AC Inc is an education and training company that helps franchise brands assess, train, and certify their Field Coaches and operations teams.
The Field Coach role in a franchise system is the role that coaches and supports the franchisees. By providing training, professional development, and certification for the Field Coach role, franchise businesses improve their profitability and growth.
Our mission is to help franchise brands maximize the impact of their Field Coaching. We’re passionate about making a difference in the franchise industry by bringing attention to the value that the Field Coach role has to a franchise company.
When franchisees are given proper coaching and support, they’re more profitable and successful. We want more successful franchisees (local business owners), and one of the biggest impacts on a franchisee’s success is improving the training and success of the Field Coaches that support them!
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in franchising. My dad founded the iconic Canadian franchise brand, M&M Food Markets, which I helped grow to almost 500 locations. My first memories of the family business are going to grand openings. I even dressed up as the mascot, Kelly Kabob, and worked behind the counter growing up.
Growing up in the franchise industry, I worked on the corporate side, became a Field Coach in my early 20s, and brought the brand to Vancouver Island, BC, as a multi-unit franchisee. I’ve worked in all three areas of franchising, and through it all, I noticed gaps that needed to be filled.
My interest in improving the support and coaching that franchisees get as they open and grow their local business was something I saw growing up and into my own journey as a franchisee. But I also always loved coaching, training, and educating.
I feel energized every time I get to mentor, coach, or teach. It may sound cliche, but it’s truly such a love of mine to help people learn, implement, and make a difference. Starting AC Inc as a Field Coach education and training company actually came from me hiring a coach to help me discover my next career move after my kids were grown and I was ready to get back into the business world!
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
So many things come to mind… But the one I’ll share is to trust that the small action steps you’re taking now will lead you where you want to go. Sometimes, when we’re in the busy day-to-day, and we’re taking these small action steps, it can feel unlikely that you’ll ever achieve the big goals you’re working toward. But consistent action and having faith in the process (plus a healthy dose of patience) will work wonders in the long run.
And if you don’t know exactly where you want to go, that’s okay too! Continue to explore things you’re interested in and always work to add more to your life and experiences. Just because you don’t have an exact destination doesn’t mean you can’t take action steps that may eventually lead to something big.
What problem does your business solve?
Franchisees are local business owners who have opened an existing business model in their community. When franchisees are given effective support and business coaching, they are happier, more successful, and more profitable. That’s what our goal is as a company.
Field Coaches are the role within the franchise brand that coach and support the franchisees. So when we can help more franchise companies hire, train, and certify field coaches, franchisees become more successful, and franchise companies improve their profitability. It’s a win-win!
The problem in the franchise industry is that providing effective coaching for franchisees is still a pretty uncommon practice (although growing in popularity all the time!), and if companies do have Field Coaches, they often don’t have effective training and development for the role.
By providing effective assessments, training, and certification for field coaches, we’re improving the franchise industry overall.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
The inspiration came from growing up in franchising and seeing how big an impact that effective business coaching for franchisees makes in their overall success.
The problem? Coaching franchisees are still fairly uncommon in the franchise industry, and Field Coaches (the role that does the coaching) are often not given top-tier training and development in their role.
The solution is our ACademy: The curriculum of live online courses that train and certify Field Coaches. We created the ACademy at AC Inc to make an impact in the franchise industry. Helping Field Coaches, franchise companies, and local franchisees all succeed.
What is your magic sauce?
Well, one part of the magic sauce is our ACademy: The curriculum of live online courses that train and certify Field Coaches. We built this curriculum based on 165-plus years of collective franchise and business experience, and we’re SO PROUD to be the premier source of training and development in the franchise industry.
But beyond our awesome ACademy, our magic sauce is our ability to create collaboration and community. Whether it’s our team or our community of clients, we’re really good at bringing people together to interact and share ideas. It’s a pillar of our company culture, and we include it in many of our courses and services.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In the next five years, the AC team wants to change the perception in franchising about the value of field coaching. Right now, there are still many companies that don’t have field coaching for their franchisees OR who view Field Coaches as a junior role that doesn’t make a big impact on their system’s success.
We want franchise companies to understand the value this role has for their franchisees and invest in effective hiring, training, and ongoing development for this incredibly important role within their company.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
One of the biggest challenges we had several years ago was the choice to niche our services. As a business owner, it is incredibly scary to narrow your focus. I was terrified that as we got more specific with our solutions, we would fail as a company or let down some of our past clientele.
When we first started the company years prior, we offered a huge range of services for franchise brands. So, when we narrowed our services specifically to Field Coaches and the operations side, I had a lot of doubts and nerves about it.
But it was SUCH a good decision and has paid off in so many ways. Taking any kind of leap in business development takes courage. Having a strong team around me has made the leaps easier and the wins so much sweeter.
How can people get involved?
If you’re a franchise brand interested in assessing, training, certifying, or staffing your Field Coach team, learn all about our services at fieldcoachexperts.com.