Part Two: Antonio McCoy’s financial advice for new entrepreneurs

Antonio McCoy

Part Two: Antonio McCoy’s financial advice for new entrepreneurs
November 10
14:07 2021

Last week we published part one of the conversation with business growth coach Antonio McCoy. He dropped so much information during that conversation that we chose to split up the conversation into two parts.

McCoy does not mind giving away some of his trade secrets. He says if it helps someone, especially someone of color, then he has accomplished his goal. Here is part two of the conversation with Mr. McCoy.

Question: When you assist a new business with marketing, how do you gauge how long it will take to get them to the place they want to be?

Answer: If I put an ad in the newspaper, it may take me more than one edition. For instance, if I buy an ad with The Chronicle, in a month I am going to do four issues. So, I need to be out there for four issues and after I am out there four issues, it will be a lag because people go through that stage in their mind where they see the name of your business. The second time they recognize the name, because they saw it last week. The third time they say, “Oh, you know what, there’s that business again, let me research that business,” to the point where they say “You know what, I’m willing to sit down with someone to learn more about this business to the point where I do business with this business.”  

There is a progression, if you will, from the mental standpoint to where the frequency has to be there and 90 days is typically the cycle that it takes for someone to go through those stages in their mind from where they see the name of a business they know nothing about, to the point where they look on Facebook or Google to learn more about that business. It’s just a progression, so 90 days is ideally what I would say is the expectation.  

I typically don’t do less than a six-month engagement, but the only way you can accelerate it is through a strategic alliance. So if it’s a caterer, I might ask how many wedding planners do you know, how many DJ’s do you know, how many photographers do you know, because all of those guys are at weddings, they’re at retirement parties, they’re at baby showers; all things that need to be catered. That’s the only way I know how to speed up those 90 days.  

We begin to access the network and if we don’t have those folks in your network, then we have to come up with a compelling reason for those folks to want to partner with you. Sometimes that compelling reason is, I’ll give you 10% or 20% of what I make.

Question: What type of personal satisfaction does it give you once you are able to get a business to the level they were looking for when you initially started working with them?

Answer: I like the fact that I have expanded their knowledge. It gives me great satisfaction to help them understand that there is a new way to make money they haven’t even considered. So, for instance, I was talking to a college president about creating a leadership program for the college and the first thing that was presented to me was to put me on the payroll and I said no, I don’t want to be on payroll. I said I am not trying to be a job, I love being an entrepreneur, but let’s talk about some licensing where I can license the leadership program to you and you make as much money as you want to make and you pay me a fee for using it. She said, “I haven’t even thought about that.”

Even though I am doing it, every entrepreneur has that opportunity. If they have documented what they’ve done with me to grow, they can license that to other people in their industry if they have documented it step by step and charge people for access to it. So now you’re making money while you sleep.  

In most cases with my clients that I work with, I show them how to grow, so they’re making enough money in their growth from when I started with them, what they pay me I am pretty much free. I have got a client that has been with me for seven years, so sometimes to be honest with you, the relationship doesn’t end. They don’t want to make a business decision without me. To be honest with you, a good coach should be able to generate seven times their fees. If I show them how to do that, they are keeping six times what I helped them generate and I don’t cost them money now. 

Most small business owners know how to do whatever it is they do well. Because of that, they are good technicians, but they don’t know how to think strategically around how to grow the business and that’s what I do for them. I ask them the questions as it relates to the growth of the business that they have not thought about. If they have gone from being a solopreneur to now having three employees, now they have got to be the technician in some cases and now they have to manage three employees and they are going to miss something; I am there to make sure they don’t.  So, they typically don’t want to let me go, because I cover the blind spots.

Question: Since making the transition to working with more executives rather than entrepreneurs, who do you prefer working with?

Answer: I would say it’s the same, but it’s different. When you work with business owners, the score is kept different. So, in other words, if I say a coach that you work with should be able to generate seven times their fees, that’s easier to quantify on somebody’s P&L (profit and loss statement) if they are a small business. If they are an executive, it’s different to quantify in that it may be quantified in the fact that before they started working with me, they weren’t able to sleep, or they were having health issues, because they were so stressed out due to what was going on with work.  

So if I can give them relief in that area to show them how they need to develop their people so they can delegate more tasks off to them and that way they are participating in tasks that are at their pay grade or above, then what they’re paying me is quantified through the relief they are having through sleep and the lack of stress. Now they are having more fulfilment with their career, because they are doing what they should be doing.  

Sometimes it’s quantifiable in different ways as well. I’ll be honest with you; I have been working with an organization where I am coaching seven leaders in that organization and all of the leaders that I have coached have gotten promoted. So, in some cases the quantification comes with them being promoted and getting an increase in their salary, so there’s a lot of satisfaction that comes from that.

Question: Are you surprised by what entrepreneurs know, versus what they should know?

Answer: I am not surprised, because most small business owners start a business to create an income and that’s a false assumption. You’re creating a business to create an appreciable asset that someday you can sell. That’s why the database is so important. If you’re starting a small business to create an income, you’d be better off getting a job, it’s less stress and better hours. If you’re starting a business to grow as much as possible so that someone will come along and buy it from you for a multiple of what your gross revenue is, then that’s the right idea.

It’s not about starting a small business to create an income. I understand you need to do that, but what you should be doing is thinking about maximizing the growth of your business, so someone, either a competitor or someone who wants to operate in that space, would want to come buy it, because it’s cheaper to buy an existing business that’s already doing well or floundering than starting from scratch. It’s an appreciable asset. Start it to sell it.

Question: What do you think is the biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make?

Answer: They don’t get professional help. All business coaches are not created equal, but you need to sit down with someone that can tell you what you need to do to be as successful as quickly as possible. What you didn’t hear from me is that you need a website, what you didn’t hear from me is that you need to have a Facebook page. What you did hear from me is that you need to get your messaging straight and have a low risk way for people to do business with you. In other words, if you have a way that people can experience whatever it is your product or service is and can see it does everything you said it would do, they would do one of three things. One, they will buy from you; two, they will rant and rave to their family and friends about you; and three, they will go on social media and sing your praises. 

Reach Antonio McCoy on LinkedIn at

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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