Nikki Coverdale, The IFA PA

The return on investment was pretty much instantaneous

What’s your business and how long have you been operating?

I set up as a Virtual Assistant 11 years ago under the name of Cloud 9 Admin. However, after realising that I needed to ‘niche my market’, I rebranded the business to become The IFA PA. We specialise in providing PA and Admin support to Financial Advisers, Planners and Wealth Advisers.

It was around the time of the re-brand that I decided to start growing the business further by bringing in team members to support the workload and to enhance the skills, expertise, and knowledge that I could offer to the clients.

How did you meet Ros and what made you seek her help as a coach?

I’ve worked with business coaches in the past who have been fantastic in helping me focus on my emotions, leadership and how to handle situations, but I felt this time that I needed that plus more. What I was really looking for was someone to support me in key decision to help me take the business to the next level. I felt like I had all these major decisions to make, and I didn’t know how to do what I wanted to do. I felt like I was on my own. I felt like ‘I know what I need to do, but I don’t know how to do it.’

Ros and her business were known to me for many years. In February 2020, after a long conversation with my accountant, I realised that I needed to make changes to my business, but I needed help in understanding the impact of those decisions, and so I reached out to Ros.

Within half an hour of meeting Ros, I felt that she a perfect fit to help me with the business.

I just felt like she got it. She really understood why I’d reached out to her and she showed me quite a lot of ways in which she could help me. I’d pretty much decided to go ahead and then Covid hit and even though I hesitated a little, Ros assured me that she could help my business not only ‘survive’ through the crisis, but ‘thrive’ through it. She wasn’t wrong!

Within three months of working with her, not only had she helped my business survive, but I’d also easily got back my return on investment.

Tell me a little about Ros’s approach to coaching – it combines developing the mindset of the business owner with practical tools?

Where Ros differed from the previous coach I had, was even though she talked to me about behaviours and exercises to help with relaxation etc, she also helped me with finances and made me think of the bigger picture. I’m now thinking about a 20-year plan for my business – I didn’t have a 2-month plan before, never mind a 20-year one!

I’m in Ros’ 90-day planning group. We meet every 90 days and make our goals for the next period.  I also meet with Ros every other week for a 121 session. We cover off the ‘big wins’ of the last couple of weeks – what has been good, what has been bad and what I’ve learnt from it. She has taught be how to bring leads into the business, she has helped look at my finances, business growth and targets and she has supported me in handling challenging situations. She is also helping me right now with recruiting new team members into the business.

What business impact has working with Ros had for you?

I had to go VAT-registered in the end, because of the way it has boomed since working with Ros. My business wasn’t ready for it when it was first suggested to me. Financial advice is a VAT-exempt service so most of my clients (who are Financial Advisers) can’t off-set the VAT element of my invoices to them.  This basically means my hourly rate increased significantly for them and I was worried that, as a result, I could lose some clients because of it. Ros supported me through this entire process and helped me feel more comfortable about picking up the phone and having difficult conversations with clients.

Ros really understands my business and is a great guide through it all. The business is blossoming and the more it grows, the more there is to do. One of my 5-year goals is to take on apprenticeships and there’s a lot of work to do in the business to make it ready for that.

I value the sessions with Ros so much. We look at the big picture for 90 days, but then chunk it down into small tasks over two weeks. I certainly do see myself working long term with Ros. The return on investment was pretty much instantaneous with the on-boarding of a couple of new clients.

If you’re ready to grow your business, definitely speak to Ros. I honestly do not know where my business would have been over the last 12 months without Ros. Working with her has been amazing.