FocalPoint Workshop Coaches Local Business Owners to Prosper

Last Edited: Aug 30, 2017 01:10 PM

A local entrepreneur offers coaching to help local business owners thrive.

MILLVILLE, N.J.—With energetic encouragement from local FocalPoint business coach Jerry Covella and intense interaction among themselves, a dozen Millville business people now feel empowered to take their enterprises to the next level after a series of informative and motivating sessions.

Covella, owner of one of just 200 licensed FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training practices in the world, has cajoled and inspired many clients with a calm but insistent manner and comprehensive, critical data.

“Who has your money?” he demanded of the Millville attendees recently, before they had even finished their pre-meeting coffee. “And how will you get it?”

The essence of FocalPoint in a group lies in the brainstorming that flourishes in reaction to provocative questions like these and not the prepared talking points of more generic business motivation seminars. 

“This series gives the attendees a much clearer vision of their roles as merchants in Millville and benefits the whole downtown and city,” Covella said in an interview.

But, this participation level makes getting value from the experience very much up to each participant.

“It all falls on the individual to make the personal commitment that will carry all of them to their goals; we can help them identify the path to success but we can’t run the race for them,” Covella said.

For the Millville group, the approach worked.

“Let’s be honest,” Covella said. “In sports terms, if you don’t want to recognize or implement the process necessary to become a champion, you won’t be totally successful.

“But when business owners like the folks in our Millville group are totally into the process, the results can be absolutely amazing,” he added. “Like how these businesses are excited about what the future holds for their enterprises and, more importantly, for their families.”

Marianne Lods, executive director of Millville Development Corporation/ A local entrepreneur offers coaching to help local business owners thrive.Glasstown Arts District and her team arranged the seminar. The model was offered without cost to anyone with a Millville business and was funded by a grant from Thrive South Jersey and New Jersey Community Capital.

The Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Vineland will offer the FocalPoint seminar series beginning September 20. It is sponsored by Bay Atlantic Federal Credit Union, which allows for a significant discount for enrollees in the course.

Lods, Covella, and seminar members commented on the success of the training and encouraged additional municipalities and central business districts to offer it.

Conversations in the sessions had sticking points, but were consistently good-natured and sometimes funny. Covella was discussing the concept of “Unique Value Proposition” (UVP) with Gloria Medina of Phoenix Fire Tears, a candle, art, and craft shop.

Covella noted that he always hated the smell of scented candles; they gave him headaches (there were chuckles). Then he said candles his wife brought him from Phoenix amazingly didn’t have any triggering scent.

“So, look, you solved the Covella Candle Problem, that’s a UVP,” he said to general laughter.

At one point, Covella suggested to Lods that her organization go after large endowments.

“You know me,” he said. “What would be the impediments?”

When several merchants said they simply have to get more people in the door, Covella reminded them to take the view from the outside, from potential customers, not the view of their own needs.

Most attendees described the workshop experience as informational, uplifting and personal.

“He clearly guided us about what is in our control and the many things that aren’t,” said Deseree Baer of KB Imprints, which produces graphics, art, and text on various items with a process called dye sublimation.

“We hardly knew each other,” Lods said of the group of business owners. “Now, they cross-promote so much more—it’s awesome.”

Baer said she realized she wasn’t alone in dealing with the challenges of small business.

“We have a bond with each other now because we shared a lot of ourselves,” Baer said. “It was like group business therapy, you had to expose yourself.”

Participants repeatedly learned from each other, for instance, how to use Facebook analytics to target customers.

The FocalPoint strategy has found national success helping firms of all sizes, from small-town businesses to mega-corporations. Covella consults both with groups and individual clients.

“The company has a long, proud history of success in not only helping a business achieve new levels of success but, through that process, building a more positive environment for employees and their families and the end result is a better community,” he said.

By controlling the flow of the conversation but allowing everyone to express themselves fully, Covella helped move the Millville group to sound conclusions almost subliminally. He credits his ability to listen as critical to his success.

“I learned so much from my own seminar,” he said.

To register for the Vineland Chamber of Commerce FocalPoint workshop, contact the Chamber at 856-691-7400 or go to:

To learn more about FocalPoint Business Coaching, visit

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