Is your business in a slump?

Perhaps it's the economic climate, or maybe it's time to revamp your business plan.

Enter Kevin Jackson, a coach and mentor with ActionCOACH Business Coaching based in Westport.

Mr. Jackson works with businesses of all sizes in the Greater New Milford area and beyond to review, assess and derive a plan to have the business reach its full potential.

"We're looking for business owners who are interested in exploring ways to take their business to the next level," the New Milford resident said during a recent interview.

Potential clients may be business owners who are just starting up a company, have already been in business for 10 or 20 years, or are looking to sell a business after 35 years of ownership, he said.

Mr. Jackson said he offers a free get-to-know-one-another session to learn more about a client as well as the business and business goals.

Depending on the goals, Mr. Jackson may work closely with the client on a short- or long-term basis.

Scott Johnson, one of three owners of Vision Designs in Danbury, said his company hired Mr. Jackson to organize systems and implement procedures to make the business run more efficiently.

Beginning in August of 2008, the owners met with Mr. Jackson weekly. After about two months, the business began to "feel" the positive results.

Vision Designs continues to use Mr. Jackson's services, although the owners now meet with him on a monthly basis.

"We got a great value from his services," Mr. Johnson said, pointing out that Mr. Jackson encouraged the owners to create an employee manual, flow charts and other documents to help their business run better.

As a result of working with Mr. Jackson, the company "hit our sales goal, implemented systems and brought employees in," Mr. Johnson said.

Whatever a business needs, Mr. Jackson said he considers himself a member of an "integral team," working closely with the business owner and other people associated with the business.

For example, he may participate in a conference call with the client's accountant or lawyer to ensure he understands all components of the business, thus helping the client create the best strategy to see that the business attains its goals.

"What I love the most is, on a daily basis I'm encountering new challenges and opportunities within business, whether it's meeting new people, developing new teams, or creating a better, more profitable" company, Mr. Jackson said.

One of the problems many businesses today may be encountering is getting a high yield, Mr. Jackson said. His focus is helping a business "get a high yield off low-cost strategies."

"We quantify the business down to a 't' so that the return is great," he said.

Often, Mr. Jackson may discuss marketing or sales techniques to help the client achieve his or her goals.

"Most important, [a client needs] to stand up, look themselves in the mirror and hold [themselves] accountable," he said.

Today's poor economic climate is making it difficult for some businesses to survive.

However, there is a glimmer of hope, according to Mr. Jackson.

He said there has been more activity recently, citing rebates and stimulus money as incentives for people to invest and/or spend.

One of the most important things for business owners to know is that they "need to invest or they'll never see a change," Mr. Jackson said.

He encourages business owners to contact ActionCOACH.

"If there are questions you want to ask, or something you want to explore, you're never going to find it if you don't seek it out," he said.

Some business folks from around the world recently sought Mr. Jackson's expertise during an ActionCOACH webinar, he said, noting he spoke with a woman from Puerto Rico.

"When you're a client, you have 24-hour access" to ActionCOACH as a resource, he said.

"It's very rewarding," Mr. Jackson said of the ActionCOACH position he has held for 14 months. He said he has "been able to reap the benefits of being part of a firm and teaching, coaching and mentoring 30-plus businesses."

ActionCOACH started in Australia in 1993. Since then it has grown to be in 26 countries and employ 1,300 coaches worldwide.

Mr. Jackson learned of ActionCOACH following his employment as a project manager for Carrier Corporation, a part of United Technologies, and ownership of his own management and leadership consulting company.

The Troy, Mo., native and graduate of West Point Military Academy attended the International Business Coach Institute, an 11-day training program in Las Vegas where he learned marketing, sales and systematic skills, before joining ActionCOACH.

Prior to his position with Carrier Corporation, he served eight years in the U.S. Army during which time he completed two tours in Iraq.

For more information, contact Kevin Jackson at ActionCOACH by calling 860-983-4671 or e-mail kevinjackson@actioncoach.com.