Passion is a word that holds particular meaning for ActionCOACH UK co-founder Ian Christelow, being both the quality he seeks in individuals for the ActionCOACH business network and the word that caught his eye 13 years ago in the job advertisement that led to his subsequent career in business coaching.
“People who are passionate about turning collective business knowledge into business success and who enjoy learning could find ActionCOACH the perfect opportunity to shine,” Ian explains.
Christelow has recently made some changes to the structure of the UK franchising model (see panel) which he believes will create more opportunities for potential coaches to join the network. “This opens it up to younger people and those who have less money to invest initially,” he explains. “With banks willing to lend £30k unsecured, people who can raise just £10k themselves can become part of the team.”
Since Ian became a partner in 2001, ActionCOACH has gone from strength to strength: thanks to the talent and teamwork behind the franchise network over the last 13 years it has become the best known business coaching company in the world, while the UK network has won a string of awards including 2013's coveted Best Business Opportunity award.
Christelow’s vision is to eventually have 6,000 coaches delivering the ActionCOACH service to 100,000 businesses across the UK. It only takes a few minutes talking to the man driven by a passion to create business success, to feel he may well achieve that goal.
Ellis Bardsley, 45, Franchise partner in Oxfordshire since September 2013
Ellis Bardsley had 25 years of corporate experience behind him when he heard about ActionCOACH. “Although I had corporate experience, it was never with Blue Chip companies, always with time-poor, cash-poor businesses working hard with limited resources to succeed, he says. Bardsley signed up his first client in October 2013, within a month of joining the ActionCOACH network.
“I was very attracted by the ActionCOACH approach. I saw the franchise as an opportunity to take my practical business experience and apply it to a proven system to create a concept that was equally useful to a large company as to an S.M.E.”, he says.
“Its been just over a year since I invested in the business and already I’m well ahead of my initial target of 12 clients in 12 months, in fact I just signed up my 16th client today, so technically I’m 33 per cent ahead of my expectations! The support I’ve received has been outstanding and that’s priceless with a new business venture and challenge.”
“As an ActionCOACH, what I’m building is a business that delivers value to real business owners, to people with genuine challenges who need some guidance. The coming years will be about constantly restructuring the business to allow me to deal with an ever-increasing number of clients - and to help people to achieve their goals. My family has got the bug too with my wife Ali joining me in the business and my eldest son Josh getting involved wherever possible in between study and social at Swansea University … Josh’s latest venture is to take a bus load of students down to Bristol to see Brad Sugars live, so already we’re contributing to the next generation of British entrepreneurs!”
Rob Pickering, 51, franchise partner in Oxfordshire since July 2010
Rob Pickering, 51, calls his entry into the ActionCOACH network a happy accident. “I literally stumbled on it when a client I was doing management consultancy for asked if I did business coaching”, he explains. “Although I wasn’t looking to invest in a franchise, soon after dealing with ActionCOACH I realised that I loved it, and in 2010 I invested in the company. Four years later here I am with 12 clients and a turnover of £200k.”
“The biggest challenge is getting prospects over the line to becoming clients although usually it becomes clear to people after a couple of months how business coaching can benefit their business.”
“My biggest win has got to be my first client whose question about business coaching made me switch from consultancy into being a coach. It was a small company called Academia Ltd, which was turning over £3.5m. The company is now in the Sunday Times Top 100 fastest growing tech companies with a turnover of £44m. Behind every top sports star there’s always a coach, and that’s the person they thank for their success, and it’s like that for us – we’re not looking for stardom but there’s a huge satisfaction in being part of a company’s success – that’s why we do it.”
Mandy Hildred, 58, franchise partner in Yorkshire since February 2006
Working as business manager for a local charity in 2005, Mandy Hildred had called in ActionCOACH to inject some dynamism into an organisation which was stagnating. She found the experience so enjoyable that when her contract was up with the - newly successful - charity she joined the team. Eight years on as an ActionCOACH in her own right, Mandy has never looked back.
“Within the first few months I had half a dozen clients, and by the end of the first year I’d more than exceeded my expectations with income”, she says.
“Like any company owner the biggest challenge is about building the business and delivering at the same time. I’ve had the support to be able to do that and with a business partner who shares my vision, I’m now building a team of coaches, working with strategic partnerships such as accountants and banks with the aim of expanding the one to one and group coaching programmes, and branching out into north and east Yorkshire.”
“I say to anyone thinking of joining a business franchise such as this, if you spend a couple of days talking to an ActionCOACH you’ll be better able to make the right decision - for both your head and your heart.”
ActionCOACH Primary: £21k - 5 days’ basic initial training, 2 months’ online training, monthly royalty of £2,100 or 25% of turnover, access to all of the ActionCOACH business coaching and training products and award winning support
ActionCOACH Practice: £41k – gets you the 10 days’ residential training, a lower monthly royalty of £1,800 and the new ‘bolt on’ revenue streams below
ActionCOACH Premium: £61k – comes with the added bonuses of an even lower monthly royalty of £1,500 and the right to employ two additional fee-earning coaches
Five new 'bolt on' revenue streams will be gifted to existing Practice and Premium franchise partners as they grow their business:
✔ Profit Plus – providing clients with essential bookkeeping services, business valuation, business planning, cash flow analysis, profitability analysis and financial monitoring services
✔ I love marketing – delivering online services including content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media and reputation management to help businesses grow
✔ Corporate Business Coaching – Brad Sugars, the world’s number 1 business coach, has teamed up with Marshall Goldsmith, the top ranked executive coach, to help mid-sized companies grow their business. Two of the most influential business thinkers in the world will co-author their next book with ActionCOACH business and executive coach, Heather Christie, and their full suite of tools to tackle this massive market will be ready by October 2015.
✔ Empire Business Brokerage – the 4th largest business brokers State-side has piled their experience and know how into a brand new system and toolkit to successfully sell a business.
✔ Rights to build your Personal Brand – in association with ActionCOACH worldwide through public speaking, authorship and helping businesses grow internationally.
The additional services will all be white labelled ActionCOACH and make ActionCOACH indispensable to any business owner looking to grow their business. For anyone investing in the Action franchise, it’s an exciting opportunity to develop a team of employees to deliver the new services and build a business turning over in excess of £1million per year, coupled with the huge satisfaction of being a major and integral part of your client’s success.