Paul & Alet Marais started their 1-2-1 coaching relationship for a different reason:
After working with Elsa for a few years now, I realised that this testimonial is perhaps way overdue.
When we started working with Elsa, our business was small – we had only 4 employees. My husband, Paul was the be-all and end-all of the business. He did quotations, most of the production work, he did the deliveries and collections himself, he was attending to HR and the employees, he did the finance and overall management of the business. I was just there – the boss’ wife with no defined job function or responsibilities. We approached Elsa to help us with our leadership style and assist us to become the Business Owners.
Elsa’s 1st focus was to get systems in place. When you buy a franchise you think that you will have all systems and procedures in place, but we were in for a big surprise. There was so much more that we could do to streamline the business. We kicked off with job descriptions for each team member. We made sure that each team member understood what their function was, we encouraged them to take ownership and we held them accountable for their performance. It was then when we realised how much Paul was in fact doing – tasks that could easily be delegated to members in the team.
We decided to buy a delivery vehicle and employed a driver which has immediately leveraged Pauls’ time to focus on what needs to be done to grow the business. The one thing led to the next and today, 3 years after we started coaching we employ 12 people in permanent positions.
Elsa always pride herself by the fact that her USP is the fact that she is a female coach, but I would rather say it is because of who she is. She cares for her clients and sometimes get personally involved with the family if she knows that that is what needs to be done to help the business grow. She is always available should we need her and she makes sure that the right questions are asked to get to the right solution.
As if the business growth and improvement was not enough, Elsa also helped us to achieve our dream of attending the bi-annual Minuteman Press conference in America during 2015. To top it all, we had the privilege of taking our family on a 3-week extended holiday during this period. Since we bought the franchise, it was on our bucket list and never thought that it would be possible. Elsa helped us to do the necessary planning and by focusing on business growth, we were working towards it – needless to say that hard work and dedication to our coaching program has paid off.
When it comes to the investment you need to make in getting a coach to help you, the most important decision is whether you are prepared to put in the effort. You and your coach will every week decide specific actions that must be taken in between coaching sessions and as long as you are committed and dedicated to what you want to achieve you will see change happening in your business, which makes the investment worth every cent. Elsa works with you to decide what are important now and understands that circumstances change in every business which sometimes require a change in focus.
Because we realise that your business is only as good as you as a business owner can become, Elsa also worked with us on various philosophies, that not only changed our business around, but it also our mindset to having a more positive outlook on life.
I will always be grateful for everything Elsa has brought to us personally as well as to our business.
Ancella Ramjas, Down Syndrome South Africa:
I’m writing this letter as a personal reference for Ms Elsa Groenewald, whom I met through the
number one business-coaching firm, Action Coach. Down Syndrome South Africa being a non-profit
organisation was introduced to Elsa our business coach as part of her “Coaching for a Cause”.
We are four months into our coaching sessions and it has been a powerful journey of discovery,
Elsa’s dynamic personality and professional approach has challenged us to think beyond charity and
to start seeing our organisation as a business. Her steadfast dedication and commitment to steer us
on path of business realisation has been exciting and mind changing.
Non-profit organisations are finding it extremely difficult to secure funding in this current global
economic climate, working with Elsa has enabled us to better understand our purpose, our
organisation and the leverage that is needed when approaching potential donors.
Being coached is one of the best investments that we could have made and my team and I can’t wait
for our bi-weekly sessions. Her coaching technique has yielded some very positive results in that we
landed a very successful funding project and I have grown both as a leader and as an individual, into
a more focused and confident person.
Should you be considering taking on a business coach, Down Syndrome South Africa can confidently
assure you that taking on Elsa as your coach would be the best investment you ever made.
Ancella Ramjas – National Executive Director
Bianca of Cara Creations started her ActionCLUB membership with excitement and anticipation.
She was at a point of “ready to run away” because her business was running away with her. Bianca’s order book was growing so much, that she could not keep up. She was everything to everybody and did not have an organised daily schedule to help her be more focused and more productive. Her business was doing well, so well, that she worked long hours – quite often during evenings when she actually wanted to spend time with her husband and 4 year old son. Her biggest concern was that she was loosing out on valuable hours she could spend with them, and time lost can never be regained. Bianca started to feel guilty, the more she felt guilty, the more stress she brought onto herself. She could not see what she should be doing to fix this, as she was so close to the problem, always busy killing fires, that she was in a rut of “get the work, do the work, deliver the work”. Tomorrow she would start again: see the prospect, get the work, do the work, deliver the work, with no time to assess her situation and not being in a position to make the right decisions.
I asked Bianca a few questions around her coaching experience:
1) What was business (and life) like before coaching?
Before coaching I did what I could do and thought i was doing my best, I did not know what I did not know. I also did not have the time to figure out what needed to be done next. During Bianca’s coaching program, she learnt how to prioritize, how to plan her day better and schedule the different tasks at hand in order of importance. She learnt how to understand her financial reports and are now able to interpret the numbers, which allows her to make better informed decisions. She also realised that her business is doing quite well and that she can in fact afford the so needed extra pair of hands who can do the menial tasks, while she spends time on the things that she should be focusing on as a business owner.
2) Bianca, What is it like now (the improvements you experienced)
I now have more structure, better planning, setting of goals and I have testing & measuring in place to see what happens when I do what I set out to do. During our coaching relationship, we realized that she is just human like any other business owner and we all go through ups and downs in life – be it business related stress or personal. We experienced challenging times when a rude customer would pass nasty comments, or her child was sick, or if she through her busy schedule missed an appointment, and I was fortunate to support, carry, pull and push her to be the best she could be.
3) And what is it like being coached?
It is like having someone else really and truly caring about you and your business. Having a cheerleader cheering you on and celebrating your progress and every goal & dream reached is as important to them as it is to you! I am happy to say that it was a real privilege to have walked this road with Bianca, her exceptional commitment resulted in personal as well as business growth and I could watch her walk off with lots of knowledge and know-how to grow her business even further.
4) Bianca, What would you say to someone looking at coaching – especially about the investment. It is hard work, time consuming but so worth the investment ! You get the best advice out there and you can keep them liable for the advice but also know that you will have someone that can kick your butt if you do not do what you said you were going to do, making it harder to back out thus reaching your goals and dreams faster. You get knowledge of the business side that you never knew you needed!
Elsje Botha, Prism Environmental Management Services:
1) What was business (and life) like before coaching Business consisted of long hours, overloaded management with some employees under performing at best. Many after hours and weekends were spent at the computer catching up on projects that needed to be completed urgently, as the saying goes: putting out fires, rather than running a business.
2) What is it like now (the improvements you experienced) More direction to the destination of the company growth and end-goal. Systems in place to test and measure profit, performance, customer returns and even weekly cashflow. There is still a heavy workload – but this should be addressed within the next 3 months.
3) What is it like being coached Direction, vision, clear guidance and an independent view. A coach is someone who will tell you what you are doing wrong and congratulate you on what you are doing right. And then, show you how to do it even better
4) What would you say to someone looking at coaching – especially about the investment? The expense is a large one, but the rewards will make up for it. Whether it is in financial gain or more time with family and friends, you will definitely reap the rewards. And, who does NOT want to see their business grow?! Coaching is a guaranteed way to achieve that.
We at AA 1 Stop Plumbing (Pty) Ltd had the privilege of being coached by Elsa Groenewald from Action Coach.
This was honestly an eye opening experience and one that I highly recommend to ANY Business! If I think of life at work before Action Coach, I remember a Business that was doing well and growing but there were definite cracks starting to show inside. Elsa made us realize that while things were looking great from the outside, inside things were not so organised. Structures were not in place, staff did not have clear job descriptions. We were just feeling our way through each day.
Elsa came in and immediately pointed these things out, life in the office became more structured. Staff became more productive as they had clear instructions of what to do. To be coached was extremely eye opening. Things that you think you know, Elsa somehow managed to make you realize that there is so much more. Elsa gives you a new way of thinking; she helps you think outside of the box, she makes you think about the small things.
Since Elsa left we have come to realize how much better our time management is. By helping us install structures, and giving relevant advice on how to grow the Company by getting better. For me personally, she enabled me to free up time so that I can spend more time on the Business and not in the Business.
Both the Business and my Personnel’s life were taken to the next level.
I would highly recommend Elsa – POSITIVE RESULTS ARE GUARANTEED!