From trainer to franchise owner: An Action Coach’s Journey

Don’t let your business take control of you, take control of your business instead, so you can build and grow it. That’s where ActionCOACH and Jon Asquith come in

From trainer to franchise owner

As the UK Sales Trainer for coaching franchise ActionCOACH, Jon Asquith was already a strong performer within the company, but in January 2020, he decided to take on a new challenge – launching his own ActionCOACH franchise in his hometown of Sheffield.

The move from corporate leader to franchise owner sparked some self-doubt at first.
As he recalls: “I was sat with my colleague Ed at my dining table because the office was still a week away from being ready to move in – the imposter syndrome hit. It was midday and we’d been calling all morning to fill an event at the end of the month – just like I’d taught franchise partners to do on their first day in my prior role.”

Sitting at his makeshift office table, attempting to recruit attendees for his first event using the very sales tactics he had taught other franchise owners, Asquith had a crisis of confidence.

“Ed and I looked at each other with a dawning realisation that we had put ourselves here, had to support our families with a successful business AND had to prove to the rest of ActionCOACH that we could walk the walk and talk the talk! And the only way to do that was to be completely congruent with everything I’d taught and preached for the last seven years.”

But Asquith pushed through his doubts and insecurities. His first event attracted 100 attendees, and by March 2020, just two months after launch, ActionCOACH Sheffield was generating £20,000 a month in client revenue.

Growth in adversity

March 2020 brought unprecedented challenges for businesses across the UK and around the world.
But Asquith met the COVID-19 crisis head on, quickly pivoting to offer free online coaching sessions and building a strong community to support local business owners.

By tackling this challenge head-on, Jon’s firm had a positive impact on local businesses in Sheffield. This early taste of success during very difficult circumstances gave Asquith the confidence to continue expanding. In April 2021, he acquired a second ActionCOACH territory in Rugby.

Focus on Growth

Guiding the growth was Asquith’s philosophy of setting clear financial targets and meticulously planning how to achieve them. This strategy paid off in 2021-2022 when ActionCOACH Sheffield exceeded its goals in dramatic fashion.

As Asquith reports proudly: “For the financial year 2021/22, they not only achieved their ambitious targets but surpassed them, recording a turnover of £752,000. This was a significant increase from the previous year’s £550,000.”

The growth has not only been financial. ActionCOACH Sheffield also generated tremendous client satisfaction. “The client survey results conducted by WorkBuzz returned a phenomenal 97% Client Advocacy Score, with 100% of clients saying their ActionCOACH made a positive difference to their business and was worth the investment,” he adds.

Central to Asquith’s brand of coaching is innovating within ActionCOACH’s framework. He brings his own flair to the proven ActionCOACH system, integrating community events like “Business & Beers Builds Communities” and celebrating client success stories.

These innovations have had a positive impact on the franchise’s UK network and its global developments. At the same time, he stays true to ActionCOACH’s core values.

Hometown hero

Despite his success, Asquith remains committed to lifting up his hometown. As he explains: “I’ve lived and worked in Sheffield all my life – it has its own ecosystem which is very important to me, a special personality and sense of humour I love. That’s why our sole purpose at ActionCOACH Sheffield is to help our region become the go-to place for business. Our very existence is to ensure that our hometowns are considered the place where the best of the best in business reside.”

This community-first focus combines with Asquith’s characteristic pursuit of excellence. Already, ActionCOACH Sheffield boasts nearly 200 clients and is projected to hit £1.2 million in turnover in 2024.

Imposter syndrome may have briefly gripped Jon Asquith at the start of his journey as an ActionCOACH franchise owner. But his relentless innovation and commitment to both coaching excellence and his hometown community quickly dispatched any lingering self-doubt.

“I pushed through to complete our first week in business, following the model and my own advice I’d given for years to other franchise partners. Once local business owners began to put their trust in us, it was the start of something great.”

The successful growth of ActionCOACH Sheffield stands as a testament to Asquith’s leadership and his ability to walk the walk in delivering top-tier business coaching and the ActionCOACH franchise.

Ronnie Dungan
Ronnie Dungan