Stone Specialists & Installers
Well, I know it all; I’ve been growing the business for 20 odd years. My brother, who is my partner, has an MBA. We know everything that there is to know. However, we realised that the more you know, the less you do.
I think we came to a point where we realised that all these great things that we know, we should be doing – were simply not being done. We were firefighting, so it was time to reach out for help.
Now we’re able to set goals. We thought about them before, but now we set them and follow them – we monitor. We always say that we want the business to run by itself, and now I can actually see that being a real possibility in a very short time – could be one or two years. I can actually do that because of the processes, which we were able to set up through working with Shweta and the team.
I am working on the business regularly, and I would say within six months we’re going to have processes which I don’t believe any other business like us implement.
Creative Director / Founder
Branding & Creative Design
I feel like I had reached my limit in where I could take the business, and I felt like I needed some help with bringing in fresh ideas. And also to try and get me into shape to actually run a business.
Working with the ActionCOACH team has given me a lot more confidence in myself, and a lot more confidence in building my financial projections as well. And also, I suppose, looking at different perspectives on how to run my team and manage them.
It was a tough first few months, but now that I’ve really got into business coaching I’m really enjoying it. It’s somebody I can bounce ideas off, get new perspectives, and just really help me to push my business forward to a whole new level.
Hedging and Derivative Products
Working with ActionCOACH has brought a huge amount of benefits to me personally as well as the business itself. Personally, for example, we all want to exercise more and have a healthier diet and manage our time better. But actually for the first time ever, working with my coach, I have actually been able to meaningfully put these into practice.
It’s fine to be sceptical and, you know, be worried about the investment. But see it genuinely as an investment, both in yourself and your business. And give it three months, or six months, and if you run the laps, as Shweta describes it, you will definitely see your performance come through.
I started my kitchen & wardrobe business almost 3 years ago and painstakingly built it up to 2 full-time fitters.
Without going into too much detail the growth since I started working with ActionCOACH has been phenomenal – we had over 300% growth in just three months, and added 2 more fitters and an admin person to the team.
There is no way I would have been able to handle this on my own, and I believe we are still very far from where we can get to. My coach is there for me whenever I need him, and his eye is constantly on growth + stability.
When I first heard the fees, I blanked and had serious reservations. I am so happy I took that leap of faith and I haven’t even glanced backwards since.
I was in what I thought was my last year of owning a business, it was a really hard time. I realised I needed help in order to keep this business going, because it was my passion but I was obviously struggling with things that I didn’t know how to deal with in the business.
In the last several months since I’ve been working with ActionCOACH, we’ve increased our turnover by 20%. I feel so much more confident. I know what I need to do, I’m always learning, so where today we’re planning our next year – in the next three months I know what I have to do to increase my turnover even more.
I think people might be a little bit afraid to even recognise themselves that they might need some guidance in business. But just take that first step and have the initial meeting.
Health & Wellness
I wanted to take my entrepreneurial experience to the next level. And I needed guidance; I decided to hire a coach.
The best achievement was I feel like I’m more grounded, rather than walking in the clouds. And knowing my numbers better and better. Also the support you get from the team in terms of the business.
I do feel different. I feel like I now have a lot more confidence. I know what I’m doing, and I know what to look for in the future; in terms of business achievements as well as personal achievements.
I would say to someone thinking about it, don’t just think about doing business coaching, just do it. Work with them and see the results for yourself.
Teryl Abrhams & Leslie Abrahams
Health & Wellness
I’ve come from a corporate background, and I remember being in the corporate environment – having these trainings, these workshops that help you to become a better manager. Going into business for yourself, you don’t have that. And for a long time, it was the case of just floating along, just having things tick by.
Suddenly, one of our life coaches who rents space from us said, ‘You need to try this business coaching. I am going to introduce you to Shweta.’ And I was like ‘Okay’. And she’s just been wow.
I think business coaching has allowed us to actually get more direction with our business and where we were going. We’ve learned to track and measure, we’ve learned to plan effectively and I think we’ve learned to set goals.
You know, it’s waking up knowing that I have a plan for the day. I know I’ve got to plan for the week, I know I’ve got a plan for my team for the week. I’ve noticed a difference in my staff when they relate to me, they can see I’ve got more of a vision for them and they know what they need to do in a day. Before, I wasn’t meeting with them weekly, now our coach has got us into weekly meetings so I think I’ve just given them more direction, which has been fantastic for me.
It’s life changing. Our coach helped us realise that we can dream big and we can achieve it. And she comes alongside you and she step by step shows you how to get there. You need to actually step out there and do something different to achieve something different.
I think I’d grown my business quite well, and I got to a place where I felt I was at the end of myself. I met my coach at a meeting, and I just thought this is what is going to take me to the next level.
I’ve improved in myself as a person; I’m a much more successful leader. I have confidence in what I can do and who I can be. I’ve developed a strong team and developed a very strong business.
I feel like I’m stronger in my networking and in the way that I strategise the business in terms of being able to ensure that there’s a future for the business. I’m able to look long term as well as short term, and I’m much better with money.
I think the best sportsmen, the top business and political leaders – they have a coach. Why wouldn’t you? If you want excellence, then you need to work with models of excellence.
Founder & Director
Having run my business for six years, I realised that to have strategic advice from a clear-sighted person who wasn’t directly involved in the business would just be a huge value. Provided they were good – they had to be top-notch otherwise it was gonna be a waste of my time.
Right now, it’s fairly early days but already, to be frank, I feel more in control of my business. I am able to make changes and understand the potential benefits of those changes. I might have been potentially aware of the need for those changes without a coach, but now I’ve got structure. I’ve got a sounding board. Sometimes I’m told by the coach my ideas are rubbish, or I should be considering other things as priorities. It’s incredibly valuable. I’ve been running my business for seven years, and I wish I had started six years go.
I’m from a creative background, I have no formal business training skills. I could see that I wanted to grow the business, but I didn’t really know how to go about it and getting all of the systems and processes in place. I realised I needed somebody to stand alongside me, and help me work and develop my existing team so that we could grow the practice.
We have now got a lot of systems and processes in place that the business didn’t have before that. It’s enabled me to spend time with the senior team; we involve them in the business coaching side as well.
Business coaching has enabled me to grow the business, it’s enabled me to really sit back and take a bigger, wider view of the business. And to set much higher goals than I probably would’ve done before.
My coach had the most amazing influence on us and our business. A lot of business owners are far too involved in the day to day running of their operation to plan for the future.
The ActionCOACH model breaks down the business principles in bite size chunks that allow business owners to take control of their business, measure how effective various areas of the business are and plan for the future.
Before meeting ActionCOACH we felt a bit overwhelmed and lost as to how to take the business forward, but our coach gave us the confidence and tools to do just that.
My coach goes far beyond the realm of her role and is really passionate about the people and the business. I cannot recommend her enough.
First thing that my coach taught me was that we focus on EXPANSION. As I reflect on why my business was not growing significantly for so many years, it is crystal clear to me that one of the key issues was that I was constantly focusing on surviving and not on achieving stretched goals.
It all seems a little bit like a magic wand has been cast over our company when, in reality, common sense has prevailed. My coach has demonstrated to me that making consistent and intelligent changes can indeed make incredibly effective changes in business.
It has helped me be in complete control of every aspect of my business – financials, marketing, sales, recruitment processes and staff. Through the process of recognising where I want to go and working diligently towards that goal, I have discovered hope on the horizon instead of the agony of hopelessness before.
I had a guy that I networked with, and he was with Shweta’s ActionCOACH team and he recommended it to me very strongly, so I thought that I’d give it a go. Keeping a track of all my finances, it’s something that in the past I just thought ‘The money is in the account, it’s fine. People owe me enough money, and I’ll be fine.’ Now we’re tracking everything, we’re recording profit on each job, margin on every job and that’s been the big one for me.
I feel that my goals will be achieved because I’m being asked to review them weekly. I’m being pushed to excel every week, never allowed to just sit back, never allowed to be stagnant. Every week we’re being asked to achieve, so I feel like I’m no longer just stuck in this business.
I think that people who are in business may feel ‘Oh I don’t need a coach.’ But then I consider that every professional athlete has a coach through their whole career. And they are better at their field than we are at our businesses. So we need a coach more than anyone else to achieve our goals, and to reach our full potential.
Owner & Designer
Branding and Digital Agency
I am the sole founder of the agency and I wanted someone to support me in making the right decisions moving forward. We were very successful and very profitable, but I wanted that extra support in taking me to the next level.
ActionCOACH has impacted my life in so many ways. For my personal life, I have more time with my husband and family and have definitely reduced stress levels. In my business, we’ve seen nothing but business growth. And we’re still growing in double digits year on year.
I was always a bit resistant at first and a bit nervous about making that decision and committing. But actually, the changes I have seen in myself and my business have made it well worth investing in. I think every business owner should give business coaching a shot. If it’s not for you, then you can just stop after a few months, but I pretty much guarantee that you’ll carry on.
Tina Allton and Peter Allton
My coach has lots of integrity and commitment. Meeting her and choosing to work with her was one of the biggest and quickest decisions we have ever made in our entire life. In fact, this is the best investment… the return is huge… it is difficult to put a value on that.
Before coaching, we actually felt that we were in a job getting a salary and there was passivity in our actions. After coaching we have become proactive in our sales, marketing, team management and systems.
We are growing in solid double digits (more than doubled our turnover during recession) and expanding our team. We have clarity on our vision, long term plan and purpose. Basically, we feel in control of exactly what is going on in our business.
Coaching has made a difference not only in our business but also in our personal lives. Even our children feel the difference in us and in our attitude! My coach is worth every penny that we invest in her and more importantly, in our business!
This has by far been the most interesting year of my career. Having grown quickly over the last few years I was slightly overextended and so I felt vulnerable. Today, not only is my business doing better overall, my confidence has multiplied manifold.
My coach has been invaluable in coaching me to where I am today and I don’t think my business would have been doing as well without her.
Thanks to the new systems I’m putting in place now, my control over the business has increased and I’m able to devote much more thought to the quality of my designs, resulting in delighted clients who keep coming back.
With the recession hitting, our turnover began to decline dramatically pushing it close to subsistence level. Being a family run business, I feel we lacked discipline and professionalism. When we met our coach, we decided to bring in more discipline and rigour in our business.
Along with our coach, we set our targets to move to the next level and also to have one common goal as a team. Earlier we were so busy working in the business… that we did not know better and did not have time to look at things differently. With our coach we started looking at each aspect of our business in depth and in a simple manner. We also analysed our gross margin percentage. Basically, every additional business was taking us closer to bankruptcy.
We straight away set up a financial pricing model… resulting in a year end GM of 38% – that too in the construction sector in recessionary times!!! We not only retained all our clients but also had satisfied, happy clients.
We now review our tenders, conversion %, average tender value, number of projects from existing clients and obviously margins on each job. Tender tracking systems and discipline are paying us huge dividends as our business which was declining at the rate of 30% with low margins grew by 80.6% in exactly 12 months with healthy margins. This is just the start of bigger & better achievements.
I feel we have really broken through another ceiling with our team and after every session it really feels like we’ve leveraged ourselves up another notch or two already this year.
The team have clearly been left extremely motivated and assured that we have a plan to achieve our mutual success. My business partner and I often struggle to get the right level of involvement from the team in the positive vein required but you certainly achieved that in spades for us today.
When I first started considering coaching, I was aware that the business had gone as far as I could take it with what I knew and my capabilities. I had that slow realisation that there’s a whole world out there that you’re unaware of in running a business. Technically, I learned how to do my business, but really working on the business, working with facts and figures… well there’s an ignorance moment you come to, where you realise just how ignorant you really are.
We looked at the quarter’s figures and only then realised how little money we were making on a very technical and highly skilled part of the business. I hadn’t really looked at my margins, and I just had a gut feeling that we were not making enough money off from using a lot of equipment and skill.
It was probably a combination of 3 or 4 items, but a huge part of it was definitely the development and training I’ve had with my coach. You should definitely give it a go.
When I met the ActionCOACH team & my coach, it seemed I’d known my coach for ages. I am not sure if I can describe her in few words. But what is coming to my mind is angel, a woman with energy, great understanding and tolerance of the situation a company is in, along with the people running it. She is a professional, demanding at work. Shweta is very good at what she does (the awards she has won attest to that) and is surrounded by a great team, which supports her. She has good intuition which works nicely with her knowledge. My coach has gone through a rough time with me and my company. However, I am sure that we are going in the right direction now.
I have been running my company with my business partner for nearly 10 years. However, it was the ActionCOACH team who showed us how to do it properly and, even in a recession, be successful. My coach has helped me to set my targets and work on them. I know I need more new clients. However, it happens that now even old clients stay in touch.
Our business is nearly 50 years old and in the time that I’ve been managing and owning it, and shareholder, which is nearly 20 years, it’s grown hugely. And it’s grown effectively from a small family business into a bigger small business and we felt that we needed help. I’ve never had any kind of formal training, I’ve kind of grown with the job, and realised I needed to know how to run a business.
It’s been quite a journey, a bit of a rollercoaster, there’s been lots of highs, a few lows – the lows had nothing to do with ActionCOACH. There’s been some incredibly simple things that we didn’t have in place, and simply by putting them in place there has been a huge impact.
I think coaching is definitely something you should invest in. Any business would benefit from it. It gives you focus, it makes you plan ahead. As the leader of a company it’s made me look up and outside rather than kind of getting lost in the tiny day-to-day things that can grind you down.
Director & Antique Dealer
High End Retail
Many years of running a business that is accidentally successful and conversations with friends who run their own businesses taught me just how much of an accident this success was. And particularly a conversation with one of my closest friends, who had begun coaching with ActionCOACH a year earlier, introduced me to the concept of how much I could change with mindset, planning, and attitude. And the only way to learn that was to get a teacher, however much common sense much of it might be. It’s really about learning how to apply your common sense.
Without question, I’ve gained a sense of clarity and direction. Having that level of mindfulness of where you’re going gives you the possibility to navigate to it. Coaching has enabled me to feel more confident, more empowered, and more in control.
You need to drop maybe a sense of arrogance and understand that whilst you may be very good at what you do, there are people that understand how to run a business better and that you can learn. Do it, it’s awesome.
Working with my coach has transformed almost every aspect of our business. At a fundamental level the most significant change has been in clarity level. Our business now has an immense amount of structure in it with well-defined job roles and procedures. This change in organisation design and culture has automatically started reflecting in our improved sales and profitability.
We have also developed a laser like focus on our bottom line. We have reduced stock levels to release cash flow into the business. Overall, it is safe (in our security business style!) to say that our coach has touched and improved almost every aspect of our business and personal lives by bringing clarity and action in a disciplined manner.
18 months ago we were looking at what we needed to do to grow our business. We got to a stumbling point and we didn’t know which way to turn, or how to turn. We knew we needed external help. Shweta and ActionCOACH were recommended by a fellow coachee.
From a personal perspective, I have been able to leave my previous corporate job and join my partner in our business thanks to starting business coaching. That was a big win for me in the last 12 months. Business coaching has given us the time and focus to both be able to run our business and run our non-business lives – and gather a balance between the two.
The benefits far outweigh any financial consequences or obligations. It always works. The reassurance of a small business is that you are following a process that millions of businesses have been through before and if you just do what the coach gues you to do, you will be successful.
Sharon Barrett-Brown & Valarie Joseph
Our business was growing and I felt that we needed business management expertise to manage our transition into a larger company. Bringing in ActionCOACH has transformed our company beyond our expectations.
We now have an in depth understanding of our profitability and have built a highly motivated team. We are in the process of releasing time for ourselves by creating powerful systems that work for us and our clients. Our revenues since we started coaching have shot up 82% and we have already revised our targets upwards. We have identified what we need to measure in the business and most importantly, how to measure it.
We have grown in confidence – our whole experience has been very positive and has allowed us to offer our clients differentiated quality and extremely high standards.
Reflecting on my decision of working with ActionCOACH, I remember having a small voice in my head saying, “You don’t need anyone; you have managed pretty well so far on your own.” Although this was true I was constantly firefighting in my business.
Now it is interesting to see how my coach is continuously helping me develop a capital P in my professional business. Working with my coach, I have developed a significantly clearer vision for my business.
The way I do business is transforming with small and big changes that I am now proactively making. We are restructuring my business with defined goals and a fully functioning monitoring system.
I have realised that the biggest change in my business has to come from me, and I’m confident that having an expert pair of eyes looking in from the outside on everything I’m doing will move me towards my goals.
I had decided to accelerate the business and wanted to move quite fast. I was just aware of my own flaws and that I didn’t have the skillset to move at the pace that I wanted to, with the ambition that I had. I knew that I needed more help and more focus and more support and that I couldn’t do it, solo.
Rather than having five great ideas, and trying to do all five of them – and then juggling and dropping things – there’s been a process of total focusing. Literally my coach is there saying to me ‘These are your priorities, that this is what you need to focus on.’ And then us agreeing that, and then actually doing it, so you can see results.
It may seem small, but having a dashboard – so you’re measuring your results on whatever parameters – suddenly changes everything. As a young business woman, everything is chaotic and then you can suddenly go, ‘This is real, I’ve got control. We’re seeing growth, we’re measuring.’
I feel supported, so I don’t feel alone. Having that level of experience, excellence and knowledge on tap just changes it. It makes me feel like ‘Yeah, this is solid; I’m not doing this alone. We’ve got a plan.’
I think having a good or an excellent coach is about fast-tracking. It’s tough to find good people, as we all know, so if you want to move fast and move with clarity, and you want a level of excellence on the side, then business coaching is an extremely good idea.
Software and Technology
For some time now, my company had stalled if you like, got to a plateau and was resting there, and I really wanted to take it to the next level. I was approached by ActionCOACH to take it to the next level and I just liked the way it sounded.
We really struggled to employ staff was the main thing for us, and the benefit of working with ActionCOACH was to give me that confidence and to make me push it forward.
So yes, we’ve employed more staff now and for a managing director I can now look back and think ‘I should’ve done that a long time ago.’
It’s funny, but I didn’t really look for coaching to help me personally, more I wanted to develop the business. But actually it does everything, and I mean that sincerely, it’s really helped me personally as well. Because I have changed my attitudes, changed my view on things and of people. And it’s helped me develop, so yes it’s been a big improvement for me as well.
Software and Technology
There was a point I got to in the business where I was unsure about the direction or what the priorities were. I was working extremely hard and not feeling that I was getting the kind of appropriate rewards for that hard work and the business wasn’t moving forward the way I’d hoped. I felt I needed some external help to start to be a sounding board for my thoughts and to give me direction on the decisions I was choosing to make.
From a business point of view, I think I’ve gained a rigour in the steps of what I need to put in place to have a good foundation for my business, and there’s that sounding board with someone to help think about how to move the business forward. From a personal point of view, it’s opened me up to learning and developing more and more as a person. Consequently, I read a lot more about business but also about other topics as well.
I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Now I’m at a point where I find it strange that people run their businesses without a coach. I think it’s an absolutely central part of it. You need someone external to look at what you’re doing and help you improve and also help put a rhythm into your planning and replanning for where your business is going and what you need to do to make your business a success.
Emails & Letters
I wanted to just say thank you again for coming to Ludgate Hill to talk my team this morning. The content was informative and the material was spot on in terms of giving the Relationship Directors a tool that they could take away and use with appropriate customers straight away and which customers could also take away and use easily too.
It was helpful to understand clearly what you and your business bring to the table and I especially appreciated the clear message of the type of businesses which you are interested in and can add the most value to.
Relationship Director Corporate Banking
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Comments from Seminars and Workshops
“The process worked really well and had 20 people turn up. From that we hired two people so great news – the system works!”
Mark Law, Retail, Director
“I learnt that I need to be more serious about my business, to show it the respect it deserves, to work on it more than in it and to respect and value my own time”
Sylma Laviniere, Education, Chief Executive
“Great, direct style.”
Jennifer Hunter, Cleaning Services, Financial Controller
“Inspired for not only the next quarter, but for the next 10+ years!”
Bethan Thomas, Design, Account Director
“Good ideas on important business improvement areas and clarity.”
Peter Richardson, Education, Director
“Lots of food for thought and inspiration to focus on what’s important for my business”.
Clare Skyes, Food & Drink, Founder
“I highly appreciate all the support, care, and devotion that you have provided. I love and so much value each and every webinar and posting that you have and had to offer.”
Martha Okunja, Agriculture, Owner
“I have to say thank you. I attended a networking training event last week and I was able to answer every question thrown at me by the host (a business coach). It then dawned on me how much I have learnt in the last 3/4 months.
Asad Khamisa, Property, Managing Director
“I think this course is excellent and has taught me a lot which I am excited to implement to help me and my organisation grow.”
Laura Campbell, PR, Director
“I was immediately impressed by Shweta’s professional approach and innovative ideas. Comments on the post course evaluation included: ‘excellent – very inspiring’ ‘very clear and informative’ ‘excellent – very clear and precise’ ‘excellent – not enough time.’”
Jane Holman, Business Support, Acting CEO
“Very illuminating and straight to the point.”
“Excellent overall. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.”
Richard Latterman, IFA
“Thank you very much for organizing yesterday’s course. Having initially wondered if it might be at too simple a level, it turned out to be a very helpful refresher of some important basics and has also sparked a few new ideas. Courses of this nature are a really good idea.”
Vernon Hadida, Legal, Partner
“The coaching may have saved our business”
Lesley Alexander, Entertainment, Owner
“I had high hopes for our providers when we decided to work with Shweta and her team at ActionCOACH and these hopes were more than exceeded. The change in the working practices in many of our providers has been outstanding, with the results having a hugely positive effect on the turnover, margins, marketing and growth of those involved.”
Chris Quantrill, Government, Funding Officer
“I got clarity about my goals and direction.”
Bruce Hurton, Managing Director
“Very very valuable!”
Ed Sena, Managing Director
“This was massively grounding and I feel like I can make genuine goal-based plans that will lead to results. I really enjoyed hearing the experiences from others in the room – more of this would be great!”
Henry Foenander, Creative, Director
“I’m re-energised and determined to make some changes and progression.”
Jane Wagner, Property, Director
“I’ve gained clarity of actions needed for short term and importance of having a big credible vision.”
Danny Somekh, Creative, Director
“Very useful to hear from so many business owners in the same position and those who have more on.”
Ted Clive, Specialist Consultancy, Director
“Very Good. Would have liked some more.”
Clare, Property, Director
“It forces one to look at where his company is.”
David Blanga, Creative, Strategy Consultant
“The workshop was of immense value to me. I definitely have my goals fixed in my head and now don’t feel so panicked.”
Laura Graham, Digital Services, Owner
“Very pleased. Very good speaker. I felt confident about what I was told.”
Richard Laidlaw, Agriculture, Owner
“Feel fired up again and very positive. Looking forward to our next session.”
Gay Mill, Design, Founder and Director
“Very impressive coach. This was very useful.”
Dominic Busby, Design, Director
“Great Content. Shweta is a top expert.”
Beatrice Garoche, Health, Director
“Excellent 15 out of 10!! Very good practical examples. Interactive session. Session didn’t sound theoretical”
Carine Grascher, Software, Co-Founder
“An excellent workshop which has given me the time and space to reflect and plan for the future. High quality presentation and support material, well facilitated and personalised.”
Beverley Ejimofo, Education, Director
“So much value – great clarity and the opportunity to understand the interior of my business.”
Clara Gibson, Health, Coach
“Great pointers on the elements of the business to focus onto drive in customers and sales”
Helen White, Retail, Founder and Managing Director
Find out how we can help you speed up your growth again by booking an obligation free 1-2-1 session, where you will receive the tools and strategies to help you grow your business into double digits and free up your personal time.
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