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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 Alternative Board News

The Art of Navigating Seasonal Peaks and Troughs

For businesses up and down the UK, the year's rhythm brings its own challenges and opportunities. Whether it's the Christmas rush for high street retailers, the summer surge for coastal hotels, or the daily lunchtime demand for sandwich shops, seasonality is a fact of life.

The Best Advice – and We All Know It…

Ed Reid, TAB UK co-owner, offers his advice for business owners.

We’re finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2023

We are pleased to announce that The Alternative Board (TAB) UK has been recognised as a finalist in the prestigious Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2023.

Leeds businessman announced as National Awards Finalist

Leeds based Ed Reid has been recognised as a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022. Ed is one of just six finalists in the Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year category for the North West & Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Eureka moment leads to new support business

A new company offering support to small business owners has been launched in the North Chilterns by former investment banker, James Ross from Chalfont St Giles.

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

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Last month, we caught up with Jo Croft, owner of The Alternative Board™ Thames Valley East, to see how she was getting on.

Jo joined us five years ago when she was a Finance Director working with predominantly multinational businesses in the pharmaceutical and engineering sectors. Her last role was as the CEO of a national charity in crisis.

During her time there, she thought long and hard about what she would like to do next. One of the things she always had a burning passion for was setting up her own business centred around developing individuals' potential, developing high-performing result-driven teams and co-creating successful business results as a result of working with those individuals and great teams.

Now five years down the line, Jo runs TAB advisory boards in Thames Valley East and loves what she does – helping business owners identify opportunities and solve critical challenges they face in their businesses.

So, where did it all start?

I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and setting up my own business. Before joining TAB, I worked as a finance director in the pharmaceutical and engineering sectors. In my last role, I served as the CEO of a national charity. While at the charity, I took the time to think about my next career move and decided to finally pursue my passion for entrepreneurship.

What was the main attraction to becoming a TBO?

I came across TAB while researching business support resources and was immediately drawn to the model. As a finance director and CEO, I enjoyed developing individuals' potential, building high-performing teams, and co-creating business results. TAB's focus on one-to-one support and building functioning boards aligned perfectly with my experience and values.

I joined TAB because I wanted to grow my business by helping others and driving substantial change in their results. The TAB model has been an excellent fit for me, and I am excited to continue using it to achieve my business goals.

What parts of being a TBO do you enjoy most?

As a TAB facilitator, I enjoy seeing the board's impact on its members and building trusting relationships with them. I also find it rewarding to support and challenge them to grow and develop personally and professionally. The results speak for themselves – a successful MBO last year and a third-party sale. The relationships I have built with my members have been gratifying, and it's been a pleasure to watch them grow alongside me.

What's been your biggest challenges as a TBO?

One of the main challenges I've experienced as a TAB board facilitator is building my business from the ground up. Coming from the corporate world, I was accustomed to having a team of people around me and a different mindset.

One of my biggest challenges has been business development, specifically converting good prospects and convincing them of the value TAB can offer. This has required me to shift my mindset from selling a company to selling myself and my expertise.

Additionally, adjusting to the role of facilitating and negotiating rather than doing the work myself has been a challenge. As an executive in the corporate world, I was used to being hands-on with tasks.

However, at TAB, my role is more focused on facilitating and negotiating, which has taken some adjustment. Despite these challenges, transitioning from the corporate world to running my own business has been rewarding, and I definitely wouldn’t look back.

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What do you think you have got from Tab that you didn't have before?

One of the most significant benefits I've experienced as a TAB board facilitator is improved work-life balance, or "life balance." While I work full-time hours in my TAB business, the role has allowed me to prioritise my vision and goals. I encourage my members to do the same, and it has become vital for me to model that behaviour.

As a result, I have been able to make time for activities that I previously wouldn't have considered, such as yoga and swimming, and have been able to spend more quality time with my husband on the weekends. While the job requires hard work, it has also given me a new lease on life and the opportunity to focus on my well-being.

What is your member recruitment process?

When I first launched my TAB business, the initial members were sourced through a telemarketing campaign, and my launch could have been more successful. However, despite this, I persisted and launched my first board within six weeks or two months. Since then, I have focused on regular telemarketing, averaging about one day per month, and have also used LinkedIn and networking to connect with potential members and generate referrals.
While my initial launch was disappointing, I have continued to work hard and grow my TAB business through various marketing efforts. Hearing members’ stories from other TBOs and the successes that happened because of TAB membership really drove me on.

How do you find the networking events, and are they different now from when you first started?

To recruit members for my TAB business, I initially had to start networking from scratch and attend events to get to know the business community in Thames Valley. Now, I am more selective, only participating in two groups and about to join a new group. Networking is a valuable way to get to know the local business community. Still, it's essential to ensure you are in the right group and not just surrounded by solopreneurs or tradespeople who may not be ideal TAB members, so it's key to know your ideal audience.

I initially found networking to be a bit daunting, but I have come to enjoy it because I am interested in hearing people's stories. It's always surprising who you might meet and connect with. For example, at an event this morning, I met someone who grew up just a few doors down from my father's house in London. It's moments like these that make networking a valuable and exciting experience.

How long did it take to get your first board up and running?

I had six members on my first TAB board, which dissolved after about eight months. During that time, I continued prospecting and met some new people, eventually setting up a second board in January. This became my first "blue" board and was much more enjoyable for me as a facilitator.
I enjoy bringing people together and seeing collaboration's impact on them. Some members or guests have even told me they wished they had discovered TAB 25 years earlier.

How did you find running your first few TAB boards?

Initially, I was a bit unsure of how the first board would go, but I found that following the process and the "bouncing balls", as suggested by Paul, made it easier.

While one member was a bit tricky and tended to talk too much, I gave her a look to indicate that she needed to respect the other members. The mastermind process has been very effective, and I have enjoyed facilitating the TAB board.

What would you say about your return on TAB investment?

As a TAB member, earning a significant income from my business took me a few years. I accelerated this timeline somewhat by taking on consultancy work in the early stages, which helped bring in more money on an hourly basis.

Thanks to the step royalty system and minimums, I started earning with TAB around six months in. However, there was a dip in income when the minimum reached the top level, which caused me some anxiety and stress.

Overall, building up my business and seeing consistent income took some time. Still, eventually, it all came together, and I could sustain a healthy income from my TAB membership.

Have you an example of a member demonstrating how much value they get from Tab?

As a TAB owner, one of my greatest successes has been helping one of my members transform their business. When they first joined my board, they had a flat organisational structure with around 30 staff, turning over approximately £1.5 million per year.

We worked together to put a more structured organisational chart in place, and although it caused some initial upset, it ultimately helped the company grow. This year, they have seen 35% growth in turnover and profitability, reaching £5.5 million. The CEO also reaps the benefits of having a team support him and can delegate effectively.

My member credits their success to the accountability and support provided by the TAB board meetings and my guidance in achieving their goals. Seeing TAB's positive impact on their business has been incredibly fulfilling.

How do you feel knowing that TAB and the other members have helped and influenced the growth of a member's company?

As a TAB facilitator, it is enriching to see the positive impact that the board has on my members and their businesses. When I hear about the success that one of my members has achieved, especially when they attribute some of that success to the guidance and support the TAB board provides, it makes me feel incredibly proud and fulfilled.

It's a reminder of why I do this work and the value that TAB can bring to its members. It's always a question of whether the growth and success would have happened regardless, but it's still gratifying to know that the other members and I have played a role in helping my member achieve their goals.
Overall, it's a great feeling to see the positive impact of TAB on my members' businesses.

What aspects of TAB have been different from your expectations?As a TAB facilitator, I was surprised by how much my members relied on me for guidance and support. I didn't expect to have a PA or an office, and I thought I would be working from home alone.

However, the support and guidance I provided to my members have been invaluable to them, and some of them even want to continue working with me after they leave TAB. It's been nice to have ongoing relationships with my existing members, even if they aren't commercial relationships for me.

The switch from being an executive and being deeply involved in the day-to-day operations of my business to helping other business owners work on their companies was a transition for me.

At times, I needed to be clearer about the value or ROI I could bring to my members. However, I've realised that they are seeking my advice and guidance because they believe I have some answers or can help them somehow.

This experience has been a learning process and has helped me grow personally and professionally.

How do you find the support you receive from the TAB head office and your fellow facilitators?

The support I received from the TAB head office and my fellow facilitators has been invaluable. I have always found the head office helpful and responsive to any issues or questions.

Additionally, the other TAB facilitators have been invaluable to me in sharing knowledge and experiences and collaborating on various projects. It has been great to have a community of peers going through similar experiences to who I can turn for support and guidance.

One of the benefits of being part of a franchise is having this type of support system in place, and I have found it to be very helpful in running my TAB business. I have also appreciated the framework and assistance provided by head office, such as invoicing support, which makes my job easier, especially the Lifelong Learning Programme, to help us all deliver a better service and continue to grow professionally.

Overall, the support I have received from TAB has been precious to me and has helped me to grow and succeed as a TAB facilitator.

If someone is considering investing in a TAB business, what would be your crucial advice or recommendations to them?

When investing in a TAB business, one key message for potential business owners is to be realistic about the financials. It's essential to have a clear understanding of the costs and potential profits of the business and to have a bit of financial cushion in case things don't take off as quickly as expected.
The recruitment process for TAB facilitators may have changed since I joined, and a different calibre of people may be coming on board now. While some TAB facilitators have successfully grown their businesses quickly, others have taken longer to get off the ground.

Overall, I encourage anyone considering a TAB business to go for it, but to be prepared for the challenges and to have a realistic understanding of the potential financial returns.

Membership of The Alternative Board (TAB) helps business owners and executives navigate and succeed in today's rapidly changing market.

TAB offers a range of resources, including peer advisory panels, one-on-one coaching, workshops, expert speakers, and valuable business tools to support entrepreneurs in identifying new opportunities and achieving their business goals.

Using TAB's comprehensive and bespoke offering, business owners can stay agile and adapt to challenges as they arise, enabling them to grow and succeed confidently.

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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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