From Top Salesman to Business Owner
Marco Soares joined ActionCOACH in 2010 having worked for over seven years in the tough world of advertising sales where he excelled! During his advertising career he rose through the ranks to brand director and worked with major media brands such as The Independent, and EMAP Advertising, who own several top entertainment magazines such as Q, Kerrang! and Mojo.
Despite his success the urge to run his own business was strong. In 2009 he started to look at the options. Like many great salespeople who have dreamt of running their own business, Marco found that making it happen was easier said than done. It must be the right business and, while sales skills would be valuable, there would be a lot to consider.
While he was researching his options, he came across franchising, which had not been something he had initially had on his radar, but the more he found out, the more excited he became.
Marco attended an exhibition and scanned franchise magazines. Three franchise concepts caught his eye, a sales training business, an internet marketing service and ActionCOACH.
Why Marco Chose ActionCOACH.
During his decision making, Marco was able to speak to actual businesses who were being coached by ActionCOACH and was really impressed by the results that had been achieved. “It was important to me to find something I believed in and, from speaking with these clients, I could see ActionCOACH offered this.”
Marco was impressed by Action’s awards and international reputation. However it was the way the company dealt with him personally that clinched the deal – He explains: “I can obviously spot sales talk a mile off and they just didn’t have that approach. The ActionCOACH team were very up-front and straight forward. They didn’t sugar-coat the facts.
When you’re making such a life-changing decision and planning to invest your money, you need a realistic idea of how it’s going to be. That’s exactly what ActionCOACH gave me.”
Impressed, Marco bought his ActionCOACH franchise in April 2010. He part funded it through savings and financed the remainder through a loan with the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme with Lloyds Bank.
Marco had some experience in coaching, plus he had a sales background, but knew he would also have new things to learn. “I had to master so much – I needed to put together a plan for a business I’d not run before and get it working pretty quickly.”
He was impressed with the support from ActionCOACH and the emphasis they place on continual training. Every coach is mentored and given help compiling a business plan. “There’s also a great international coaching community to draw on, a forum where best practice is shared, plus regional and global conferences and weekly webinars. The great thing about ActionCOACHis that many of the strategies you help your clients implement are completely applicable to your own company and vice versa.” adds Marco.
This training and support paid off; in six months he had his business where he wanted it. After 18 months he was able to employ his wife, Jane, who has a background in PR and helps with admin, lead management, accounts, appointment setting and some client contact, leaving Marco free to do coaching and business development.
Marco sees his 10 clients weekly or fortnightly, others attend workshops. His clients are wide ranging, from a printer, church supplier, golf club and a logistics company, to a pharmaceutical businesses and a building firm.
“When working in the corporate world I’d seen consultants come in, give advice and walk away without seeing things through.ActionCOACH is not like that; you’re helping clients on a long-term basis, so you get to see the results of your work. You’re accountable, which is daunting, but ultimately much more rewarding.”
Is Marco pleased he made the move from corporate life?
“Absolutely! Finding ActionCOACH has been one of the most rewarding, challenging and exciting decisions I’ve made. I’m realising my dream. I’m running my own business and although I set it up in the depths of recession, it’s growing fast. I’m doing work that excites me, I’m never bored and I’m learning all of the time. My wife now works with me in the business and I have some truly fantastic clients. I wouldn’t have it any other way.