Jamie Goral grew up spending time with both of his divorced parents. Both of them were business owners, his mum had a hair salon and his dad had a shop selling cots, prams and buggies. Whichever home he stayed at, he would hear the same stories of business hardship, long working hours and the struggle to pay the mortgage. He grew up wanting to help business owners like his parents to achieve more and thought that a career in finance would give him the opportunity to do that.
"I started my career in finance at an accountancy firm in Central London specialising in the SME sector providing auditing, accounts and tax advice services. As I gained more experience, I took a succession of Financial Controller positions in SME companies. I found very quickly that I could systemise the finance department which would free up my time to help the CEO with other areas of their business.
"The last firm I worked for was making a £6million loss when I joined and over 6 years I helped turn that in to a £1.5million profit and the business was sold for £20million. When the business was ready for sale, I started looking for another opportunity. I wondered what to do and how I could help more businesses grow. That's when I saw an email from ActionCOACH. It made me double take, I couldn't believe that two really important facts had snuck past me for all this time. One, that there is a thing called business coaching and, two, that there was a company who had been doing it 20 years and had over 1,000 coaches!
"In March 2013, I called Julie Wagstaff, ActionCOACH's UK Recruitment Director, and told her that what I had read about ActionCOACH was totally amazing and couldn't believe that it was true. I asked if they had a process where you check each other out before deciding if the franchise was suitable for me and if I was suitable to join ActionCOACH. I found out that the next training course was in May and so I asked if we could try to hit that deadline."
"All I could think was that this was how I could really help business owners like my mum and dad. I constantly strive to be a better version of myself and I could see how having the ActionCOACH community, system and environment would help me to do that. I flew out to Las Vegas to spend 10 days at ActionCOACH University and it was totally amazing. The content was great and specifically geared to growing an SME business with a selection of the 100,000 examples delivered by some of the best coaches in the world.
"I launched my ActionCOACH business on 1st June supporting SMEs in the London area. I used ActionCOACH's exclusive client generation centre, Chesterfield, and attended local networking events to start my search for clients. I then decided that I needed to add more client generation strategies to really kick-start my business and set up some strategic partnerships with accountancy firms, like Grant Thornton, and high-street banks. They advertised my seminars to their client list and I signed 15 clients in a 12-month period. I also began group coaching sessions to give myself more experience of delivering ActionCOACH's business coaching tools and material and allow micro businesses to access my support at a much lower cost."
"At the ActionCOACH UK awards ceremony in January 2015, I won Growth Coach of the Year. This award recognises the Action Coach who has grown their business by the greatest proportion of any franchise partner during the previous 12 months. This wasn't from waving a magic wand, it had been achieved through a combination of my thirst for learning and the sales and marketing strategies available to me through ActionCOACH.
"Right from the beginning of my journey with ActionCOACH, I listened to or read 2-4 books a month and this knowledge had begun to impact on not only my coaching skills but my ability to market my own services. I took part in both a weekly group call and a coaching session but, on top of that, I would also pick the brains of coaches who were performing better than me and their help was always forthcoming.
"ActionCOACH's client generation centre supported the acquisition of four clients. They generate at least £1,000 income and each had an acquisition cost of £1,351 which means that I make a profit by month two of their coaching. ActionCOACH teaches you to understand the numbers in your business so you can concentrate your time on the most profitable areas of your business.
"After winning that award, my confidence was at an all-time high and this seemed to reflect on my coaching, my clients' results and they began to refer me even more than before. By the end of 2015, I had grown my business by 130% and yet my clients were the biggest winners by far. I've helped a web design firm grow by 100% in 2 months and a backcare clinic grow by 50% in 3 months and maintain that growth rate for 12 months. In fact, my performance is such that ActionCOACH invited me to deliver three webinars to our network of franchise partners at the end of 2015 and they have asked me to run a training session in 2016."
"I currently have 14 one-to-one coaching clients with a monthly client income of £15,000. But it was never about the money for me. I wanted a better work-life balance and to make a difference to struggling SME business owners just like my parents. I now see more of my wife and two daughters. My dad lives in Israel and I like to see him once a year. My wife has family in New York who we will be visiting every two years and my brother in Australia gets to catch up with us every four years. The business has also allowed me to start thinking about a university fund but, first of all, I'll be financing their Bat Mitzvah celebrations.
"My next goal is to have 24 one-to-one clients by the end of 2016 which will equate to £30,000 in client income per month and make a positive difference to 10 more local business owners. I will then look at bringing in employee coaches. I already have a marketing assistant and she is working towards her own goal of an employee coach in two years' time. My goal from the start has been to improve the life of at least one business owner and their team every month and that still holds strong today."