There are two reasons why we say this.
The first is a reference to the four levels of clients we work with. Level IV is the highest level of client with which we work. Essentially, when you reach Level IV with our Firm, you've made it. You have achieved a personal net worth that will allow you to retire and never work again. You can read more about our levels below.
The second is a reference to the statistics of growing a business without Level IV. Studies have shown that 90% of all small businesses will fail in the first 3 years. Of those that survive, 90% of those will fail in the next 3 years. Statistically speaking, you have less than a one in one hundred chance of making it into your seventh year. The greatest reason for this is due to what most entrepreneurs are missing, namely: knowledge, experience, and/or capital. We've learned that business owners that work with Level IV and are coachable have a significantly better chance to beat the odds. Those that don't, won't.
In summary, every entrepreneur wants to be with Level IV so they can beat the odds. And then they want to become a Level IV client of Level IV, because that means they've made it!!
The Four Levels
We divided our clients into four different levels in order to provide the right level of coaching expertise for clients at different stages of business development. How you run a start up is significantly different than a company generating a million dollars in revenues. And that company is run completely differently from one that is expanding on a regional or national basis, or one that is looking to go public.
Because of this, all of our coaches are certified to work with different clients depending on their coaching expertise as well as their business experience. We develop an extensive dossier on the life and work history of every coach. This, along with their performance during our two-week certification process, allows us to match our clients with a coach that has the right skills and experience. Providing insights into ways our clients can best achieve their objectives, and the fastest and most cost effective ways to that as well.
This does not necessarily mean your coach needs to have extensive experience in your particular industry. Most of our clients are already quite experienced in their respective fields. For example, we don't need to have a complete understanding of finite element analysis in order to be an effective business coach for the owner of a structural engineering company. The owner, no doubt, is already skilled and experienced in this area. But the owner may not be experienced in the structural dynamics of growing a business, e.g. effective marketing and branding, hiring and motivating staff, proper billing and collection procedures, managing growth, cash flow projections, etc.
We use an extensive survey before beginning a relationship with any new client that provides insights for us into the areas where the business owner has the least experience. This allows us to assign a coach that has the greatest skills and experience in the areas that will make the greatest difference for our client. Rarely do we need to be an expert in the industry our client is in. When we do, consulting is often a better choice than coaching, and we bring in one of our staff consultants.
The following are the general guidelines we use in determining the level of coaching required by our clients. While few clients will meet all of the guidelines included at each level, the preponderance of the elements will apply.
- Entry level business (often a startup), individual professionals with a small practice, commission-only salespeople, or creative professionals such as artists, musicians, actors, writers, directors, producers and/or entertainers that are not yet established in their profession.
- These individuals are usually generating less than $100,000 per year in revenues and their vision/future growth is limited to less than $100,000 in revenues in the next 2 years.
- They are in a simple and/or unsophisticated, non-technical business.
- They have a full time staff of 2 or less.
- Typical coaching requirements are in the areas of:
- Basic infrastructure
- Market and/or image development
- Systems implementation
- Sales and networking
- Strategic planning
- Income/expense projections
- Second stage growth companies or companies that demonstrate through results that they will be second stage within 6 months.
- Their revenues range between $100,000 and $750,000.
- They have a small staff, less than 7 full time employees.
- They have one main office, but may have satellite offices.
- They are beyond start up phase, or will be within 3 months.
- They are involved in markets beyond local, e.g. regional, national, or global.
- Their industry requires higher than average technical expertise or understanding, i.e. specialized experience and/or training.
- Business and business cultural/work environment is more established/mature.
- Basic systems and infrastructure are in place.
- Business revenues generally exceed $750,000.
- Owner's personal net worth generally exceeds $1,000,000.
- The business/industry involves complex industry or personnel dynamics.
- Quality of life, stress, and time management issues are of increased importance.
- Business revenues exceed $2,000,000.
- The business is well established and dealing with sophisticated issues including:
- Personnel management
- Financial management
- Various areas of tax planning including
- Capital gains
- Generational transfer
- Preparation for sale or IPO
- Owner's personal net worth generally exceeds $5,000,000.
- Owner is interested in creating a legacy and/or philanthropic passions and managing those issues.
All Level IV coaches are experienced and certified to work with specific levels of clients. For example, a coach that has been certified Level II may work with a Level I client, but is unlikely to be permitted to work with a Level III client. This way, every client is assured of getting a coach with the level of skill and experience necessary to ensure them victory in winning the game called "Business."
Level IV also provides business coaching services to charities and other non-profit organizations. Ask about our special rates for 501(c)3 organizations!