The Winning Formula – All Ireland Business Summit

The Winning Formula – All Ireland Business Summit

‘The Winning Formula’

On Thursday 19th April, ActionCOACH Managing Director Marina Bleahen was part of a stellar line up of leading business minds invited to provide inspiration to over 1,000 business owners and senior managers at the All Ireland Business Summit.  Speakers included performance psychologist Gerry Hussey, record breaking runner Sinead Kane with her coach John O’Regan, One-4-All founder Michael Dawson, Senator Padraig Ó’Céidigh (Aer Arann founder), Dragon’s Gavin Duffy & Chanelle, Lady McCoy, musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin as well as mentalist Keith Barry.

It was clear from the start of the breakfast networking session that this was a gathering of highly focused and ambitious businesses with an appetite to learn and develop. A packed hall listened attentively and furiously scribbled notes during ‘The Winning Formula’ segment which featured Pádraig Ó’Céidigh, Michael Dawson and our very own Marina Bleahen.

Broadcaster and former government minister Ivan Yates was on hand to MC the discussion.   ‘The Winning Formula’ provided countless tips on having the right mindset, approach as well as practical steps on achieving increased profitability by turning disengaged team members into highly engaged future leaders.

Newstalk’s Ivan Yates introduced Marina Bleahen ;

“This is a lady who achieves very tangible results in coaching businesses and management teams to benchmark their performance and come back a year later to review and improve. She has a really successful record as a business coach, as a trainer,  a highly acclaimed speaker. She has had a career with Elan Pharmaceuticals an international success story.”

Marina took to the stage and began by reminding the audience of the importance of numbers and kpi’s.

“Last year ActionCOACH our clients grew on average by 19%  outperforming our domestic economy’s 6% growth. We know this because it is important to know your numbers to measure performance.”

6 Steps To Building A Commercial, Profitable, Organisation

She shared  6 Steps to Building A Commercial, Profitable, Organisation that works without you and is fit for sale.

This is our formula for creating a business that will pass due diligence and doesn’t require you to be tied to it.Start with Mastery – know your vision and own it.

  1. Mastery – Know your numbers, kpi’s and goals.
  2. Niche – Identify your niche, U.S.P’s and target market to make your marketing work.
  3. Leverage – systemise your business. Have systems in place to increase efficiency
  4. Team – Team are the backbone of every organisation. Create a culture that allows your people to excel, as a Galway girl I admittedly admire Jim Gavin who allows every member of his team to bring their best selves to what they do.
  5. Synergy – When everything works today it becomes a well oiled machine that allows the business to expand or even go acquire other businesses.
  6. Results – If you implement this formula once then you can run it forever.

Employee Engagement

Having shared an ActionCOACH ‘winning formula’  Marina shared with the audience how business success is fast becoming a dichotomy of Business Education and Employee Engagment.

“Whilst business coaching is about making the right changes to get the results you want. Now let me tell you about people and engaging them at the heart and mind level because people are the magic formula of any business.”

“Highly engaged people do more than expected this who we want to be, however that’s not true of everywhere in the world or in Ireland more specifically with only 14% of employees in Ireland being highly engaged (Gallup 2016).”

Marina used a row boat analogy to highlight how lack of engagement is holding back Irish businesses.

“It is costing you 34% of your average salary spend, using average Irish salary stats that is €14,000 per employee multiply that by your number of employees. How much money are you wasting on disengaged employees? This is why you’ve got to be looking after your people by engaging them as humans.”

With an audience clearly sitting up and taking note as statistics from Gallup and Deloitte research were presented on screen, Marina moved on relating Employee Enagement to an economy approaching with recruitment and retention become a challenge for businesses across all sectors of all sizes.

“Younger people as Chanelle (Lady McCoy) said earlier are absolutely looking for an experience and opportunities to grow.  If they are engaged in their company, it will take a 25% salary increase to tempt them to move. If they are not engaged they will even leave for a lower salary”

When employees are engaged everybody wins, people enjoy what they do and the business reaps the rewards for engaging with their people.

“When you’ve got Employee Engagement you get improved productivity, increased profitability, the business flows better.”

Marina’s ‘Winning Formula’ presentation closed with a clear message for all business owners and senior managers in the audience. Throwing a  budget at training is not the answer to solving the rapid decline of engagement among the workforce,  as she explained;

“Traditional training is like taking a goldfish out of murky water and putting them into clean water for the day before they go back into the dirty water again. When you send people on training you need to get them to work through it together as a group to have that community purpose and buy in. We are disrupting training. Traditional training is dead it’s now about coaching performance and engaging our people.”

Marina Bleahen ‘Winning Formula’ Video Stream

You can watch Marina’s full presentation which was originally streamed via Facebook Live below:

After coming off stage Marina gave a candid interview to the official event Vlogger. She shared her thoughts on being part of such a great event as sponsor, judge and speaker as well as summarising the key take aways from her ‘Winning Formula’ presentation:

ACTIONCoach Ireland in action…

Many thanks to our speaker and @BizAllStars Accreditation mentor ActionCOACH Ireland Marina Bleahen for chatting to our #ConfidenceOnCamera coach Lottie Hearn twice yesterday. Here's Take 2, with sound this time!

Posted by All-Ireland Business Summit on Thursday, April 19, 2018

Complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment Offer:

Complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment

To mark our involvement as sponsors, judge and speaker we have a limited offer of a complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment and review valued at €2,495.  You can apply for your complimentary assessment by Clicking Here

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Get in touch today and find how we can help you improve your business by:

Business Coaching

Employee Engagement

Leadership & Culture

Learning & Development

Executive Coaching

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Business All Stars 2018 Highlights

Business All Stars 2018 Highlights

On Thursday 19th April the leading minds in Irish business converged at Croke Park for the All Ireland Business Summit.  A key part of the day was the 4th Annual  Business All Stars Awards.  Divided into 21 categories, ranging from New Business to Innovative Business, the line up reflected the diverse stages of development and vertical specialisation of Irish companies in the last 12 months.

At ActionCOACH we were proud to support this annual celebration of business as sponsors, exhibitors  and speakers. It was a pleasure to Sponsor the Business All Stars – Medium category as well as to have our team present in the exhibition hall to meet with business owners and managers. It was great to see many familiar faces receiving accreditation and awards.

ActionCOACH Ireland Managing Director Marina Bleahen had the pleasure of presenting the Business All Star Medium Award to Smart Storage Solutions who beat stiff competition from GES Group, Westport Adventure Park and Cube Design Print Packaging.

The ActionCOACH connection to the awards didn’t stop there. The DentalTech Group picked up the All Star for Small Business as well as receiving Business All Star Community Thought Leader (Dental) accreditation. Their ActionCOACH Business Coach Richard Cullen was amongst the first to congratulate Group Owner Bevin Mahon and her team on their well earned success.

It was a busy day for Richard as another of his clients Denise O’Callaghan owner of Optimise Design received Business All Star Design Leader Accreditation on the day as well.

There was more success for ActionCOACH clients as Little Learners Pre-School & Montessori picked up double accreditations for Product Innovation and Team.  Little Learner’s owner Nessa McNamara took a few minutes between judging rounds to acknowledge the support and encouragement of her business coach John O’Sullivan to pursue such prestigious accreditation.


ActionCOACH Business Coaches Jeannette Naughton and Des Ryan were delighted to see clients past and present succeed as Target Integration and Monread CRM were accredited.

To cap off a fantastic day we had the pleasure of chatting to record breaking runner, Sinead Kane (#BlindRunner777) after she came off stage from giving a keynote presentation.  Record breaking runner, Sinead and her coach John O’Regan shared with us a story of resilience and commitment which she summed up in a memorable quote;

“it takes team work to make dreams work.”




To mark our involvement as sponsors in this years Business All-Stars we are offering you the chance to avail of a complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment. If you’d like to know the monetary cost to your business of disengagement  then click here



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Get in touch today and find how we can help you improve your business by:

Business Coaching

Employee Engagement

Leadership & Culture

Learning & Development

Executive Coaching

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3 Tips To Finding Your Ideal Customer

3 Tips To Finding Your Ideal Customer

If you want your business to really get off the ground, you need to know who your customers are, find them, and then make them loyal to your brand. By knowing your base, you can target their specific needs and wants, which will turn them into repeat customers. The following tips are some of the ways you can build your customer base alongside your business.

1) Know who you want your customers to be.

When you start a business, the industry you enter will give you a rough idea of what your customers will look like – opening a restaurant attracts a different clientele than an electronics shop. The important thing to understand is that there is a significant degree of variation within industries. When you have clearly defined the niche your business will occupy, you’ll then need to figure out what kind of customers you want to attract. A business that is more specialized has fewer opportunities to attract prospective customers, but it also means that you’re faced with less competition. A computer repair store and a shop that specializes in repairing old/obscure game consoles is unlikely to experience much customer overlap. When you open your doors, having a sense of who your ideal customers are will make it much easier to drum up interest in what you have to offer. A generalised message that targets no one in particular will do little to bring in business of any value.

2) Consider the profile of the people that buy from you.

Once you’ve obtained an idea of what your ideal customer looks like, you can then begin to hone in on attracting that particular demographic. While each customer is a unique person in their own right, certain demographics have overlapping tastes and behaviors. What kind of products do they look for? What kind of deals and promotions are they more likely to respond to? What kind of clothes do they wear? What cars to they drive? If your goal is to attract people of a certain income level, it will help to learn more about the goods and services they are more likely to purchase. A good example of a business failing to consider the profile of their customers is in the disastrous launch of McDonald’s Arch Deluxe. Branded as a more upscale, “adult” burger, the Arch Deluxe met with little positive reception upon its release in 1996. The people who frequented McDonald’s (many of whom were children) did not care for a product that aspired to be better than fast food, despite actually being fast food. McDonald’s lost over 100 million dollars on the Arch Deluxe. A better understanding of their customers would have led to a less ill-conceived idea.

3) Harness the power of analytics.

Although data analysis has been around for a long time it is only within the last decade or so that small businesses have started to harness the power of data thanks to Google Analytics and similar software. Analytics software allows you to track practically every conceivable aspect of your customer’s behaviour – what they search for, when they search for it, on what device, what they ask for, how long they spend on pages, how often they click on certain links – all of this, and more, is revealed with analytics. Analytics are commonly used by businesses that have found and secured their particular customer base, but they can also be used to get a better picture of what your first customers are like. Analytics give you pure data points; only the raw information. What you do with this information is up to you, but if you use it properly, you can give yourself a major advantage over your less-informed competitors. It is important to remember that while you may feel as a business owner that you need to know everything all of the time, the key to success is building the right team by bringing the right people with the right skills into your business.  

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Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you improve your business by:

  • Business Coaching
  • Employee Engagement
  • Leadership & Culture
  • Learning & Development
  • Executive Coaching

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Easter Charity Prize Draw

Easter Charity Prize Draw

We need your help!

Last week a Giant Chocolate Bunny escaped from Big Bag Jellies and hopped into our office. Never underestimate the effort it takes to chase a hopping mad 2ft Tall, 2.5kg Belgian Chocolate Bunny  (The team at ActionCOACH will be taking the stairs more often as a result).

When we called the Botanic Marketing Team at Big Bag Jellies to get them to collect their escaped bunny, they told us their hands were full chasing a rogue gingerbread man!  They suggested we use the bunny to raise much needed funds for Mary’s Meals who can feed a child for a year for only €15.60 in 15 of the poorest countries in the world. The cost of 1 restaurant lunch or a fancy easter egg  can feed a child for a year in countries like Haiti, Malawi, Kenya, Thailand, India and ensure they continue their education.

So there you have it, if you would like to offer a Giant Chocolate Bunny a home for Easter simply click here to make a donation.   Every donation no matter how big or small will be entered into next weeks Giant Bunny draw so please help us by donating today. This is fundraiser is to support the efforts of our good friend Stuart Sheehy who does so much great work as a volunteer with the Dublin Supporters of Mary’s Meals.

To learn more about the great work the volunteers at Mary’s Meals do in some of the poorest countries of the world watch the below video.

Every donation regardless of size is greatly appreciate, every penny counts. Please support by donating here.

4 Stages To Becoming A Sales Master

4 Stages To Becoming A Sales Master

For those of us who want to become better at sales, or teach our team to do so, there is one tool that can not only help us become more confident with selling but allow us to replicate what we do. That tool is creating a successful sales process.

As Bob Rotella told us at Pendulum Summit, major winning golfers obviously have a lot of talent, but more importantly they have a process that they follow to ensure they are successful and they practice it over and over to ensure they can perform consistently well. As Arnold Palmer once said “the more I practice the luckier I get.”

The same is true for master salespeople. Yes, there is an element of skill to becoming a great salesman, but like all skills they can be learnt, it just means that some people learn faster than others, but if you have the determination and discipline, these will more than compensate for any lack of skill. Becoming master salesman can be broken down into four simple stages:

First Stage: Understanding Sales

The first stage is to understand what selling is all about. Many people have the belief that sales is a bad thing because they hate being sold to and have probably had a bad experience of a bad salesperson in the past. People like to buy but they do not like to be sold to. If you change your sales belief to one of “professionally helping people to buy” then suddenly sales can take on a whole new meaning.

The Second Stage: Improve

The second stage is to improve your skill at sales, and like all skills there are two ways to do this and the best way is to use both. Education, via reading, courses, online tutorials and real life practice. “Just Do It” as NIKE say.

The Third Stage: Build Your Process

The third stage is to build your sales process. A framework we recommend to clients was devised by one of the best sales trainers in the world, Tom Hopkins, and comes from his book “How to Master the Art of Selling”.
This sales process involves 4 steps:

  1. Build Trust
  2. Find the Need
  3. Show How You can Help
  4. Hurry to a Close

The process has to be carried out in this order.

Step 1: Build Trust

If you have not built Trust with your prospect then you will never sell to them, and this is the feeling you get when you are being sold to.

Step 2: Find The Need

Need has to come before Help , because if we do not truly understand what the prospects needs and wants are then how can we be sure what we are offering to help with is actually the right thing. The only way to really know the need is to ask questions and listen. Have you ever met a sales person who launches into a speel about how wonderful their product is before they have asked you a single question?

Step 3: Show You Can Help

The third step is to successfully educate and communicate how your product/service can help them meet their need. It might be fantastic but if they do not understand then they will not buy.

Step 4: Close The Sale

Only when you have completed all three of the previous steps can you attempt to close the sale, but close it you must. If you work hard on steps 1-3, helping them buy will be easy and natural, but if you forget then all that work is wasted and you rarely get a second chance.

The Fourth Stage: Measure & Improve

The fourth stage to becoming a sales master is constant and never ending improvement or Kaizen as the Japanese call it. In your sales process, your main feedback source will be your Key Performance Indicators, such as conversion rate, number of transactions, average value of sale. So you need to constantly analyse these figures then set new goals and plans to improve them.

Sometimes you will need help to see what is going right as well as going wrong and this is why more and more business people are following the lead of sports stars and getting themselves a coach who can provide independent and professional feedback. As the old saying goes “you cannot see your own bald spot”.

If you want to build a great business you have to build a great sales process.  Are you ready to take Action to become a Sales Master?  If you would like to discuss how we can help you achieve this goal take a moment to request a call back below.

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Business Coaching

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Leadership & Culture

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