Owning a business can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It can also be one of the most frustrating and lonely islands on earth. Few places to turn for trusted advice. Second guessing themselves, every step of the way. Never enough knowledge to make the best decisions. Employees, consultants, friends, and family telling them what they want to hear not what they need to hear. And accountability, well, many owners made the decision to work around the clock for themselves to avoid answering to someone else.
To successfully address that issue, some business owners have formed an outside board. They rely on their board to help them get ahead of a wide range of issues that are critical to success: market expansion, finding good people, sales growth, marketing strategies, lead generation, and holding people accountable to name a few. Unfortunately, many business owners balk at the thought of a board for a variety of reasons, including: losing control of the company, no one else understands their business, boards are only for large companies, and they already have good people and plenty of advice for fee and free.
The Alternative Board (TAB), clearly saw the need for small business owners to consult with each other to solve challenges and develop ideas within a “non-competitive” board environment. Since 1990, the innovation of TAB has provided 13,000 business owners, CEOs, and presidents worldwide with direct access to outside experience, objective advice and ongoing peer support to assist in making better day-to-day and long term decisions to continually move their company forward. It isn’t that they’re viewed as an uber self-help group or THE place where the “happening” company’s network. Instead, it’s because of their well honed and proven TAB franchise model that consistently delivers results, increased profitability, productivity and personal fulfillment for each participating member.
The TAB model has driven entrepreneurial prosperity for years using proprietary business tools designed to help owners achieve their goals and aspirations by focusing on strategic solutions rather than simply accomplishing tasks. Thousands of business owners of small- and medium-sized companies are members in over 140 TAB franchises operating in five countries, including the US, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
But, a disruption is afoot. The widespread commercialization of the Internet, explosion of social media, and increasing number of independent consultants has led to a seemingly endless supply of executive coaches, business consulting services, peer advisory groups, business solution franchises, and business development networks with every variation in between. The noise level in the market is increasing, making it tougher to be seen and heard. The panorama for innovation has also expanded, opening new opportunities to reach and connect with experience and expertise that previously wasn’t possible.
We would love to see TAB take advantage of their proven model, highly skilled facilitators, and thousands of knowledgeable members to leverage the greater online community of expertise available. TAB can help more small business owners connect with broader and deeper communities of wisdom to solve challenges and develop ideas within a “non-competitive” alternative board environment.
We see other companies attacking this opportunity from different perspectives. Clarity.fm is a small business service that connects business owners, with each other, to give and get great advice. They’ve signed up thousands of great entrepreneurs, connected over 10,000+ calls from across 42 countries, since publicly launching in May 2012. While other companies will craft quality business solutions to serve business owners, it is TAB that is best positioned to take advantage. They are the ones with the sound franchise model. They are the ones with proprietary business tools honed over the past 22 years. They are the ones with trained and highly skilled facilitators. We hope they create the kind of alternative board environment that meaningfully connects all of us to drive global economic growth as well as fuel TAB’s market expansion.