Rhyno Mills, Castleisland – Paudie O’Connor
Rhyno Mills is a medium sized long established family business.
The business had development potential but we were unwilling to grow the business without the proper management structures in place. To facilitate that process we bought into Helen Burns and ActionCOACH 12 Month Gold Coaching Programme.
We were skeptical about “coaching” and wary of being disturbed from our comfort zones. We decided to engage with the process and see what emerged.
Not long after starting with Helen she made us see that we were spending most of our time working “in” our business rather than “on” our business. When we started to work “on” our business we realised that we did have the management capacity, ability and experience to drive the business and seek its potential. One of our first projects was to hire a full time in-house management accountant, Helen’s ActionCOACH recruitment system was used to let us sell the company to potential recruits and they to sell themselves to us. The innovative group interviews system used was a rewarding experience for all involved and ultimately provided the company with a positive outcome.
Helen’s ActionCOACH Team and Sales Days were fun, engaging and rewarding. Our staff have now a greater understanding of how our business operates and the value of their individual contributions. We have had very positive feedback from our team.
We are currently systemising all functions within the business. We will then examine our processes, eliminate inefficiencies and implement improvements. Helen and ActionCOACH are showing us how to maximise gross profits, manage cash flow while controlling overheads.
The process is ongoing and we are confident that we will soon be in a position to maximise the potential in our business. Helen and ActionCOACH have made an invaluable contribution.
Munster Fire & Safety –Willie & Claire O’Leary
We have been working with Helen for 3 months now, and already we can see the difference in our business and in ourselves. In that 3 month period, we have gained control over our debtors – which was the first thing we needed to tackle.
We know from our work with Helen that each thing we tackle from here on will be done methodically and in a way that is workable. She has empowered us, we feel motivated and can’t wait to see what we achieve with her help in the next 9 months.
At the moment, a great benefit to us is that “feeling of support”. Helen always answers emails we send when we have issues we’d like help with. To know that there’s someone on the outside to bounce ideas off – who will come back with really solid, practical advice is invaluable.
Denis Mac Mahon, Mac’s of Main Street, Killarney
I choose ACTION because the business was running my life…….whilst we had some measuring and systems in place, when we joined ACTION we began totally systemising, testing and measuring all aspects of our business.
I now enjoy life with a business which is run by systems and brilliant team members.
I choose now to focus on other work projects ….it also allows me value my personal time enjoying family and leisure activities. My turnover and profits have increased by over 30% this summer.
I have now gained control of my BEING as a result of working with a BRILLIANT COACH
Dermot Kerins – Allscape Ltd, Co. Dublin
I have being involved in business all my working life, mostly in the same sector. But recently I set up a wholesale import and distribution company with a retail element. One day I was in a store belong to one of the multiples and wondered how they managed to have all their products in stock and presented so well with the correct pricing etc and how they managed to multiply this system around Europe. It was then I decided to contact Helen Burns, initially I naively thought that we would have a couple of casual conversations and she would set me on the right track, but before I knew it I was signed up to a 12 month Gold! Coaching programme (maybe I should have being looking for sales advise)
Since signing up we have never looked back, we have made amazing changes to the business and by applying some of the simple techniques that Helen has taught us we have seen an increase in our gross and net profit margin, and we have tighter control on all aspects of the business, I have a focus each week with our coaching call and find the whole system excellent with a major focus on results and also testing and measuring all aspects of the business. All of the systems and training is very practical and it is great to get to meet so many other business owners at the 90 day planning sessions
Helen has involved our whole team in the coaching process and therefore in the running of the business, they are all responding really well to the change. We have all dramatically improved our time management and the communication has improved immensely with dedicated times for staff meetings and planning.
We have embarked on a course of change for the better which would not be possible without applying the techniques thought by Action, it is assisting us with setting clear goals and targets that can be assessed for results. We are not ready to take on the multiples yet but with the help of Helen it won’t be long!!!
Keith Sheehan, Managing Director, Helbre Construction Ltd, Tralee, Co Kerry.
I, Keith Sheehan, have been in construction with 12 years or so (since 1995) and never came across a business that actually teaches you how to run a business until eight months ago, when I met Helen Burns by chance. I thought at first that this was an unusual business and what would they know about running a construction business.
I can now safely say that it has been the most important business decision of my life, to take ActionCOACH Business Coaching on board. Before Helen came on board I was working 80 hours+ a week, I am now working 45 hours approximately a week and taking on twice the amount of business that I could have done before.
Also in the past eight months I have begun to look outside the business I’m in and I now have a share in a computer company and in the process of getting a share of another business.
Action will teach you how to systemise your business in such a way that you can increase your productivity, your profits, and have a lot more time for other interests. Being a business owner is a lonely world but it does not have to be. Helen has changed my business and it is still changing for the best. Action are more than coaches, Helen is also a great friend that understands business and confidentiality. Action is someone you can trust and I would recommend them to any business, as no business is perfect.
Mairead O’Riordan & Associates, The Physiotherapy Clinic, Maynooth, Co. Kildare –
In 1992 I set up my physiotherapy clinic in the time honoured method of commencing with a few evening clinics per week while holding down fulltime employment within the academic/ public healthcare system. My home based clinic grew gradually via a combination of choosing to work a couple more evening clinics per week, then securing the services of other part-time colleagues to cover another few sessions, to a stage where the business was sufficient that I reduced my public service employment to a job-sharing post. This allowed me to further expand the hours of my clinic further. Eventually, essentially for family concerns, I chose to go fulltime in my clinic in 2000, leaving off the safety net of pensionable public service employment. Thus for the first eight years the business grew slowly and generically.
However, with making the jump into full self employment I also needed to expand the physical premises from a home based/ one room clinic. Not being sufficiently confident, brave and without any long term business plan, I took another well tried option within my industry: I leased a unit within a local GPs’ surgery. Moving from one treatment room to three gave the business room to grow, which it did year-on-year very successfully for the next five years. Then, inexplicably growth stalled over the next eighteen months. I made ongoing attempts to identify why growth had stalled, trying to measuring a varying range of indicators, but failed to identify any definite trends. I tried some local advertising. Nothing seemed to make any difference. I became gradually aware of feeling more and more dissatisfied with the performance of the business, the performance of my colleagues in the practice, a definite awareness that clinic income was under pressure. I was working longer and harder than anyone else in my business, for less financial reward and less and less professional and personal satisfaction.
Then, out-of-the blue a letter arrived inviting me to an Action Seminar on June 8th 2006. The letter addressed several pertinent issues, the one that grabbed my attention being the issue of ‘the business owner working longer and harder than anyone else in the business’. I knew I needed to make time to attend this event! The information during the seminar was a huge wake-up call to me. When Helen Burns, Action Coach, phoned me the next day I was delighted to arrange a meeting. By the end of the Action Alignment Consultation, I again knew that I had no option if I wanted to see my business prosper again, but to sign up for Action Coaching. The answers to Helen’s probing questions left me in no doubt that Action would be able to help me find the way forward. I knew that I had been presented with an invaluable opportunity to bring my business forward.
Over summer 2006 our weekly phone/ face-to-face sessions looked at the KPIs I had been measuring to date, how narrow their focus was, and in essence how they were PIs rather than KPIs. With Helen’s guidance I began to re-formulate the questions and gradually began to produce real information: industry specific KPIs that gave me a true picture of how the business was doing daily/weekly/ monthly. We explored my time-poor issues, addressed the fact that though I had excellent colleagues working with me, I had not made any effort to create a viable team and that this was both holding these colleagues back from improving performance, but also preventing the business from growing. Helen encouraged me to put team building strategies in place. Within three months we were functioning as a team rather than individuals, with huge spin-offs for me as my team worked better to service the business, freeing me up to run the team and the business. I learnt how to delegate successfully.
Helen coached me on the importance of written systems. I spent many hours consigning the systems I had always carried in my head onto paper. Formal team training put the systems to the fore of the business. Action sales training improved the team’s understanding of how to service our clients. In monitoring the changes for the better in my own business I realised that the knowledge I had gained would be useful across my industry. Most Chartered Physiotherapists become business owners in exactly the same way I did. Most of us have had no formal business training, many of us not even taking business subjects prior to Leaving Cert, as we concentrated on the sciences.
I had had the seed of a physiotherapy related business in my head for a couple of years, a great brand name and concept, but had no idea how to take it any further. While working on systems for my clinic, I began to realise that these systems might be one component of bringing my concept to fruition. In October 2006 I presented this concept to Helen. To my great delight she agreed that the concept had merit. She now turned her considerable coaching, mentoring and networking skills put me in touch with business people across a wide spectrum, each one offering valuable insights and assistance. Coaching certainly focused me on step-wise progress to bring a new idea to the marketplace. Each week we agreed on tasks to be completed before the following week’s coaching session, while all the time keeping a close eye on my original clinic’s performance.
Occasionally I would appear to hit a major obstacle. Helen invariably had some technique or tool to overcome the problem. Despite only first discussing the outlines of a concept with my Action Coach in October 2006, now only seven months later, in May 2007 I have formed two companies, a holding company and a trading company, have brought two directors/ shareholders on board, and have launched the concept for integrated patient centred clinically excellent therapies to members of my profession. My company and concept, TherapyXperts, has been successful in initial application for membership of The Irish Franchise Association. We have set high goals. Helen and Action have to date ensured that we have reached and exceeded each goal we set in the past twelve months. I have no doubt that our fledgling company will succeed sooner rather then later.
When you see and use the superb services of any TherapyXperts clinic worldwide in coming years, remember that it all started here, from one small business in a small provincial town in Ireland. The concept predated my first contact with Action, but without that fateful letter and seminar in June 2006 it would have remained in my head as an unattainable opportunity. Helen Burns and the Action Coaching System gave me the tools to bring a brilliant idea to fruition. I envisage a long and successful working relationship as we move through the steps to make our business a major player on the international healthcare scene.
Thanks, Helen! Mairead O’Riordan CEO TherapyXperts
MURPHY & EVANS SOLICITORS – COLM MURPHY
I have been practising as a Solicitor for 25 years. After qualifying I spent 10 years working for firms owned by other Solicitors. For the past 16 years I have been practising as a Solicitor on my own account.
After such a period of time you get into a mould of doing things which is very much dictated by your own experience and fairly narrow vision. It can be quite a struggle to keep going never mind concentrating on changes and investing in the future.
At the beginning of this year 2006 I felt strongly that I wanted to go for change and to see myself breaking out of the mould that I was in, however I did not know how to go about it. As I was thinking about planning to build up a more vibrant and profitable business in a market which is very competitive I met
Helen Burns of Action International at a presentation on business coaching.
The message she was giving seemed to be a response to my questions and need to expand my vision of my business.
The experience of having a business coach in a period of transition has been successful for me I think for two reasons;
First, the message being taught was fundamental to all businesses; a simple and dynamic philosophy which anyone interested in making a living out of their business can follow with an objective to put you in control of the enterprise rather than the other way around.
Second, having a coach with me for a definite period of time to support and push me with my objectives and targets is much more effective than attending a management course where you only pick up a certain amount of knowledge which you rapidly forget or fail to implement.
Within a short period of six months I have succeeded in completing a merger with another legal practitioner expanding to a firm of 10 people altogether and purchasing a new premises in a vibrant new suburban business location for an investment of approximately €1m.
A solicitors core business involves retaining the trust of clients who have been carefully nurtured over the years however who says you can’t be a little adventurous in life, it’s never too late!
Marja van Zetten PRH Educator, Dublin
When I became a PRH (Personal and Human Relations) educator I also entered into the phase of having my own enterprise. Meaning I needed to get my own clients for workshops on personal development and a clientele for seeing people on a one-to-one.
The difficulty that I experienced was that PRH is unknown to people in
Ireland, even though we are in existence for 20 years in Ireland. Our way of promoting ourselves was more or less through word of mouth. The last few years this way of promoting was not enough.
So that is why I decided to take on a business coach – to promote PRH and to grow in the numbers of people experiencing PRH.
The benefits I derived from taking on a business coach
Over 18 months I have experienced an increase in my business:
· Increase of 215% in the number of clients
· Increase of 246% in turnover
· Increase of 408% in profits
At a personal level I feel confident in my ability to run a business. I have experienced with the help of my business coach
Helen Burns a great clarity in how to move my business forward. The step by step approach, the weekly goal sheet is helping me to stay focused. At a personal level it is not only the business that grows as I am growing with it and I just love the adventure of growth.
I will recommend to all people just starting or who are already in business to take on a business coach. Why?
Because the business coach stays objective, stays in reality of what is possible and what is not. I experience a deep commitment from my business coach to help my business grow through her encouragement, belief and support that I could do it. And you know what I CAN! I enjoy the whole experience of working together towards growth in business and in my personal life. Go for it!!
Partition Craft Interiors – Mary Moore, Director, Partition Craft Interiors, Dublin.
It is 12 months since Helen Burns came on board with Partition Craft Interiors as our business coach. Since then we have learnt so much about our own business and how to take control. The biggest win of all is being able to make decisions and take action, to move the business forward. Helen has taught, helped and motivated us. We are extremely grateful for having had Helen Burns as a business coach, which has changed the way we do business forever.