“Without Tony’s coaching I would have been floundering around not knowing what I was doing. I would have been concentrating on the technical aspects of the business and nothing else. I wouldn’t have been thinking about building it up, or where I was going to build it to.”
Case Study: Allan Anderson
Summary of Case Study
After nearly 40 years in an unsympathetic industry which suddenly left him jobless and bitter, Allan Anderson made the most important decision of his career: he chose to venture out into the unknown and establish his own business in the biotechnology field. The challenge was how to transform himself from a humble technician into a successful business owner.
Allan took on Tony Lynch as his business coach and mentor over a 2 year period. Tony’s practical assistance and experience in building businesses up from nothing gave Allan the confidence and insight to overcome challenges and setbacks. Tony nurtured and developed Allan’s entrepreneurial mindset and gave him the skills and knowledge to move forward with his plans.
Since working with Tony, Allan has turned over something in the order of half a million dollars through his core business activity, and is now armed with a secure long-term plan that will lead him into an extremely comfortable retirement. He has established a solid business plan and production infrastructure and uses reliable forward planning and cashflow projection strategies to sustain and grow his business.
Full Case Study
From Backyard Tech to Business Owner: Allan Anderson
Establishing a profitable small business single-handedly is no simple feat. For Allan Anderson, it was a bold step into the unknown after nearly 40 years in an unsympathetic industry which suddenly left him jobless and bitter.
3 years ago, Allan found himself at a crossroads in his working life. Since leaving school, he had poured considerable technical skill into the biotechnology sector for minimal recognition and reward. Subsumed by large corporate entities driven by shifting market forces and economies of scale, Allan was a faceless technician with little creative control over the products he serviced and developed.
When his last employer was forced to shut down, Allan was left to make the most important decision of his career: would he return to more soulless work with another biotech company for the remainder of his working life, or would he take control of his financial future and test the true worth of his technical talents?
Getting into the ‘business business’
Allan chose freedom and the unknown, deciding to carve out his share of the market and establish his own business. But being a predominantly technical man with little business acumen, he began to realise the extent of the task he had set himself. It became clear that progress would not be made without some kind of professional assistance:
Allan enrolled himself in a host of self-improvement and business strategy courses and seminars, but soon discovered that what he really needed was one-on-one assistance and the undivided attention of a true expert – someone who had been in his situation and could show him “how to tighten the right nut onto the right bolt” and turn his business idea into a reality.
Through contacts he had made during his research, Allan met with Tony Lynch from Lynchpin Solutions. His first reaction was
“that this bloke seemed to know what he was talking about – as far as running companies is concerned, as far as building companies up from nothing, and in particular as far as taking people and building them up from nothing.”
Highlights from the coaching process
Tony and Allan met once a month over 2 years. Their first task together was to devise a business plan. For Allan, this was a watershed achievement which set everything else in motion and awakened his entrepreneurial mindset. The fluid process of revising and rewriting the business plan became a way of extending his thinking:
There was a distinct practical orientation to Tony’s coaching which instantly set Allan on the right path. Little by little, Tony set a series of achievable tasks towards establishing an infrastructure for Allan’s business. Initially sceptical of management concepts that don’t yield direct results, Allan also came to see business planning, marketing and cashflow analysis as concrete tools for achieving his goals.
Tony’s coaching gave Allan the confidence and insight to keep moving forward with his plans, regardless of challenges and setbacks:
Allan used Tony as a sounding board for his ideas and a critique of his work. If Tony found something he had done acceptable, Allan immediately knew that it would be acceptable to anyone – such was his level of trust and respect for his mentor:
An investment in knowledge
Since the commencement of Tony’s coaching, Allan has turned over something in the order of half a million dollars through his core business activity, and is now armed with a secure long-term plan that will lead him into an extremely comfortable retirement.
3 key benefits which Allan derived from Tony’s coaching sessions were:
In Allan’s mind, there is no doubt that coaching allowed him to progress faster and achieve far more than what would have been possible on his own, “simply because I would have been floundering around not knowing what I was doing. I would have been concentrating on the technical aspects of the business and nothing else. I wouldn’t have been thinking about building it up, or where I am going to build it to.”
Allan compares the money he invested in coaching with what he spends on an accountant every year: it may amount to the same in dollar figures, “but all the accountant does is look at the books – he doesn’t give you any skills and tools that you can use forever. I can also pass these onto my own friends and family. I never looked upon it as a cost, it was always an investment, an investment in getting knowledge.”
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