ActionCOACH Newsroom



ActionCOACH speak on the Benefits of Jobbridge

at Employer Breakfast Briefing with Tánaiste Joan Burton

ActionCOACH Stephen Kirwan with Tánaiste Joan Burton 16Jul14

(Pictured above R to R: Richard Guiney CEO Dublin City Business Improvement District; Paul Carroll, Regional Manager for Employment Services; Tánaiste Joan Burton; Richie Boucher, CEO Bank of Ireland; Stephen Kirwan, ActionCOACH Business Coaching)


On Wednesday morning Tánaiste Joan Burton and her Department addressed over 100 business owners at the House of Lords to outline the range employment support services it has developed to tackle youth unemployment and also to assist Irish Business Owners in making it both easy and financially attractive to hire talented employees from the Live Register.

Amoung these support services is a totally free recruitment and job matching service; and attractive cash incentives of up to €10,000 per jobseeker hired.

As part of the briefing, our youngest Business Coach Stephen Kirwan was invited to speak about the challenges faced by young people who are unemployed in this country, how Irish Business Owners can give them a chance to begin their career, and the benefits of the Jobbridge Scheme to employers.ActionCOACH Stephen Kirwan House of Lords 16Jul14 2

Stephen shared his own story of being unemployed after graduating from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, being a past participant of the Jobbridge scheme to becoming a fully employed business coach within two years.

If you are a Business Owner who would like to find out more about the employer support services available to your business when hiring new staff, or you need help with the recruitment process, do contact us on 01-891 6220 or email




Castleisland Agri Business wins BEST RETAILER at Business Excellence Forum 2014

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Congratulations to ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland client, Rhyno Mills, on winning the Best Retailer Award at the ActionCOACH Business Excellence Forum 2014 which has just took place in Brighton, England.

Rhyno Mills was one of six finalists from around the globe in this category, and was declared as the overall winner.

These awards honour the achievements of business owners and their companies, from around the world. The two day forum saw leading business experts share their views. Speakers included world renowned motivational guru Philip Hesketh, Colonel Tim Collins OBE, Jonathan McDonald owner of ‘This Fluid World’ and Brad sugars, founder of ActionCOACH Business Coaching.

Based in Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Rhyno Mills is a family run business is renowned for the production of high quality feeds for the farming community. The business has been in operation since 1919 when the mill was opened by W.H. O’Connor, grandfather of the present owners.  A pioneer in his field, his dedication to the production of high quality animal feeds has seen three generations of the O’Connor family in the business.

Rhyno Mills have been working with ActionCOACH Business Coach, Helen Burns, for just over 18 months. On winning this prestigious award, the present Managing Director, Paudie O’Connor, who took over the reins of the company from his father Sean in 1988, said:


‘We are delighted to have received this award as it acknowledges all the effort that everyone in the company has put in. With the introduction of new plant and systems we have doubled our production capacity and further enhanced the quality of our feeds.Rhyno Mills Photographs 28-4-2014

All our employees are highly trained people, who’s dedication, integrity and ability we value immensely and we are committed to working with the farming community to provide the feeding and nutritional solutions that they require.

This along with other positive changes in Rhyno Mills have been aided by our business coach Helen Burns.

We firmly believe that the potential for the company is enormous and we have only just begun to realise that potential.’

Rhyno Mills continual investment in all aspects of the business the future for this family business looks assured for generations yet.



Differentiation is the Key for Pubs going forward

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LVA Conference hears that a new trend for casual dining offers opportunities.


Differentiating their offering and building loyalty amongst customers are the key challenges facing publicans according to business experts.

On Wednesday 19th February, a conference organised by the Licensed Vintners Association, at which ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland MD Marina Bleahen was a guest speaker, heard that publicans need to set their businesses apart and create a unique offering.

Hugo Arnold a leading food consultant told over 125 publicans who attended the conference at the Marker Hotel that food will play a central role in this process and that publicans are well placed to exploit the new trend for informal and affordable dining.


“If publicans are serious about food they need to create a vision for their pub, research it and then persevere with it. This requires a shift in mindset. Pubs which serve watery coffee and lukewarm, over cooked carvery lunches will struggle to survive in the future” he said.

Mr Arnold said pubs had competitive advantages and they need to remain as pubs which serve quality food, not become restaurants.


“Pubs are flexible and very accessible. Customers want casual, quality dining at a fair price. It’s complicated and requires hard work but pubs that get it right will prosper” he concluded.

Gerry Hussey a performance psychologist stressed the importance of building a high performing staff team to provide exceptional customer service.


“Dublin publicans are well known for their hospitality but must continuously invest in their staff to ensure they are trained and motivated to the highest standards. Both the consumer and the competition are evolving and publicans must keep pace with them Staff have a central role to play in the future success of pubs”.


Marina Bleahan, MD of ActionCOACH said the key for publicans was having a winning mindset.


“It is the clarity of the plans that pub owners make now and how they lead their teams that will dictate the level of success they achieve. The key is implementing strategies which will translate into profits. Promoting a positive attitude and can do culture in the business is also vital for success” Ms Bleahan said.

The conference was also addressed by Owen Barry from Create Brand Consultants who stressed the importance of targeting and connecting with the right customer.


“Publicans must decide what kind of pub they are or they want to be and what their customer profile is. If the pub tries to be all things to all people it will not succeed” he said.


The Chief Executive of the LVA Donall O’Keefe said the pub trade was undergoing significant change and that publicans needed to keep ahead of the competition. According to Mr O’Keefe:


“What worked in the past for pubs won’t work in the future. The game is changing and publicans need to view their pubs as businesses and put the right business plans and models in place. But they then need to follow through and implement them. We are seeing some positive signs in the trade right now but we need to build on that to provide a sustainable future. For now it’s all about creating a unique experience for the customer and ensuring they return on a regular basis.”



SMEs Discover Key Drivers For Growth

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A capacity crowd turned out at the University of Ulster’s Business School when small business owners and advisors attended an event organised by Business in the Community’s Connections Plus programme to teach business mentors how to be better coaches, generate more sales, increase profits, and as a result improve cashflow in the businesses that are being mentored.


The event was one of many delivered in partnership with Electric Ireland across Northern Ireland, providing FREE help for small to medium-sized businesses through interactive workshops on a range of practical topics designed to help business growth.


Keynote speaker, Nancy Brown, Business Coach with Business Coaching Northern Ireland explains:   

“In this business climate, the need to acquire new knowledge and develop improved business capabilities has never been so great. Today was all about helping delegates get a renewed energy and enthusiasm for coaching and for working with the businesses they mentor in addition to an array of proven successful strategies to maximise business performance and increase sales and profits within their own companies.

“We tried to make it a fun, informative, practical and impactful session with a focus on providing an understanding of the key drivers of business growth and how to influence them.”


Connections Plus is all about supporting responsible SME growth, adds Connections Plus Manager, Steve Pollard. “This event is a vital part of our effort to help business owners and business advisers to develop their understanding and skills. We will be actively working with small businesses to help them to access or grow within the supply chains of larger buying companies. These companies want suppliers to engage in environmental best practice, to engage with their communities and to be good employers. We will provide hands on practical support to SMEs to help them. In the first instance we want to help business owners understand the key drivers of growth and then help them to put into practice what they’ve learned.


Ken McKervey, Commercial Manager with Electric Ireland, added: “We are proud to be supporting Connections Plus. Successful small businesses are essential to developing and maintaining a healthy economy. It’s all the more important for Northern Ireland, which is predominantly made up of small to medium-sized enterprises. We would like to pay particular thanks to Nancy Brown for delivery of an excellent workshop and to the Ulster Business School’s Centre for SME Development for their support.”

“The support provided by other businesses is vital to the success of this programme so I would urge as many businesses as possible to get involved.”


To find out more visit,, e-mail or call (028) 9046 0606. To contact Business Coaching Northern Ireland email: or call: 0044 7843489465.

(Photo L to R: Nancy Brown, Business Coach, Business Coaching Northern Ireland; Steve Pollard, Connections Plus Programme Manager; Clare McAllister, Electric Ireland; Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of the Ulster Business School)



Client scoops ‘Best Place to Eat‘ Award

Congratulations to Business Coaching Ireland (ActionCOACH Business Coaching) client Denise Walsh from Relish Cafe in Drogheda and Bettystown, who scooped the prestigious ‘Best Place to Eat’ Award at this years Drogheda Excellence in Business Awards.


Denise has been working with Business Coaching Ireland through the ManagementWorks Management Team Development Programme, a Skillnets initiative.Since opening her doors 5 years ago along the picturesque strand at Bettystown Beach, Denise and Relish Cafe have gone from strength to strength. You can now visit Relish in any one of its 3 branches; the original Bettystown Cafe, Drogheda Foodhall which launched July 2011, and Highlanes Gallery, opened July 2012.


Be sure to check out Relish – the ‘Best Place to Eat’ in Drogheda, for delicious food and tasty treats produced using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Paddy Callaghan of Natures Best presents Denise Walsh and Lisa Judge of Relish with the 2013 Best Place to Eat Award at the Drogheda Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2013. Photo - Jenny Matthews



Dundalk and Drogheda SME’s create 17 NEW JOBS by investing in Management Development Training facilitated by ActionCOACH – Business Coaching Ireland

John O Sullivan and BRian Colleran of Skillnets Ltd with  Local business people who received their  Skills Management   certificates  in the CRowne Plaza Hotel Includes Ian Louet Feisser Dermot Monahan  Jim Darcy Noreen and Paul Wheelan  Pauline Monahan B

(Back Row L to R: Paul Whelan, T.M.S; Denise Walsh, Relish Café; John O’Sullivan, Trainer/Business Coach – Business Coaching Ireland; Noreen Whelan, F.A.B. Services;  Dermot Monahan, Monahan & Co. Solicitors ; Jim Darcy, Blooms Florist; Pauline Monahan, Estique Beauty Clinic. Front Row L to R: Barry Henry, Evan Henry Electrical; Patrick Sands, Food Solutions Ltd; Brian Colleran, Network Manager – ManagementWorks Skillnets Ltd; Ian Louet-Feisser, Carlingford Oyster Co.)

This week ManagementWorks announced the completion of the Co. Louth Management Team Development Programme.  Eight local business owners from a wide range of sectors took part this eight month training programme with initial evaluation showing that participation in the course has already resulted in all eight of the companies creating a total of seventeen new jobs in the locality (eleven full-time and six part-time). Participants also reported a significant increase in sales and profits, as well as an overall improvement of their business.

ManagementWorks is an initiative by the state agency Skillnets that provides a range of subsidised training programmes to SMEs under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.  The Management Team Development Programme, facilitated by leading Business Coaching and Training company ActionCOACH- Business Coaching Ireland, is designed to assist SMEs achieve greater levels of success in their business. Structured workshops focused on revenue growth, operational efficiency and enhanced productivity. A unique feature of the programme is the one-to-one mentoring support participants received from an experienced business coach, targeted to their individual businesses.  

Kian Louet-Feisser, Managing Director of The Carlingford Oyster Company, whose company has added one full time and two part-time employees says “having been self-employed for over 20 years, I have learned more in the last eight months on the ManagementWorks Programme with ActionCOACH than I have in the previous 19 years in business. It is a fantastic course”.

In addition to the tangible results in terms of sales and creation of jobs, the participants also described the benefits of networking with other local companies and how interaction with their mentor had helped build confidence in their business.

Paul Fagan, Managing Director of ActionCOACH – Business Coaching Ireland states “We are proud to be associated with this programme with ManagementWorks. It is wonderful to see how all of these companies have grown their businesses and created new jobs using the ActionCOACH systems. This is a superb initiative by the Government and is tangible support to SME’s. Every business in Ireland should avail of this programme”.

Dr. Lorcán Ó hÓbáin, Programme Manager of ManagementWorks, commented that “these programmes are heavily funded under the Action Plan for Jobs, so it is fantastic to see the results in terms of strengthening these businesses and seventeen real jobs having been created.”

For more information and a list of upcoming programmes see To find out more about availing of the services of a Business Coach please contact



Coaching Irish Businesses to Success

We were delighted to see one of our top business coaches Jeannette Naughton make an appearance in the Summer 2013 edition of Irish Director – The Official Magazine of The Institute of Directors in Ireland, following the completion of the latest Skillnets (ManagementWorks) Management Team Development Programme in Dublin North and South.

This eight module programme is designed to assist Irish SMEs achieve greater levels of success in their business.  A unique feature of the programme is the individual support provided from an experienced Business Coach to each participating SME.

In the programme which recently completed in Dublin North and South, all participating companies reported 100% improvement in their overall business and a total of 37 new jobs were created as a direct result of the programme.

There are currently eleven of these programmes running throughout Ireland. To read a little more on the results Irish companies are achieving across their businesses by attending, please have a read of the advertorial featured in the Summer edition of the ‘Irish Director’:

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June 2013

Top ActionCOACH – Business Coaching Ireland Clients spend a day with leading entrepreneur & ActionCOACH Founder Brad Sugars


Twenty-six  ActionCOACH – Business Coaching Ireland clients recently attended the full day Master class with ActionCOACH founder and Chairman Brad Sugars in Carton House Hotel on Monday 10th June 2013. This full-day interactive workshop was aimed at top clients ready to progress to the next level of growth for their business. Topics covered on the day included:

  • Team Building – How to develop a great Management and Leadership team within your business;
  • Understanding leverage and scalability for your business;
  • How to build a great Marketing Plan and System to generate increased sales;
  • How to build wealth from your business.

In addition to reafffirming the excellent work they are already doing with their business coach, ActionCOACH – Business Coaching Ireland clients thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from world-renowned entrepreneur, author, and public speaker on Business Growth and Investment – Brad Sugars.                                                                         


June 2013

Global Entrepreneur Brad Sugars visits Belfast to officially launch ‘Business Coaching Northern Ireland’

Have you ever heard the saying ‘Coaching, not just for sports’? Well this is exactly the philosophy of Business Coaching Northern Ireland, who officially launched into Northern Ireland on the 11th June 2013 with the objective of helping SME Business Owners to grow Sales and Profits and be highly successful enterprises. 

As part of it’s launch, Managing Directors of Business Coaching Northern Ireland and Business Coaching Ireland trading as ActionCOACH Paul Fagan and Marina Bleahen, together with Entrepreneur and ActionCOACH Founder & Chairman Brad Sugars and NI Business Coach Nancy Brown spent an ‘Action’ Packed day in Belfast – highlights below;


Morning: ActionCOACH Facilitate the All Party Group on SME’s first meeting in Stormont Castle

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(Judith Cochrane MLA, Mr Godon Gough, CEO Enterprise NI, Mr Bradley Sugars)

The All Party Group on SME’s is made up of prominent Northern Ireland business leaders, members of the government, umbrella groups and Universities. The primary aim of the groups initial meeting was to clarify and discuss the main issues that SMEs in Northern Ireland currently face with those at the heart of the Northern Ireland economy.

Mr Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise NI opened the event by outlining the importance of SMEs to the Northern Ireland economy. Following this, Brad Sugars facilitated roundtable discussions and feedback on the key issues which arose, as well as addressed ideas for moving forward. Brad Sugars closed the event by delivering a motivational talk to inspire confidence in the business owners in attendance.


Afternoon: Business Coaching NI Meet with Lord Mayor of Belfast – Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

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(Paul Fagan MD Business Coaching NI and Business Coaching Ireland, Lord Mayor of Belfast – Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Bradley Sugars ActionCOACH, Nancy Brown Business Coach – Business Coaching NI)

Following a tour of City Hall, the Lord Mayor held a very constructive meeting with ActionCOACH and Business Coaching NI representatives. Councillor Ó Muilleoir has a strong business background himself and was very interested in how Business Coaching can facilitate the growth of Northern Ireland SME’s- which make-up 99.9% of the business community in Northern Ireland, pledging his full support to the launch of Business Coaching NI.


 Evening: Global Entrepreneur Brad Sugars reveals his‘Proven Techniques to Increase Your Sales and Profits’ at Free Business Seminar supporting the launch of Business Coaching Northern Ireland

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As part of its launch, Business Coaching Northern Ireland in conjunction with the Centre for SME Development, Ulster Business School, University of Ulster invited business owners and leaders to attend a free business seminar presented by Brad Sugars in the University of Ulster, Belfast.

Nearly 200 NI business owners attended on the evening to learn proven strategies to increase Sales and Profits and grow their business. The audience was highly engaged throughout the entire two and a half hour seminar. Feedback has been outstanding with the seminar being cited as highly valuable and inspiring:

  • ‘found the seminar both engaging, stimulating and ultimately inspiring’.
  • ‘Hi really enjoyed the seminar I took so much from it. I have ordered Brads books he was an inspiration. Thank you for having me. Brad presented practical actions that would improve any enterprise and is inspirational’.
  • ‘I was feeling very low about the direction my teeny business was taking. This seminar came at the right time for me to be rejuvenated and excited about what I could be, what I could earn and looking positively at how far I’ve come. Great practical advice and tips too in relation to finance and pricing and advertising. Thank you!’
  • ‘Enjoyed the evening a lot. It coincides with a focus on sales within our business so comes at a useful time. It gives us a good roadplan with which to begin our activities. You might say we were planning on going North but the seminar instructs us to go more precisely to 57 degrees north, if you get what I mean’.
  • ‘The seminar was entirely focused on generating profit and for a non profit org I had to make some tweaks in my interpretation of the information. That said it was still incredibly valuable and has generated other ideas which will benefit the charity as well, thanks’
  • ‘Really enjoyed the seminar, and it has reinforced what I had been doing with my Action Coach’
  • ‘I have just completed a Business of Finance Course. Although similar topics were covered, I felt that I learned more in 2 hours with Brad, than 24 intensive study hours with normal accountants. I left feeling inspired to be the best me I can be, and feeling I have been stuck in 2nd gear for a number of years. Times they are a changin’.
  • ‘Very dynamic speaker. Messages were clear and understandable. Broken down into small chunks each aspect is achievable given time and resources but identifying the KEY thing to tackle first to get most return quickest is the golden egg for each business. Will be different for each business??’
  • ‘It was refreshing and helped motivate me’.Belfast pic4

Speaking about the event, Paul Fagan, Managing Director of Business Coaching Northern Ireland stated;

‘Brad Sugars has travelled the globe speaking to business owners and has helped more than a million clients world-wide find personal and business success. As part of our launch, we were absolutely delighted to give Northern Ireland business owners this fantastic opportunity to benefit from the experience of somebody who has ‘been there and done that’ and made a huge success of it world-over!’


Press Release: 09/5/2013 


Dublin SMEs create twenty new jobs by investing in management development

This week ManagementWorks announced the completion of its first Management Team Development Programme.  Business owners in nine Dublin based SMEs in a wide range of sectors took part in the programme and initial evaluation shows that participation in the course has already resulted in the creation of twenty new jobs (five full time and fifteen part time) across seven of the companies. Participants also reported a significant increase in sales and reduction in costs, as well as an overall improvement of their businesses. ManagementWorks is an initiative of Skillnets that provides a range of subsidised management development programmes to small and medium enterprises under the Governrament’s Action Plan for Jobs.


The Management Team Development Programme, which was facilitated by ActionCOACH Ireland, took place over an eight month period. Structured workshops focused on revenue growth, operational efficiency and enhanced productivity. The participants were also supported by one to one mentoring, targeted to their individual businesses, from an experienced business coach.  As well as tangible results in terms of sales and creation of jobs the participants also described the benefits of networking and sharing experience and how interaction with the mentor had helped them to build their confidence.


John Lalor, Managing Director of Greenco Shipping Services Ltd. whose company has added 1 full time and 1 part time employee says “to be the best manager, you need the best training – the ManagementWorks programme provides this “


Paul Fagan, Managing Director of ActionCOACH Ireland states “We are proud to be associated with this programme with ManagementWorks. It is wonderful to see how all of these companies have grown their businesses and created new jobs using the ActionCOACH systems. This is a superb initiative by the Government and is tangible support to SME’s. Every business in Ireland should avail of this programme“.


Dr. Lorcán Ó hÓbáin, Programme Manager of ManagementWorks, commented that “these programmes are heavily funded under the Action Plan for Jobs, so it is fantastic to see the results in terms of strengthening these businesses and twenty real jobs having been created.”


ManagementWorks, established under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012, is a training network which helps firms to improve their business performance by providing a range of subsidised, tailored programmes which are supported by professional business mentors. The purpose is to assist firms to grow in terms of their sales, output and employment. ManagementWorks is funded by member companies and Skillnets from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills. For more information and a list of upcoming programmes see



Participants pictured with ActionCOACH Business Coach Jeannette Naughton 


Business coaching from the world's #1 business consulting firm: ActionCOACH. Professional Coaching and Training for Irish SME's, Executives and Corporates