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People with passion

People with passion

Passion is a word that has 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 15 years ago in the 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 a younger audience and for those who are wanting a lower investment,” he explains. “With banks willing to lend £30,000 unsecured, people who can raise £10,000 themselves can now 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 15 years, it has become the best known business coaching company in the world, while the UK network has won a string of awards, including the coveted Best Business Opportunity award.

Christelow’s vision is to eventually have 6,000 coaches delivering the ActionCOACH service to 60,000 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 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, but 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. Impressively, he has grown his gross, personal client income by circa £100k in each of the first three years of his business.

“I was very attracted by the ActionCOACH approach,” he says. “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 a small or medium-sized enterprise,” he says.

“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 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 achieve their goals. Only today, we’ve just helped our first client win a contract worth £500,000 - the biggest contract he has ever won.

“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.”



Rob Pickering 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 I loved it and in 2010 I invested in the company. Six years later and here I am with 19 clients, a turnover of £300,000 and I’ve started to build a team of coaches.

“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 was my first client, whose question about business coaching made me switch from consultancy into being a coach. It was a small company called Academia, which was turning over £3.5 million. The company is now in The Sunday Times’ top 100 fastest growing tech companies, with a turnover of £44 million. Behind every top sports star there’s always a coach and that’s the person they thank for their success. 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 and that’s why we do it.”



Working as a business manager for a local charity in 2005, Mandy Hildred had called in ActionCOACH to inject some dynamism into an organisation that 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 income expectations,” 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 working with strategic partnerships such as accountants and banks with the aim of expanding the one-to-one and group coaching programmes.

“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.”




ActionPRIMARY: £21,000.

Includes five days’ basic initial training and two months’ online training. Monthly royalty of £2,100 or 25 per cent of turnover. You get access to all the ActionCOACH business coaching and training products and award winning support. Opportunity to upgrade to:


Includes five days’ basic initial training and two months’ online training. A lower monthly royalty of £1,800 and the new bolt-on revenue streams below. Opportunity to upgrade to: ActionPREMIUM.


£41,000. Gets you the 10 days’ residential training, a lower monthly royalty of £1,800 and the new bolt-on revenue streams below. Opportunity to upgrade to:


£61,000.Comes with the added bonuses of an even lower monthly royalty of £1,500 and the right to employ two additional fee-earning coaches.

Four new bolt-on revenue streams will be gifted to existing Hybrid, Practice and Premium franchise partners as they grow their business:

4 additional revenue streams


Profit Plus.

Providing clients with essential bookkeeping services, business valuation, business planning, cash flow analysis, profitability analysis and financial monitoring services.


Luv4 Marketing.

Delivering online services, including content marketing, search engine optimisation, pay per click, social media and reputation management to help businesses grow.


Corporate Business Coaching.

Brad Sugars, the world’s number one business coach, has teamed up with Marshall Goldsmith, the top ranked executive coach, to help mid-sized companies grow their businesses. Two of the most influential business thinkers in the world will co-author their next book and are scheduled to release a full suite of tools to tackle this massive market later this year.


Rights to build your personal brand

in association with ActionCOACH worldwide through public speaking, authorship and helping businesses grow internationally. Once you’ve built your franchise’s quarterly income to in excess of a quarter of a million pounds, we believe you’ve earnt the right to build your own personal brand and coach anywhere in the world; more than that, ActionCOACH will help you do just that through training, mentoring and tools.

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