In our latest interview we caught up with experienced business consultant, Jamie Zuidema from Essential Business Services (EBS). EBS is a group of certified, accredited coaches and business brokers helping small businesses to grow through their affordable coaching packages and assisting people to find and buy their dream business or to sell a business.
Jamie has owned a number of successful businesses over the years and set up EBS after identifying a gap in the industry for someone to provide cost effective business coaching and a full support network for those small business owners that typically could not afford professional help for their business. With EBS’s motto, ‘No business succeeds without action,’ Jamie shares his three tips for anyone thinking about setting up their own business.
Tell us a bit about Essential Business Services.
Essential Business Services (EBS) exists to support small business owners through their entire business life span. We do this with a number of different services and programs which help people maximise the returns from their business, enjoy their business experience, develop great networks and in many cases, create great friends from their business journey. We have mastermind groups, workshops, group coaching, one to one coaching and we offer a full business broking side to the business.
The mastermind groups are run monthly and are designed around the thought that no one person has all of the answers. With no more than 10 participants in each mastermind, the groups solve business challenges, get trained in new business ideas and develop great new networks. The workshops are designed with the small business owner in mind and cover many topics that will help them improve their knowledge and grow their business. Our one to one coaching enables us to work closely with business owners to support them to achieve their business goals and objectives. The business broking side of the business allows us to find new business opportunities for our clients or help them sell their business when the time is right.
What inspired you to set up your business?
After selling the Industrial Hose business that I had for 12 years I had an opportunity to create a new career. We identified a gap in the industry for a company who provides a cost effective, total level of support for the small business owner. The industry is saturated with coaches but most of them are unaffordable for smaller businesses. It was apparent that if you could afford a business coach you were probably doing ok. We wanted to create a company and a support network for those business owners that typically could not afford to get professional help for their business.
What type of clients do you work with?
We typically work with start-up businesses through to businesses with around 20 staff. We often help with getting start up or early stage businesses going. Most of the time, we work with businesses who have around 5 – 7 staff, who are really looking to take their business to the next level but they lack the knowledge on how to do it. We do a lot of work with mechanics but typically the industry is not really relevant. Most businesses follow the same basic formula for success, so we do not need to have detailed knowledge of products or the industry.
What does success mean to you?
Success in the coaching environment for me is being able to have our clients achieve the financial goals that we set in a stress free and fun environment. Business should not be stressful and so many of our clients come to us stressed by their business situation. Sometimes they believe this is financial driven but more often than not it is also related to staff management, management, time management or just a feeling of isolation. When we can remove those stresses and get a strong financial result it makes the coaching process very rewarding.
How do you assist your clients to achieve their dreams and goals?
Every client is different so we do not have a custom program. I think this is the key to our success. One of our motto’s is, ‘No business succeeds without action,’ so the cornerstone of all of our programs are to support our clients to take action in their business. This can be through educating our clients with our workshops, linking them up with other business professionals who can help move their business forward, providing strategies for the business in one to one coaching or helping them achieve the maximum sale price for their business when they decide to sell.
Tell us a bit about the EBS Business Boosters workshops you offer?
We run regular workshops that are either free or very low cost on topics that will help small business owners move their business forward. Generally, we will partner with outside professionals who are experts in their field. The main point of these workshops is to provide the participants with the knowledge and confidence to take action in their business. In the past we have had workshops on leadership, human resources strategies, Facebook marketing, websites, introduction to marketing, Xero accounting software, video marketing and how to value your business, just to name a few.
What’s been your biggest highlight / achievement for your business?
That’s a really good question and the easy answer would be to give you some examples of great financial results that have been achieved but probably the one client who I think I take the most satisfaction from is a mechanic who when we first starting working with him was losing money and close to going under. He had just separated from his wife and had lost his motivation not just for work but for life. Two and a half years on, he has turned around the business to the point that it is nearly under management, purchased another business which is also nearly under management, got back with his wife, is taking regular holidays and most importantly is loving his life. This is why I started the business to really support those business owners who generally do not have the funds to have this support so they can enjoy their business and their lives.
What three tips would you give someone who is thinking of setting up a business?
- Make decisions and take action. Not every action will get a positive result but the more actions you take the more you will learn and the better your actions will become.
- Surround yourself with successful and positive people.
- Put your goals on paper 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, and 90-day goals are essential so you have a way to navigate through the thousands of different tasks and distractions that will come your way once you start.
What’s next for Essential Business Services?
Like all of the businesses that we work with we are looking to scale the business further. We want to take EBS state-wide so are looking for consultants to help with the consulting and business sales elements of the business. We believe we have a great system and service so we are now looking to expand that to more people by finding great people to help us.
Jamie is a founding owner of Essential Business Services (EBS), a certified practitioner of coaching and a member of the International Coach Guild (ICG). He is married with two wonderful daughters and lives on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Prior to EBS, Jamie owned and operated a number of successful businesses as well as working in several others, giving him extensive knowledge across all areas of business.
“A feeling” that something was missing in his life, combined with the love of seeing businesses and people grow, EBS enables him to now live what he calls the ‘life of my dreams’ and would only be too happy to share his thoughts on how you can do the same.
Find out more about the services that Essential Business Services can offer.