Antonio Panico founded Business Coaching Italia (BCI), of which he is CEO, in 2018. The first company in Italy to coach companies in a specialised way, Antonio and his team of 20 coaches help hundreds of Italian companies to structure their business and improve their ways of working through proven scientific processes. Their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed as Acquisition International names Business Coaching Italia as Best Strategic Business Coaching Company 2023 – Italy. We got in touch with Antonio to learn more about how the company helps its clients.
Business Coaching Italia’s goal is to spread the culture of business coaching and, as a result, help companies thrive. Its team of coaches are there for those entrepreneurs who want to improve the operations of their company by increasing their margins and reducing their stress. This is done by identifying what is limiting the client’s growth; getting a clear view of their priorities; and improving their processes and organisation as a whole. However, recognising that they aren’t a jack-of-all-trades, if the BCI team aren’t to cater for a client, they will direct them to valid professionals who specialise in their needs.
Antonio tells us, “My success is due to the method I have devised; the result of years of studies, research, and direct experience in the field with hundreds of entrepreneurs, managers, and professionals. The theoretical pillar on which the BCI Method is based is ‘self-efficacy’. It is a theory developed by Professor Albert Bandura, father of cognitive psychology, and awarded in 2016 by President Barack Obama, the National Medal of Science of the United States for the contribution that his theories on social learning have given to the resolution of important national issues.”
The coaching techniques on which the BCI Method is based aim to achieve progressive victories for the client. By achieving progressive success with the client, this means they are able to see their self-efficacy increase step by step, that is, their feeling of being able to concretely solve the problems that grip them in everyday life as an entrepreneur, manager, or freelancer.
Carefully, results are obtained, with all of BCI’s clients managing to achieve and exceed their business goals. In addition, many of its clients enrol into its Business Coaching Academy, the business unit that deals with training business coaches, teaching about 50 different coaching protocols and business processes that Antonio himself has codified and implemented in his career.
In 2021, BCI concluded the first Business Coaching Academy training course it launched in March 2020, on which 23 entrepreneurs, professionals, and managers were enrolled. In the last quarter of 2021, it began the new edition of the course, which coached 43 candidates. Antonio tells us, “It is important for us to select candidates by choosing among those who have asked to join. At the presentation, there were about 140 people, of these we received 83 applications and we selected 43 registered for the course.” Then, at the end of 2022, the Academy’s most recent course took place with 30 entrepreneurs.
At the end of January, BCI celebrated its first edition of the Business Coaching Academy Awards in a beautiful hotel in Florence. Antonio tells us, “It was a choral event in which we celebrated the successes of the students of the Academy where we rewarded the entrepreneurs who, by studying and applying our protocols, have had significant revenue growth ranging from 30% to 2,000% in some cases. We intend to do a similar event dedicated to coaches that have achieved even greater growth than these.”
BCI acquires its students through ads on social media, at events, and by word of mouth. The team have developed an assessment for the entrepreneur to explore the areas of their business that need to be strengthened. It is a questionnaire that has already been completed by around 3,500 companies and has allowed BCI to create an observatory of the strategic areas in which the average Italian entrepreneur needs its support. Upon receiving requests from potential students, the team identifies whether BCI’s specialism is suitable for their needs.
Even through the pandemic, businesses were still finding the need to review their internal systems. While BCI’s coaches start off with an analysis of the client’s unique situation for the structuring of an effective plan, this looked different when everyone was working from home and only connecting digitally in order to keep safe from the virus. Thus, the team were working to understand if the changes it applied in this scenario would work for post-pandemic and the return of ‘normality’. These learnings, innovations, and implementations for adapting to a state of emergency remain integrated moving forward so businesses are prepared should there be another pandemic.
Meanwhile, the war conflict between Russia and Ukraine have undoubtedly led to economic consequences with a strong impact on the world of business. As always, BCI’s work continues to be oriented towards finding ways to transform crises into opportunities for personal and professional growth, trying to minimise the impact on the country while working alongside entrepreneurs.
What truly differentiates BCI’s offering from that of competitors is the presence of standardised protocols that all its coaches follow, with Antonio saying, “The goal is to ensure that the technology we have developed is applied correctly, which is why it was necessary to publish a collection of these procedures within which the coach can find step by step all the phases for the implementation of activities.”
BCI’s content is high quality and consistent, ensuring clients get the desired results regardless of the coach they work with. Of course, Antonio oversees the work of all of his collaborators in order to make sure the standard remains high. He leads his team and clients with an approach that adapts to each individual and circumstance, saying, “The leader must have a group of collaborators who achieve results independently. To do this, it is necessary to give everyone the elements they need to do it alone and motivate them when necessary.”
He continues, “Moreover, one thing I keep repeating is that successes should be celebrated and rewarded; celebrating every little victory, setting a milestone along the path that is leading you to the goal you have set yourself. This helps to build, nurture, and fortify your self-efficacy. It is a virtuous cycle that feeds practically and endlessly.”
The company is also distinctive because of the people who make up its team. Antonio enthuses, “There is my executive team in which my historical collaborators are involved; those who have contributed in an important way to BCI’s growth. There, there are the senior coaches who are the ones who have accumulated extensive experience with the BCI Method and have always achieved excellent results for our clients.
“Finally, there are the new coaches who are gradually trained by the Business Coach Academy and who begin their journey under the strict supervision of the seniors. We do select only those who share our ethics, our mission and our vision, and who do not improvise, but stick to protocols. This is our culture and this is what has led us to success.”
So, how do the clients themselves find working with BCI? Natascia Pane from No Limits srls expresses her delight through the following feedback: “I was looking for someone who could understand my business goals and help me develop them to the fullest, to grow my business.
“When the level of my turnover started to go in the direction I wanted and was consolidated, I had confirmation that Antonio was the business coach for me! We created a business plan, keeping income and expenses under control, setting corporate (and personal) goals, choosing which new business lines to open and which to leave aside, reaching +355% in February compared to the previous year. I am more aware of my productive capacity and more serene.”
Equally elated, Ferdinando Signorelli from ADV Signorelli also shared a few words: “The main problem was organising my business. I didn’t know if I was doing right or wrong. I felt the need for discussion and guidance.
“The experience with Business Coaching Italia was absolutely positive. We worked on my mentality and on all the useless blocks I had. This allowed me to be a professional with a concrete activity which generates a generous and continuously growing turnover and profit.
“From last June to today, I have consolidated and more than doubled my turnover. Now I have a greater self-confidence and more optimism and concreteness for the future.”
Another pleased client comes in the form of Antonio Argento from ABS Work who shares: “My company was certainly not going badly, but the journey with BCI allowed me to work on internal reorganisation, on the organisational chart, and on the flow of activities.
“This has allowed everyone in my company to know exactly what to do and how to do it. In this way, I was able to focus on the commercial part. I have recovered old clients and found and followed up with many new ones.
“In 2020, we had an increase in turnover of 65.2%. We went from almost 1.6k to about 2.65k, despite the two-month shutdown due to the lockdown! The growth trend had remained constant also subsequently.”
Now we’ve heard from some happy clients, the question is what’s next for Business Coaching Italia? Antonio excitedly shares, “Surely we will continue with the assessment of the various companies to always have an updated assessment of the most strategic areas of intervention. We would like to get to have 1,000 customers so as to impact on the Italian gross domestic product and expand our business internationally.”
For business enquiries, contact Antonio Panico from Business Coaching Italia via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.businesscoachingitalia.com