Skip to main content

Book Summary – The Business Coach: A Parable of Small Business Breakthrough

The Business Coach - Book summary

Most entrepreneurs start a business for freedom, financial rewards and/or to pursue their passion, but find themselves struggling with profits and/or trapped in their business. A successful business must be profitable and work without you – only then will you have the choice to sell the business, or keep it without being trapped in it. Otherwise, your business is no more than a job, and likely an underpaid one. In this book, the founder of ActionCOACH Bradley Sugars shows how you can use a proven process to grow a successful business that runs itself. This free version of The Business Coach summary gives an overview of the 6 steps of the business Success Ladder.

The Business Coach: 6-Step Success Ladder

Through a fable about Joe and Nellie – a couple feeling burnt out after 20 years in their bakery business – Sugars shows how you can transform your business with a business coach, using a success framework that has been proven to work in any business or industry across more than 50 countries. The idea is to align your business and life goals, master key aspects of your business, and develop systems to automate your operations and profits.

Here’s an overview of the 6-Step Success Ladder. For more details, you can refer to our 12-page summary, or, get a free business consultation using the concepts here.


The first step is to master the fundamentals of your business, so you are consistently profitable, productive, and have the right information for decision-making.

Here a quick overview of the 3 key aspects to master: Money, Time and Delivery.

The Business Coach summary - Mastery

  • Money Mastery: Profits are crucial in business – without profits, you cannot sustain your business, much less grow it. Money mastery is about knowing your historic numbers and those that shape your future. In the book, Sugars touches on several related mastery including: Break-even mastery, profit margin mastery, reporting mastery, test & measure mastery. The main idea is to know exactly where you stand, and progressively test up to 5 growth strategies each time.
  • Delivery Mastery: This is about delivering your products/ services consistently, with the right quality, quantity, time and margin, each and every time.
  • Time Mastery: Time mastery is about knowing your time-usage, and making the most effective use of your time (and that of your team).

Our complete version of The Business Coach summary touches on how to get started., and how to make the most of your time.

Part 2: NICHE

A niche is the ideal position to be filled by a person or business. When you control a market niche, people accept you for your position. Once you’ve identified your uniqueness, and built your sales and marketing engines around it, you no longer need to compete on price.

One of the most powerful frameworks/ concepts in the book is the Business Chassis. Every business owner wants more customers, revenues and profits. However, you can only improve these via 5 key ways to grow your business and multiply your profits: Lead, Conversion Rate, Transactions, Average Dollar Sale Price, and Profit Margin.

The Business Coach Summary - Business Chassis

Do get our full 9-page version of The Business Coach summary for more details on all 5 components above!

As you refine your chassis to increase profits, you’ll be also be developing your niche, including your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and your guarantee strategies.


Once you have a profitable business and know the required components, you can use systems to make your machine more efficient. Remember that your goal is to “finish” building the business so that it can run profitably without you. Here’s a quick overview of the 4 types of leverages: structure, management, how-to, and technology leverages.

The Business Coach Summary - Leverage

Part 4: TEAM

The next step in the success ladder is to build a great team, i.e. a group of people with common goals, work together in a coordinated way, feel cohesive, and accomplish more as a group. To achieve this, you must address this question: “why should the best people join you?”

The book outlines the relationship between the various business stakeholders, a suggested approach for team recruitment and induction, and provides 6 keys to a winning team. Our complete summary gives a detailed breakdown of these elements.


Synergy means that the outcome is far greater than the sum of the inputs, i.e. 1+1=3 or more. Now that you’ve put in place the key components of your business, you must lead and grow it from the outside, orchestrating how the parts work together synergistically to create the desired outcome.


If you have completed the 5 preceding steps, you have “finished” your business-building process and can enjoy the fruits of your labour. You can now choose to sell your business, or continually refine it using the Business Chassis.

Working with a Coach

Our full 9-page The Business Coach summary also highlights the coaching process illustrated in the fable. The coaching process typically starts with an Alignment Consultation where, together with your coach, you evaluate your business and personal goals, assess your strategies and results to-date, and identify untapped potential in your business, so you can develop a plan for your business and coaching.

Benefits of Coaching

Some benefits of coaching are:

  • Your coaching sessions (meetings, structured conversations) are dedicated pockets of time set aside to focus on business growth.
  • By listening, asking good questions, brainstorming, or encouraging you to think out loud, the Coach can help to you to find answers quickly, and learn to think for yourself.
  • A coach helps you to identify blind-spots, simplify complex ideas and cut through clutter and confusion to define clear action steps after each session.
  • Knowing what to do isn’t enough – being accountable to a Coach spurs you to overcome procrastination and take the necessary action to generate results.
  • The results and profits that you gain should more than cover your coaching investment.

However, for the coaching process to work, you must fulfill a few prerequisites: You must be committed to your success, be willing to accept new ideas and venture out of your comfort zone, and be prepared to work hard and to do what it takes to implement the ideas and solutions identified with your coach.

Getting the Most from The Business Coach

This easy-to-read parable is designed to provide an overview of the 6-step success ladder and the coaching process. Sugars has a series of different books focusing on each of the 6 steps, as well as the 5 variables in the business chassis (e.g. leads, team, systems). For more details on the 6 steps of the business Success Ladder to grow a successful business that runs itself, check out our complete book summary bundle. This includes an infographic, a 12-page text summary, and a 24-minute audio summary.The Business Coach summary - book summary bundle

The book ends with a review of key terms, a short action guide, recommended reading and FAQs. For more details, you can get the book here or visit

About the Author of The Business Coach

The Business Coach: A Parable of Small Business Breakthrough is written by Bradley J. Sugars–an entrepreneur, author and business coach, who has owned and operated more than two dozen companies. He’s the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH, which has more than 1,000 offices in more than 50 countries. The ActionCOACH brand formerly known as Action International – is one of the leading global business coaching firms and most awarded franchises in the world today.

The Business Coach Quotes

“A business is a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you.”

“The reason most people work so hard is because their business doesn’t.”

“Our immediate aim is to come up with a handful of strategies that will increase your profit and in so doing, ensure that your business becomes healthy and profitable.”

“Far too many business owners look for rocket science…the small changes can add up to big results.”

“Consistency is more important than brilliance. Stop any leaks, as there is no use in filling the tub if the plug is left out.”

“It is a business truism that if you aren’t growing, you’re dying, just like in nature.”

“It’s one thing to have great people working for you; it’s another to have all the other important elements in place so that this team can become a winning one.”

Click here to download The Business Coach book summary book summary and infographic

Leave a Reply

0 cart

My Cart

Cart is empty