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Q: Reputation of Action International Coaching franchise ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Reputation of Action International Coaching franchise
Category: Business and Money > Consulting
Asked by: cjmar728-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 21 Sep 2006 17:18 PDT
Expires: 21 Oct 2006 17:18 PDT
Question ID: 767452
Need lots of information about Action International Coaching
franchises, franchisees, licensees, and founder Brad Sugars. Check
newspapers, business and professional press, chat rooms, bulletin
boards, other websites, email contacts, etc. Particularly interested
in three categories of information:

1. Revenue figures for licensees and franchisees, even estimates or guesses;

2. Quotes and data about quality or lack thereof of licensees,
franchisees, content, costs, and services ? from the perspective of
clients and other professionals. Dig beyond what appear to be paid or
solicited endorsements.

3. Quotes and data about how satisfied licensees and franchisees are
with their decision to get involved with Action International. Please
find their thoughts and feelings about the overall program, the level
of support they receive, the quality of content they have to work
with, their training, services supplied by the head office, and the
quality of leadership in Action International.

Action International posts lots of P.R. through press releases - I
would like validation of their claims through "horses mouth"
information or articles that have been written by professional
researchers, reporters, or reviewers.

Please note that I have another question posted regarding this question.

Clarification of Question by cjmar728-ga on 21 Sep 2006 17:20 PDT
website is
Subject: Re: Reputation of Action International Coaching franchise
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 26 Sep 2006 18:03 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

There is surprisingly little information available on Action
International and Brad Sugars that comes from sources other than the
press releases and marketing materials from the company itself.

One the one hand, this can be taken as a good sign.  An absence of
information means there haven't been that many complaints or lawsuits
filed against the company, or against Mr. Sugars.

On the other hand, one would hope for some sort of independent
verification of some of the claims made by AI and BS, but these are
hard to come by.  It may well be that those who enter into business
arrangements with AI as licensees or franchisers have to take a
contractual vow of silence regarding details of the business

Still, there are certainly bits and pieces available.  

First stop is the Better Business Bureau.  AI is a member of the BBB,
and they've maintained a very clean record:

Brad Sugars Action International
5670 Wynn Rd. #A & C
Las Vegas, NV 89118 

Original Business Start Date: April 1998 
Local Business Start Date: July 2001 
Principal : Mr.Bradley Sugars President 
Customer Contact: Ms. Celeste Graham Operations Manager 
Phone Number: (702) 795-3188 
BBB Membership: This company is a member 
Type-of-Business Classification: Consultants 

...Based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record with the
Bureau....The Bureau processed a total of 0 complaints about this
company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period.

If you search the master files of the BBB for [ Action International
], you'll turn up more than 40 companies with that names.  Most of
these seem to be local franchise operations (though it's possible
there are other businesses with the same name, but in completely
different lines of work, and with no affiliation with BS):

I didn't check each and every listing, but from a spot check, they
generally have good BBB records as well.


There are a fair number of newspaper articles on AI and BS going back
many years, and from numerous parts of the world.  I can't reproduce
these in full, since they are copyrighted, nor can I offer links to
the articles, since they come from numerous subscription databases.

But I've provided excerpts below that cover the main points of your
question.  Bear in mind that price figures, when given, are sometimes
several years old, and are quoted in numerous currencies.

Replace the goalposts
Financial Management
London: Sep 2005

...the term "business coach"...entered the corporate lexicon 12 years
ago when Brad Sugars, an Australian accountant and entrepreneur,
developed the concept and launched Action International, which is now
one of the world's biggest business coaching organisations...

...The business coaching industry has developed comprehensive systems
and methods to help business owners manage and develop their firms.
Action International, for example, has more than 400 different
strategies, each of which focuses on specific areas such as business
development, time management and team-building.

...Action International operates as a franchise business...Included in
the cost (49,000 plus VAT) is an intensive two-week residential
training programme, which is followed by a three-month induction. In
addition, coaches receive regular coaching and training themselves.

...many coaches earn between 150,000 and 200,000 a year 


Hard sell a bit rich
Weekend Australian (Australia)
March 27, 2004
Reality Bites: Selling Success!
[Sugars was profiled in a TV show that aired in Australia in
2004...this article summarizes the content of the show]

...The past decade has seen a rise in the prominence of the
guru....Brad Sugars, the subject of this first of four episodes of
this series, lacks the tanned tenacity that we have come to expect of
the likes of Robbins, but on every other front he is the textbook
As the show opens to a room full of people bouncing about as if at an
aerobics festival for the badly dressed, we learn that the
thirtysomething Sugars is already a millionaire a hundred times over,
and on his way to his first billion...

...More than 400 people have paid $8000 each to spend a week learning
wealth the Sugars way and ``excitement is mandatory'' -- as is sleep
deprivation, vegetarianism and abstinence -- at the Action
International Entrepreneurs seminar...As part of their $8000, plus a
further thousand to pay Sugars' range of arbitrary fines during the
week, the punters get the chance to compete in a volleyball
competition where a $100,000 prize is at stake. They also have the
chance to have Sugars appoint himself as their mentor for a year...

..It is hard not to watch this show with the same morbid fascination
one has when passing the scene of an accident...


Courier Mail
Brisbane, Australia
April 17, 2004

...The controversial Brad Sugars has earnt the wrath of some consumer
advocates over his approach to wealth creation through seminars and
highly priced entrepreneur workshops....He has also fallen out with
franchisees of his own Action International business coaching amid
claims from some that despite high prices paid to buy the franchises
there was no support, no leads and nothing concrete on which to build
a business.


Sugars denies knowledge of franchisees dispute 
Courier Mail
Brisbane, Australia
June 10, 2003

...THE perfect world of Brad Sugars has taken a knock this week with
revelations that his Queensland franchisees are in revolt?.Mr Sugars,
who owns the Brisbane-based Action International business coaching
empire, said he was unaware of any dispute because the franchisees
were contracted to the master franchisee in Queensland, not him....It
is believed the dispute revolves around claims that promises made to
the franchisees have not been delivered.

...Mr Sugars also faced an attack from high-profile real estate agent
Neil Jenman, who accused him of ripping off farmers and sinking ``to a
new low''. Mr Jenman has angered the real estate industry with his
attacks over what he claims were unethical practices in the past and
this time accused Mr Sugars of ``skulduggery''.


[Sugars apparently fell out with one of his early partners]

Profit prophets
Courier Mail
March 15, 2003

There are saints and sinners in the Church of Capital

[profile of Brad Sugars]

...Last year one of his nine companies, Action International,
generated $20 million in revenue from business coaching franchisees
who this year are expected to produce revenue of $100 million.

...Sugars looks squeaky clean. 

His seminars are legendary...At the start, a young couple stood on
stage to explain how a year ago they had nothing, but now, because of
Brad Sugars they were buying businesses and doing $10 million property

...At $59 a ticket, Sugars had no problem selling out the Hilton show
with about 700 people...This will be the last year of the travelling
Brad Sugars show. After all, he openly admits the seminars are just
bait to lure people to his other schemes, namely his business
It's a common strategy in the seminar circuit. The first seminar lures
them in and convinces them to spend more, in Sugars's case $8000 more,
for a seminar over a couple of days.

...Sugars has nine businesses in all, the biggest being Action International...

...On the downside...there is Gordon Green...Sugars has started to
legally separate himself from Green and the association appears
irreconcilable...But Green is part of the Sugars story, not just
because he was an Action business coach, but because he has been
there, almost from the start....Last year Green was helping promote an
investment club in which up to 100 people would contribute $5000 each
for which there was little that was tangible in one case
Green promised a three-to-six-month turnaround in 1999. Investors have
not seen a return on their $20,000 since.


Crown Point man has helped 10 area firms as franchisee for worldwide firm
The Post - Tribune
Gary, Ind.
Apr 6, 2004.

...Levin is one of 560 Action International business coaches
worldwide. The company, which bases its U.S. operations in Las Vegas,
was founded by Brad Sugars..

Levin is quick to point out that he is a coach, not a consultant...The
cost for his coaching can ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per month...

...For Darrin Selking, president of Landscape Illumination in
Valparaiso, the services are a worthwhile investment...Jeff helps with
laying out business plans, financial plans, sales and marketing
strategies. Anything you can think of, he has a program or ideas that
will benefit you...

[I came across numerous mentions of 'Leverage', an AI game]

Playing for leverage 
Game coaches owners on real-life business lessons
Cincinnati Post
Jul 15, 2002

Money is spread out across the table, some of it in piles. Sleeves are
rolled up and ties askew. The high-powered CEOs and executives are
staring at their cards. Some look concerned; others, smug. They're
drinking a lot. This could be a high-stakes poker game.
Except it isn't...the cards and cash are part of a board game called Leverage. 

...They've come to a corporate event ...put on by Action
International, an international business coaching franchise. Randy
Paulson, in a dapper suit and not a hair out of place, looks almost
like a game show host, and this night, he is.

...'I think it will be fun, and I'm very competitive,' says... one of
the dozen players who paid their $15.95 for a seat at the table.

...all of the executives and CEOs are here, to learn to run their
businesses better, faster and smarter. But to do that, they have to
first learn to play 'Leverage,' a complicated maze of rules created by
Action International founder Brad Sugars...

During a quick break in the middle of the game, Louis Valencia...said,
'The game's really making me think. I'm going to be taking a closer
look at my office tomorrow.'


Business coaching follows holistic approach
Central Penn Business Journal
Harrisburg: Oct 03, 2003

Brian and Eric Dombach are teaching small to midsize companies the
fundamentals of business management and growth... Established in 1993
by Brad Sugars in Bisbane, Australia, the franchise has 400-plus
coaches worldwide...contracted counseling services can cost between
$1,000 and $4,000 a month. An interactive "boot camp," where the
client learns how to manage cash flow, increase business, and make
customer service more profitable, is available for around $1,100 for a


Action International Franchisee Coaches New Jersey Businesses
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News
Sep 13, 2003

When a business asks for help, David Levine is more than happy to
answer the call....Levine said his coaching fees range from $1,000 to
$2,000 per month depending on the size and needs of clients...Clients
are asked to sign on for 12 demonstrate business owners'
commitment to improve their operations.

...Action International coaches pay the state franchiser a $1,500
monthly fee, said Jeff Weisman, who, along with his brother Bob, is
master licensee -- the franchiser -- for Action International in New
Jersey..."I remit one-third of what I receive from the coaches to the
central organization...

...The brothers bought the rights to operate Action International in
New Jersey about two years ago for a "territory purchase fee" of
approximately $750,000...

..."The franchise itself costs $60,000...Weisman said, adding that the
fee increased $10,000 this month. "A lot of what they need to hit the
ground running they will be provided with," such as marketing
materials and a Web site.

...coaches, who determine their own hours, must set up an office from
which to run their operation.

...she and her husband took out an $85,000 home-equity loan to pay her
$50,000 franchise fee, establish an office and provide for her living
expenses during the first six months of coaching that had been covered
by the salary she gave up.

...New coaches attend a 10-day induction training into the coaching
system at the U.S. headquarters


There is not a great deal of chatter in chat rooms and the like on AI
or BS...a few supporters, some detractors, but not a lot of detail in
either case.  Here are some examples:
Mar 19 2005 

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience/dealings with a group
of business mentors by the name of Action International or its guru
Brad Sugars....I am getting mixed reports about what they are/claim to

[response] At the sucker session ( mid 90's at Dallas Brooks Hall
Melbourne) he berated audience members who left when he came to "sell
time". It was a cruel stunt which I ignored at the time. I signed
up....The "stuff" never turned up (tapes etc)....The sessions after
the sucker sessions are just networking bullshit...
Has anybody heard of Brad Sugars and Action International?
Sep 24 2004 

...I also saw him on the ABC's 'Selling Success' series and thought he
was the most impressive of the gurus featured.
Skulduggery sinks to a new low 
...It's hard not to feel intense anger when skulduggery sinks as low
as this. This self-titled "entrepeneur and multi-millionaire" actually
appears in an advertisement which brags about ripping off drought
stricken farmers...
An inside look at the tactics of the predators. 

...In a recent article in The Courier Mail, Brad Sugars labelled Henry
Kaye an "opportunist"....Sugars may be correct. But he certainly
teaches his followers to mercilessly prey on the misfortune of others.
Together with Brad Sugars, his two Kiwi pals, Jones and Hows, push
their "D" strategies, which includes such noble gems of wisdom as
targeting those in society who have had a Death in the family or who
are burdened with Debt...
Has anybody heard of Brad Sugars and Action International? 
Jul 22 2006 

I can't speak about Brad Sugars as I have never seen the guy in
action. As for Action International I have attended a couple of the
workshops they run for business owners and managers....Many of the
people attending the last day I went to (in Newcastle) were very
successful business people from a wide variety of industries including
Accountants, IT, mining, financial planning, air conditioning,
building, just about everything you could think of. Most of these
people, but not all, are clients of Action International and work with
one of the principals of the Newcastle office on a weekly or monthly
basis...I found the day to be extremely helpful and after speaking to
some of the people there I am arranging to meet with one of the
principals with the goal to having them help me in the new business I
am starting at the end of the year. From my perspective I see the
benefits of having someone not emotionally connected with my business
providing me with input.

[AI is suing one of its Canadian operatives]
...The other lawsuit is from the Chairman and founder of Action
International in Australia, Brad Sugars. It transpires that Verkley,
Perrault and Thompson all signed a renewal agreement with Sugars to
extend the Canadian Master License for another 5 years. At the very
same time they were signing the renewal contract with Sugars, they
were setting up a rival business coaching franchise, Focal Point
International. Sugars claim is that they are using the Action
International franchise system material for there own financial
benefit and are harming Action International business...

[A search of blogs mostly turned up marketing materials, as can be
seen at this link]:

Typical entries included:

Book Series Review - Instant Success By Brad Sugars

Brad Sugars on Growing a Business

Brad Sugars' Instant Success Series

A MUST READ - The Business Coach Book by Bradley J Sugars

I trust the information provided here gives you some additional
perspective on AI and BS.  However, if there is anything else I can do
for you, just let me know by posting a Request for Clarification, and
I am at your service.



search strategy -- Searched Google, and several newspaper and legal
databases for [ action international OR brad sugars ]

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 26 Sep 2006 18:41 PDT
One more article worth noting:

Question mark over Sugars's Action scheme 
26 January 2004
The Courier-Mail

...THEY called it Black January, a time in which a handful of
franchisees of Brad Sugars's Action International claim they lost
$66,000 each signing up for a licence that provided nothing more than
hype...Bruce Cruikshank said the business coaching system had been
nothing short of failure..."That's the irony. We are supposed to be
business coaches, but you can't make this work...

They have collectively ...claimed Action International was nothing
more than an evolved get-rich-quick scheme and a cash funnel for
Sugars....They paid $66,000 for their franchise and training and under
the Action licence were expected to pay another $1500 a month plus 5
per cent of their turnover as a marketing fee. The nine claim the
funds paid were not contingent on Action doing anything.

"The overall theme is we purchase a franchise with all sorts of
promises. After 10 days we would be coaches and after the training we
would have enough to run a business earning $150,000 to $200,000 a
year," one of the nine said. They also produced a cash flow sheet they
claimed was given to them at the seminar indicating profits of
$160,000 in the first year of operation and doubling the following

...The claims from the nine former franchisees are hotly disputed by
other AI coaches...Kate Osborne has been an Action coach for 18 months
and says she is having the time of her life. She said Action had
supported her through awesome growth.
cjmar728-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
Fabulous digging on this and a good balance of information and places
to go and look at more. Very well done!

Subject: Re: Reputation of Action International Coaching franchise
From: wc1000-ga on 03 Oct 2006 05:01 PDT
AI is not what the owner and master licensees would like you to think.
The main objective of both is to sell more franchises, not in
assisting current franchisees in succeeding, regardless of what is
said and promoted. Be careful when reading the promotion material for
purchasing the franchise. For example, at some point, AI has stated
that the Mean income of its coaches is $US165,000. That means that a
few high-income coaches can skew the number upwards, while the
majority of the coaches are earning less than this on a gross income
basis. In addition, out of this income is taken the monthly royalty
and marketing fees (more about the marketing fee later) plus all your
own marketing/sales expenses, which can be significant. About the
marketing fee, a portion of the fee supposedly goes towards national
marketing and a portion goes towards marketing in the region (normally
one State comprises the region). To date, there has been little to no
national marketing other than to promote the sale of more franchises.
In addition, in one particular region the only marketing has either
been for selling more franchises or has been non-existent. The only
local marketing has been done by the local coaches and if regional
marketing is done, the local coaches have to generate it (time out
from other responsibilities) and it has gone towards events not
promoting the concept of coaching to local business owners. A concept
such as coaching to small business owners, who are not readily seeking
outside assistance, needs a national branding and marketing program to
succeed. Take it from one who knows.

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