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How one former Army captain made a success of franchising

How one former Army captain made a success of franchising

Former Army captain Steve is now setting big missions for business owners in Exeter under the ActionCOACH franchise

Phil Rivers started Unicorn Construction in 2007. However, just before meeting his local ActionCOACH and former Army captain Steve in 2022, he was struggling.

Productivity levels were dipping by up to 30 per cent, naturally affecting the bottom line. It meant something had to change.

Establishing a balance

The first shake up to Unicorn Construction came when Steve asked Phil what he wanted to get out of the business – something he’d not had much headspace to consider previously.

“I was accepting every job that came through the door rather than going out and getting the work I wanted. I was also working 10-12 hours every weekday because I thought that’s what I had to do to succeed,” says Phil.

He also quickly realised that working alongside his wife Nicki was making it increasingly difficult to establish all-important work-life balance.

“When Nicki began attending my sessions with Steve, things clicked – we realised we needed to spend time outside of the business together while still being productive. It’s had a massive impact on our thought process and has helped us focus on what we want to get out of the business,” says Phil.

Once the pair had established the balance they desperately needed, Phil and Steve were able to identify pain points in Unicorn Construction and find solutions.

“The first month or so focused on specific day-to-day problems and how I could overcome them,” says Phil. “We needed a team that wanted to work hard, who appreciated their downtime but weren’t just here for the money. We identified a few individuals who weren’t consistent and let them go, showing the rest of the team how important the right attitude is.”

Making dreams a reality

Steve has been well positioned to provide Phil with the support and guidance he needs. However, the ActionCOACH franchise partner insists that Unicorn Construction’s success has been down to Phil’s receptiveness. “Phil is very detail-oriented,” says Steve.

“If I ever ask him to watch something or read a book, he’ll always do it. Prior to our coaching he hadn’t read for over a year. He now has a good team foundation and I’m confident this is just the beginning for Unicorn Construction.”

Steve highlights that although you don’t need to be a coach when you invest in the ActionCOACH franchise, you should enjoy learning and personal development, as it’s these traits that help business owners like Phil.

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