Tag Archives | coaching

Business Accelerator

See also:
Dilemma of Financing a Start Up Company
Why do most startups fail?
Financing a Startup

Business Accelerator Definition

The business accelerator definition is a program that includes mentorship, education, and typically a “demo day” where companies are able to pitch their business to the business community. This business community is typically comprised of potential vendors, investors, partners, and customers.

Start ups, early stage companies, or subsidiaries of existing companies participate in business accelerators to accelerate their sales, operations, and financials.

Business accelerators are either publicly or privately funded. Publicly funded accelerators are funded by the government. They typically do not take any equity. But they generally focus on a specific industry – including biotech, fin tech, med tech, and clean tech. Whereas privately funded accelerators are funded by private entities. Because there is a higher risk for the investors, they typically take some equity or provide capital as debt.

Regardless of the type of business accelerator, it’s important to note that they are highly competitive. Application processes are usually extensive as each accelerator needs to protect their reputation – the companies they “pump” out.

As an introvert, business accelerators can seem daunting, but it is great networking place! Click here to download our Networking for Introverts Guide.

Purpose of a Business Accelerator

The purpose of a business accelerator or accelerator programs is to grow young companies by nourishing them with the support, connections, and knowledge they need to be successful. Many times universities will have an accelerator program to monetize the intellectual property created. Likewise, governments will host these programs to fill a gap in their initiatives.

Should You be a Part of a Business Accelerator?

Now that you know what an accelerator can do for you, should you be a part of an accelerator? It all depends on the size of your company, whether you need further mentorship and coaching, and if you are preparing for a round of financing.

Need to Mentorship & Coaching

Many of our clients don’t realize how valuable mentorship and coaching until they become coaching participants in our Financial Leadership Workshop. Mentorship and coaching can help further your network, your product, your process, and your brand. They provide a non-filtered, un-biased support that, while may sometimes be harsh, will help further your company.

Preparation for Financing

If you are preparing for your Series A, seed capital, venture capital, or angel investment, it’s important that you see all your options. As more companies are starting up, you will see the investor pool growing. Just because you know only one Angel investor now does not mean that is your only option. Accelerators help connect the right investor for your company to you.

Business Accelerator vs. Business Incubator

One question we get often is, “what’s the difference between a business accelerator and a business incubator?” A business accelerator can often last anywhere from a couple weeks up to a year. Whereas a business incubator holds companies from a year up to several years. An incubator’s goal is to develop a successful company, so until they are ready to fly, they continue to incubate them.

Need guidance in networking and taking advantage of your business accelerator experience? Download your free Networking for Introverts guide and start building your network today.

Business Accelerator

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Business Accelerator

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Demand for Talented People: Addressing Employee Turnover

Working with clients over the years, it seems as though we’ve seen every employment trend come then go. Then they come back around again.  When the economy is bad, talented employees will stay in a less-than-desirable situation. Conversely, companies begin to tighten their belts and reduce headcount.  When the economy improves, these folks start looking for greener pastures and the demand for talented people increases. Especially as unemployment levels fall and economic forecasts become more optimistic, many of our clients are finding themselves in this situation.

The Demand for Talented People

A recent Robert Half & Associates report, The Demand for Skilled Talent, discusses what’s driving this demand for talented people.  Following are some of the contributing factors highlighted in the report…

Shortage of Candidates

An 18% increase in job openings from April 2013 to April 2014 has given talented people more opportunities to find the right fit.  Even better news for college-educated employees, job growth for degreed positions is projected to be significantly better than for non-degreed positions.  With the growth in positions requiring a college degree, it’s likely to become even more difficult for companies to fill highly-skilled positions.

Employee Confidence is Building

Voluntary separations are on the rise, up 19% over the last two years. This underscores the fact that employees are more willing to make a move.  With the increase in the demand for college-educated employees also comes higher salaries.  Average starting salaries for professionals are projected to rise 3.7% in 2014.  The promise of a bigger paycheck is motivating many talented professionals to explore their options.

Workers Are More Willing to Quit Their Jobs

As economic conditions improve, employees are more willing to take a risk on new opportunities.  The following chart from the report illustrates the growing number of workers who willingly left their jobs over the past two years.

 

Demand for talented people

 

Retaining Talent

Studies show that it can cost anywhere from 1-5 times the departing worker’s salary to find, hire and train their replacement.  This isn’t even considering the stress on an organization caused by the departure of key employees and the search for and assimilation of their successor. Given the current employment environment and the high cost and stress of replacing departed workers, it’s more important than ever to retain talented employees.

The Right Fit

One way to hang on to key people is to make sure they are the right fit when they are hired.  Too often, companies fill a position out of haste and fail to consider what the right person really looks like.  Click here for an article about hiring a star-quality team.

Temporary Employees

A trend that is becoming more prevalent in today’s companies is the use of temporary and contract labor.  This option is attractive to both employees and employers because both parties get an opportunity to “try before they buy”.  The risk of an employee being out of work when a contract ends is being mitigated. This reason for this is because of increased opportunities for contract assignments available to skilled individuals.

Offer Training or Coaching

Another approach to employee retention is to offer training and coaching for existing employees to help close the skill gap.  Today’s organizations are running leaner than in the past. So opportunities for mentorship within the company are often hard to come by.  Many employees possess the raw talent to be great team members. But they simply lack experience or soft skills that can get them to that next level.

Click here for the full text of the Robert Half & Associates report.

Download our free 5 Guiding Principles For Recruiting a Star-Quality Team to acquire the top talent.

Demand for talented people

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Demand for talented people

See also:

Is Employee Turnover a Problem
Employee Turnover

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Every Leader Needs a Coach

Every leader needs a coach. This person is someone who has helped you develop your individual skills, knowledge, and ability to better perform your job or given task. But no matter the profession, be it billionaire business owners, world famous athletes to the little league sports player, they are able to pinpoint a particular person who helped and advised them along their journey.

Every Leader Needs a Coach

Check out the following list of great leaders and their Coaches –

1. BILL GATES ( MICROSOFT)

COACH: ED ROBERTS (PC INVENTOR)

 

2. STEVEN JOBS (APPLE, INC)

COACH: ROBERT FRIEDLAND (IVANHOE ENERGY INC. FOUNDER)

 

3. WARREN BUFFET (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY, CEO)

COACH: BEN GRAHAM (FORMER OWNER OF GEICO INSURANCE)

 

4. KEVIN SYSTORM (INSTAGRAM)

COACH: ADAM D’ANGELO (QUORA)

 

5. TIM TEBOW (FAMOUS QUARTERBACK)

COACH: BILL BELICHICK (NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT’S COACH)

 

6. TOM BRADY ( QUARTERBACK NE PATRIOTS)

COACH: GREG HARDEN (ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR –UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN)

 

7. OPRAH WINFREY

COACH: MAYA ANGELOU

 

8. JAY STEINFIELD (BLINDS.COM CEO, AND STAR OF LAST WEEK’S BLOG ENTRY)

COACH: THE VISTAGE GROUP

 

9. MICHAEL JORDAN

COACH: PHIL JACKSON (FORMER BASKETBALL COACH)

 

10. BARBARA CORCORAN( REAL ESTATE MOGUL)

COACH: DARREN HARDY (SUCCESS MAGAZINE PUBLISHER)

What do CFOs do?

So what’s a CFO to do?  Many of us don’t have the resources to hire a personal coach, so do we have to forego the benefits of having a trusted advisor to guide us?

One solution is to find a coaching program that brings together several like-minded individuals under the guidance of one professional coach.  This approach allows individuals to not only reap the benefits of coaching at a lower cost than one-on-one coaching, but allows for the sharing of ideas among the participants as well.  In a sense, the participants become coaches for each other.

Do you have a personal coach?  If so, is it a one-on-one situation or a group setting?  What benefits have you seen from coaching? If you have been benefitted from coaching, then please leave your comments below.

For more information about our Coaching Program, click here.

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

leader needs a coach

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My First Day At Strategic Coach

The Strategic Coach is a program developed by an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a new student this year. We meet once a quarter in Chicago with 30 other entrepreneurs and learn how to spend our time better and create our companies to be all they can be, while finding a balance between personal and work life. I met so many wonderful people and am happy we will spend the next year together growing our businesses.

My First Day At Strategic Coach

I have pages of take-aways from my first class, but a few that I found important to share.

– It is important to get away and unplug to renew your mind, so you can really focus on your business.
– The importance of writing down your dreams and planning each day of your life. What I mean by that is nothing is too big and can not be accomplished without the proper plans. Until an idea comes out of your head and you write it down, it cannot be accomplished.
– Entrepreneurs are truly a different breed. Entrepreneurs are individuals who organize and operate a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so because they believe in their own capabilities.
– Life is so much bigger than work, with proper planning free days will come more often. Yes people… there is such a thing as a free day.
– Surround yourself with different people. A team made up of “Me’s” would spin its wheels.

I am looking forward to going back next quarter and seeing how what I have learned has grown our business, the future ideas that will come of it, and how it will help enrich my personal life. It will be exciting to see all the progress everyone else has made as well.

Take-Away

One of the take-away questions by Dan Sullivan who started the Program was “What is the single focus and activity that will keep you absolutely fascinated and motivated for the rest of your life?

I invite you readers to ask yourself that question, it may change where you focus your time. I know it’s a tough one, I am still pondering it….

One thing I know is that I am happy The Strategic CFO gets to work with Entrepreneurs everyday, it is far different than corporate America.

Thanks for following our blog!!

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

strategic coach

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Is Training an Expense or Smart Investment?

In an article based on a survey conducted by KPMG, Michael Cohn reports that most companies are expecting their training budget per person for 2013 to decline or remain flat. This may lead some to question how to categorize employee training.  Is training an expense, or a smart investment?  My view is that employee coaching is important to provide employees with new concepts and ideas. It is also important to give them strategies to become more valuable to their companies.

Is Training an Expense or Smart Investment?

We recently hosted a coaching workshop for CFOs.  During the class we asked the participants what they hoped to gain from the course. Some of the comments we received included:

  • To become a profit driver versus a cost center
  • More knowledge, skills, and tools to be successful
  • To gain a better focus on strategic thinking and planning
  • To be able to get past being a record keeper and contribute more to the operational success of the business

These comments show that employees truly want to play an integral role in improving cash flow and driving profitability for their companies. So why are most decision makers considering employee training budget cuts? Is the employee training budget looked upon as a function of sales or just an administrative expense? If an increase in the training budget per employee leads to increased profits and cash flow, then is it really an overhead expense or a smart investment?

Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Only 22 percent of corporate finance and accounting executives are satisfied with the training options available to their employees, according to a new survey by KPMG.
Companies were found to be just trying to meet the immediate needs of their employees,” said KPMG Learning executive director Patricia Maslov in a statement. “Companies are facing significant challenges in developing workforce capabilities within their finance and accounting functions to ensure they compete effectively in the years ahead, especially considering when the importance of keeping their staffs current on industry trends and regulatory issues. Budget constraints represent a significant challenge in meeting these objectives.

Read the full article here.

In order to determine which candidates are the right fit for your company, download and access your free white paper, 5 Guiding Principles For Recruiting a Star-Quality Team.

training

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Recruiting Manual Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan recruit the best talent as well as avoid hiring duds.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

training

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