Francois Lubbe: Breaking the Corporate Shackles

Are you unsure if ActionCOACH will work for you?

Each week we will feature a  coach  persona – all with different personalities and backgrounds,  and if you can relate to any one of our coaches and want to join the team then make sure you contact us to start your journey of discovery.

First up:

Francois Lubbe: Breaking the Corporate Shackles

Click on the image below to view the entire persona.

KRU Detailing ~ Testimonial

CLIENT INDUSTRY: Structural Steel Detailing
BUSINESS COACH: Francois Lubbe

REGION: Randburg – Gauteng
BUSINESS AGE: 14 years


In a very challenging industry with high expectations of service delivery, we aimed to be the best. Unfortunately we could never achieve it. Having silent partners who were just in it for the money and not thinking about the growth of the company, its vision and mission, receiving a monthly income from the company. My staff was willing to give it their all, but did not have the correct tools physically and emotionally to do so.

Company was running at a lost
I was feeling unappreciated and undervalued

Being afraid of asking questions and potentially losing my clients
Chasing the bottom live

Had to cut my silent partners pay outs to what it was supposed to be and restructuring the deal in place.


“Initially the focus was to clean the path by reducing obstacles and interferences that were blocking the path to success. Business and personal goals were aligned and personal and business strategies were identified and implemented that put the business on a profitable level. Personal strategies to empower Johann as a business owner to lead the team to new heights were embraced and executed. Johann’s own words describe it best: I took total control of myself…” I took total control of myself, my company and my employees, I started to believe in myself and in my company, educating my staff, getting our company values in place as well as our mission and vision. The energy I reflected rubbed off on my staff and with them just as motivated as me, we as a team and I as their leader showed our clients that we are the best and we deliver the best service with the best results.


“A clear business vision, mission and culture combined with setting of higher standards for all team members set a (new platform) that was a stepping stone for future growth. Johann’s leadership caused rejuvenated energy and excitement in his team that ensured a higher level of team contribution to a new level of desired results on a business and individual level.” The company showed the best profit in years – 400% profit Year-on-Year. In Johann’s own words: I had the ability to take what was due to me…

Company showed the best profit in years

Had the ability to take what was due to me , I felt like a business owner for the first time in my life
Building relationships with our client and gaining the trust back of long lost clients
Making Employees feel valued

Focusing on client and employee satisfaction

Gained confidence to ask questions and being the friendly open face of the company.


I was at first very sceptical about coaching. When Francois told me that he guaranteed me that I will make my first month of coaching fees back within the first 6 weeks, I thought okay let’s give it a try but I don’t know. And that exactly happen within my alignment session already with the option I was given to go and make changes he made me save more than my yearly amount that I had to pay him to be my coach. No amount of money can be placed on the value and change that coaching did for me as a person and for my company. I am currently seeing Francois once every second week and will continue with it.


KRU Detailing is doing better and better every day, I was one of the 3 finalists at the BEFA as young entrepreneur of 2016, I have never had so much confidence in my business and in my team. KRU also had its biggest months and biggest contract in 2016, that it had ever had since the company was started in 2002. I also got 2 awards from Francois at the end of 2016 for Client of the year and profit growth year on year.


Coaching was and is still a live changing experience for me as a person, husband and business owner. The growth in me, my business and my team speaks for it self’s in the results for the past year. I will recommend coaching to any person that has a business and want to make a difference by changing for the better. Last but not least I have the Best Coach of the all – Francois Lubbe

1) What made you consider coaching?

After attending the BEFA (Business Excellence and Awards0 conference) in 2015 – I was motivated and determent to change myself and the Business. I had to make a decision if I am going to put every last bit in and turn the Business around or am I going to close the doors of my company. The answer was not clear but I was not able to lose everything I worked for so long and also to leave my staff unemployed.

2) What was it like before you had a coach?

Lonely, unmotivated, no direction and strategies to help the business on path of success.

3) What is it like now that you have a coach?

Confident about my future and new exciting possibilities for business and personal growth.

4) Where did the coach make the most impact?

Personal growth and see things differently that allows new personal and business possibilities.

5) Why would you recommend coaching?

It changes your life and business forever.

Client contact for reference purposes:
Company: KRU Detailing CC- Johann Strauss 083 658 4844

Certified Business & Executive Coach

Coach: Francois Lubbe – ActionCOACH Franchisee
Cell: 082 441 4988



By Pieter Scholtz, Business and Award Winning Executive coach and co-owner of business coaching firm – ActionCOACH

Weekends are usually days of rest but for workaholics the day of rest never comes. There is always unfinished work; one more email to read and one more phone call to make that simply can’t wait until Monday.
Ask yourself this. “If your business was like a formula 1 pit team: how successful do you think you would be? Would you be the team manager calmly orchestrating the events from the safety of the pit wall directing others or would you be the one running round doing every job trying to make sure it’s done well, getting in everybody’s way but feeling good about yourself because you’re always busy. Then does the car still go out late and with only three wheels?

A common problem facing families is an absent husband or wife and dad or mom due to ‘workaholism’. Often, to workaholics business is all about busyness.

While we all know in theory that it’s less time consuming to work smarter rather than harder, the reality is we tend not to practise it.

Here are the signs of a Workaholic:

Your laptop goes on holiday with you.
You can’t turn your cell phone off at night or on the weekends for fear of what you might miss
You struggle to sleep at night because you mind is turning over like the engine of a formula 1 car
You don’t feel well, but a sick day in bed is not negotiable
You start things but leave them unfinished
You working late at night and/or during the weekends
You pray the clock hands will start to go in reverse
You stand accused of not listening to other people
Even though the business is mature enough to employ staff, you are convinced you can do it quicker and better.

When people start a business, there’s a real buzz from working for themselves and getting things off the ground. They run on high amounts of adrenaline, pumped up, working long hours and overcoming great challenges. Their destiny is in their own hands and they set off with a dream that inspires them. Every win they make imprints on their subconscious mind linking working hard with success. In the early stages, new business owners have to work hard because there’s nobody else to do the work if they don’t. All of these factors tend to breed the workaholic.

Just like an alcoholic, business owners keep doing what they know is bad for them. The last person to realise what is happening is the person with the problem. Also like an alcoholic, it’s the people around them, like their families that suffer the most. They get neglected, friends become acquaintances and their staff members, if they have any, are often driven away if they too aren’t workaholics.

The signs are quite clear as I mentioned above but if you need help to see them ask someone else who’s close to you to be brutally honest.

So if you are a workaholic, what can you do? The steps are similar to addressing any addiction. The first step is to become aware you are a workaholic. Then repeat after me: “My name is ‘so and so’ and I am a workaholic”.

Once you have accepted you have a problem, take ownership of the situation. Realise that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you always got – an unbalanced existence.

It takes 21 times to create a good habit and the longer you have been a workaholic, the longer it will take you to change your bad habits.

Get clear on what type of life you want to lead. Ask yourself how many hours per day, days per week and weeks per year you want to work. Plan out what needs to happen each quarter in order to reduce your work hours. Work out what you would rather be doing instead of working all the time? This is really important because if you don’t have something you like better, you will continue working 24/7 and eventually burn out. Then start putting staff in place and delegating so that eventually you are working on the business and not in the business. (710 words)

Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 40 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. / 012 665 1015

5 Common Myths about Franchising That Need to be Debunked

There are certain things you might have heard that are putting you off from buying a franchise. There may also be some exaggerated facts that try to seduce you into buying a franchise without thinking. Whatever you may have heard, we are going to dissect some really common ones and serve them up you with all the details exposed. It is necessary to know fact from fiction before you make important business decisions, especially the ones where your investment is at stakes. Here are some popular myths regarding franchises and we hope you give them a good read.

Myth 1
Success is in buying a popular brand.
Many people have their noses on the ground scouting for franchises that are seemingly very popular. It is better to buy a franchise that is the right fit for you rather than buying one which is too “hot” to handle. Buying a less popular brand that you can manage well within your resources is wiser than owning a franchise that is a burden to deal with.

Myth 2
It is impossible to fail in a franchise business.
The sooner you get this notion out of your head, the better. There are risks involved in every business and although the franchise model has a low probability of going sour, that does not make it fail-proof. Anyone can fail running any type of business. The chances of error are always there.

Myth 3
There is no degree of freedom in a franchise.
You might have had friends advising you on the dinner table how buying a franchise is not a good decision and that you will be dictated by the franchisor. In reality, there is lots of room for your individual touch. The franchisor only dictates the basic framework, which is good because it is a tried and successful formula you are getting on a platter. Other than that, you are in control. You hire and fire and make managerial decisions. It’s a win-win deal.

Myth 4
I will have to resign from my job to run a franchise.
If you do your research, a large number of franchise owners are passively running their franchises. The franchise model is designed for such people who are working on other jobs.

Myth 5
There are more chances of success if you do what you love.
Hold that thought. Though the idea sounds ideal and appealing, there is little reason to follow through with it. Stats will show you businesses that involve the owner’s background have a higher chance of failure. You will soon begin to hate what you love. If you love playing tennis, do not buy a tennis franchise. Instead, go for a franchise that will give you enough returns to play all the tennis in the world.

There are more misconceptions about the franchise business that you may be surrounded with. Carry out thorough research before buying a myth. There are qualified franchise consultants that can help you choose the right franchise for you and will guide you better regarding the ins and outs of the franchise business.

Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 40 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. / 012 665 1015

Exceed Your Business Goals in 2018

As the year begins, businesses all over the world have renewed (or established) the goals that they are aiming to achieve. Whether you want to increase yearly profits by 20%, open a new location, hire an additional person, or even find a way to take more time off, you’ll have to chart out a road map that will ultimately get you to your desired destination. That’s the part of achievement that trips a lot of people up; the more ambitious your goal is, the more work (and creativity) you’re going to have to put in in order to achieve it. If you want to exceed even your wildest goals, you’re going to have to break out of the mud of convention.

Being successful doesn’t necessarily require you to do something completely radical and untested. In many cases, applying existing models in a way that you haven’t yet tried is enough to make your dream a reality. For example, if you aren’t making much use of social media, now might be the time to open up a new Instagram account. This, and many other methods, will go a long way towards accomplishing every goal you set out to meet well before the year ends!
The business community offers tons of resources that will help you get started. You’re never alone, no matter what industry you work in – and this article will help you take the first meaningful step in the new year.

1) Use the power of social media
This bears mentioning twice. What makes social media such a powerful platform is that it has the potential to generate huge amounts of positive (or negative!) publicity with minimal effort. Instead of investing in expensive advertising campaigns, you can instead create and upload a video that goes viral and exposes your brand name to millions of people across the world. If you don’t have a Facebook or Instagram account, look into starting and maintaining one. A blog can be a great way to relate to customers on a personal level and expand upon everything that you stand for as a company. Twitter and Snapchat can also be useful as well. People from every country on Earth use these platforms, so join them!

2) Create lists
Words are fleeting; they are easy to say, but they fade away and leave no trace of their existence. If you merely state your goals verbally, it’s easy to blow them off and forget what it was that you hoped to achieve. Put your words to paper, and they will now exist in a much more real, tangible format. Each week, create and/or update lists of everything that you need or want to have accomplished. Mark off the things that you have accomplished, and make a physical note of what you haven’t. By creating lists, you’ll not only be reminded of what it is that you set out to accomplish, but you’ll be able to SEE your progress throughout days, weeks, months, and even years. That is an incredibly motivating feeling, one that many entrepreneurs swear by!

3) Start using analytics
Analytics involve the careful analysis of data. Generally speaking, you’ll construct a set of statistical models based upon all the information you collect regarding your customer’s spending habits, browsing, search queries, and so forth. Analytics are used to better target and pinpoint exactly what it is that your customers want and respond to. Many businesses have failed because they failed to capture exactly what it was that their customers wanted and liked about their business. If you want to ensure that you maintain the loyalty of your existing clientele while accurately targeting new customers, analytics are a great tool to make that happen.

Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 40 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. / 012 665 1015

Phases of Franchise Success

Over the last 11 years I have worked with and experienced the highs and lows of several Franchise relationships and have come realize that all Franchise partners experience the same journey – some more so than others – but they all go through the phases.

This journey has fascinated me to the extent that I have highlighted the pitfalls of the journey to successful franchise relationships to all Franchise prospects in our business. I have a firm belief that all prospective Franchise partners need to understand not only the “technical and product” aspects of what a franchise successful but also the mindset that is required to be successful as a Franchise partner. To this extent, I spend a certain amount of time “educating” potential Franchise partners on what it takes to be successful and how to build strong relationships with other Franchise Partners as well as with the Franchisor.

The better prepared a Franchise partner is for the role of a Franchisee the better for all involved.

A couple of years ago I attended a workshop with Greg Nathan, Founder and Chairman of the Franchise Relationships Institute and was impressed with the manner in which he described the phases of franchise relationships as I could relate to all the phases during my journey as a Franchisor. As mentioned above, each Franchise partner will in my opinion go through these phases – some more so than others. I will expand on these phases below whilst adding some additional phases:

Phase 1: Due Diligence Phase – Apprehension.

During this phase the potential Franchise partner has a range of mixed emotions that range from excitement to fear. Excitement insofar as they are now clear and in their mind that they know what they are going to be doing in the future, there is also a part of them that, despite full due diligence, is filled with fear or apprehension.

As a Franchisor, it is very important to recognize this and to keep your Franchise partner focused on those factors that have proven to deliver success in your Franchise. It is very important to entrench the FTS Factor – Follow The System – and you will achieve success.

Phase 2: Glee

This is the early phase of the journey as a Franchise partner, and is preceded by having completed the full Franchise training program. During this phase the Franchise partner is “invincible” and is ready to take on and change the world. Relationships between Franchisor and Franchisee are strong and are characterized by high levels of commitment by the Franchisor as well as the Franchisee. The Franchise partner has started his business and has seen early success and growth. They are fully committed to their success as well as to the success of the brand. This phase can last for 12 -18 months.
As a Franchisor, it is important to build a very strong relationship with the Franchise partner, meet regularly to assess the health of the business as well as to identify early signs of tension or areas of discontentment. As a Franchise partner, ensure that you stick to the system and be fully transparent with your Franchisor on all issues affecting your business.

Phase 3 – The Fee Phase

During this phase the Franchise partner becomes increasingly aware of the costs being paid to the Franchisor, namely, Royalties and advertising. The Franchise partner starts questioning what they are getting in return for the fees paid. In addition, they start questioning whether they would not have been able to do better if they went on their own as opposed to joining the Franchise team.

As a Franchisor, it becomes important to communicate to the Franchise partner what the fees are being used for. In addition, I try to dispel the concerns of the Franchisee by taking them back to why they decided to join the Franchise system in the first place. It is my experience that often Franchise partners forget why they joined in the first place. Secondly, I discuss with them Royalty and Advertising costs within the Franchise system versus what costs they would have had to carry had they been in business on their own.

Franchise partners can either revert back to the Glee phase or move onto the next phase which is the Me phase.

Phase 4: The Me Phase

It is during this phase that the Franchise partner believes that his success in the Franchise system is all due to his input and very little or none as a result of the products and systems that were developed by the Franchisor. The Franchise partner believes that he would better off if he “went it alone”.

There is also the possibility that a Franchise partner is going through a “rough patch” and that his lack of success has nothing to do with him but everything to with the Franchisor.

As a Franchisor, it is important to strengthen communication channels with all Franchise partners, particularly though this phase. I have benefitted from having open discussions with my Franchise partners, highlighting to them that they are in the Me Phase and revisiting with them why they decided to join the Franchise system in the first place. It is very important to build a strong Community within the Franchise system as I have often found that Franchise partners, despite their personal success will want to stay in the system, if only to be part of the Community of Franchise partners.

Phase 5: The Free Stage

During this phase, the Franchise feels hamstrung by the “restrictions” being placed on her by the Franchisor and believes that she wants to have the freedom to operate outside of the system.

This phase is often characterized by high levels of conflict that could impact negatively on the rest of the tem if not managed carefully.

As a Franchisor, open and frank communication is critical. If no progress is being made to move the Franchise partner to the next phase it is often better to move towards terminating the contract. However, this must always be the last resort.

Phase 6: The See Phase

During this phase, the Franchise partner starts to see the value in adhering to systems that ensure consistency of delivery for the entire Franchise system.

As mentioned above, frank and open communication is an important part of the process. It is also recommended that Franchise partners are invited to be part of any future planning as well as being given the opportunity to contribute to any decisions that may affect the Franchise network.

Phase 7: The We stage

This phase is characterized by a move from independent to inter-dependent thinking. A phase where all parties realize that for the Franchise system to work all parties need to deliver on their obligations.

Franchise partners who have negotiated their way through all the above phases and reached the We Phase are a Franchisor’s greatest asset. They tend to keep one eye on profit and the other eye on developing strong relationships with other Franchise partners whilst being prepared to contribute to their success as well – to the benefit of the entire Franchise system.

Salary, ROI or both?

If you’re like most entrepreneurs you simply live out the till.  When the till has more money in it you live a little better and when the till has nothing … well you get the picture.

As a business owner and budding entrepreneur it becomes a never ending roller coaster ride where your personal finances are as unpredictable and erratic as your business finances.  You mastered the art of financial gymnastics a long time ago but the fact that you’re fighting the fight on two fronts never makes it easier.

So let’s take a step back to before you even had your business.  At some stage I’m sure you once earned a salary.  You provided your employer with skills and expertise and for that you were remunerated at the end of the month.  You were paid by the company you worked for in accordance with the value you provided. 

If during that time you saved a portion of your salary, and put it in a bank, you expected some form of return.  The money you saved, your asset, was expected to return some money back to you, namely interest.

The same principle applies, or should apply, in your own business.  For the time and effort you put into managing and running the business you deserve to be paid a market related salary.  Depending on what you actually do this may or may not be quite a considerable sum of money.  The company, albeit yours, benefits by not having to pay other staff and therefore allows you to draw a salary.  For now let’s not focus on whether this is a drawing or an actual salary.  Your accountant or tax advisor would be better suited to structure this for you depending on the circumstances.

For most business owners, especially in the beginning, they literally work like slaves.  They put in longer hours than ever before and do literally everything there is to do.  Sadly though we know that 74% of small business owners (American stats) earn less in their own business than they could working for someone else.

Priority #1

So your first focus should ALWAYS be to get to paying yourself a MARKET RELATED salary.  This needs to happen as soon as humanly possible.  This should be budgeted for and be a regular expense item on your business’s  expenses.  You cannot work for free.  No matter how passionate you are about your business and no matter how much you enjoy the freedom and flexibility you cannot work for free.

Whilst being a business owner has many advantages it also comes with added pressure and a very different kind of stress.  It’s also supposed to be a vehicle that supports you and serves your dreams and aspirations for your life.  

It is therefore critical to ensure that you are valued for your inputs and that there is a feeling of mutual value exchanged.  You manage the business and there is a commensurate value exchange back to you.

Like it or not as humans we are wired around the WIIFM principle – What’s In It For Me.  If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough in return you will slowly build up resentment to your business.  It’s slow at first and often largely sub-conscious but it happens.  If you’re feeling burnt out and fed-up with your business first double check the level of your salary.  If it’s not what you’re worth you now have a major contributing factor to your current state of mind.  A major insight indeed.

Priority #2

Just as you wouldn’t give you hard earned savings to a bank and expect nothing in return; you can’t be ‘giving’ your business money and expecting nothing in return either.  You’d never make a fixed deposit at the bank and not expect any interest back from them.  In fact, with the advent of online or app based banking you’re probably checking your monthly interest, albeit small, a couple of times a month.

So why are you ‘giving’ your business money and expecting nothing in return?

I often hear things like, “Does it really matter?”, “It’s my business anyway” or “It’s all my money isn’t it”.  The reality though is you have two functions as a business owner.  One is an employee role in the work that you do and the other is a shareholder role as the owner of the company.  The former should provide a salary and the latter a return in the form of profits and / or dividends.  

If you don’t get both a salary AND a return you can just as well sell the business.  That way you can invest the proceeds and get a return for doing absolutely nothing.  Other people can manage your money and you simply just collect the fruits of their labour.  Skip the full spectrum of pressure and stress as a business owner and rather earn a market related salary working for someone else.

Now I realise there are often a number of factors at play and there are realities around tax, the type of business, the economy, the state of the job market and so forth but it’s the principle that’s key.  BOTH Salary and ROI are a must as a business owner especially where you still work IN the business.

If you don’t budget for BOTH Salary and ROI you invariably just get one.  You need money to live and as most of your expenses are monthly you tend to draw money from the business monthly as well.  Because a Return on Investment (profit / dividend) is not urgent, isn’t paid monthly and doesn’t really affect your personal survival it is normally the easiest to neglect and delay.  Fix this now.

To get started:

  1. Decide what your market related salary should be.  What are you worth to the company?
  2. Pick a date when your first new salary will be paid and stick to that date.
  3. Amend the budget and cashflow forecast accordingly and increase any sales targets, KPIs etc.
  4. Send me an email the day your business pays you what you’re worth and let me know how that feels
  5. Work out the correct Return on Investment for your business.  This may be based on what you paid for the business, what it’s currently worth, an industry benchmark, better than what an investment company can give you passively.  The specifics don’t matter for the beginning it’s more the habit.  It may be a percentage of turnover or even a Rand amount.
  6. You now have an annual profit target that again needs to be used for budgeting and cashflow purposes.  Again amend the sales targets, KPIs etc. in a commensurate way.
  7. Set up a separate profit business banking account and regularly move the profit out of the business’s operational account into the profit account.  The more you see the profit separately the more you’ll drive the necessary activities necessary to hit the full Return on Investment targeted number.
  8. Remember that business is like a game and it can be mastered.  Also games are supposed to be fun and remember to make sure you have that in loads.

Remember as a business owner you have two roles.  Make absolutely sure you’re remunerated for BOTH!

Harry Welby-Cooke is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Harry and his partner Pieter Scholtz developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 40 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. / 012 665 1015

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