Advice from the sidelines

BY NEKIESHA REID Business reporter

Friday, July 27, 2012

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JAMAICA'S increasing need for business coaches has created an opening for individuals to enter the US$2.4-billion industry.


Climbing at a rate of 18 per cent each year, the business coaching industry is one of the fastest growing fields in the world, professionals in the trade said.


Recognising an opportunity to tap into the market, Marcia Woon Choy, a former vice-president of Citigroup Jamaica, signed up with international company Action Coach two years ago.


The sole franchise holder for the company in Jamaica, Woon Choy provides coaching services to small, medium and large companies across the island.


"Even before signing on with Acton Coach, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of business owners," she said, adding that financial help in the form of loans is not the only help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need.


A type of human resource development, business coaching is used to improve an individual's or a group's effectiveness within the office, thereby improving company performance.


Companies using her coaching techniques are guaranteed increased sales and profits, Woon Choy said, unless it is not prepared to do the work required.


"Every business we've gone into has seen results," she said. "If a business does not become profitable, it has not consistently followed the system as outlined by the coach."


Those who sign up need to know the direction in which they want to take their companies.


"I don't tell business owners what to do," Woon Choy said. "We work together, using the system, to develop specific action plans, so the owner would first need to know what results they want to achieve."


As the only franchise holder for Action Coach in Jamaica, hosting seminars and conducting group coaching for various companies is hectic.


Action Coach is, therefore, looking for people to join its ranks, she said.


Those getting into the industry can expect to invest over US$50,000 ($9.4 million) in training and getting started but Woon Choy said the earning potential is significant since Action Coach workshops can cost between $18,000 and $90,000 each.


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