How business coaching has helped set SoGlos up for expansion in 2024

With exciting expansion plans for the new year, SoGlos's managing director, James Fyrne, explains why business coaching has been invaluable in growing Gloucestershire's leading media brand as it looks to expand into other regions.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
As SoGlos sets its sights on expansion, with SoBristol coming soon, MD James Fyrne explains how leading business coaching firm, ActionCOACH Cheltenham, has helped to drive business operations forward in 2023.
In partnership with ActionCOACH Cheltenham  |
ActionCOACH Cheltenham

ActionCOACH Cheltenham is a market leader in business coaching, supporting organisations across Gloucestershire with proven growth strategies. For SMEs to multi-million-pound companies, it has a range of award-winning coaching programmes, events, workshops and expert advice to help business leaders in Gloucestershire to achieve their business and lifestyle goals.

On a mission to revolutionise regional media, SoGlos started working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham in early 2023, to support plans to scale the business into Bristol and beyond. 

Managing director, James Fyrne, explains how business coaching has helped SoGlos to implement new systems and processes, creating a self-sustaining business model that's capable of thriving in different geographical areas, as he sets his sights on expansion in 2024...

Why did you start working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham?

Michelle (Fyrne, SoGlos group editor) and I have been successfully running SoGlos for 16 years, growing it into Gloucestershire's leading media brand, but we could see so many opportunities for development and growth in the business to take it to the next level.

Considering the scalability of the business, our model wasn't quite right for our ambitious expansion plans. We knew that if we were going to successfully expand into the likes of Bristol, day-to-day operations couldn't be reliant on us.

We needed to streamline our operations, based on proven systems and processes — and that really was the catalyst for taking the step to work with ActionCOACH Cheltenham.

Why choose ActionCOACH Cheltenham? 

Firstly, we'd been recommended to them by other businesses in the area that we know and have worked with in the past. Secondly, we'd met some of the ActionCOACH Cheltenham team at local events and we were really impressed by their passion for their clients. Also knowing that they are part of a national and international proven model of coaching was important for us.

Last but not least, we could also see how working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham would mean that we had opportunities to network with other like-minded businesses in Gloucestershire.

How has business coaching helped you focus on your goals?

Using ActionCOACH Cheltenham has made a huge difference to us as a business and personally to us as managing directors. It's focused our attention on what's most important to drive us forward over the next 90 days, over the next year, over the next three years. 

Since we've been using them, one of the things we've really been focusing on is systems and processes — working closely with our developers to drive us forward as a tech business, not just a publisher. 

Our bespoke built content management, SoCMS, now underpins the whole business. We unveiled a brand-new publishing system through SoCMS back in July 2022 but since then, and since working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham, we've started to bring other areas of the business into that platform — right from our sales proposals, through to inventory management of our advertising services and reporting as well.

It's a powerful regional publishing business system, not just a content management system now — and it's the real powerhouse behind expanding into another area. It's all technology that we own, that we've built ourselves.

Has anything surprised you about business coaching?

In all honesty, I don't think anything has surprised me. I think it's a little bit like eating healthily or exercising regularly — you know that if you do it, you'll feel the benefits, and that's exactly what coaching has done for us.

What would you say to anyone considering business coaching?

We've been in business since 2007 and I honestly wish that we'd had a business coach from day one. There's no point crying over spilt milk but for anyone thinking about getting a business coach, what I would say is do it today. Having that external support and perspective is invaluable and it will really help drive your business forward.

In terms of choosing a business coach, you've got to make sure they're a good fit and your business goals align with the way that they support their clients. Everything we're doing with our business coach perfectly aligns with our exciting expansion plans as we move into 2024. And we're moving into the new year as the best business that we've ever been in 16 years of trading. 

We couldn't be more excited about our business future and with the help of ActionCOACH Cheltenham, we're going to get there sooner, through drawing on proven business methodologies and practices. 

In partnership with ActionCOACH Cheltenham  |

More on ActionCOACH Cheltenham

More from Business