Sunday, March 18, 2007

Leveraging Business Partnerships

A growing scope of my work this year has been in the area of coaching business partnerships. Leveraging the amazing tools created by the Centre for Right Relationship (the wonderful partnerhsip of Marita Frijhon and Faith Fuller) and their training in the area of Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching, I am seeing outstanding results for business partners I am currently coaching.

Are you looking to create or enhance your business partnership? What could be available if focused more on your relationship with your business partner?

A few weeks ago, I ran a 50 hour business planning course with Business Students who are putting together their first business plan. It was a team effort where students work with at least one partner. One of the many themes which emerged from this work is the challenge created by working with a business partner. What skills do you bring to the table? How do these compliment your partner? Where are the gaps?

Challenges aside, partnerships provide a rich space for opportunities and greater scope than ever working alone. If you are currently working solo, what would a business partnership provide for you? What could you do that you are currently not doing alone?

If you are interested in exploring these issues further, I would like to invite you and your business partner to try a sample coaching session by phone. My goal for the first quarter was to offer free coaching sessions to over 50 partners. I am now more than three quarters of the way through this process. If you would like to book a 45 minute sample coaching session with your partner, please email me at with Sample Business Partner Coaching in the subject line, along with two or three times you are available to undertake the session. Please also indicate the timezone that you are in.

I will also be looking for a business partnership to coach on the evening of Saturday March 24th from 8-9 pm (EST) by phone. If you and your partner would like to reserve this spot, please email me with March 24th in the subject line.

Stay tuned for many more posts related to business partnerships. I look forward to hearing from you,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized

Jennifer Britton is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and is the founder of Potentials Realized and Integra Enterprises. Jennifer weaves together her sound business acumen with expertise in HR, group and team development, to support individual, team and executive clients in not-for-profit, governmental and corporate clients across North America and Europe.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What's in a business plan

I had the pleasure of running a 50 hour Developing a Business Plan course over the last few weeks which led to the development of 15 new business plans by participants. The course has launched some really innovative plans - from golf courses, to restaraunts, to a financial service firm, to a tailored concierge services, to a Muskoka based resort.

This post is the first of many I will be posting on the ins and outs of business planning for small business.

The Nuts and Bolts of Business Plans
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved.

If you are a small business owner, what's the status of your business plan? Is it still collecting dust on the shelves, or do you consistently refer back to it?

Business plans are not only a useful tool for leveraging needed capital, but they can be an invaluable tool for business owners. A business plan should be a living, breathing document, which is regularly updated and referred to.

One of the most common questions I often receive when coaching business owners is, what should a business plan include?

Typically, a business plan should include the following sections:
* Table of Contents
* Executive Summary
* Business and Management Overview
* Marketing (which includes the 4 Ps - Price, Product/Service, Promotion, and Place (Distribution), industry analysis, and market review/research)
* Location Information for the Business
* Personnel Requirements
* Legal Requirements
* Financial Requirements

As each industry and business is different, the skeleton of the plan will look slightly different.

If you are in the process of developing your own plan, or revising one, which sections are most challenging for you to work on? I'd love to get your comments and will create new posts based on your questions.

In future posts, I will delve deeper into some of the areas of the business plan which can be of interest to any entrepreneur or small business owner. Stay tuned for future editions - including marketing, product/service offering, market research, industry analysis.

For all business owners out there, here's a challenge: What one thing can you do this week to revive your business plan or move your business plan forward?

Looking forward to connecting again soon on this issue,

Jennifer Britton, CHRP, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Are you a transumer?

Once and a while I come across a new term and go - Wow! This is so cool. Over the weekend while reading the Toronto Star I had such a moment with the word "transumer".

Some of you may know from my posts that I spent over a decade working as a global manager, and for several years my life and work consisted of a lot of travel -- and I mean a lot of travel, sometimes 180 working days a year on a plane or in a hotel room. As a manager with staff in 10 countries it was very common to have days when I might wake up in one country and go to bed that night in my third country of the day. It was really fun -- for quite some time before the allure of power travel and plane delays took its' toll. After almost a three year hiatus of power travel, doing only an international consultancy here and there, my thoughts of travel have been forefront in my mind recently, so this article on transumerism was very timely.

Trendwatch defines "transumer" as ,
"TRANSUMERS are consumers driven by experiences instead of the ‘fixed’, by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible.* Hey, the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the 'now'.
Trendwatch recommends you read Gilles Lipovetsky’s Hypermodern Times for a deeply insightful take on consumers' pervasive obsession with the here-and-now. "

This weekend's article in the Toronto Star, "Transumers buy on the fly" describes how transumers are modern day nomads, collecting experiences rather than product. They cite Canadian companies such as Roots serving these clientele.

The article hit quite a few chords for me, especially as I realized that my once-nomadic lifestyle is more common than expected, and my shopping patterns "on the fly" are not unusual. Even now my "home base" is still pretty fluid. When I share how we divide our time between Toronto and Muskoka, there often is a longing in people's voices -- how do you do it? Well, for me it really was an intentional decision, and after working in the international development sector for so many years, for me experiences are truly more powerful than goods.

I'd love to hear your comments -- are there any other transumers out there? What's your favorite experience? How has this shaped your life? Your work? Your family? Looking forward to hearing from other transumers out there!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com