As part of National Entrepreneur Month, a workshop on “6 Steps to a Better Business” was presented by local business coach Tara Driggs, featured through The Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce.
Driggs started her coaching company in September as a franchise of ActionCOACH, a globally-franchised business of coaching companies originally started in Australia.
The workshop turned the focus onto several foundational aspects of both small and large businesses, such as having a grasp on accounting principles, staying on top of budgeting, building a well-trained team, and trusting employees.
Workshop participants shared some of the challenges they face in running their businesses or being part of larger organizations with complex job requirements, including questions like:
• How do I handle inconsistent cash flow for a retail business with dramatic seasonal peaks and troughs?
• How do I budget effectively to manage large upcoming capital expenditures?
• How do I effectively communicate with a boss or supervisor whose schedule is overfull?
• How do I contribute to a positive workplace culture for myself and for those I work with?
Driggs’ experience as a businesswoman and teacher encompasses all of the above questions. She says she is passionate about helping any size business with any problems they may be encountering. Driggs also stressed that while the frustrations of business life can often take the forefront, business coaching is about helping clients achieve their goals and dreams (both professional and personal) as well.
Born and raised on a cattle ranch in northwestern Montana, Driggs obtained a business degree out of high school and then spent a year in Australia working in agriculture. The recession in the early 90s made finding business work difficult, so she went back to school and earned an applied science degree in math and chemistry. Driggs then spent the next 15 years as a teacher of grades 11 and 12, during which time she married and moved to Saskatchewan.
In Saskatchewan, she continued her career as a high school teacher. However, Tara’s interest in business and agriculture continued; she successfully helped add a livestock component to the farm she co-owned with her husband.
“I’m passionate about business, and especially where it concerns rural agriculture,” Driggs says. “From 2012-2016, I switched from teaching to agriculture full-time, and spent a lot of time on the money side of things, working with accountants, the bank, the livestock side of things, etc.”
In total, she has accumulated over 20 years of business experience.
Business coaching seemed a natural fit for her after she moved into Moose Jaw. “It seemed like it would be the most amazing combination for me of all my business experience, as well as my love for teaching.”
Although consultants are typically specialized and work with companies on specific problems for shorter periods of time, coaches apply a more expansive knowledge base. As a coach, Driggs is interested in building long-term relationships with clients dealing with a broad spectrum of professional requirements.
Workshops, seminars, presentations, and team-building exercises are offered on a variety of topics. Her most popular coaching service is one-on-one consultations.
“The size of the business is irrelevant,” she says, “I just find business fascinating, no matter what it is, so engaging with the people who are the foundation of that business and helping them find their success, no matter what that looks like, that’s my goal.”