There’s a lot of buzz lately about small business. Start-ups, entrepreneurs, artisans – how many of them really know how demanding starting one’s own business is, or that they have to stay flexible, that they may have to adjust their original plans? Staying flexible and responsive to customer feedback demands staying alert to how customers are responding. Being responsive to customer feedback might mean the difference between a business’ success and a business’ failure. Developing and keeping customers or clients who will tell others about a product or service is what all successful business, big or small, is all about. Creating that audience is no small task, however, and it involves innovative thinking, dedication, and persistence. A small business owner has quite a lot to pay attention to, and the list of what is most important has more than one item on it. It can be easy to get discouraged, to feel, in spite of a great business idea, that it’s just too hard.
Sounds like what many small business owners could really use is a coach, and that’s where Ian Watts steps in. Ian Watt’s business is SB Dream Coach, A Small Business Dream Fulfillment Company, and he offers a valuable service to small business owners. Like a great athletic coach, Ian is “a motivator, a reminder, a nag, and a teacher.” If you are serious about starting a successful business, and if you understand that a successful business demands hard work, then Ian is the coach for you.
THE COACH IS TRAINED
What great coaches have is wisdom derived from personal experience. Ian is no exception. Ian grew up in Detroit in a family with a lot of personal and financial challenges. As a young man, Ian saw business as his way out of this tenuous situation. At 19 Ian bought his first house, and then another. He did well for a few years, very well. At his peak Ian owned a 10,000 square foot house in Oxford. And then, as many of us remember, the bottom fell out of the real estate market. Ian lost his home, several of his family members died, his wife was having a life-threatening pregnancy, and he had lost his health insurance. Ian and his wife were able to move into her father’s home in Grandmont Rosedale, they found a doctor after a great deal of searching, and his wife had a healthy baby girl. Today Ian and his wife have their own home in Grandmont Rosedale, their baby girl now has two little brothers, and Ian’s business is doing very well. Ian knows he was fortunate in many ways, but he never forgot how far he had fallen. He also realized what he should have done, how he could have saved his real estate business, but, as he says, “I simply didn’t know.” This is the impetus behind Ian’s SB Dream Coach business: “I want to be what I didn’t see. I can provide the coaching I didn’t get. The best teacher is lack.”
There are a lot of details to starting a small business, and Ian can point an entrepreneur in the direction to complete these necessary steps, but what Ian specializes in is providing business owners with the sometimes tough, always necessary encouragement and guidance to respond effectively to customers and to move the business in the direction toward success. “Will is most important,” says Ian, “the grit to stay in it” is essential and also Ian’s specialty. This grit is also why Ian has chosen Detroit as his place to do business. Like Ian, Detroit has seen some pretty hard times, but neither Detroit not Ian have ever given up.
SUCCESS AT THE GRAND RIVER WORKPLACE
Ian applies his intentional energy to his own business as well and it has paid off. SB Dream Coach is expanding. Ian currently has three Dream Fulfillment Coaches and will soon hire more. Ian is a Grand River WorkPlace member and he takes full advantage of the office amenities the WorkPlace offers. Like many current and former members, Ian chose the WorkPlace as his place to do business because of the convenience and because he did not need his own, large place to do business. However, also like several WorkPlace members, Ian’s business has done so well at the WorkPlace, he’s looking for his own building in Grandmont Rosedale. Ian may keep his membership at the WorkPlace though. “I love this space,” he says. “Besides, it’s a great place to stay connected to small business.” The coach lives what he trains. As Ian says, “It’s not enough to look good, you got to be good.” He really does sound like a great coach, doesn’t he?