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April 2019

RARING

TO GROW With demand for coaches spiralling, there’s never been a better time to get into the business of helping companies grow

ActionCOACH In association with:


C O N T E N T S

4-5 Introduction

11 From the horse’s mouth

16 Partners in profit

ActionCOACH UK co-founder Ian Christelow shares the big picture behind the business coaching franchise’s services, detailing ActionCOACH, Engage & Grow and ProfitPlus

William Property Management property manager Jamie Love and Accounting Workshop manager Lisa Brown explain what they learnt from their Engage & Grow mentors

Initially, ActionCOACH franchise partners Ian Squires and Paul Greenwood found a business solution which suits them even better

6 Off the beaten path

12 It’s an addiction

From an isolated job on an oil refinery to sinking her teeth into a career with Mars, time then spent at a startup allowed Jenni Morgan to realise her coaching dream

Karrie-Ann Fox knew the franchise scene after supporting her husband’s ActionCOACH business but went on to forge her own path, believing Engage & Grow was “perfect” for her

7 Chip off the old block For Steve Mullins, it was his parents that alerted him to ActionCOACH and what the organisation had to offer. Indeed, their ownership of a franchise led him to leave his job to join the network

8-9 The customer’s always right

13 People power Possessing over a decade of experience at Philips, Stuart Johnson has also ran his own businesses. Now he shares his knowledge as an Engage & Grow and ActionCOACH franchise partner

17 Sports coach to ActionCOACH

Having experienced the difficulties of business first-hand, Matt Ewer was well placed to support entrepreneurs through difficult spells with ProfitPlus

18-19 Ask Julie ActionCOACH opens the doorway to many routes to success, with ActionCOACH itself, Engage & Grow and ProfitPlus all up for grabs. Helpfully, ActionCOACH UK owner Julie Wagstaff answers the burning questions for prospective network members

14 Opportunity abounds

Wigwam Holidays MD Charles Gulland and Digital Glue MD Javan Bramhall lift the lid on their experiences of receiving support from ActionCOACH franchise partner

Living comfortably as an ActionCOACH franchise partner, David Ford wasn’t an immediate fan when asked to help build ProfitPlus UK. But it didn’t take much to change his mind

10 Size matters

15 What the clients say

More than two decades in corporate life had seen Helen Pethybridge work with the likes of Tropicana and PepsiCo but the vibrancy of Engage & Grow eventually caught her eye

Cool Buildings MD Jon Pay and Sleep Fairy MD Dee Booth lift the lid on their experience of receiving support from ProfitPlus advisers

“It’s about rolling out the best business growth system in the world to business owners. After all, nine out of ten companies are failing every ten years – but our clients aren’t,” Ian Christelow, co-founder of ActionCOACH UK


THE BIG PICTURE From employee engagement to business planning, Ian Christelow, co-founder of ActionCOACH UK, details how every angle of running a company is made easy through ActionCOACH, Engage & Grow and ProfitPlus coaching ActionCOACH


“The sad reality is only 11% of employees in UK companies will go the extra mile for the business, which is absolutely shocking.”

ActionCOACH ActionCOACH started as a self-employed lifestyle franchise. That’s what we advertised, that’s what we’ve got. There are now more than 200 coaches aiming to do five to 15 hours of coaching a week, make £100,000 plus a year and have a great work-life balance. It’s about rolling out the best business growth system in the world to business owners. After all, nine out of ten companies are failing every ten years – but our clients aren’t. However, the sad reality is 16 years in I woke up in a cold sweat at four o’clock in the morning on the 3rd of January because less than 5% of business owners were aware of the cure to the cancer that’s probably going to kill their business. And when an owner loses their business they don’t just lose a company but their livelihood, self-esteem and dream. We had to find a new way to get ActionCOACH’s message out, so introduced the Firm Builder model. What we’ve done is divide the UK into 230 defined territories with at least 10,000 active businesses in each. The goal is to make every business owner in every territory aware of ActionCOACH. Firm Builders establish teams of a dozen or so people to communicate the opportunity and the new model also allows us to market UK-wide. This year, we’re starting mass-media advertising of the service on television, digital marketing and through strategic alliance building with every trade and professional body. We’re helping Firm Builders grow their revenue and we’re both sharing in the rewards of that. But ultimately, the most fulfilling part of the model is every business owner becoming aware of the brand, with the opportunity not just to help their business survive but get it into growth mode and start delivering the kind of profits and lifestyle they dreamt of when they first began.

Engage & Grow Ultimately as a business owner you’re in a rowing boat with your staff and you’re trying to reach a certain destination. And if some people are paddling the wrong way or most people aren’t paddling at all, then you’re never going to really arrive, are you? The truth is only 11% of employees in UK companies will go the extra mile for the business, according to Gallup, the analytics and advisory company, which is absolutely shocking. There’s a whole chunk of people in the middle doing the bare minimum to keep their job and then there’s something like 21% who are actively going against what the company wants. We searched the world for the best possible solution to tackle that, found the Engage & Grow organisation in Australia and brought it over to the UK. Engage & Grow deals with that critical team piece of a business by increasing employee engagement by an average of almost threefold just in the first 12 weeks with a company. Obviously, that needs maintaining and sustaining through regular programmes but it’s incredible how much difference the first engagement of 90 minutes per week for 12 weeks makes. We didn’t have a solution anywhere near as good as that within ActionCOACH – and ActionCOACH has some great tools around team-building.

ProfitPlus You can’t build a great business without a great business plan. It’s so important that Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCOACH, used to spend days creating them and just thought ‘There has to be a quicker and easier way.’ So he brought in a guy called Nic Clark, the most amazing IT technical wiz he knew and over the last decade Nic created a system which can forge a five-year business plan in literally a day or two. It made him think ‘Hang on a minute here – this would save business owners a lot of time and money,’ and it certainly has. That’s when ProfitPlus was born – a live business plan where you can monitor actuals against performance, tweak it and run what-if scenarios, which is an invaluable tool for businesses. And because of the economies of scale and little time it takes we’re able to make those available to business owners from £2,000 upwards. When commissioning an accountancy practice to develop a five-year business plan, you’re instead typically looking at a month or two to write it and an investment of £5,000 to £20,000. The reality is most business owners out there who have been going for more than a year or so are spending longer planning their holiday than they are their business. It’s insane. You can’t expect to make it to the summit of the mountain without a clear plan of how to get there and a guide who will help you along the way. Our ProfitPlus advisers are able to help clients create a solid plan, a more valuable business and more lifestyle for themselves.

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J E N N I M O R G A N

OFF THE

BEATEN

PATH

Isolated behind a computer on an oil refinery along the south coast told Jenni Morgan she needed people. Now, people need her and the ActionCOACH franchise she runs

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orking for Mars, the chocolate brand, seems alien compared to business coaching. However, it primed Jenni Morgan, franchise partner of ActionCOACH Wakefield, with all the skills needed to see her future franchise take off. But before then Morgan felt she was living on the planet Mars while working at an oil refinery as part of her engineering degree. “I thought it’s what I wanted to do and then I realised I was sat in a room with a computer, not talking to anybody,” she remembers. With impressive maths and science A Levels, engineering seemed a natural path to take but Morgan thrives even more when speaking with people. “I suddenly had this lightbulb moment [and] went ‘Wow, I need people,’” she continues. Despite concluding university with degree in hand, it was back to the drawing board. A three-year general management graduate scheme at Mars struck Morgan as something that didn’t need your life mapped out. And out of the potentially thousands that applied Morgan and 15 lucky others were taken on, where she remained an employee for another 11 years. “Pretty much every year I changed jobs until the last four or five years I was there,” she says. Such variety exposed Morgan to nearly every angle of how the company was run – including coaching. “If you became a line manager they train you how to coach because that’s how they do line management, so I’ve been coaching for over 15 years but in a different guise than what I do now,” Morgan says. This is where her journey to ActionCOACH truly began. After some company restructuring Morgan took the opportunity to bow out and move closer to family in York. There, she joined an SME as head of marketing but soon realised she could offer far more than just that. “I’m sitting there going ‘You’ve hired me to do marketing and I can do that stuff but actually, what’s all this other stuff over here going on that you don’t do? I could help you fix it,’” Morgan says. Unfortunately, the company didn’t welcome a jack of all trades and after 18 months of frustration, Morgan left and was back to square one. However, during three months of spare time she finally stumbled upon a franchise mailing list she subscribed to years ago and discovered ActionCOACH. “I read it and went, that’s what I want to do,” Morgan recalls. “It’s got coaching, teaching and business.” Having toyed with the idea of teaching kids since leaving Mars but put off by classroom hassle, this seemed the perfect direction. Being awarded her franchise territory of Wakefield so close to

training meant Morgan had to squeeze four weeks of learning into two, which proved “amazing and really hard probably in equal measures,” she laughs. But support didn’t end there, as ActionCOACH hooks franchise partners up with coaches of their own. “Obviously we’re [giving] leading coach[ing] with our clients, so why would we not have a coach to help get us where we need to be?” Morgan says. Indeed, from giving presentations to building a launch event, she was never left hanging. Such constant care has seen Morgan going strong for six months now – and she already has big plans in store for her business. “In five years? Getting towards a million pounds turnover,” she aspires. It’s certainly a far cry from her lacklustre engineering experience all those years ago. “I feel like I’ve come home because for me, I’m doing what I love: working with my clients helping them grow and coaching,” she concludes.


F CHIP OF THE OLD

BLOCK

S T E V E M U L L I N S

With both parents running an ActionCOACH franchise it was almost guaranteed what Steve Mullins would become. In fact, learning from a family-orientated business helped him thrive as a franchise partner

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e it birthdays, Christmas or weddings, everyone’s begrudgingly dragged to family obligations from time to time and the same goes for helping out at the family business. But for Steve Mullins, who dropped everything to join his Dad’s ActionCOACH franchise and now runs booming territories of his own because of it, it was something he relished. Given he knew his father’s ActionCOACH business inside and out since its birth in 2007, he foresaw the chance to join was coming. And when it did, nothing held him back. “In 2010 I left my job to join my Dad’s franchise as his business development manager,” Mullins says. His Mum’s also a shareholder who lends a hand during busy times, which makes the franchise as family-run as it gets. “She’s mainly a support outside of the business,” he adds of her involvement. Such a family-orientated dynamic gave Mullins a strong vision when he set out to build his own ActionCOACH franchise three years later. “One of the main motivators for me is being able to help business owners spend more time with their families,” Mullins says. “Unlike most people, I’m lucky to work with my family.” This means ensuring clients see a stellar work-life balance and focus on learning and developing, not throwing them in the deep end. “Something which [I] can maintain because of ActionCOACH’s franchise model,” he details. This thinking has seen Mullins and his Portsmouth and Havant franchise rocket. Not only is it the 48th top ActionCOACH franchise out of the 1,000 worldwide but Mullins himself is ranked the 14th best coach. “I’m motivated to succeed not just for me and my clients but also for my employees and my clients’ employees,” he says. The drive’s certainly working, for this is without even mentioning Mullins secured ActionCOACH’s 2016 and 2017 business coach of the

year and 2017 and 2018 UK firm of the year awards. It seems like Mullins has already smashed nearly every milestone but he’s always aiming for more. “My five-year horizon is to build a £4m-plus business with eight employed coaches and our ultimate goal is to grow to £10m turnover,” he plans. With his palpable drive to bring a great work-life balance to clients, that eventuality looks a dead cert. “I’m more than happy to help others and it’s nice they come to me,” he concludes. “After all, it’s in our DNA at ActionCOACH with our values of teamwork and abundance – the values which attracted me to ActionCOACH back in 2010.”

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THE CUSTOMER’S

ALWAYS RIGHT The action in ActionCOACH isn’t just there for nothing – results are tangible. And who better to pay credence to such a notion than the clients, who not only have plenty to say about their business’ success but how they’ve grown as a person thanks to the franchise Charles Gulland, MD of Wigwam Holidays What was life like before using ActionCOACH?

We were very much a builder first and holiday company second and it was a scary time. I was often working seven days a week. We knew we had to really think through what our niche was and our unique selling point.

Why did you make the jump?

I needed to systemise the business. I needed to think through strategically how I can win back some personal time and how we can do things more effectively and efficiently. I’d come into my company with the technical knowledge but no real knowledge of business whatsoever and I knew I needed this.

What have you personally achieved since using ActionCOACH?

I was personally getting a far better understanding of why we were in business and this was setting, if you like, the compass of where we were actually traveling – me as an individual and us as a team and a company. Absolute clarity of what our goals are has made the biggest difference to my business.

How has your company grown since?

Seven years on we have 25 employees, so we’ve had substantial growth with the team [by] working with ActionCOACH. Our turnover for this year will be more like £2m.

Looking back, how would you summarise your experience with ActionCOACH?

We’re a growing company, we need to continually recruit and grow the team and develop the systems. But I’m very satisfied with my work-life balance and I’m very satisfied with what the business is delivering for my family. So overall, I can honestly say that ActionCOACH has been an integral part and vital part of our journey.

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Javan Bramhall, MD of Digital Glue What was life like before using ActionCOACH?

I’[d] been running the business for just under a year. It was going ok in terms of I had a job for myself, was doing the work and delivering work for clients but it wasn’t really going anywhere particularly, it didn’t have much of a direction.

Why did you make the jump?

I wanted a sense of accountability, I really wanted someone to force me into doing the right things. As a business owner I thought you broadly know what the right things to be doing are but I think sometimes the ability to actually focus on and do those things is taken away by day-to-day pressures or urgent things that might come in.

What have you personally achieved since using ActionCOACH?

When I was on my own, even in the first few months of working with ActionCOACH, I’d probably be doing 70 or 80-hour weeks. I’m now doing, standard, probably [a] 45-hour week. But the point about that time is that’s time that I choose that’s flexible around me. So I do school runs on a Wednesday, with the kids I take Tuesday afternoons off [and] sometimes go and see them swimming on a Monday afternoon.

How has your company grown since?

I started the business five years ago [and] when I appointed [ActionCOACH] it was [just] me. We now have a team of nine full-time staff. Gross profit when we started with [ActionCOACH] four years ago would have been about £40,000. In the last financial year our gross profit would have been about £400,000. So net profit would have been minimal at that stage maybe £20,000 [and] we had net profit last year of £125,000. So it’s about a six or seven times increase.

Looking back, how would you summarise your experience with ActionCOACH?

ActionCOACH has enabled us to, yes, grow a business for ourselves as business owners and that’s obviously very important. But it’s also really enabled the guys there to have a fantastic job and work for a company who really value the individual and I think ActionCOACH has allowed us and enabled us to create a working environment which I’m really, really proud of.

“With ActionCOACH’s help, I’ve created eight full-time jobs and grown my gross profits 1,000%,” Javan Bramhall, MD of Digital Glue

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H E L E N P E T H Y B R I D G E

SIZE MATTERS

Working with titans like Walkers and PepsiCo was a blast for Helen Pethybridge in past careers – but Engage & Grow presented something even more rewarding

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aving helped PepsiCo, Walkers and Quaker Oats – to name a few heavy hitters – during 25 years in corporate HR roles, you’d think Helen Pethybridge had seen it all. However, Engage & Grow offered something this background couldn’t. For while giant companies have their pros, they don’t offer the same nimbleness and flexibility as SMEs, according to Pethybridge. Moreover, when seeking a change of scenery she reasoned: “Why would I leave PepsiCo and go to another fastmoving consumer goods [company] when it’s like the top one?” So the hunt began for a smaller business where she could take her HR skills. “I wanted a change,” Pethybridge says. “I wanted a new learning opportunity.” However, while Pethybridge was scrolling the internet’s endless void, a chance to instead aid many companies emerged. “I actually tripped onto the bfa website and saw this thing called business coaching which I had not heard of,” she remembers. One click later and Pethybridge took her first steps towards Engage & Grow. From team leadership to sales and marketing, she recognised coaching lets her get involved with all aspects of a business. “I was an expert in a chunk of [HR work] already and had the opportunity to move into the other areas,” she says. At that time Pethybridge didn’t have a particular brand scoped out until ActionCOACH came into view. “There were a number of different franchises [but] for me, ActionCOACH I’m going to say was the most colourful in many ways,” she remembers. Spotting a diverse roster of ethnicities and women across the franchise was already a good start. What’s more, everyone came across as individuals with no rubber-stamping. “So it had the structure and the toolkit you’d expect but still the ability to be an individual within it,” Pethybridge says. “So that attracted me to it.” After a year as an ActionCOACH franchise partner, Pethybridge opened yet another chapter to her coaching career. “It was one of the [ActionCOACH] team meetings that presented this opportunity

with Engage & Grow,” she says. With focus on companies with around ten to 50 employees who are more inclined to invest, Pethybridge saw this new model as a great mid-way between her corporate history and small business leanings. And although ActionCOACH recommended a minimum of two years in ActionCOACH before adding a second business, nothing was going to stop her once her mind was made up. “So I chatted to the guys and said look, I’m only a year in but this is my bread and butter basically,” Pethybridge recalls. Needless to say, they were won over. Now, Pethybridge can flex all her creative muscles with a diverse palette of clients. “[I like] the variety of businesses I work with, the mental stimulation of switching between all the different businesses and the satisfaction of seeing them grow,” she summarises. And as one of the first Engage & Grow licence holders, she of all people can attest for how lucrative the opportunity’s become. “It does work really well, you’ve just got to get the clients on board, have confidence and believe in it,” she advises. “Because I haven’t seen anything similar in the marketplace in all my 25 years of HR experience.”


FROM THE

HORSE’S MOUTH

It’s all in the name – Engage & Grow sees clients achieve exactly what it says on the tin with their businesses. But if some extra convincing is needed, look no further than these happy customers of Pete O’Keeffe, the Engage & Grow coach Lisa Brown, manager of Accounting Workshop Why did you choose an Engage & Grow coach?

The content of the programme covers a vast range of areas and having the vision and goal of the partner identified at the start of it makes it clear where the organisation wants to go. [It also] includes the whole team rather than just the partner driving change.

What sort of strategies did you adopt?

I feel the programme has highlighted a lot of key areas for us to work on as a team and it’s also highlighting areas for us to work on as individuals. This in turn gets everyone to feel part of the team and the business and their productivity increases. They can also see what’s important to the business owner and why, which helps them understand the business from a different perspective than just that of an employee.

What has your company achieved since?

Although as a team we still have areas to improve on, the training has definitely impacted the way people think. Some of the team have started to take more of an interest in the success of the business rather than just turning up for work and doing their hours, realising that if the business does well they’re more likely to benefit.

Jamie Love, property manager at William Property Management Why did you choose an Engage & Grow coach?

Prior to the programme we had staff members who, because they’re different people, didn’t see eye to eye and showed little prospect of doing so.

What sort of strategies did you adopt?

Following their time with us, Pete and Janelle have brought the office closer, made staff more proactive and helpful and motivated us all to focus on key areas that benefit individuals as much as the team.

What has your company achieved since?

I would recommend this programme to another business as I have seen a change in myself and my colleagues in the way we work as a team, communicate and treat each other. There is a more fun, bubbly atmosphere in the office which can be noticed.

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K A R R I E A N N F O X

IT’S AN ADDICTION After working in her husband’s ActionCOACH operation, Karrie-Ann Fox became fascinated by the network and it was during a conference she became hooked by Engage & Grow

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quipped with a hospitality and retail management background, there was no question whether KarrieAnn Fox was a people person or not. And as her husband joined ActionCOACH six years ago, Fox ended up providing support to her other half. “I worked with him in his business and came to [a] conference and heard one of the coaches stand up and start talking about Engage & Grow and immediately I knew that was the right thing for me to do,” she says. Evidently excited and eager to get up and running, Fox adds: “I was kicking my husband under the table [saying] ‘I’m going to do this, this is what I want to do, this is perfect for me.’” Fox signed up as a coach without hesitation, completed her online training and sold it immediately to one of her husband’s clients. Four weeks in and Engage & Grow founder Richard Maloney visited the UK to run a training programme, which Fox attended to connect with Maloney and “absorb” as much information as possible. “I think it was three days of training and it just goes through all the stages of everything you need to do and learn in order to run the programme, so to be a coach,” she explains. As of March 2019, she’s been with Engage & Grow for two years. Within a month, Fox noticed the impact her service was having. “Maybe [by] the third or fourth week, I could really see it was starting to make a big difference,” she says. “Not only to the people who were in the programme but the whole company that I was working with. As soon as it started to work they were more excited and more engaged and they just wanted more and more of what they could get and that excitement was amazing.” Describing the feeling of seeing her clients learn, develop and grow, Fox calls it “addictive”. “So once you see that and experience that you just want to repeat it and do it again,” she says. Commenting on the supportive nature of the Engage & Grow community, Fox notes that help is readily available. For example, after training there’s an accountability club in which a group of up to 12 coaches gather weekly to run through their plans and ask questions. “And then every time you run a programme you’re learning from the people in that because every programme is

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completely different,” Fox elaborates. “The people, objectives and milestones you hit at different points are different. So when you have a difficult programme or are going through a difficult patch with a client you learn from that and grow.” Discussing what her aspirations are, she has an ambitious outlook. “I’d really like to have an Engage & Grow firm,” reveals Fox. “I see myself developing and growing the business until there are so many programmes that I can’t run anymore and I need to take on additional coaches to help me. Also, I’ve just become the UK Engage & Grow coach trainer so I have an ambition to train as many new Engage & Grow coaches as I can.”


P

EOPLE

OWER

Determined to give something back after growing up in an era where people were at the heart of planning, rather than products, Stuart Johnson became an ActionCOACH franchise partner

S T U A R T J O H N S O N

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tuart Johnson is an individual equipped with a rich experience in business, having worked for electronics firm Philips for 13 years during which he ran a UK division. He’s also operated three businesses on his own. “The first two which were pretty average simply because I didn’t know what I was doing and I learnt how everybody does in terms of how you run a business – by making mistakes and not making them a second time,” Johnson reveals. He also clocked up time abroad working in Germany, Portugal and France. Then after working in a consultancy post back in the UK, he joined ActionCOACH and is now in his 12th year. With almost as much time as a franchise partner as that of his Philips run, Johnson was attracted to ActionCOACH because he believes it resonated with him on a personal and professional level. “I grew up in an era where people invested in me and I got lots of training with the corporate businesses and so on,” he explains. “I learnt an awful lot from some great managers and also great training and it was an era which was a lot slower than today.” Elaborating, he points to today’s market in which a new product can be superseded by the next the day after release, leaving little time to think or even breathe. To that end, he wanted to offer his knowledge using the same approach he was given. “I thought ‘You know, it’s a great opportunity to give something back’ because I was lucky enough to learn and I’ve always been a people person, team player, team leader – call it whatever you want,” says Johnson. “I knew I was going to get the buzz of succeeding and seeing people change.” In the same way he’s helped people develop their businesses, Johnson has evolved his own by embracing the Engage & Grow programme, which originated in Australia just like ActionCOACH itself. “Ian and Julie took it on board about two years ago,” says Johnson. “It’s a fantastic product potentially because the biggest challenge facing companies today is lack of productivity and poor engagement from their employees.” The challenge is something of a generation game, with the baby boomers, millennials and now Generation Z expecting different things from the workplace. With that in mind, he believes there’s a lot of work that can be done to make the disengaged workers reconnect with the business. “If you don’t involve them in the process, they’ll just shrink back and do nothing,” Johnson opines. “They’ll come to work, they’ll be there at 9am, they’ll leave at 5pm but won’t do any more than what’s

expected. You want people on your team who are pushing to go beyond the call of duty and if you want to build great teams, you’ve got to involve those people in it. If you don’t, well you’re fighting a losing battle.” Noting that Engage & Grow is still in its infancy, there’s room for it to develop much further, Johnson believes. “It’s still very much in its early adopter stages,” he says. “It will run in parallel with my coaching. As people become more knowledgeable about the solution to the problem, I’m happy to the run the programmes in the same way I run my coaching and I’ll run them side by side so it’s a great opportunity. You never stop learning, you learn something new every day and it’s worth its weight in gold.”

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D A V I D F O R D

OPPORTUNITY

ABOUNDS Living comfortably as an ActionCOACH franchise partner, David Ford wasn’t an immediate fan when asked to help build ProfitPlus UK. But it didn’t take much to change his mind

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fter spending just over a year working for ActionCOACH, David Ford received a phone call out of the blue from Ian Christelow, co-founder of ActionCOACH UK. Christelow wanted to use Ford’s skills as part of the team developing ProfitPlus. However, as it was explained to him at first Ford didn’t exactly jump at the idea. He instead found himself asking what ProfitPlus had that ActionCOACH hadn’t already got but as Christelow elaborated, Ford saw ProfitPlus as becoming the Pepsi to ActionCOACH’s Coca-Cola. However, a key difference being he envisions many ProfitPlus advisers will choose to work with an Action Coach to help their clients best as the toolboxes are so complimentary – and two heads and skill sets are better than one. “I’m as competitive as they come and there is something about the idea of building the Pepsi of the business growth world that really peaked my interest,” Ford says. “Ian had laid down the gauntlet for me and I was dead keen to get on and start building a value-led brand that could sit alongside ActionCOACH.” After going through the systems and processes that ProfitPlus has to offer to its customers, Ford really started to warm to the ProfitPlus brand and began thinking seriously about Christelow’s offer. “I used the business planning process at the heart of ProfitPlus with my wife’s wedding photography business and immediately I could see the real power ProfitPlus has,” Ford recalls. “I had seen the benefits of 12-month and quarterly plans working with ActionCOACH but ProfitPlus gets the business owner thinking strategically over a five-year time frame rather than tactically for the short term, with very powerful systems to back it up.” Since starting work with the ProfitPlus team, Ford’s been dedicating the vast majority of his time to planning and developing the support systems and working on the development of the brand value for advisers. Ford explained how his varied background in marketing, the creative industry and IT development is enabling him to deliver on his brief. “Using my diverse skill set and working with the very talented ProfitPlus team, we have been making some big strides towards taking an

already fantastic business model and turning it into a market leader, the key being a rigorous focus on quality and support for our ProfitPlus advisers.” Ford goes on to explain how the team are looking to clearly distinguish the ProfitPlus brand in the UK. “ProfitPlus is a unique product in the market at the moment and we’re keen to create a brand image that’s attractive to individuals with a commercial mindset and willing to be leaders as one of the UK’s pioneers. ProfitPlus is a perfect investment for someone looking for an exciting new business and the opportunity to make a real difference.”


WHAT THE CLIENTS SAY With a game-changing system and the opportunity to make a huge difference among other things, not much convincing is needed to become a ProfitPlus adviser. However, as the old saying goes, the customer is always right – so hear it straight from the delighted clients of ProfitPlus advisers Paul Greenwood and Ian Squires Jon Pay, MD of Cool Buildings How has ProfitPlus helped your business?

The business planning process helped me focus on the elements of my HDL Construction company that made the best return.

What sort of strategies did you adopt?

Working with the ProfitPlus team helped me identify an area of the business that was both profitable and scalable. We modelled this area of the company and this led me to use our structural alterations services and project management expertise to develop a new business called Cool Buildings. The new business designs and builds leading edge steel and glazed extensions for homes that create inspiring spaces.

What has your company achieved since?

We have already built a number of high quality extensions that have had great reviews from our clients and we’re now working with the ProfitPlus team to achieve our business plan forecast.

Dee Booth, founder of Sleep Fairy & Parent Rescue How has ProfitPlus helped your business?

Working with the Business Navigation Services team helped show me how to build a business that could grow and scale and get the right work-life balance for myself.

What sort of strategies did you adopt?

The planning process enabled me to understand my margins and the costs associated with business growth and building a team. The sales and marketing plan has really fuelled growth and we have doubled our sales and even flown overseas for a recent assignment.

What’s in store for the future thanks to ProfitPlus?

We’re now working together to implement the business plan and are already updating our forecasts and looking at new opportunities and scenarios.

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I A N

PARTNERS IN

PROFIT

S Q U I R E S

Combining their decades of business experience at home and abroad, Ian Squires and Paul Greenwood joined forces from ActionCOACH to become ProfitPlus advisers

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ith three decades of predominantly corporate experience, Ian Squires wanted to set up his own business. He met Paul Greenwood on his ActionCOACH franchise training and the pair decided to team up. “Effectively, we were made aware of the ProfitPlus business planning tool and decided to use that as the main tool for the business,” says Squires. They used ProfitPlus with clients to help them understand their

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numbers and what the key drivers were for finances, which is something they found really attractive given they possess a love of planning and strategies. As such, they sold their ActionCOACH practice to another coach looking to expand and prioritised ProfitPlus. “Our goal was to help people scale and grow and fundamentally look at their business model,” Squires says. And it was a conversation with ProfitPlus software developer Nic Clark that convinced them to aim for the back of the net. “Nic did a demonstration to us and it was at that point both of us felt ProfitPlus gave us a very tangible product [as] most people need a business plan,” he adds. This desire for a plan was proven in the early days when the duo outlined exactly what was on offer through their services and ProfitPlus. “We just got a good response from potential clients because they could see how it could make a practical difference in their business,” Squires recalls. “You’ll find if you explain what you do in a group of people, you’ll normally find a couple of people will come up and ask ‘Can you tell me some more?’ I think most people know they need a business plan so we’re preaching to the already converted. And yes, you can download a template or pay an accountant thousands of pounds to write your business plan but there’s nothing like this with the best of all worlds – affordable, efficient and effective because the business owners or directors buy into the strategies through the ProfitPlus process. “We just really enjoyed working with businesses, either early stage businesses with funds to invest but also our largest client is in four continents,” explains Squires. “And we’re helping them to develop their business on an international basis so our clients are [in the] UK and overseas.” Looking ahead, the pair have no intention of becoming complacent, with growth key on their agenda to bring in new clients. “We’re moving to new offices with our own training room and facilities which is great and then setting up a little innovation hub,” Squires concludes. “And [we’ll] just continue to develop a couple of specific niche areas of business planning.”


SPORTS COACH TO

ACTIONCOACH With a background in sports coaching, it seemed to be a natural step for Matt Ewer to move into business coaching, which paved the way for him to join ProfitPlus

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ith an entrepreneurial background, Matt Ewer is more than familiar with the trials and tribulations of running a company. “Directly before coming into ActionCOACH I ran a sports coaching business, so we went into primary schools and we would help children get more active,” Ewer recalls. That was anything from rugby and football to cricket and beyond, with Ewer working on engagement strategies to involve

the kids. Prior to that he worked in sales and marketing, which allowed the sports venture to scale at pace. That rapid growth meant Ewer had to juggle various tasks including invoicing, admin, recruitment, deliveries and, of course, sales and marketing. “I was having to peddle harder and harder and harder to keep on top of everything,” he admits. “Whilst from the outside perspective I had a very successful business, actually it wasn’t that much fun to be running.” Given that, it was actually his wife that had a lightbulb moment which she shared with her husband, suggesting that he would make a great business coach. “I had no idea what business coaches did, I didn’t really know they existed, but I Googled it and ActionCOACH came up and I gave them a call and asked them ‘What do you do?’,” Ewer says. That call led him to leverage his experience to become an ActionCOACH franchise partner. It was something that resonated on an even more personal level as Ewer’s father was also a business owner making good money but it took its toll on family life. “He would quite often work seven days a week, 15 hours a day, and my parents’ relationship broke down,” Ewer explains. “So the fact that there was this organisation out there helping people create a business that could work without them, that really appealed to me. [Also] having played a lot of sport growing up I understood the value of coaching.” From becoming an Action Coach in 2015, Ewer developed further to become a ProfitPlus licence holder. It came as a result of his clients knowing they were hungry for success but not making enough money from their endeavours. “What was missing in their planning was where they ultimately wanted to end up,” says Ewer. “So [it’s about considering] what their dream life looked like and then building a bridge towards that so that we were working towards something greater than simply making it hurt less.” ProfitPlus allowed Ewer and his clients to plan that vision using the tools and systems provided. “Once they connect that journey they then start to believe in it and it transforms the way they approach their business and they can really take the leap forward.” While clients have prospered from the addition of ProfitPlus in Ewer’s offering, he has too. “It’s been transformative for my clients as much as me,” he opines. “From a client’s perspective it’s been fantastic. From my perspective, it’s improved my business, so I’m now making more money, my clients stay with me for longer and that’s a great thing.” Ewer adds that seeing his clients satisfied is also a reward in itself. “So it’s really a double-whammy,” he concludes.

M A T T E W E R

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ASK

JULIE With so many opportunities ripe for the taking through ActionCOACH, Engage & Grow and ProfitPlus, there are naturally many questions. Fortunately, Julie Wagstaff, owner and recruitment director of ActionCOACH UK, has all the answers Do you need previous business experience to own a franchise? No, you don’t. For example, we awarded an ActionCOACH franchise to Steve Gaskell, whose entire previous career had been in the army. He ticked all the attitudinal qualities to qualify and the training and support programmes take care of the necessary skills and knowledge.

Can I speak to existing franchise partners about their experience before I consider buying? Of course. As soon as we know you’re serious about becoming a business growth specialist, employee engagement specialist or ProfitPlus adviser we email you all of the contact details of the other franchise partners. We also give you a couple of struggling performers to talk to, along with a couple of average performers and a couple of stars to ensure you get a balanced view of the opportunity and what it takes to be successful.

How do I find my clients? We have a host of proven marketing strategies you can use or you can bring on your own marketer to do this for you. You do need to invest time and money in communicating with enough business owners to find the ones who want to grow their companies and are open-minded enough to engage with you to help them achieve their goals.

Why shouldn’t I do this by myself?

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Many do and it’s an option. But as part of ActionCOACH, Engage & Grow or ProfitPlus, you get so many things: Firstly, you’re part of a team of like-minded individuals. Put simply, we think it’s more fun learning together, celebrating our wins together and hanging out together. Secondly, average earnings, i.e. an Action Coach’s, are approximately quadruple those


of an average ICF-accredited coach. Thirdly, you don’t need to invest your precious and non-billable time creating and trialling all of the tools that you need to be a successful coach. Fourthly, you receive award-winning support from your peers, the UK support team and from the global support team. This means you need never have a bad day, it can just be the odd bad few minutes that get sorted in a phone conversation. Fifthly, you’re associated with quality and success. “It really helps to be part of a big and successful organisation,” attests Stephen Unwin, one of our ActionCOACH franchise partners. “We have various conferences during the year and I am keen to attend them all if I can. The knowledge and experience gained from talking to Action Coaches and the support provided by ActionCOACH as a franchisor helps me not only to continue growing my business but also the businesses of my clients.” Finally, you’re guaranteed the business will deliver a great monthly income, meaning you’ll enjoy peace of mind. Of course, this is as long as you put in the proven marketing investment and use the tried and tested UK sales process. I could go on but you probably get the picture. Quite simply, if you meet our criteria to become a business growth specialist, employee engagement specialist or ProfitPlus adviser, you can invest the minimum personal contribution you need, you’re willing to invest a year or two building your client base and learning the best ways to get results, then I haven’t seen better options.

have partners like Joanna Martorana, who’s a single mother and financially independent as an employee engagement specialist. “The benefits in becoming a licensed coach for Engage & Grow present a great opportunity for mums who were once fully-fledged career women but can’t see themselves going back to their past life of working long hours,” she says. “Having the flexibility to be around for your children, do the school run and raise them as you would like is just a dream for most mums who have to return to work.” Equally, however, we have those that come in and struggle. But from what I’ve seen there are only two reasons for that: either they’re too lazy to learn the best ways of getting results or they’re unwilling to invest enough time, money or both in marketing to grow their business. If that’s likely to be you, please start looking for a different opportunity. In the middle of those extremes we have franchise partners like Lucas Vigilante. “I had a tough two years building this business and learning my new profession but now I’m eclipsing my corporate earnings, on my own terms, in a two-anda-half-day week, so I get all the time I want with my wife and kids,” he explains. “I admire the calibre of people I get to work with and learn from and I’ve got the satisfaction of knowing that my clients are the biggest winners – they’ve already scooped 42 business and professional awards.”

What does it take to succeed? An open mind, an appetite for learning, an investment mindset and a drive and focus to work hard and smart. But that’s true of most businesses, right? Well, you also need to be the kind of person who gets a genuine kick out of helping people succeed – being a team player is a must and a genuine interest in the business of business definitely helps.

How many hours will I have to work? That depends how much you want to earn and whether you bring on someone to do marketing, selling and/or admin for you. We’ve had someone spend as little as two days a week running Engage & Grow programmes and the ActionCOACH licence allows you, over time, to step out of the business completely.

What have the results been like so far? Our franchises and licences continue to deliver mind-blowing results. For example, a couple of our ActionCOACH franchise partners banked over £250,000 in the last three months. We also

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Profile for Elite Business Magazine

Action Coach - Raring to Grow  

Action Coach - Raring to Grow