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,” he says. “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 actually had a few coaches closer by, but I kept getting drawn back to my local Action Coach James Burke. What stood out about my coach was his energy. He helped me regain focus and enthusiasm for the business. I think I needed his motivation as I was very close to giving up on the company. My Action Coach made me feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“Before contacting ActionCOACH, I was doing everything in the business. I could never take time off; I was on the road installing blinds as well as running all other aspects of a six-figure company. This was not a healthy amount of work, and I knew something would eventually break if I didn’t make a substantial change.”
Lighting up your business path
“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
“I saw the first pandemic lockdown as an opportunity. We’d already put new structures in place, but I realised I would never have the time again to implement all my learnings. In the first three months of lockdown, we increased our turnover by 50 per cent.
“A big part of this success came from filling positions in the business to free up my time to concentrate on leading the team. 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 per cent 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.”
Sunny days ahead
Despite the sensational success he is seeing with ActionCOACH, Simon still has big plans for the future of Excell Blinds.
“I want to carry on expanding and growing the business,” he explains. “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. I’m now working 40-hour weeks, which is 30 hours less than what I was doing before my work with ActionCOACH. I now have the weekends to myself – I can use this newfound freedom to spend time with my family or watch my boyhood team Liverpool FC.
“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 value in my business and myself. I’m on track to real freedom, and if I hadn’t seen the Facebook ad, I may have had to start all over again. I’ve changed so much as a person, feeling fulfilled in life.”
The coach’s perspective
“When I first met Simon, he was working 70 hours a week and started turning up for sessions while he was in his van! He wasn’t completing all the goals and would turn up late or try to move and cancel sessions.
“Fast forward to the present day, and Simon’s standards have done a U-turn. He’s on time for every session, he completes all his goals, and he performs incredibly well on the programme. And the best bit is he isn’t doing 70-hours working in the business every week, instead he’s doing 40 hours working ON the business. That’s where all his extraordinary growth has come from.”
At a glance
1993 in Australia, 2001 in the UK
Number of franchised outlets:
200-plus in the UK
Location of units:
Minimum required capital: