Spend 10 Minutes a Day on These 5 Actions for Your Coaching Practice

Daily planning

Do you start your working day wondering what you should be doing? Are you wandering aimlessly through your work life? If you want to work on your coaching practice in a productive manner, then this article is for you.

When I first started my coaching business, I was at a loss for how I should be spending my days. I asked myself, “What should I be doing today to grow my coaching business?”

Being no stranger to owning a business, I used my previous experience to guide me in becoming a productive coaching business owner by thinking about what I’d done in the past to make sure I was on track with my business goals. I wanted a process that wouldn’t take much time but with actions that would be meaningful.

Here are five things you can do daily in less than 10 minutes that will keep you moving forward in your coaching practice.

1. Create a Productive Mood

(1 minute)

Turn on music. Music helps one become more productive because it influences mood, which in turn improves happiness. In other words, everything is better with music. If your practice is located in an office, then classical music may be in order. If your office is private and you can shut the door, you can select whatever style of music that makes you happy.

2. Revisit Your Goals

(2 minutes)

Keep your annual goals on a 3-by-5 note card or on your iPhone Notes app (or other similar app). Review them daily. You should be able to recite your annual goals if asked what they are. Can you do that? If not, you may need to list your goals and review them daily. Then, consult your list of tasks that will help you achieve your annual goals.

3. Create your Daily Call List

(2 minutes)

Who do you need to call today? You should be following up with at least five prospective clients daily to touch base with them and let them know you are thinking about them. You can use this call to ask if they have any ongoing challenges, to remind them that you have an event coming up, or to find out what is going with them. You can also call past clients to check in with them and possibly suggest starting a new coaching program with you.

4. Consult your Marketing Calendar

(2 minutes)

Look ahead to what needs to be done for upcoming marketing activities. Planning your marketing tactics ahead of time is an intelligent business practice. Time has a habit of sneaking up on us, so planning your monthly tasks and events will help you to stay on top of building your coaching practice.

5. Create Top 3 Priorities of the Day

(3 minutes)

The reason most people don’t get everything done in a day is because they are unrealistic with what they are reasonably capable of doing with the time they have available to them. What are the top three things that NEED to get done today? When you reviewed your goals, what were the activities that needed planning?

You can do these five things in 10 minutes each day to remain focused on the most important tasks that you need to complete daily, plus the things you should be keeping an eye on for the future. Building a coaching business is all about being intentional and focused on the key activities that will lead to success.

Suzanne Muusers headshotSuzanne Muusers is a Financial Advisor Coach and a Business Plan consultant for independent financial advisors. Suzanne helps her clients grow their income, expand their skills and rebrand their careers. Suzanne is passionate about the coaching industry and how it changes lives. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @prosperouscoach.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

3 Simple Steps to an Emergency Plan for Your Coaching Business

emergency plan checklist

In following with my previous article about contingency planning to keep your business running, this piece details the three steps you should take to write an emergency plan for your coaching business.

1. Be Prepared

Preparedness is the rather clunky term used to describe how ready you are to act if the worst happens. Specific action you need to take will depend on what disasters or emergencies you are likely to face. Your local climate will have a big impact. If you are in a hurricane zone, you will need to put different plans in place from those made by people who regularly experience blizzards, for example.

My father lives in a village which floods most years. There is a quaint little pub by the river that has hooks along the walls. All the glasses and bottles behind the bar are stored at shoulder height. When a flood warning comes, they hook up the furniture. Once the water subsides, they hose everything down and open up again. It’s rudimentary but effective.

Your government or local authority will almost certainly have done much of this thinking for you. It may even have training or advice prepared for small businesses. Preparedness really is about thinking through scenarios that might impact your work. This might not directly do with your own office building—a chemical spill in the neighboring street may still mean you have to evacuate, for example. It’s worth considering what response you’d need for fire, extreme weather, medical emergency, pandemic or security threat.

2. Check your Communications

When I get a power cut, my fancy phones don’t work. I bought an old-fashioned, plug-in type to overcome that problem, and then, too late, I realized my numbers were all stored in the digital phone memory.

It may sound basic, but it is worth creating a list of key clients’ and colleagues’ numbers as well as numbers—including your account numbers—for utility services like gas, electricity and water. Keep a printed copy in places like your car or home.

Your emergency plan needs to include protocols about who to inform and when, who makes decisions and how they are cascaded. If you work in a shared building, have a conversation with the management team about roles and responsibilities. Get to know the security desk and make sure your co-workers know who the first-aid responders and fire officers are.

For those of us with clients attending our workplace, our plans need to include visitors. What systems are in place to account for everyone in the building? Before a plane takes off, the safety announcement includes a demonstration of the emergency exits. We should be as careful with anyone who is unfamiliar with the layout of our workplace.

Also bear in mind that in major emergencies, mobile phone and Internet networks can be affected. Local radio stations still serve an important community service at these times, both for helping you communicate and for keeping you informed.

3. Practice your Plan

My friend in New Zealand has regular earthquake drills at her work. You may have a legal responsibility to do fire or other drills in your office block. But what if you work from home? It’s worth taking time to think through how you can easily and safely get out. The general advice is to think through two evacuation routes; some local fire brigades offer a home-visit service to advise you.

The emergency scenarios we are thinking through may not directly affect us: a security alert causing traffic delays or an outbreak of food poisoning at our client’s offices. We can and should still plan for their impact where possible.

Our ICF Core Coaching Competencies encourage us to “dance in the moment.” With that flexible yet mindful approach, we can develop plans that allow us a sense of safety without fear and being prepared without being worried. Thinking through planned solutions, knowing our systems and protocols allows us to focus on our main role as coaches.

Mary Anna WrightMary Anna Wright Ph.D., PCC works with coaches from around the world, helping them develop their businesses and deepen their coaching skills. She runs regular mentor programs that support coaches applying for ICF Credentials, and she also does some coach supervision. Her coaching focuses on leadership development, particularly for communications managers in the nonprofit sector. Five years ago, Mary Anna left a successful PR career in London and moved to her family farm in Donegal, Ireland. She was welcomed by ICF Ireland and is a past President of the Chapter. Learn more at www.maryannawright.com.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.