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The Alternative Board

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Are you a confident leader with a proven track record in business? Build your own consultancy with The Alternative Board

  • Chair regular peer advisory boards
  • Deliver 1:1 business coaching
  • Run consultancy projects
  • SLT development programmes

With a TAB franchise you can use your experience to REALLY help local business owners thrive.

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Why choose TAB to power your business…

Deliver far more
than just coaching

The business model is very clever, enabling
you to forge deep client relationships through your lucrative regular peer advisory boards. Becoming the trusted advisor of your clients enables you to target your business coaching, consultancy and development programmes very effectively and efficiently.

This is a booming market, proven to be
even more so through periods of uncertainty, which seems to be the world we live in today! The advisory boards and coaching deliver a solid regular recuring income, with the consultancy projects and development programmes on top.

Multiple income

Client relationships
average 4 years+

TAB is very cost-effective for clients, delivers them huge ongoing value, and is profitable for you – WIN:WIN. The result is a four-year plus average customer retention, which beats other dedicated business coaching, gym and home care franchises by a mile.

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Choose your TAB business journey

TAB Owner / SOLO  TAB Owner / SCALE UP
Build your own portfolio of local business owner clients, leveraging the TAB brand, systems, support and processes so you can focus on people and not paperwork.Move from working in your business to employing and directing your own facilitators and scale up your own business consultancy, an asset you can sell in the future.

Whichever route you take, starting your own business with the TAB franchise provides you with a proven roadmap to follow from the sector’s leading brand and a clear exit strategy. You’ll have professional content and collateral, proven systems, and ongoing personal guidance and support to call on at all times.

And you’ll be part of a close-knit network of collaborative fellow franchisees.

Join a community of like-minded business leaders

Our most successful franchisees are confident and compelling, people who care – leaders who enjoy the reward of helping business owners flourish. They utilise the power of the brand, systems, support and content to deliver ongoing value to business owners in their local area.

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“The business I have started helps me to achieve a lot of my personal goals. I won’t say it’s always been easy, but I have taken back control over my life and the rewards are certainly worth it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” - Elliot Rich, TAB York

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“It’s been challenging, but it’s been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I like that I can work when it suits me.” - Tom Morton, TAB Harrogate

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“The values of TAB are very much around people. It’s about keeping one step ahead of the game and looking ahead and being able to see constant innovation. It’s a high calibre community.” - Helen Mill, TAB Aberdeenshire East & TAB Dundee

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“It gives me real independence, the opportunity to collaborate with great people and I’m in control of my own destiny. It is just as much about helping people to achieve their personal vision and improving their lives – a key driver for me.” -Dave McCartney, TAB Leeds North & Centre

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Leadership from a former franchisee who’s been in your shoes

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Our leader – Ed Reid – moved from being a franchisee to take over as franchisor with his business partner Mags Fuller back in 2017. Ed’s been sat right where you are now and knows the TAB journey personally – he’s committed to helping franchisees by sharing his experience. And Ed's original TAB business is still trading, the franchisee who purchased it has grown the business further too!

As UK franchisor we still run a few territories keeping our finger on the pulse and testing new initiatives, before developing further with the network.

We have been in the UK since 2009, but actually trace our roots back to the USA when in 1990 our founder first developed the business concept to share the power he had experienced of non-exec directors. There are now over 400 TAB franchisees serving over 5,000 business owners each month across 25 countries.

34 territories operating in the UK, 75+ available across the country

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“If you’ve been successful in your business career and you’re ready to enjoy the emotional and financial rewards of giving back, we look forward to exploring the TAB opportunity with you.” Ed Reid – TAB UK Franchisor

With very low overheads, this high margin business model delivers a regular income with an initial investment of £66,700, including comprehensive initial training and first-year marketing costs. Each high street bank with franchise specialisms knows the model well and provides funding packages appropriate to individual circumstances.

The Alternative Board Financial Data
The following financial information was provided by The Alternative Board to give you more information about the costs associated with a The Alternative Board opportunity
Minimum Investment
Total Investment Required

The Art of Navigating Seasonal Peaks and Troughs

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But how well do you really understand the ebbs and flows affecting your business? And more importantly, what are you doing to maximise opportunities and minimise downturns?

Recognising the Unique Nature of Your Business

Firstly, let's dispel the notion that seasonality is a universal concept. While the hospitality industry might boom in December, travel agencies often see a spike in bookings for the summer months. Even within a single day, businesses like sandwich shops experience their own micro-seasonalities, with peak times usually falling between 11:00 and 14:00. Understanding the specific nature of your business is crucial for effective planning.

Marketing and Communications

Don't simply brace for your peak season—seize it. Tailor marketing campaigns to leverage these high-demand periods. Whether it's holiday promotions, bundled services, or special events, well-executed strategies can significantly boost engagement and revenue. But don't forget about your off-peak periods; targeted marketing efforts can help maintain a steady business flow during quieter times.

Financial Planning

Peak seasons often require increased investment. Whether it's additional stock, seasonal staff, or overtime hours, these periods can be financially draining if not planned for carefully. However, these times are also your best chance to maximise profits. Conversely, prudent financial planning can help you keep overheads low during quieter times and maintain a healthy cash flow.

Kevin Fernandez, Managing Director at Rafis Spicebox, told us:

“The key thing is to recognise and embrace the seasonal patterns. We focus on maximising our potential during the peak months rather than spending a lot of energy on worrying about how to improve the quieter months. A small increase in sales during a peak month will have a much more significant impact on the business performance than the proportional change during a quieter month. We also have a number of contingency plans to create an additional layer of resilience, this may be in relation to cash, people or stock. This also helps prepare us for any shocks if it becomes even leaner than usual.”

Staffing Considerations

Getting the right staff in the right place at the right time can be a logistical nightmare, particularly when it comes to seasonal or daily fluctuations in business. It isn't just about numbers but skills, availability, and motivation.

Let's use the sandwich shop analogy; operating with a full staff roster throughout the day is counterproductive when your peak rush is over lunchtime. The key here is to focus on deploying maximum staff when it truly matters. This approach extends to businesses with longer sales cycles as well. For instance, consider outsourcing non-core activities during critical months so your team can concentrate on what's essential.

Seasonal hires can be a practical solution for filling temporary staffing gaps, but pay attention to the potential of your existing team. Adopt a flexible staffing model that accommodates shifts in demand, and consider offering employee incentives to work during peak periods. This multifaceted approach ensures that you staff your business adequately and optimally when you most need it.

Capitalising on Downtime

Seasonal lulls offer their own form of opportunity. Many business owners, particularly in advisory roles, find the quieter times—often post-summer and post-Christmas—are golden periods for strategic discussions. Clients and prospects may use this downtime to review their businesses and consider new directions or services, making it an ideal time for consultants and service providers to ramp up their outreach and engagement activities.

Business cycle

The pivotal factor in any business is grasping whether your industry has a seasonal cycle and tailoring your business planning accordingly. James Ross, Managing Director of The Alternative Board North Chilterns and Oxford, told us:
"I recently began working with a fledgling business selling to the NHS. Despite their top-notch product, impressive demonstrations, and positive feedback, they needed to secure contracts. They later discovered that the NHS tends to make its purchases in two specific periods: October to November and February to March. With this newfound knowledge, they're refocusing their business strategy and staffing levels to align with these critical buying cycles."

Build Your Pipeline

Change the focus of your marketing to build your potential sales pipeline in the months preceding the buying cycle. A successful selling season is usually only possible with a lot of hard work to build up your pipeline of potential customers in the coming months.

Be Smart Financially

Cashflow isn't just an operational necessity—it's the lifeblood of your business, particularly when navigating the ups and downs of seasonal peaks. If your business experiences a busy season that requires an upfront investment in stock or additional staffing—or if your cash reserves dwindle in the lead-up to this lucrative period—it's imperative to have a robust cashflow forecast in place.

Don't simply cross your fingers and hope for the best; confront potential financial challenges head-on. Ask yourself pertinent questions: Can you negotiate longer payment terms with suppliers? Is your bank willing to provide short-term liquidity options? Could you inject personal funds for short-term liquidity needs? By proactively addressing these issues, you put yourself in a stronger position to capitalise on your peak season while mitigating the challenges of quieter periods.

Remember, understanding your financial ebb and flow is as vital as understanding your business's seasonal patterns. A well-timed financial strategy can alleviate stress and empower your business to seize opportunities when they arise.

Conclusion: Know Your Rhythm

Understanding the seasonal rhythms of your business isn't just a survival skill—it's a competitive advantage. Recognising and preparing for these patterns enables you to allocate resources more effectively, engage with your market more strategically, and, ultimately, run a more successful operation.

So, the next time you're lamenting a slow week or feeling the pressure of the high season, remember: it's all part of your business cycle. Your task is to master it. Grab your calendar and start marking those crucial dates; your next peak—or trough—is just around the corner.

The Alternative Board Success Stories

TAB Case Study | Voluntary redundancy called for a change

September 11, 2023
Paul Winterbottom has been a franchise owner with The Alternative Board (TAB) since April 2014. When offered voluntary redundancy, Paul left his position at NatWest which he had held for more than 30 years in order to pursue a new career and his dream of being a business owner.

TAB Case Study | Earning passive income and growing my TAB Franchise

September 11, 2023
Max Crosby-Browne has been a TAB Franchisee of two territories (Derby and the East Midlands) since 2019. With a background in marketing and consumer products, Max spent 20 years as CEO for consumer product manufacturing businesses, which were mainly private equity or hedge fund owned.

TAB Case Study | A franchise that ticked all the boxes

September 11, 2023
Liam Kane worked in financial services for Natwest for 33 years, before leaving his role as a regional director to start a TAB franchise in Northumberland. For 30 years of his career, Liam was working with SME businesses and that was something he didn’t want to lose when starting something new.

TAB Case Study | A Journey of Entrepreneurial Passion and Business Growth

September 11, 2023
From Corporate Executive to TAB Board Facilitator: Jo Croft's Journey of Entrepreneurial Passion and Business Growth

TAB Case Study | 'Helping business owners love their business more'

September 11, 2023
Campbell Ure discusses his journey to finding TAB.

My TAB Franchise Story: Helen Mill - Aberdeenshire-East

April 21, 2021
Helen Mill discusses her franchise journey with The Alternative Board.

My TAB Franchise Story: Mark Kane, Manchester South

February 17, 2021
"I have always wanted to work for myself and the idea of being in control of my own destiny and schedule was a big draw. It was also important for me to find a role that suited the lifestyle I wanted i.e. less commuting , less office-based, and more suited to my family and I saw that YAB franchise could deliver that."
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Available Locations:
Single unit franchise opportunities available in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland
Business Type:
Minimum Investment:


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