Ben Richardson and ActionCOACH Franchise Partner and mentor, Jenni Morgan

He launched Toolz 4 You in 2010, a high-quality second-hand tools supplier, with impressive growth coming in the years following. But eight years later, Ben still felt his operation wasn't running like a proper business - he could see no way for himself to be able to take any time out from his long working hours.

After receiving a call from ActionCOACH, they immediately recognised Ben's problems. He didn't know it yet, but he finally had the perfect tool to help him revolutionise his business.

"I was planning on going to university, but I'd found success in repairing tools and selling them on. I made the tough decision to hold off on higher education, putting my all into this refurbished tools business instead.

"We'd done well in eight years, but I was still nowhere near feeling like we were an established business. Everything seemed a bit disjointed, I was scraping by and working ridiculously long days - I couldn't see a time where I'd ever be able to have a day off.

"When I got a call from my local Action Coach in 2019, we spoke briefly about my business. All their assumptions about Toolz 4 You and my feelings towards it were so accurate. They suggested we have a free coaching session with them and based on what they were able to work out in just five minutes on an initial call, I was keen and agreed."

Getting the measure

"I joined ActionCLUB, a fortnightly group coaching session, and it had an instant impact. It got me thinking about what my goals were as well as some effective methods for budget setting. We started looking at different formulas for getting the results I wanted. I was learning so much, it made me want to tap into my Action Coach's knowledge as much as I could."

Ben was craving the chance to get more personalised time with his local Action Coach having seen the initial impact of his group coaching sessions, so took the decision to commit to one-to-one coaching.

"At this point I was working full time with two engineers working part time, Eddie and Martin. We were turning over around £200,000 a year but with a wedding and a house to pay for, as well as all the business expenditure, I was very much living on the edge of just surviving.

"Straight away, my Action Coach helped me create a cash flow forecast which made my finances simpler and left me in greater control of knowing what money I could and couldn't spend. We also set about forming a comprehensive plan to allow me time out of the business, which at that point felt like a far-away dream."

Hands, Face, Pace!

It wasn't long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, upending countless businesses across the country and acting as a giant spanner in the works for Ben's. ActionCOACH helped Ben initiate crisis prevention mode, setting up weekly Zoom meetings to identify and negotiate the various pitfalls that were plaguing so many business owners.

"My Action Coach was amazing - without them I would've strongly considered turning around and packing it all in, but they were such a calming influence and would always offer me considered and productive advice.

"In the last two years, ActionCOACH has completely revolutionised my business. Their help in restructuring has grown my team from two to seven people and we're now in a brand-new industrial unit that we've kitted out. We've grown quickly over the last couple of years but now we're on the verge of completely exploding - it's really exciting for everyone.

"They also referred me to a Local Enterprise Partnership, who have helped facilitate our growth and we, in turn, have given back to them. Without ActionCOACH though, I wouldn't even have thought about entering these types of partnerships.

"In the financial year before my local Action Coach came on board, our turnover was £220,000. Now in our third year together, predicted turnover has doubled to £450,000. Thanks to ActionCOACH, we also have a number of well-defined processes - everyone's roles are clearly separated, making operations a lot slicker."

Well-oiled machine

"The best bit, long gone are my 65-hour working weeks, and when I do need to take some time for a holiday, it's no longer an issue. The goals I set with ActionCOACH at the very start were so ambitious that I was reluctant to believe I could achieve them. We've already accomplished so much together. Suddenly my dreams are becoming true. My working hours are way down, everything is more efficient, we are making more money and, crucially, my business can run without me.

"We're eventually looking to branch out to new locations including Australia, as it fits our business model perfectly. It's fully coincidental that it is somewhere my wife, Amy, and I have always wanted to live. The future is looking bright and it's great knowing ActionCOACH is by my side. They care about results and what we can achieve - their knowledge, experience and connections are all incredible and it still staggers me when I think about how much they've helped us to achieve."

The coach's perspective

"When I first met Ben, he was hard working, logical and knew what he wanted - he just needed education and support on how to master running a business. He's a very hard worker, but together we've been able to make his hard work more productive and beneficial to everyone - himself, his clients and his employees."

Launching her business coaching franchise in Wakefield, Jenni Morgan has been a franchise partner with ActionCOACH since 2018. Since becoming an Action Coach, Jenni has helped local businesses to thrive - expanding their client base and increasing their profitability. Jenni is proud to have made ActionCOACH Wakefield a driving force behind business development in the area.

If you would like to make a difference in your business community like Jenni and you're the kind of person who:

A) loves learning and helping people;

B) has enjoyed success in your career, business or a sport; and

C) is willing to invest if you see substantial returns can be made...

Then find out more by watching the overview video at