Most business owners are likely feeling a tad beaten up at the moment.

Lots of uncertainty around their people, their customers, their finances and what the future holds too. It can feel like a battle, with one hand tied behind their back.

A zoom meeting or a call with their trusted advisor, their accountant – YOU - is an important timeout for all your clients.

So, are you doing what a good corner man/woman would do in a boxing match?

A boxer has a 1-minute timeout between boxing rounds. That’s when his or her corner man/woman works their magic.

There are parallels with what you’re doing with your clients in their timeout conversation with you.

Attributes that help a good corner man/woman:

  • The corner man/woman must have detachment from their boxer
  • An unwavering devotion to the boxer’s well-being
  • Watch every characteristic of his boxer’s performance
  • Examine every detail of what the opposition are doing

Fran Sands penned this article that made me think about the support and guidance business owners need fighting their corner with them.

It’s a tough ask...

It’s a tough ask being a psychologist, an emotional intelligence master, strategist and master tactician! This is what happens in every time out.

Here’s a few gems lifted from Fran Sands’ article. See what you think about his comments and how they relate directly to what you do to support your business owners in their time of need.

Each time you read ‘boxer’ think ‘business owner client’:

“...maximize the intake of oxygen by the boxer. Correct, controlled breathing is a must and a good corner man will ensure that this is done. Deal with any bleeding.”

Your clients are making decisions about their business on a daily basis. For these decisions to be well-made they need up-to-date financial information about the cash, profits and future of their business. Are you working with your clients to ensure they always know how well their business is performing and what their forecasts look like? Help them make decisions fast (stop the bleeding) when the management information shows early signs of ‘bleeding’.

“...a good corner man does not show blind support to a boxer. This should be left to the supporters in the crowd. A good corner man remains objective and does not become emotionally involved in the fight.”

You’re there for your clients as a sounding board not a cheer leader. Sometimes this means you must challenge what your clients think, not just respond to their every whim and want. As an example; perhaps they think they have enough cash resources for their immediate needs, but you might want to challenge them with a longer-term view and propose they get an overdraft in place, to fund their future working capital needs?

“ the frenetic cauldron of a boxing match it’s not entirely surprising that the ability to retain information is diminished. Remembering a couple of pieces of advice is manageable, remembering more than this is wishful thinking.”

Your conversations with clients are brief compared with the monthly or quarterly workload each client deals with. A long list of decisions and actions will get lost in the heat of battle. Instead work out with your clients the one or two (maximum three) things they should focus on from your meetings and calls. As the saying goes ‘less is more’.

So, three things maximum:

  • For good decision making provide up-to-date and meaningful management information
  • Challenge your clients thinking
  • Limit your insights to 2 or 3 important and valuable decisions/actions/next steps

Your clients need a great corner man or woman.

Check out Fran’s article if you want to review it in detail.

For more on helping clients make winning decisions check out this 4-page report. You’ll discover how to:

  • STOP making big decisions the way they’ve always been made (too risky)
  • START by widening your options before you make a decision