A couple of months ago, IBEC’s Managing Director, Bob Bush, designed a survey with the objective of identifying the current needs of the business owners we serve, so as to create increased value for our clients. Eighteen responded. The survey had five questions designed to reveal business pain points.
- What are the greatest challenges you are facing in your BAM business today?
- What is most important to you regarding your BAM Coach?
- BAM is tough – what is the most difficult aspect to you?
- When you started your BAM business, what was your biggest surprise?
- If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently?
The survey outcomes revealed results which are best understood with these statements.
- Accessing capital is critical…for both startups and existing businesses that want to scale (53% mentioned this as a top two challenge).
- The integration of faith and business is extremely important to our clients. Their focus on the QBL (sustainability, job creation, disciple-making, and good stewardship) is very real (29% stated it a top two challenge).
- Business knowledge, coupled with someone who truly cares, is vitally important. The relationship between the coach and the practitioner is the key (Both were mentioned by 71% of the respondents).
- The importance of a coach cannot be overstated. “If I had to do it over again, I would start with a coach.” (42% said they regretted not starting with a coach).
- BAM practitioners desire someone who is vested in all aspects of their lives…personal, professional, and the entire family (71% mentioned this to be of a top two importance).
- The importance of networking is clear. Feeling all alone is a common belief in the field (65% mentioned discouragement and inability to network as their biggest surprise).
- BAM practitioners want sustainable businesses; their desire is to move away from the donor model (65% stated this to be in the top two most difficult).
As with any survey, we wanted it to translate into action steps. Here are 7 Action Steps (how IBEC can help) in response to the results:
- Raising Capital – Help prepare the business and make introductions to BAM investors.
- Integration of faith into the business – Be intentional on every call (discuss QBL routinely).
- Focus on the long-term relationship – Never forget this! Show we care 24/7.
- Coaches are needed, but we need to deliver – Create quantifiable value to address the need.
- Personal, professional, and family focus – Showing a vested interest in all aspects of the community ecosystem.
- Effective networking is powerful – Do not work in silos; leverage strengths and identify gaps.
- Sustainability is the practitioner’s goal – Identify a specific “pathway to sustainability” and execute the plan to get there.
Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures