The Elements

By Andrea Schlapia   |   September 29, 2015

The Fundamentals of Business Coaching

Categories: Blog, Business Development

The Fundamentals Of Business Coaching

There’s both good news and bad news for small businesses operating in the United States. First, the bad news. Approximately 543,000 new businesses start each month; there are more businesses shutting down vs. starting. Seven out of ten new firms survive at least two years, however, only twenty percent will remain viable past the five year mark. The National Federation of Independent Business Education Foundation reports that over the lifetime of any business thirty percent will lose money.

Now, the good news. There are ways to help secure the longevity of small businesses in the marketplace. Large corporations are fortunate to have plenty of resources to address challenges, but that’s not the case for small business owners. Enlisting the help of a business coach provides an avenue for small businesses to fill the void and flourish.

What Is Coaching?

Coaching is an intentional function where active interaction takes place with business owners and employees to identify and focus on what’s important to accelerate your success.

Consider coaching as a management style rather than a tool. Integrating coaching into management systems helps align unique skill sets and competencies with overall business goals and objectives.

The Value of Coaching

Many businesses don’t feel the need to hire a coach.  My response is, “Would you expect any team to perform at its’ best without one?” Suddenly, the perspective changes and many questions arise.

Business coaches support professionals who desire major and comprehensive improvements in all aspects of their firm. Collaboration with a coach encourages breakthroughs in change, helps manage evolution, and supports the implementation of desired outcomes.

How Coaching Works

Coaching provides awareness within a firm and identifies areas in need of attention.  Firms with limited structures block progress in reaching and exceeding current goals, establishing new goals, and obscures the ability to identify new trends within the industry.  Limited structures also lead to a disengaged workforce which discourages commitment and desire to contribute to the business. Coaching can foster a culture to encourage growth, awareness, responsibility, and development to remove stumbling blocks that prevent a firm from true success.

Through coaching, business owners soon realize they can improve performance and team motivation.   Most teams prefer a coaching-style management over the traditional command and control approach.

An effective coach will assess the big picture of your business plans, break them down into manageable milestones, and help you make modifications for positive and significant change by:

  • Assessing values, priorities, and goals
  • Designing focus goals
  • Collaborating with management and team members
  • Implementing a plan for change
  • Following up through accountability

Integrating coaching into your management system provides an independent perspective of your business. The results are new awareness, clarity, and inspiration. Moreover, coaching identifies key values needed to create a winning team. Holding each member accountable for their contributions and roles in the firm will solidify a successful coaching plan.

Some people say, I can’t afford to hire a business coach.  I say, can you afford NOT to hire one?

 “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be” – Tom Landry

Ironstone’s vision is to forge and guide the personal and professional lives of entrepreneurs and business professionals alike to realize their full potential. Coaching and consulting allows us the opportunity to form an environment where success happens and goals are reached.

The foundation of our Performance Coaching and Consulting Programs are based on Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™, which is essential to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid trial and error; shifting your mindset to launch your process of intentional change. [LEARN MORE]

To work with Ironstone or our affiliates, contact us at 1.800.917.8020, email us, complete our “contact us” form, or join the Ironstone – Financial Industry Professionals Practice Management Group on LinkedIn to start the collaboration.


Andrea Schlapia
Organizational Development and Human Capital

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life.

Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.

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