Edward Hamilton follow-up interview
We catch up with Ed Hamilton from Green Bean after three years as a business coach in Barcelona to see how things have changed since our previous interview.
Have you noticed a change to doing business in Barcelona?
Certainly it has been challenging times and business owners have had to work harder for less than they did previously; however, I haven´t noticed any fundamental shifts in doing business here. At any one time there are opportunities, older businesses falling away, people tiring of the situation and others excited by the prospects. Business is cyclical and forever evolving; in the difficult times things evolve faster as it becomes more competitive. As always we have to continually adapt to the customers' needs.
How have you adapted in the last three years?
On creating a clearer message and focusing on our core strengths. We do two things: i) we coach entrepreneurs to launch businesses successfully and ii) we coach small businesses to improve their productivity by creating more time, being more organised and finding ways to increase cash-flow in their operations.
Are you offering the same service as you were in 2010?
Yes and no. While, we still offer business growth coaching— having now personally coached over 1,500 hours in these last three years— my help has grown with my knowledge and experience. I couldn't have offered clients then what I can now, and that is something I love about this profession—I will continue to learn and grow as well as my clients. Also we have expanded our international coaching arm and have stopped personal financial coaching to focus on our core strengths.
Is there a high demand for coaching in Barcelona?
Coaching is the tool for a client to reach their end-goal. So as long as clients can see how coaching will help them achieve their goals, then there is a demand. No one wants the coaching per se, but everyone wants to fulfill their dreams. They really don´t care how they fulfill them, but no matter where you are from, you will listen to someone who can help you achieve what you want to achieve.
It is also why there are so many different types of coaches, as each one helps with a specific aspect of life. We coach business growth, others focus on overcoming personal challenges or finding your correct career path. So sometimes there may seem to be a lot of coaches around but we are quite distinct; we just use the same coaching tool.
What advice would you give to other people starting up a business?
Get started. The biggest failure in small business is not taking the action step. A good idea is just an idea, you need to execute it to be a success. You learn on the job, once you start you can start adapting to your clients needs and overcoming the challenges and seeking the opportunities.
Before you start, unless you are fortunate to have a large budget for market research, it is hard to identify and overcome these challenges beforehand. That is not to say I am supporting starting without a well thought-out idea and implementation strategy, but rather don´t dwell on that step—get started and start learning.
What advice would you give existing business owners after now being in business three years?
Do and act. Don´t hold back, don´t let past prejudices or failures affect future potential. Think big. We can only change our current outcome by doing something and making improvements. In difficult times it is sometimes easy to shy away from doing more things in an attempt to conserve what we have. But if you are not going forwards you are going backwards.
In my experience, taking action is a key ingredient to success.
What do you wish you had known 2010 that you know now?
Well I knew it, but I didn't completely listen to it. You need a niche to make a difference. To be honest, at the start it is hard to do but it is imperative for long-term success. You can´t help everyone with everything. Since better defining our market segment we have had a clearer message and improvements in finding clients and delivering results. Finding your niche usually helps relieve owner's tension too as it all feels a little bit easier going forward.
And what can we expect from you over the coming three years?
More help for entrepreneurs and business owners motivated to make improvements. We live by reputation and creating relationships built on trust so we are always looking to help in any way we can, through speaking engagements, our bi-weekly community newsletter, connecting people or giving complimentary webinars and seminars. Business coaching is a win-win relationship, so we will continue to create awareness of this service within the community and when you are ready and feel comfortable then we are available to help you grow your business.
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Spain Mob: +34 693 94 07 01