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How ActionCOACH Turned Business Coaching into a Global Franchising Phenomenon

How ActionCOACH Turned Business Coaching into a Global Franchising Phenomenon


Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCOACH, has worked in a variety of industries and has always been feeding his entrepreneurial spirit. While still in college, Brad ran a few businesses and dabbled in ownership. These start-ups taught him a variety of lessons, but ultimately they led him to his own business concept.

While Brad was working in small-business settings, he was seeing inefficiencies and mistakes firsthand. In an attempt to change some of these problems, Brad began writing and speaking on the topics, which led many business owners to reach out to him for advice.

“At these early speaking engagements, a lot of people were asking me for advice with their business,” Brad said. “I started coaching them, and it evolved from there. I realized I was bad at working for other people, so this business was perfect for that.”

Since its inception, ActionCOACH has grown to a presence in more than 70 countries and is recognized as the No. 1 business coaching franchise. Brad has built the company and expanded it in order to bring difference-makers across the world.

Strategic Leadership Style

There’s a variety of leadership styles, such as transactional or democratic. But Brad sees a more important distinction, management versus leadership.

“There is leadership and then there is management,” Brad said. “The difference lies in the people you’re helping, the people you’re building, which should be your goal. Management encourages competency, and leadership encourages passion.”

Through these dynamic styles, Brad has developed his formula to success.

“With ActionCOACH, it’s really all about the businesses you’re coaching,” Brad said. “You form a relationship with them. No one ever says, ‘I love my accountant,’ but our clients say, ‘I love my business coach.’”

ActionCOACH pioneered the business coaching industry and has created some of the most rewarding memories for Brad.

“Seeing the businesses you coach succeed and those entrepreneurs grow is the best part,” Brad said. “For me, there’s the added bonus of seeing the coaches grow too.”

Modern Business Ownership

Today’s business owners face a variety of issues that ActionCOACH coaches can address. One, in particular, is the importance of an online presence and marketing to younger generations. These consumers are connected 24/7 and need a multi-platform experience.

While some entrepreneurs struggle with this concept, ActionCOACH’s and Brad’s approach is simple.

“I watch my own kids to see how they interact with brands,” Brad said. “It’s pretty simple, they’re just another demographic. Consider who you’re going after when developing your marketing.”

The uncomplicated approach mirrors the simplicity of the ActionCOACH business model. Franchise owners are able to consult in a variety of industries and have helped their clients increase their brand awareness, sales, profitability, efficiencies and, most importantly, lifestyle.

As an entrepreneur, Brad owns a variety of businesses, but ActionCOACH is his favorite to run.

“You know, life’s pretty boring if you never take any risks,” Brad said. “It takes a lot of work for an industry to come of age, and ours – business coaching – finally has.”

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About Us

The concept of business coaching, as it is widely known today, was pioneered in 1993 by founder of ActionCOACH Brad Sugars. More than two decades later, the company that started it all is still on top. In fact, no franchise in the “business coaching” category is 10% of our size in total revenues.

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