Before starting Sidestep Coaching, Liam Brown had built 3 successful companies and spent 6 years as a professional speaker. Because of requests from attendees at his sales seminars, he started coaching entrepreneurs and contacts in service-based sectors. Seeing a gap in the marketplace, he applied his unique business ideas to these challenges and started Sidestep Coaching.
We recently interviewed Liam Brown, President and Founder of Sidestep Coaching, to learn what he looks for in potential franchisees, what a typical day looks like for a franchisee and where he sees the franchise headed in the next five years.
What’s special about the franchise?
Sidestep Coaching offers a unique, superior model in the coaching industry because the company does not utilize a “one-size-fits-all” approach by trying to be all things to all businesses. Instead, Sidestep Coaching focuses on coaching to the service-based sectors, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. and Canadian business world. Because of this intense specialization, Sidestep is able to provide its clients with a more effective customized methodology that includes one-on-one coaching, group coaching, seminars and consulting projects.
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What is the idea behind the franchise?
We provide business coaching, consulting and training seminars to small business owners who own service-based business. We focus on some key areas to help an owner reach a level of success that they have always dreamed of: marketing and lead generation, sales, building a team, and operations.
How does it compare to its competition?
Unlike many other coaching franchises out there we stand out because:
- Our royalties are based on a percentage not a flat monthly rate (franchisee benefit)
- We offer the best guarantee in the industry — each month a business owner works with one of our coaches — if they are not satisfied — they can receive a refund for that month (client benefit)
- We are focused. We don’t offer to coach every business type out there — so all of our tools, methodologies, strategies and programs are specialized for the service-based markets — that we are the specialists not generalists (franchisee and client benefit)
- We have partnerships with umbrella organizations in various industries — that way we can provide leads and prospects to our franchisees (franchisee benefit)
What do you look for in a potential franchisee?
Someone who has business experience, preferably in a leadership role and wants to take control of their own professional life. More importantly, we look for people who have an unwavering desire to help others, are driven, forward-thinking and are passionate about seeing success achieved for others, and of course, themselves.
No direct coaching experience is required… you will be thoroughly trained through our exhaustive initial training and provided with full support (from daily support, weekly coaching calls, to 90-day plans to make sure you are staying on track and meeting your goals).
Where do you see the franchise in five years?
We would like to have Sidestep franchise offices throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and our growth target is to have over 100 franchisees servicing these markets as there is a major need for our type of coaching and programs.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of a franchisee?
In a typical day you start about 9 a.m. and will be emailing and phoning prospects who want to talk about your coaching, running coaching sessions with a few clients, answering some client support emails, perhaps sending a new market campaign or a seminar promotion, and then preparing for the next day.
What’s your background?
Before starting Sidestep Coaching, I was self-employed for 11 years. In that time I built 3 successful companies and spent 6 years as a professional speaker. Because of requests from attendees at my sales seminars, I started coaching entrepreneurs and contacts in service-based sectors. Seeing a gap in the market place, I applied my unique business ideas to these challenges and started Sidestep Coaching.
What motivates you to keep going?
It’s not hard for me to get out of the bed in the morning! What keeps me going and highly motivated is the ability to interact, support and share in the successes of our franchisees on a daily basis. I also love getting to know our new potential Sidestep Coaches on a personal and professional level and knowing we can provide, not only a great business opportunity for the right person, but also that we are helping hundreds of business owners reach new levels of success. Who wouldn’t be motivated by that!
Please tell us your secret to success…
Oh, how I wish there was a secret. First, I don’t consider myself a success or a failure. I think of it in terms of ‘Did I make a difference today?’ ‘Was I able to help that franchisee close that sale?’ ‘Did I help a client?’ ‘Have I made an impact in a positive way for business owners?’
What is the worst job you have ever had and what did you learn from it?
That would have to be when I worked for my Dad’s moving company when I was 15 years old and moving people’s furniture. It was tremendously hard work and the summer heat did not help. I gained some tremendous value from that though. First, that if you want to do anything in life you have to be willing to work very hard for it. And second, how vital customer service is and you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer.
What is one trend that really excites you?
The explosive growth of the service-based sectors across North America! It’s exciting to know that we are servicing a market that has literally millions of businesses that need our help and every year it keeps growing.
Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?
I have had many mentors over the years and do currently have a mentor who was a co-owner of a very successful franchise in the Canadian marketplace. Along with mentors, my father is a great inspiration for me. He had a young family when he left a good trade as an electrician to move into a commission-only industry he knew nothing about because he wanted more for his family and himself. He had no safety net and he worked hard to achieve great success.
Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
#1 — Make sure that the franchise offers incredible support to the franchisees and is there to help, support and guide every step of the way.
#2 — Make sure they have a unique offering and that there are proven systems, programs, relationships and actionable steps in place that you can take so that you can experience the same, if not greater, success in the business.
#3 — In any business, it is people that are going to make the biggest impact on the success of you and your business; anyone can provide programs and a methodology but the people need to be there for you to help you walk the path, support you taking the action steps, help you side step the pitfalls and get YOU where you want to be. (I had my coaching hat on for that little spiel!)
#4 — You have to WANT IT. Buying into a franchise doesn’t necessarily mean you will realize your dreams overnight. Just like any business, it takes hard work and dedication — and a strong desire for success — to make it work.
Where can people get more information on Sidestep Coaching franchise opportunities?
Visit the website here.
Where can people find Sidestep Coaching on social media?
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