Jeff Shrimpton admits to having the realisation that he stopped working for other people and began to work for a lunatic – himself – when he chose to start his own business after 15 years of frustration in the nightclub management business. The large venues he ran on the south coast included managing over 50 staff whilst generating £2 million a year for other people.
“I decided to set up a business in the performing arts sector with my wife, Lucy. This soon took us in a slightly different direction as we rebranded to a marketing and events company and gained clients like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, National Express, Panasonic, Ted Baker, Hyundai and the Red Bull F1 team. But as I began to get a grip of my inner lunatic, it dawned on me that I was never actually part of these wonderful events that I loved, I was just stuck behind a computer screen. So, I decided to find a buyer for the business.
“During the sale of the business, I set up an online marketing consultancy. This was never meant to be my next full-time occupation, just something to generate an income. Even though the main service was lead generation through online marketing I found that many of my business owner clients didn’t have sales process or framework to deal with leads as they came in and so began coaching them around systems and how they could improve business performance.
“I had never really considered myself as a business coach. In fact, I once attended a Tony Robbins seminar where every other delegate was a coach with something to say and I’d been left with a negative impression of coaches in general. But I now found myself coaching and knew that if I wanted to do more of it and make it a full-time career then I needed more substance behind me.
“At the same time I’d been considering buying a business and I got an email from a business broker about ActionCOACH. I decided I should broach the subject of becoming an ActionCOACH with my wife and so I said that I needed to talk to her about something and she said exactly the same thing to me. She had also been considering the franchise as a possible option for me!
“I put a call in to ActionCOACH, spoke to one of their team and went on discovery day. To be truthful, I would have signed the contract by 11am on that day as it just seemed right for me. It was only five or six weeks from my first enquiry to arriving in Las Vegas for initial training in September 2015.
“I liken that training to standing in wind tunnel but it’s information coming at you – it was hardcore learning for 10 days. I was sure I couldn’t have taken it all in until I ran my first seminar and realised that, amazingly, I had. There were 10 completely different characters on my training from different parts of the world and I didn’t think we’d gel but we did and still keep in touch. Those 10 days really help you to shift your identity into being a coach.
“I attended the UK franchise conference in Grantham in October 2015 and the Monday morning following that I launched my new ActionCOACH business in Southampton. I did exactly what I promised to do during my training in Las Vegas, I went and knocked on the doors of some local businesses to challenge my biggest fears of cold calling. However, we have lots of other sales techniques and support from the franchise team. I got my first client within seven working days of launch, I followed the sales process and I realised that I had it in the bag when they started asking buying questions that had been discussed during training – it was difficult to keep a straight face and hide my shaking hands!
“So far I have used our client generation centre to secure five one-to-one clients with the latest two almost handed to me on a plate as the centre had booked diagnostic meetings with the prospects and then our sales closing genius, Jon Asquith, sat in on those meetings to guide me.
“I now have 11 clients split between group clients and one-to-one coaching. I regularly hold seminars with our online marketing partner, Luv4 Marketing, helping to fill the room. From one seminar I signed a one-to-one client and five group clients and it’s working out that the seminars are allowing me to acquire a new client at the cost of £17 per lead – that’s just one of the many ways I measure my business success.
“One of my clients left school at 14 years old and now has a £2 million turnover business. We set him some goals in January and he met them in 45 days. We are now on track to grow his business to £10 million in the next five years. That feels great – not for me – for my client and that is what it’s all about as a business coach. Once you are making enough to pay the family bills, it stops becoming about me and instead it’s all about the clients.
“When I first met one of my clients he was working 80-90 hours a week and had lost his marriage. In his latest session he told me that he’d taken time out of his business to see friends and was happy to report that his business hadn’t fallen apart without him – real progress. The thing that I enjoy the most is removing the box of limiting beliefs that my clients can often put around themselves. Remove the box and see the endless possibilities – that is awesome.
“The UK franchise support team are creative and inspirational. I don’t lean on them too much but do use the structures and processes they’ve created to support all the franchise partners. In fact, they fund new franchise partners to have one-to-one coaching from a master coach until you reach a good level of client income.
“I never thought I would be wealthy or successful but my mindset has changed and now I’m driven to achieve both. I’m aiming for £24,000 a month in client income by September 2016 and if I hit that target then I have promised myself a Maserati.
“We’re a driven family. Lucy has her own business to and if the kids want a new iPhone then we teach them that is it more rewarding to earn that through hard work. My five-year plan is to use my knowledge to acquire capital to invest in businesses and help them grow – to create more for my family by supporting others to grow.
“I try inject warmth into what I do. I like clients who want to have fun with their coaching and I can’t help but become emotionally engaged in their happiness. As a business owner, I know it can be lonely and you can get in your own way sometimes. My mission is to help business owners be greater than they thought possible in order to create a successful business that works like clockwork and a life that is full of fun, abundance and wonderful experiences.”