Create a leadership attitude
  • Gain clarity to make objective and thoughtful decisions
  • Assist in developing measurable goals and taking responsibility
  • Improve time management
  • Build leadership, management and team building skills
  • Manage work related stress
  • Increase energy and overall well-being

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thinking about 2009

written by Kevin Kragenbrink

Wow, it is hard to imagine that 2008 is almost at its end. It has been an incredible year. An economy in turmoil, a presidential election of historic proportions, and a greater degree of uncertainty than I have seen in the business community in more than a decade of business coaching. Despite all of that, I am optimistic about next year. I have a plan in place that I think will help me reach new heights with my business. Speaking of plans, I wanted to talk with you all about how you are developing yours for next year.

Here is a planning principle I hope all of you have in mind.

Plan from the Vision Back

Over the years we have helped hundreds of businesses develop strategic business plans. Along the way we have seen some of those plans produce tremendous success and some of them fall far short. The difference between success and failure is often where the plan starts.

In my experience, the most successful strategic plans start with the vision and plan backward from there. Those that fail are most often those that start with what happened in the past and try to build on that alone. Here is the problem, if your plan is based only upon what has happened, you are always limited by what you know you can do. You will plan to grow or change only in comparison to your accomplishments in the past. You may indeed grow in this way, but you are not likely to reach your potential.

Think of it like climing a mountain. When you start out you fix your eyes on a distant peak that you want to reach. Along the way your path will take many twists and turns. You will likely find that sometimes you have to down or back before you can continue your climb up and forward. Still, if you keep your sights set on that peak, you will always know where you are headed. If, on the other hand, you turn and look back and try to decide your next move based on where you have been, you will not be able to set a clear path. You may gain a sense of accomplishment and pride from what you have already done, but that will not get you to the top of the mountain.

When you plan from your vision back, you change the process completely. Vision in business is about your potential regardless of obstacles and roadblocks. It is about that future level of accomplishment or success that creates and sustains your passion and gives your team something to work toward. It is that mountian peak that you believe you can reach even though the entire path is not yet clear. When you start your planning with this in mind your plans define a path to that vision and gives you the tools to make the right decisions along the path.

Here’s a tip: As you prepare your next strategic plan, take the time to review your vision. Make sure that everyone on the team has a clear idea of that vision and talk together about the path you will take to make that vision a reality. Now ask the question as you develop each piece of the plan, how will this contribute to accomplishing our vision. If you make every part of the plan meet this standard, your plan is much more likely to be effective and your chances of success will be the highest they can be.

Of course, I also want to encourage you to plan with your business coach alongside. Remember that your business coach is a valuable asset who can help you expand your perspectives and see that mountain peak with greater clarity. They can act as a guide along the path, helping you to avoid pitfalls and wrong turns because of their experience. You don't have to go it alone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Six Reasons to Work With A Business Coach

By: Estrada Strategies (Kevin Kragenbrink)

1.) Create higher profits while spending less of your energy and time in the business.
You already work hard. Sometimes too hard. Working with an Estrada Strategies business coach will introduce you to tools, strategies, and ideas to keep your bottom line growing even as you discover ways to reduce the amount of time you spend in the business. Your business coach will use encouragement and accountability to motivate you and your team to work smarter for peak performance.

2.) Build your systems for more consistent business operations.
Estrada Strategies business coaches are experts in systems development strategies. Your Denver business coach will help you understande each of the "Core Disciplines of Business" and show you how to develop systems to make sure that each discipline is operating just as it should.

3.) Build your team.
Building a great business means recruiting, training, and keeping a great team of managers and employees so that the business runs at peak performance even when you are not there. Your Estrada Strategies business coach offers you tools and techniques for all of the team building systems you need to create and keep the best people.

4.) Learn to Successfully Navigate the Ups and Downs of the Economy.
Keeping up with the changes in your market and economy is critical for the small business owner. Your Business Coach will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business and work with you develop strategies to use both to your advantage as the economy changes around you. The Denver business coach at Estrada Strategies helps you focus on what you do best and plan to do it well no matter what.

5.) Create Accountability.
Your business coach will hold you accountable to your goals and objectives when no one else will. The Estrada Strategies "Coaching Journal" will help you establish a list of priorities tasks and initiatives to keep your business on track and your Estrada Strategies business coach will be there with you to make sure that you and your team stay focused to get it all done.

6.) Discover New Ideas for Growing and Strengthening Your Business.
Your Estrada Strategies Denver business coach has a wealth of business experience to you brainstorm to find the most effective way to improve your business and help you plan how to make the changes you need. Your Denver business coach is also part of a network of professional business coaches that they can call on to multiply the ideas available to make a difference in your business plans.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Denver Small Business Startup Consultant

Starting a business of your own in Denver can be daunting, but there are always ways of getting help for yourself from small business consultants. It is actually while starting up your own business, big or small, that you realize that you need some professional help to not only guide you along the way but also to give you professional business advice on a host of other things.

• Starting a small business or a home based business can be an exciting prospect until you come to the sobering realization that you're expected to know everything.
• Know the pitfalls and avoid them. Work smarter and harder only the latter will get you no where.
• Research the competition to ensure your business image and services can be stacked up accordingly.

These Denver business consultant firms often apply their greater business ideas and resources as well as experience to give the small business owner a unique edge. The relationship hence grows from becoming a short-term small business adviser to a long-term consultant partner.

• Since you spend so much time working at your business that you don't have the time or the energy to learn how to work on your business. That's where a business consultant can help you.
• You need some one whom you can trust as well as be able to give you unbiased professional advice.
• Business consultants show you how to start a small business the right way and avoid critical mistakes that almost every new business owner makes.

Some of the immediate effects of small business startup consultants that we see around us are abundant, those like providing support for your computer systems in the long run, saving you time and money by increasing the longevity of your systems apart from saving the time of your other personnel, it also helps in reducing the cost of running an IT operations. In the areas of Internet business, small business startup consultants help provide you with specialized knowledge of diverting higher traffic towards your web site.

• The best method of improving your ranking in the search engines is by applying the methods of search engine optimization to your website.
• A good website design needs to be easy for human visitors to understand; moreover it should also be intelligible for the search engine robots that visit your site.

You could actually make a jump start ahead of your closest competitors, while even competing with larger corporations, which have on-site support staff, you also have the freedom to divert your staff to the actual work they are skilled to do while others look after things that need not be done by the core group. Apart from that you gain the expertise of business specialists, wherever and whenever you need it, without the cost of additional staff.

• The Denver business consultant helps you with behind the scenes matters, too. From presentations, proposals, and office forms to contracts, certifications, etc. So that you outdo the competition, attract new customers, and project an image of confidence.
• Efficient operations, professional design, consistent communication, effective marketing, and improved revenue opportunities are some of the tailored made benefits to your small business.

Contrary to opinions which warn you about cost control, the presence of a small business consultant can actually help you increase your productivity and let you enjoy what you like doing the best. Putting together a winning combination of management consulting and a self-devised entrepreneurial outlook, the small business startup consultants can be your X factor in this widely competitive field.

The Importance of Seeking Business Advice

Aligning yourself with a trusted business advisor is one of the most valuable pieces of advice that anyone can give you. Entrepreneurs are by nature mavericks—--daring, inspired, “idea-people" with the grit to overcome extraordinary obstacles. They are visionaries who are empowered by an innovative idea, a passionate drive to set out on their own, and a burning desire to succeed. This independent, pioneering spirit is not only the power that drives entrepreneurial innovation, but it is also the perennial Achilles heel for entrepreneurs seeking the help of others.

Perhaps, the biggest mistake many entrepreneurs make is seeking business advice from a professional business advisor only when they are in trouble! A truly proactive entrepreneur surrounds himself with talented people, has a realistic vision, and is able to communicate his vision. Successful entrepreneurs bring in advisors to help them architect the future, chart a course, and stay on track when things are good, not just when things are bad. If you’re starting or jump starting a business, the importance of assembling a team of business professionals cannot be overstated.

Succeeding in business demands a proactive rather than a reactive approach. Seeking business advice is a good thing --- it is proactive, rather than reactive. The key to entrepreneurial success lies in the ability to plan, implement, execute, measure, and adjust. It is very difficult, in most cases, for an entrepreneur to accomplish all of these on his own. Having an impartial advisor--not an emotionally invested friend or family member—--can be an asset. Choosing a general business advisor is a serious decision. It is important that you select a business advisor who is competent, experienced and has both integrity and expertise---an individual that you can trust in this newly formed fiduciary relationship.

There are no hard, fast rules for making the decision to engage a business advisor. However, certain commonalities in business situations suggest the possible need for the advice of a business advisor:
  • Management believes that performance could be better, but is uncertain on what steps to take to achieve these improvements.
  • Management does not have the specific knowledge and skills necessary to solve the problems that it has identified.
  • Management has the necessary knowledge and skills, but not the time or personnel to solve problems.
  • Management’s efforts have not produced the desired long-term improvements.
    Management requires an independent, third party opinion, either to confirm a decision or to provide alternatives.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Estrada Strategies - Mike Tafoya Bio

Mike Tafoya is the owner of Estrada Strategies-Denver Tech Center, LLC, a business leadership training and coaching center located in Englewood, Colorado. Mike Tafoya is a proven leader in the community and successful entrepreneur. For 25 years Mike has set the standard for excellence and achievement as a leading salesman, a proven manager, and a successful business owner and leader.

In the 1980’s, Mike pioneered multiple territories for a well know San Diego based window company. Through Mike’s sales and marketing efforts doors where opened throughout Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Louis Obispo Counties. Mike laid the ground-works that led the company to increase its revenue base from 12 million to over 40 million over a five year period forging the most successful period in the company’s history. Mike’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of his clients and a spirit of perseverance has been and continues to be the basis for his remarkable success.

After spending five years in upper management for a medium size sub-contracting firm, Mike acquired a small almost defunct glass contracting business in Santa Ana, California. During the next eleven years, through strategic planning and tactical execution Mike took a failing, insignificant company and turned it into the one of the leading Southern California glass contracting firms serving all of Southern California. During his post at the helm Mike’s efforts as a leader led the company to increase revenues over ten times its original sales and generated profit margins unheard of before in the industry. Mike’s commitment to strategic planning, leadership initiatives, innovation, systematic processes, and information technology were keys to his success.

Mike’s passion for business is exceeded only by his passion for people. Mike’s personal vision is “Building Lives…Building a Future…” and Mike is committed to living his life by his vision. Over the past ten years Mike has taught and mentored hundreds of individuals in life and business leading them to a greater personal satisfaction and greater fulfillment in there businesses. Mike is committed to helping people to be all they can be in life and in business.

Mike currently calls Castle Rock his home with his wife Sharon where he enjoys playing golf, riding his horse and taking care of their five acre spread. Mike and Sharon love to visit their two grown sons who live in California and who are establishing themselves in their own careers. Mike’s goal for the Denver business community is to establish himself apart as a friend, a leader, and to be a respected business mentor paving a road of success for all business owners, and community leaders.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

7 Reasons Businesses Fail

What is the business survival rate? Statistically, roughly 66 percent of new business survive two years or more, and 40 percent survive six years or more, according to the study "Redefining Small Business Administration. Further, companies that have employees (instead of one-man shops), college educated owners, and those that have good financing tend to survive longer. Also supported by the numbers in the study, manufacturers overall have a better chance of staying alive compared to service and retail firms. With this information as a backdrop, i've compiled a list of seven causes of failure from personal experience and informal discussions with local business owners. Hopefully, we can learn what not to do and increase our odds of survival!

1. Failure to understand your market, your customers, and your customers' buying habits. Two easy questions: Who are your customers? And why do they spend their money with you? You should be able to clearly answer in one or two sentences. Customers are the only people that put money in your account. Without them, you will not survive.

2. Failure to understand and communicate what you are selling. You must clearly define your value proposition. What do you do that can help or benefit me? Once you understand it, ask yourself if you are communicating it effectively. Does your market connect with what you are saying?

3. Inadequate financing. Cash is king. If you don't have enough cash to carry you through the sales cycles and downward trends, your prospects for success are not good, when businesses go looking for lenders to provide that cash, they quickly find that funding sources are finicky and difficult to please.

4. Failure to anticipate or react to competition, technology, or other changes in the marketplace. It is dangerous to assume that what you have done in the past will always work. Challenge the factors that led to your success. Do you still do things the same way despite new market demands and changing times? What is your competition doing differently? What new technology is available? Those who fail to do this end up obsolete.

5. Overdependence on a single customer. Pay attention to your revenue sources. If you have a customer that is providing a majority of your income, ask yourself what would happen if they left or went of business. Where would you be? Whenever you have one customer so big that losing them would mean closing up shop, watch out. Having a large base of small customers is a safer beat.

6. Failure to define your product/service offering. Trying to do everything for everyone is a sure road to failure. Spreading yourself too thin diminishes quality. The market pays excellent rewards for excellent results. Excellent results come from doing what you do and doing it well over and over again.

7. Poor management. Management of a business encompasses a number of activities: planning, organizing, controlling, directing and communicating. The cardinal rule of small business management is to know exactly where you stand at all times. A common problem faced by successful companies is growing beyond management resources or skills.

If you are struggling with any of these business problems, I would highly suggest seeing a Denver Business coach or advisor. They can help you get back on track which is key to the survival of your business. I would recommend using Mike Tafoya, of Estrada Strategies located in Englewood. He has helped many business owners in Denver not only improve their business but grow their business greatly.

Business Consultant with New Approach Arrives in Denver

Written by T.P. Beh

“You can’t sell. Your business isn’t worth anything,” were the startling words Mike Tafoya received from his business mentor. How could that be, after he had turned a failing Southern California company around, making it into a multi-million dollar success story in just five years? What kind of counsel was that from a wise, trusted advisor? “You are the business, Mike,” he said, “Without you, it doesn’t work.” With those words, the lights began to go on, launching Tafoya on a new career path that would eventually land him in Colorado.

“What I came to realize,” Tafoya says, “was that my business was completely dependent on me.” Needless to say, Tafoya’s goal of selling the business for enough money to retire would have to wait. The stark reality of his situation forced him over the next three years not only to come to grips with his company’s deficiencies, but to take an entirely new approach as a business owner. With his mentor’s help, his redefined career goal became building a self-sustaining business that was profitable and thriving (which he could sell for enough to retire). In the process, he discovered Estrada Strategies.

Tafoya’s destiny in business became clear early in life. A Colorado native born in Pueblo, his family moved to Anaheim, California when he was a young boy. From the age of 12 he was busy babysitting, gardening and selling subscriptions for the Orange County Register, taking his first “real” job at 16 at a stained glass business, The Glass Hopper. By the age of 18, Mike had established himself as a successful real estate agent with one of the largest realty firms in Southern California, buying eight apartment units along the way. At 20, he was able to purchase the Glass Hopper, which he operated for four years.

Tafoya next took a marketing and sales position with WindowMaster Products, a San Diego window manufacturer, where he pioneered business for the firm in most of So. Cal’s largest counties. Due largely to his marketing efforts from 1984-1989, the company grew from $12 million to $50 million in sales. Upon leaving WindowMaster, Mike became the product and operations manager with a small glass installer in Mission Viejo, Heinaman Contract Glazing, helping the sub-contractor grow from doing $3 million to $12 million in business over the next five years (’90-’95). During his time at WindowMaster and Heinaman, Tafoya gained valuable leadership experience in employee management and coaching.

In October 1995, Tafoya became the owner of the struggling Richelieu Glass Co., changing its name to RGC, Inc. and multiplying its sales more than 10 times from $287,000 to $3,000,000 over the next five years. Having achieved a fair degree of success by the year 2000 at age of 43, Mike was hoping to do other things when he was smacked in the face with his mentor’s, “You can’t.” It forced him to take a hard look at the extent—and limits—of his business knowledge, experience and resources. Faced with problems he didn’t anticipate and couldn’t solve himself, Mike says he did what most entrepreneurs and CEOs do: “I hired a consultant.” Fortunately, he eventually introduced Mike to Reuben Estrada, owner of a business development firm, becoming a client of Estrada Strategies (ES) in 2001.

Rather than the kind of “quick fixes” provided by most consulting firms, ES offers clients a fully developed, long-term, business solutions program centered on training, coaching and mentoring. While companies commonly seek help with specific issues they have in, say, management or administration, ES focuses on modifying the perceptions and behaviors of the business owner. A guiding principle: “If you fix the business owner, the business fixes itself.”

Mike soon learned that one of the prime deficiencies at RGC, Inc. was a lack of what ES calls “a defined culture”—no clearly articulated connection to the passion and purpose of the business as well as rules of conduct or behavior, outlining the what, why, how, who and where of the company’s operations. As Mike now informs others, “Without defining these areas, there’s really no leadership, and the company lacks the ‘fuel’ it needs to drive the business.” Instead, it leads to conflict and chaos in the workplace. It also makes it almost impossible for the business to be self-sustaining, or to operate independently—much less to have real value.

The second piece of the puzzle ES helps businesses put in place are systems. “A company that isn’t systemized has little impact,” Mike states. Systems, including Growth, Client Retention, Administration, Operations, Information Technology and Finance, provide an operation with self-sustaining structures. Creating such an infrastructure allows a company to establish benchmarks for evaluating employee performance and to identify practices that lead to increased profits. As Mike puts it, “It helps the owner see the business from a higher plane, where he’s able to achieve measurable results, identify efficiencies and empower his employees to greater accomplishments.”

The Estrada Strategies program enabled Tafoya to put lacking systems in place at RGC and to define its culture. Once that was done he promoted his sales manager to V.P. of Operations and established a mentoring/reporting relationship with him, freeing Mike to be on site only half a day a week. Within two years, RGC had become a self-sustaining business that went from $287,000 to $3 million in profits, which enabled Tafoya to realize his goal of selling it with enough to retire in 2005.

Taking a year off to pursue personal interests and to focus on individual growth led Tafoya to “define the culture” of his own life. Realizing that over his 30 years of business experience, his true passion was people and that what he loved to do most was help others be successful, he came up with: “Building Lives, Building a Future.” From there it was an easy step to becoming an ES franchise owner. Moving to Colorado in 2007, Mike settled in Castle Rock with his wife Sharon and serves the Denver and South Metro areas.

Asking, “Do you know?” at his presentations, Tafoya likes to relate these kinds of statistics on new businesses from the federal government:
· 97% of all fail within 2 years
· 52% with employees fail by year 4
· 57% start with less than a $5,000 investment
· Only 20% of business owners have a college degree

As described by Estrada Strategies, “vision (another thing lacking at most companies) is an almost unattainable dream that serves as a driving force in the business.” It might sound unrealistic, but Tafoya’s is: “Turning the tide on the business failure stats in the Denver area.” Who knows? Natural that he is, with 30+ years of experience, he might just do it! He can be reached at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why Hire A Business Coach

Today there is a growing knowledge of the term business coach. Not many years back, very few people were familiar with the term or exactly what one did. More familiarity was in terms such as business advisors and business consultants. Even though these terms are often put in the same category as coaching, they are not the same.

When you think of a coach what comes to mind? Is it a sports coach? There is soccer, football, softball, baseball, basketball, to name a few. Professional sports people are very familiar with the benefits of coaching. Most today have one on staff or seek out guidance on various occasions.

What are some benefits of hiring a coach?

  • Coaches through encouragement and accountability get their players or clients to work harder for peak performance.

  • Coaches enhance performance through more effective methods or skills they learned or figured out for themselves.

  • Coaches offer realistic assessment of where you are and how to improve.

  • Coaches help to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and help you focus on what you do best.

  • Coaches help you brainstorm for ideas for needed changes and help you plan how to make the change.

There are a variety of coaches for all areas of your life. There are life coaches, organizational coaches, business coaches, sport coaches, executive coaches, career coaches; you name it and you can probably find a coach to suit your needs. The greatest commonality with all of these types are their goal is to help you reach the greatest potential in the area of focus.

The most successful people today either have had a coach or a mentor in their life. Having someone to guide you in the direction of your goals and give guidance for success is one of the greatest decisions a person can do for self-improvement. With the abundance of coaches available today, some things to be aware of when searching for one:

Compatibility-when speaking and spending time with the coach you should feel comfortable and able to speak openly.

Professionalism-is the coach credible in the fact they are competent in the area of your focus and able to bring knowledge, skills, and good advice? Do they have references?

Listening skills-are they a good listener? If your first conversation, phone or in person, is one-sided and mainly from them you may want to consider interviewing others. It is the coach's job to help you find your inner wisdom while giving guidance and advice but they can only do this if they are listening effectively.

Most Denver Business coaches offer a free introductory session to alleviate the fear of taking the next step and working with them. Take advantage of the offer and seize the opportunity to see if you are ready to be coached to reaching your ultimate goals.

Business & Executive Coaching

What are the trends for Denver business coaching or executive coaching in 2007? Are you prepared for these changes?
  • As a business coach or executive coach, did you know:
  • Face to face coaching is the preferred method of delivery by 44%
  • Email coaching is quickly fading and use by less than 10%
  • Executive coaching from bottom up accounts for 92% of all coaching services
  • Private pay clients drive 8% of the coaching revenues
  • Executive coaching in person is more effective by 70% compared to phone coaching 30%
  • Person to person coaching increases rates up to 80% compared to phone coaching
  • One third of HR professionals do not view coaching as credible
  • Leadership or leadership development accounts for almost 50% of all coaching
  • Senior management accounts for 25% of coaching
  • Bi-monthly meetings are becoming more popular than weekly meetings
  • Client contact should be at least 10 clients a week
  • Between 25% and 45% of the Fortune 500 companies use coaches
  • 73% of all coaches make less than $10,000 in their first year
  • 53% of all coaches make less than $20,000 a year
  • 30% of all coaches have never been able to find 10 paying clients
  • Only 9% of coaches are currently making more than $100,000 a year coaching
  • Coaches who have been in business over 5 years earn $300/hour
  • HR professionals report $215 hourly rate for coaching

Business coaching yields a proven return on investment ranging from 200% to over 1000%
These trends are important because the face of executive coaching is quickly changing. If you can provide results driven solutions that can cascade throughout the organization where ROI is quickly achieved and is sustainable, then your practice should grow in 2007. However, if you are still relying solely on telephone coaching, trying to reach HR professionals or focusing on non-leadership issues, then your practice may greatly suffer.

Maybe now is the time to revisit your strategic plan and make the necessary course corrections to your marketing plan and sales plan along with all supporting WAY SMART goals. With this industry growing at 40% annually, these changes cannot be made quick enough.

Mike Tafoya is a Denver business coach and executive coach with offices in Englewood and near Denver. Mike writes, speaks and coaches people in businesses to quickly double or triple results through the creation of an executable strategic plan along with the necessary leadership skills "to pull it off."

Why Do I Need A Business Coach?

Written by: Dennis Lauritsen

"Genius without education, is like silver still in the mine"...Ben Franklin

A Business Coach or Business Mentor is an Internet Marketing Success necessity. Especially when doing Affiliate Marketing. In this oftentimes overwhelming giant Internet Marketing "thing" we are all part of, you will reach a point (and probably, the sooner the better) where you going to say to yourself. Damn, I'm lost. I need help. What do I do now? WHO can I turn to for advice?...

A real Mentor, and Business Coach!
"Of the Small Businesses that fail, over 90% do so because of a lack of skills and knowledge on the part of the owner" ...Dunn and Bradstreet

Lack of skills and lack of knowledge on the part of the owner! Believe this, no one can learn all the skills needed there is to learn on their own about successful Internet Marketing, including you and me. There are just too many critical areas to master. We all need a trusted friend and confidante to guide us in "the big picture", following the right path to success.

How many times have your seen something like this "I read this book that changed my life! You can buy it here..." Uh Huh. Right.

Every Newbie and every Success Driven Internet Marketing Entrepreneur needs some level of Mentor Training or Mentoring Program to guide them in at least several specific areas. A Business Coach or a Business Mentor should be used for each element of your overall Business Plan.

The reason I say several, even the Big Name Gurus don't know everything about everything. They share whatever their area of expertise, (insider secrets) are with other Gurus. A sort of Business Coach to the Gurus, if you will. Cumulatively they create A Force of Marketing Power and knowledge that is unequaled.

You need to tap into that kind of power to be become wildly successful.
"Strong enough alone, you are not" ...yoda

There are many wannabe mentors that try to take advantage of their "one hit wonder" projects that made them (or someone else) money fast, (plagiarism runs amok in the web), then they try to sell you a "How I Did It" software for $7- $197, it may have worked for them once but...this is not a Mentoring Program!

These are not the Business Mentors you want to learn from.
"Quality results only come from trusted, quality resources"...yoda

The real Business Mentor or Denver Business Coach that you need to learn from, is a highly experienced professional businessman, an authority that's "been there done that, time and time again" a real Guru willing to prove it. A real successful million+ dollar a year Guru that is willing to share their timely insider secrets, wisdom, solutions and methods to help you evolve to authority status.

They will become your friend and confidante, your Mentor, your Business Coach.
Think about this for a minute.

Did your high school football team have a Coach? Would there even be a team without a Coach?
Would you start a new auto dealership without advice from the manufacturer on how to sell and service your product?

-Does the President of the United States make all those decisions without Advisors ?
-Did your daughter learn to play the piano without a piano teacher?

This same principle applies to your Small Business Plan!

"I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work"...Ben Franklin