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Alan Smith finds the perfect match through NatWest franchise seminars

Alan Smith had spent 18 years in the corporate world but decided he wanted to do something for himself. He attended a NatWest Franchise Seminar in Birmingham in October 2013 and it sparked his interest. Alan has been running his own ActionCOACH franchise in Edinburgh since April 2014.

Alan had a positive experience with the seminar and it set him on the path to business ownership. All he needed was a little bit of expert knowledge and a push in the right direction!

“When I attended the seminar, I was working for Cadbury in Birmingham but had been thinking of doing something for myself for quite some time. I was living in Edinburgh but working in Birmingham or London for 3-4 days a week and with a young family I wanted to find a better balance between the two. It felt like the right time for me to do something new. I actually went to the seminar with a view to starting a food retail franchise but the seminar completely changed my understanding of the other options that were available.”

“The seminar was really informative. I’d gone there specifically to learn and soak up as much knowledge as I could about starting my own business and if I’m honest, coming from a very comfortable career, it was extremely daunting to be thinking about making such a big change.”

Despite his initial fears, Alan is now running a successful business and is glad he took the leap. The seminar provided him with the information he needed and inspired him to make the journey into business ownership.

“Although I’d come from a coaching culture in my corporate career, I wasn’t familiar with Business Coaching for SMEs and ActionCOACH really stood out for me. I really liked the idea of helping business owners achieve their dreams and so I expressed my interest on the feedback form at the end of the evening. ActionCOACH contacted me and the rest, as they say, is history!”

“I think that going into business is a brave step for anyone to take and the bravest of them all in my view are those that go into a fully independent business straight away. For me, the franchise model was an excellent stepping stone into my own business minimising what I perceived to be the bigger risk of ‘going it alone’. I’m still very much the master of my own destiny but I have a proven framework and a support structure in place to help me be successful.”

Starting a franchise can be a daunting task but Alan is glad he took the leap and is now reaping the benefits of being a business owner.

“When I started my business I was excited by the potential and I was also quite apprehensive because it was the start of something completely new and I’d walked away from a very good career. The learning all began when I started my own business. When people talk about a learning curve, it creates a very graceful and smooth picture in your mind but the reality of my experience was that it wasn’t a curve but more like vertical line of learning!! – it’s all about personal growth”

“I love my business – it’s great! I’ve never worked so hard but then again, I’ve never felt so satisfied. The ActionCOACH system talks about fear and excitement when you make a decision and I feel that every day.”

“The supportive environment of being in the ActionCOACH community is something I’ve never experienced before. Fellow coaches genuinely want to see others succeed and that’s not the kind of culture you get in many businesses. It’s the difference between an abundance-mentality and a scarcity-mentality. The abundance mindset is at the centre of the ActionCOACH culture yet it is a mindset that is very alien to a lot of people in business. Someone else winning doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to lose – you can work together so that everyone is successful.”