Franchising 4 November 2016

How franchising came to my rescue after redundancy

Helen Pethybridge: Im now in control of my destiny”
Helen Pethybridge worked in senior HR director roles for 13 years at global brands before she became the owner of a business coaching franchise venture. Here, she tells Business Advice how franchising helped her make the career change shed been yearning for.

Having been made redundant by her then-employer Pepsico, she now runs an ActionCOACH a business coaching franchise for new business owners, while maintaining a far healthier work-life balance than during her corporate days.

it was clear that changes were coming at Pepsico, she explained. I wanted something different but I didnt want to downgrade, as Id always worked with the best.

id always had the desire to one day run my own business but I had no clear idea of what kind of business. I thought about working in HR with SMEs, but when I looked at local HR businesses, it seemed they mainly concentrated on recruitment, contracts and legal issue whereas I was more interested in the strategic side.

my research took me to the British Franchise Association’s (BFA) website. It hadnt crossed my mind to buy a franchise but I decided to look at the options.

I clicked through to business services franchises and found business coaching. I was immediately excited about this option, seeing that business coaching would give me the chance to be involved strategically much wider than just HR. I emailed for more information for all the business coaching franchise options.

two franchise brochures came within 24 hours of each other. I was immediately attracted to the ActionCOACH brochure which was colourful with a diverse cross-section of people enjoying a range of group activities. It gave a greater sense of what I could expect from the team culture.

I decided to take ActionCOACH through to due diligence stage as it showed potential for a greater income without topping out. At the end of January, I went to Las Vegas for ActionCOACH University.

ten days to totally immerse myself in the culture and training to set myself up as best I could. The calibre of the trainers was excellent and that has continued into all aspects of support I have received from the UK team.

while I was training, ActionCOACH’s exclusive client generation centre was working to secure initial meetings with prospective clients and this is how I signed my first client.

whilst redundancy forces you to take stock of your life, it also provides a financial payout. This allowed me to take the time to develop my new business without feeling the pressure of delivering a salary immediately.

‘setting up your business is so time-consuming even down to choosing the right printer. So, being part of a franchise that gives you over 3, 500 strategies and tactics to help your clients and a wealth of ongoing professional development sessions really helps to get to grips with your business.

I was most nervous about selling to secure new clients. Im not sure if that is a female thing, that were not such strong self-promoters? However, ActionCOACH gave me the training to overcome this. I feel more comfortable promoting the ActionCOACH service than promoting just me, Helen.

one of the suggestions during training was that we practice a client generation seminar on friends and family. I invited my old team from Pepsico to this dry run and their feedback was really positive.

I signed my second client from my first public seminar and the following two clients came from the client generation centre. Each client has fortnightly one-to-one coaching and this generates a client income of nearly 5, 000 a month.


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