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After Doubling its Revenue in 2021, The Growth Coach Gears Up to Establish 300 Locations Across 25 Countries by 2027

Specializing in helping small business owners succeed and navigate in a post-COVID landscape, the global business coaching company plans for widespread expansion.

By Ben Warren1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 05/11/22

Building a business has never been easy, but at a time when consumer behaviors are rapidly shiftingemployees are resigning en masse and supply chain disruptions are causing prices to spike for a range of goods, business leaders are increasingly desperate for support, which is why The Growth Coach, a 65-unit small-business coaching franchise, is particularly well-positioned to emerge as one of the most lucrative franchise opportunities in the post-COVID business landscape.

“One of the most difficult parts about business ownership that people don’t realize until they experience it themselves is just how lonely it can feel, and that loneliness is only getting worse as leaders contend with an array of new challenges,” said Chris Seman, president of The Growth Coach. “We are able to alleviate that loneliness by offering expert, strategic guidance so that business leaders don’t have to carve their own path out of whatever challenging circumstance they may find themselves in.”

The Growth Coach was founded in 1992 by Dan Murphy, a former accountant at Deloitte who was inspired to become a small business coach after noticing that much of the financial guidance he was providing his clients boiled down to business strategy.

“When I was working with these businesses as an accountant, I realized that so many of their challenges were strategic, not financial,” Murphy said. “That’s when I first developed the Strategic Mindset Process© that we still use at The Growth Coach today. That mindset, which helps business leaders step back from the weeds and refocus on the big picture, has proven enormously successful, to the point that we knew we had to bring on franchisee coaches to support the demand we were experiencing.”

Demand for The Growth Coach’s services has increased for years, but it spiked dramatically during and after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, The Growth Coach doubled its annual revenue, and the brand is leveraging that growth for an ambitious expansion plan, aiming to establish 300 franchise locations in 25 countries by 2027. 

“We’ve always experienced consistent growth as a brand, but things really accelerated since the onset of COVID-19,” Seman said. “Now, demand for our services is so high that we can really step on the gas pedal in terms of franchise expansion.”

That’s not to say that The Growth Coach didn’t experience its own fair share of challenges during the pandemic, but the franchise’s solutions to those challenges have only increased the value of the brand’s services as it partners with more businesses across the country. 

Chief among those COVID-era pivots, Seman says, is the brand’s decision to incorporate virtual coaching sessions.

“We have a peer-to-peer coaching model, so face-to-face interaction has always been important to us, but when that became more difficult during the height of COVID, we knew we had to find a way for our coaches to continue engaging with their clients, so we developed our virtual model,” he said. “Ultimately, that proved to be far more impactful than just a temporary stopgap measure during lockdowns. Even now that most people are comfortable with in-person meetings again, it is so useful to have that virtual option in case you need to take a meeting while traveling or when you’re taking a sick day.”

Today, The Growth Coach still relies on in-person meetings for its core offering, but Seman says virtual coaching accounts for nearly a quarter of its meetings and has allowed the brand to accommodate a wider pool of clientele. 

The Growth Coach’s ability to fulfill the dramatically increasing demand for small business coaching has made it one of the most sought-after opportunities in franchising. In 2021, the brand added 10 new coaches to its thriving network of franchise owners, and this year, The Growth Coach is on pace to hit its goal of 25 new franchise units.

“The current business climate has certainly led more people to look at our opportunity,” said Joshua Johns, the brand’s director of marketing. “What gets them to invest is our uniquely favorable franchise offering, which provides a wealth of support and in most cases a very quick return on investment.

That rapid return on investment is aided by a number of factors, including a low initial investment — ranging from $42,000 - $63,900, one of the lowest in the executive coaching segment — a streamlined opening process that brings new franchisees to market quickly after signing on, and an incentive program called The Winner’s Circle that refunds a franchisee’s initial franchise fee ($27,900) upon completion of certain key benchmarks.

“One thing that separates us from most other franchise brands is that we don’t think of franchise fees as a revenue generator,” said Johns. “Our success depends on the success of our franchisees, so our growth is completely tied up in theirs. Therefore, anything we can do to support their growth is good for the brand, and that includes keeping costs low and providing support where possible.”

In terms of the support The Growth Coach provides its franchisees, Seman says it all comes back to the brand’s core philosophy of providing hands-on, expert guidance for any and all challenges.

“We expect our coaches to be a true partner to their clients — a GPS of sorts — and that’s exactly what our corporate team provides to coaches in turn,” he said. “As soon as a franchisee signs on, they get their own dedicated onboarding coach whose entire job is to help them set up the business for success. Then there’s a full week of comprehensive training at our headquarters in Cincinnati. From there, franchisees continue to benefit from peer-to-peer group coaching as they grow their business. In short, we practice what we preach.”

As The Growth Coach gears up for widespread franchise growth, it is seeking passionate coaches and consultants in markets across the country to join its network of franchise owners. Target markets the brand is currently eying for development include California, Texas and Colorado.

“The beautiful thing about this model is that just about anyone with the right grit, passion and values can find success,” Seman said. “We’ve built the business, we just need talented folks to execute, and there is no shortage of them in every market we look at. I don’t expect us to have any trouble finding great partners as we continue to expand.”

About The Growth Coach:

The Growth Coach was founded in Cincinnati in 2003 and is the only pure business and sales coaching franchise aimed at driving success while balancing the lives of small business owners, managers, sales people, self-employed professionals and executives across a wide spectrum of businesses and industries. The Growth Coach specializes in group workshops and individual coaching with the goal of helping clients gain greater focus and leverage to work less, earn more and enjoy more fulfilling lives. The Growth Coach is active in more than 100 markets in the United States and abroad and is always looking to expand domestically and internationally. For more information visit