Top Performing Master Licensee Introduced the Business Coaching Concept to Africa
One of the qualities ActionCOACH looks for in its Master Licensees is the drive to make a difference in the lives of their franchisees as well as business owners in their territory. Harry Welby-Cooke, a Master Licensee in South Africa since 2007, is a prime example of that spirit.
Prior to joining ActionCOACH, Harry spent 12 years in the commercial banking industry, where he saw the pain of entrepreneurs struggling to break even and pay back their loans. Saddened by their plight, but motivated to make a difference, he left banking and became a “corporate refugee,” someone running away from the corporate world. During this time, he looked for ways he could help business owners.
“They were good, hard-working and passionate people who were struggling to make their businesses work and pay back the bank,” he said. “They just got to a point where they couldn’t take their businesses any further.”
He started a business consulting company so he could share information that would help companies make the right decisions. However, Harry realized that even though business owners were provided good information, they still did not necessarily make good decisions. He looked for ways to encourage them to be more strategic and began to consider business coaching as an add-on to his consulting company. It was at that time when Harry saw an advertisement for ActionCOACH in a major South African newspaper.
‘Are You Passionate About Helping Business and Others?’
It was that question in the newspaper ad that caught Harry’s eye and caused him to delve deeper into the ActionCOACH Master Licensee opportunity.
He saw becoming a Master Licensee as having the greatest impact on South Africa because he would be in charge of awarding franchises to the right entrepreneurs who shared the ActionCOACH vision of “World Abundance through Business Re-education.” Harry would not only improve their lives but the lives of thousands of business owners helped by those franchisees he selected.
“I could bring on quality people and, collectively, we could do much more and make a greater impact than I could do on my own,” he said. “That was the most important driver for taking on the Master Licensee role.”
At that time, ActionCOACH split South Africa into two territories, so Harry purchased one and Pieter Scholtz purchased the other. Since then, the two Master Licensees have collaborated on projects, opened offices in neighboring Namibia and Nigeria together and plan on expanding into sub-Saharan Africa as opportunities allow.
Together and individually, they have experienced a wealth of success, including:
- Collectively, Harry and Pieter have signed 45 franchisees
- Two of their franchisees earned spots in ActionCOACH’s $1 Million Club
- Both Harry and Pieter’s franchises regularly rank in the top 10 percent of ActionCOACHes in the world
The accomplishment Harry is most proud of is weathering the global financial crisis of 2008. He became a Master Licensee right before economies around the world tanked, but has never experienced less than double digit growth each year.
“Last year, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary,” he said. “Ten years in, and we were thriving and still do so.”
Entrepreneurs Take Notice
But, with ActionCOACH and the concept of business coaching being relatively foreign to the continent of Africa in 2007, finding those first business coaches was challenging. It required Harry to build up brand awareness and speak with a lot of people. He did this by exhibiting at trade shows and advertising regularly in the Sunday edition of newspapers and the South Africa edition of Entrepreneur magazine. The greatest number of qualified leads and sales came from the ads placed in Entrepreneur the first three or four years.
After the first six months, Harry found his first business coach. They had the same vision and purpose as Harry and ActionCOACH, and they wanted to share their knowledge and contribute to the success of the country and its economy.
“Then it became easier because we now had a team,” he said, adding people began to see ActionCOACH as local business that was part of a global company.
His Rewards are the Success of Others
While Harry’s experience as a Master Licensee has been prosperous – more time with family, friends and international travel, as well as financial wealth – his greatest joy is watching business owners succeed.
“The highlight of working with people is to see the breakthroughs, to watch people’s confidence build, to witness when people exceed even their own wildest expectations,” he said. “The nice thing about our business is it’s directly related to the impact they make. That’s my favorite part of the business.”
If you’re interested in aligning yourself with the industry leader in business coaching, fill out our form to request more information about ActionCOACH today.