Letting the light in on business success

ActionCOACH helped Excell Blinds business owner, Simon Hogan, to work on his business and not in his business. The results were incredible…

Before engaging the services of ActionCOACH, Simon Hogan’s bespoke made-to-measure blind business, Excell Blinds, had become stagnant. Despite Simon’s hard work and expertise, he struggled like many established businesses to continue his business growth. After seeing a Facebook advertisement about business coaching, Simon began the process of constructing a more profitable and fulfilling business for himself and his family.

“I had reached a point where I was working 70 hours a week, but I didn’t have a clue where the business was going. I had built Excell Blinds out the back of a van, but I had hit a point of desperation. We had a turnover of £450,000 with next-to-no profit. I felt lost. I was putting in so much effort, however I wasn’t going anywhere. I was close to leaving it all behind.

“Due to the Facebook ad, I started researching business coaches. I kept getting drawn back to my local Action Coach James Burke. What stood out about him was his energy. He helped me regain focus and enthusiasm for my business. My Action Coach made me feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Lighting up the path to success

“I had never really done forward planning before, and my Action Coach helped me put together a comprehensive five-year strategy for my business. I realised if I didn’t plan, I would be destined to stay in the same place. I could tell my Action Coach wanted me to fulfil my potential, and his support was instrumental in my success.”

After putting in a thorough plan to put momentum back into the business, the pair started to take strategic steps to help transform Simon’s business management.

“Before ActionCOACH, I would never have had personal development time – now I read regularly. The E-Myth by Michael Gerber was like reading a biography of my life. I couldn’t believe a book could be so relatable to what I thought was my unique business situation. This development of my understanding of business helped me realise where the company was going. With my Action Coach’s support, I started to see the road my business was going down.”

Here comes the sun

“Before ActionCOACH, I was involved at every level of the business. With my Action Coach’s help, I focused on the right recruitment to fill the priority positions. This meant I was no longer working 70-hour weeks, and instead I could guide the company rather than chase it.

“This shift in strategy has led to our best year yet – with us on track to turn over £1 million this tax year, with a 350% increase in profit from the previous year. We now have a factory and a shop, meaning the business is a complete production line from crafting to fitting. I have also invested in a training facility to continue to upskill our staff to the high standards we have set.”

“I want to carry on expanding and growing the business. Before lockdown I had six staff members, and now I have 12. My goal is to create a five-million-pound business. This will allow me to maximise the sale price of the business to retire and have the life I’ve always wanted.

“If you feel like your business has gone stagnant, please invest in an Action Coach. Before ActionCOACH, I was in the business seven days a week with no vision for the future. I wouldn’t have reached this position without the support from my coach and ActionCOACH – he’s helped me find the value in my business and myself.”

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Creating time and balance to be the best Dad

Half a million pounds from 12 ½ hours per week!

Here Andy Hemming reveals his ‘warts ‘n’ all’ story of his decade with ActionCOACH, overcoming the 2008 recession and how he grew his coaching business to £60,000 income a month on just three days’ work a fortnight, so he could free up time for his family.

“After four years working in Hamburg on the global strategy for Nivea, I needed to move back to the UK to support my family – both my parents were diagnosed with cancer and we had been told my eldest son had autism. It was during this time that I put my CV on a recruitment website.

“I was at The Mailbox in Birmingham buying a shirt for interviews, when I got a call from ActionCOACH. They had seen my CV online and asked me if I have ever heard of franchising or considered running my own business. In May 2007, I found myself in what should have been just a two-hour interview but as soon as I heard about ActionCOACH’s values and culture, I wanted to know more. Having spent so much time in the corporate world, the ideas of learning, self-development, support and team were really appealing.

“I’d given myself a 12-month target to earn enough from my ActionCOACH business to replace my old corporate salary and by mid 2008 I had created an income of £16,000 a month. And then life got interesting – the recession hit! My bankings dropped from £18,000 in October 2008 to just £7,000 in March 2009. With the few clients I had left, I allowed them to dictate my diary so my business wasn’t running efficiently and I had less time to spend with my family – the complete opposite of where I wanted to be.”

With the recession making people look really hard at their finances, one of Andy’s clients had an accountant asking what he was getting for his money. The accountant came to a one-to-one coaching session to see if this was a cost which could be cut. The accountant loved it and ended up introducing Andy to the Regional Director of HSBC who invited him to run seminars for his clients.

“It helped turn my business around and in 2011 I banked £210,000. Strategic alliances like this were clearly the way forward for me and are now simply part of the marketing toolkit for new franchise partners today with a full-time national partnerships team developing and maintaining key relationships.

“I decided to buy an office space and get super-focused on efficiency. My clients came to me for coaching and I tightened up my diary. In 2014, I banked £360,000 and, since then, I made time my obsession. On just 50 hours every four weeks, I generate over £500,000 a year.

“I know I need time on my own for me to be a great Dad, so I spend Monday to Wednesday every fortnight coaching and the other 10 days are pretty free for things like training for the London Marathon. I love being outside, especially in the mountains with my sons, Oliver and Alex, but have also climbed Kilimanjaro with friends. The sky is the limit and I plan to grow my business to £1million working just four days a fortnight and start to build a team of coaches.”

Turning trauma into triumph

In 2013, as Cassandra Bodington attempted to run her sandwich shop from a hospital bed, she realised things had to change. When she was well enough to get back to business, two goals were set: getting the business to a point where it could operate without her and, when it reached that point, ensuring other business owners didn’t have to go through the same stress.

“I was misdiagnosed with an internal rupture, collapsing one day, and ended up needing eight hours of life-saving surgery. I focused on getting myself fit for work and spent a lot of time putting in foundations to ensure the business wasn’t dependent on me. After 18 months, both me and the business were healthy again, and the time came to sell. I realised that I had to share my story and make sure other business owners wouldn’t face the same kind of ordeal.”

Making the moves

Drawing on her experience in customer service and running her own business, Cassandra thought about what she would do next. She was intrigued by ActionCOACH, after getting a recommendation from her accountant, and began to research further into the opportunity.

“I’d never heard of ActionCOACH before, but it was exactly what I was looking for. Yes, I was my own boss again, but it was nothing like before – I’d be able to build up a successful business that wouldn’t fall apart without me and I’d get to help other business owners achieve the same.

“I worked hard for the first two years, securing a handful of clients. And then in 2017, my daughter was born, flipping my whole world upside down as a single parent. When I was ready to return from maternity leave, I had a serious conversation with myself. If I was going to do this, then I was going to be damn good at it.”

Becoming triumphant

“It was almost like a switch had been flicked. I received a sudden burst of motivation and set myself an immediate goal of getting 15 clients who connected with me on a personal level, intending to double my monthly client income to £20,000.

“As a single mother, I’m passionate about helping those who are facing the same challenges as I did. I love being a mum, and my daughter provides constant motivation – she’s my daily reminder of why I love what I do. The support I receive from ActionCOACH to be a mum, whilst building a successful business, is amazing. I knew this was a benefit of a franchise, but I’ve got to be honest and say I didn’t quite expect this level of support. It’s exceeded everything I ever imagined.

“ActionCOACH has given me the flexibility to properly enjoy my downtime, working just three days a week. When I switch off from my business, I feel a sense of great satisfaction around the difference I’ve made in my local community.”

If you want to build a business with scalability and longevity, make a difference in your local community and you’re the kind of person who:

A) loves learning and developing yourself;
B) has enjoyed success in your career or sport; and
C) is willing to invest if you see substantial rewards can be made…click on the button below.

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