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My franchise story: Working hard to weather the storm

My franchise story: Working hard to weather the storm

The rock-solid ActionCOACH system has allowed Natalie Jackson to provide critical support to her clients during lockdown, allowing them to thrive

Across the country, Action Coaches have been changing lives everywhere.

Although the national lockdown presented a challenge, Action Coaches have stepped forward to support business owners in their regions.

Natalie Jackson, a business coach in Essex, has been working hard with her clients to weather the storm.

Although a variety of aspects had to change in her own business, including getting rid of her office space and working with clients remotely, Natalie’s business has flourished – allowing her to reap the benefits both professionally and personally.

With the arrival of her first grandson, she has been able to spend more time with her family, while her coaching firm has grown since the beginning of lockdown.

And after achieving a personal best month of client income, it’s due to clients such as Capital Stone Renovation that have helped make that happen.

Reaping the benefits of coaching

Stonemasonry comes as second nature to Mark Johnson.

He had become very skilled in the profession, working in a business with a partner, when an unfortunate series of events sent the company into liquidation.

Determined to continue with what he knew best, Mark started Capital Stone Renovation in 2012. But although he had the bulk of his loyal team still intact, he admits the first year of business was very difficult.

Mark says: “I had expertise within the industry, but it was the business knowledge I lacked somewhat.

“There were elements I knew, but that was the beauty of being in a partnership – we had complementary skills which helped to grow the business.

“When it came to going it alone, I noticed gaps in my learning that needed to be filled. My work with ActionCOACH has allowed me to learn every single day and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

From the ground up

It was one of Mark’s associates who introduced him to the term ‘business coach’. They were having coaching sessions themselves and recommended the service in confidence.

Up to this point, Mark’s work was reactionary and he knew he needed to be proactive to secure projects.

“This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done” - Natalie Jackson

Wasting no time, Mark contacted his local Action Coach, Kent Rhodes, and arranged a meeting with him to discuss what he could do for Capital Stone Renovation.

Immediately, Kent recognised Mark was floundering and identified areas that required improvement – some of which could be a quick fix and others needing a little more planning over time.

Mark was impressed with the business growth system, strategies and tactics Kent had access to and agreed to weekly one-to-one coaching sessions, starting in 2013.

For five years, Mark worked closely with Kent, right up until his passing in 2018. The reins were passed into the trusty grasp of Kent’s coaching partner, Natalie Jackson, as she took over the business coaching firm.

Putting up the building blocks

“One of the first things Natalie helped me to work on was the structure of the team,” Mark says.

“Natalie supported me in overcoming our team challenges and very quickly tasks were getting completed much more efficiently.

“Natalie also got involved on a much deeper level. She helped alter the mindset of one individual who had the potential, but simply couldn’t see it.

“With her calm – albeit very frank – attitude, she placed confidence in the team member to step up and unlock his true potential. He has since been promoted to operations director and become pivotal in the success of the business, something I’m extremely proud of.”

Capital Stone Renovation had operated with a two-pronged business approach since its inception, one side being its contracting division and the other a manufacturing service.

The latter, however, was very inconsistent with its profits, with some months seeing a loss. Just like the COVID-19 pandemic did to many businesses, it forced Mark to consolidate his records and make a tough decision.

“It’s with Natalie’s belief that several decisions have been pivotal for the business,” he says.

“In 2020, I secured the largest-ever single contract we’ve ever been given. We had completed a few small projects for Lincoln’s Inn, a prestigious private estate in central London, home to a thriving society of barristers, but they recognised our potential in completing a much larger renovation.

“This particular contract was for £3.2 million, which boosted my confidence massively. In this industry, growth only happens with an impressive portfolio, so securing them as an ongoing client was a great moment.”

The grand reveal

Despite lockdowns and various setbacks, Capital Stone Renovation is now entering its next phase. And the results speak for themselves – profit alone was up by 16,000 per cent in one quarter of 2020.

With that, the team were rewarded with good bonuses and pay rises. On the back of a milestone year, Mark is ready for the future.

“The next goal is about initiating an entirely fresh marketing campaign,” he says.

“Our online presence has already received an overhaul, giving me the chance to attract bigger and better clients.

“Our new CRM system will help identify the quality of any leads and push us ever closer to upgrading our clientele. This has already paid off, as we’ve secured an impressive contract with Marriott Hotels.

“I’m extremely grateful for the support ActionCOACH has given me. Natalie has done an excellent job of continuing Kent’s legacy and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be my business coach.

“I’m held accountable for my actions, but more importantly I know I’ve got the support of Natalie if I ever need it. One thing’s for sure, I wish I had an Action Coach when I was 25 and starting my own business.”

Thanks to clients such as Mark, Natalie is thrilled with the success of her ActionCOACH business. She says: “It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done.

“I’ve recognised my one clear goal in life: to build a business that can allow me more free time. And helping others do the same is just the icing on the cake!”

At a glance


1993 in Australia. 2001 in the UK

Number of franchised outlets:

200-plus in the UK

Location of units:


Investment range:


Minimum required capital:



If you want to offer businesses in your community the building blocks for success like Natalie 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…
Then find out more by watching the overview video at

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