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See what our members have to say about the value they’ve received from TAB

The Positive Impact of TAB on SME Businesses

I have gained a tremendous amount since being a member, not least clarity for the future and now being able to see the wood for the trees. I have been given confidence to move forward with ideas. On a practical side TAB has helped me see further than today and tomorrow and also my fellow members have listened to doubts and insecurities without judgement and offered sage advice. I started off feeling slightly unsure of what benefit could be achieved but now find it so valuable that both the peer group meetings and the 1:1 meetings each month are firm fixtures in my diary and missing them is no longer an option for me. Clare ensures that we review what we have achieved and what we have done well and I feel that this allows us to move forward with greater aspirations.

Philippa Keith, MSP Secretaries Ltd

Clare has a wonderful ability to cut through my perceived jungle of issues and clearly identify the challenge at hand. As a business mentor her advice and support is invaluable and the benefit of my board membership is beyond question.

Andrew Farrant, White and Sons

Clare has brought together a fantastic and compatible group of business people to form our Alternative Board. The monthly meetings are very well organised and expertly chaired, which definitely adds to the productivity and enjoyment of the sessions. The more meetings I attend, the more fruitful I’m finding the whole experience.

Rob Pierre, Jellyfish

Having an objective person with the business expertise and experience that Clare has, to mentor and advise me, has been a major help in how I manage my business day to day and in making pivotal decisions. I’ve been working with Clare for over two years now and my monthly meetings have become invaluable.

Brian Johnstone, The Financial Management Centre

Clare has provided strong and thorough leadership of the Alternative Board meetings, providing relevant and practical insights and ideas for business implementation. As a personal business coach Clare has probed and pushed to drive tangible improvement in my business processes and performance.

Kevin Rogers, AeroMobile Communications Ltd

Clare has enabled me to focus on the bigger picture of running the business to achieve strategic goals for both the business and my own personal achievement. The guidance and advice gleaned from our monthly meetings is invaluable.

Liam O’Neill, Astral Security Windows

My very first TAB meeting with Clare resulted in the most transformative action I’ve taken to date, in my business – the hiring of my very first full-time employee. The support and encouragement I received at the meeting, coupled with the experiences of those present, gave me the courage to take a bold step. That was the first of many transformative actions arising from my membership, and without the 1-2-1 support provided by Clare, and her unwavering support between meetings has undoubtedly steered me from a course of mere survival to one of continued and sustainable growth. I can’t thank her enough.

Matt Hodkinson, Influence Agents

Clare’s experience shows in the way she asks perceptive questions that get you to think about problems differently. Her persistence style cuts through woolly thinking and enables you to get clarity on a way forward that is then actionable. Always come away feeling meetings with Clare feeling energised.”

David Nyss, d2 Solutions, Crawley

Being a single person business I’ve managed to get by on a mix of luck and hard work. Clare is helping to bring more structure and experience to Smart Local that is enabling the business to grow. The online resources on the TAB website coupled with processes and planning that Clare is helping me to implement are providing the business with a far stronger foundation. Clare’s drive is infectious and I’d highly recommend that any business in the area try out at least a TAB taster session, especially if they’re looking to build a lasting business.

Nicholas Rink, Smart Local Marketing

Despite our own efforts and those of a few ‘business coaches’ who talk a good talk, we realised we would never develop and grow our business without the influence and expertise of someone who had actually been there and done it themselves. Clare is very much that person. It’s not always easy to hear what has to be said but progress is most often made when you’re outside your comfort zone and Clare communicates tough messages with tact and diplomacy, whilst not taking any prisoners! It’s a great quality and one we really appreciate. Knowing that time needs to be spent on improving things is tough when you’re busy, let alone actually allocating the time to do something about it. However, Clare makes herself available, prepared and with obvious forethought, so the meetings are both efficient and effective. Whilst a general plan is being followed, Clare is a master at adapting to our current needs and shaping the time she spends with us around what’s important right now. We also receive summary notes (emailed) after each session as so much is said in sessions that it’s easy to forget but Clare manages to capture both the essence and the detail of each session, all of which adds huge value. We have no hesitation in recommending Clare to our clients and business associates and have already done so on a number of occasions. 

Our work with Clare is on going and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Does a tennis ace stop working with their coach?

If you think you’re running your business well and that little can be improved, you need to have just one session with Clare as she will open your eyes to the reality of how much better things can be and how well you can do, regardless of the size of your business.

Clive Wilson, Paramount Digital Marketing

Clare’s vast diversification of experience enables her to achieve a deep understanding of all businesses, whilst she delivers her support in a sympathetic and empathetic style, without ever passing judgement. She is able to cut to the real issues that we face and together we design and agree strategies to help us -whilst holding me to account as I progress to the agreed outcomes. I always conclude our meetings more energised, more optimistic and with my self-belief topped up.

Mark Hynes, Wealth Strategies

I have been working with Clare for just over a year and have found her help invaluable. She is great at getting to the nub of a problem swiftly and accurately. I would wholeheartedly commend Clare to anyone in business looking for help to focus, plan and grow. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you will see what I mean.

Mark Gough Law

Clare is fantastic. She has the ability to get to the crux of the issue and provide really sound advice. As well as her clarity of thought, she really empathises with each of the board members. Always happy and positive, she is a joy to work with. In fact, I have already recommended her to one of my own clients – you can’t get a better endorsement than that!

Caroline Wiggins, Accent Business PR

Having had a poor experience after the initial “rush” with previous coaching I was sceptical of Clare’s pitch but the opportunity to “have a free go” was irresistible. I am delighted to say this proved to be the start of one of the best business relationships I have, bar none.

Clare is fearless in tackling issues head on no matter how big you may think you are and has an unerring eye for identifying the issue lying at the heart of a matter. I blush to number the times when she has stated a situation and it has taken me weeks to eventually see she is right. Yet even in this situation there is never any judgement, just a quality mix of nagging, guidance, and good old fashioned personal support.

James Bulman, Cervantes Telecom Ltd

TAB has been a key business tool for me and my business. Being a small company with sole decision making responsibility, there is always a danger not that you will make a bad decision, but that a fear of making a bad decision will stop you from making any decision at all! Having the ability to consult peers in a confidential and safe environment where support is always forthcoming is a huge help. Seeing things from multiple perspectives allows you to make decisions, which are far more informed and based on a wealth of input.

The coaching element of TAB is equally important enabling a critical friend to really shape the strategic goals of the business to achieve growth. As an individual I can often become wrapped up in non-profitable work or losing focus on key objectives and trying to do too many things, having somebody understand your world and help to streamline the priorities is so valuable to me. TAB as a business tool is rapidly becoming an indispensable element of my business.

Jovan Maric, Square Daisy Ltd

Clare has been instrumental in helping me get my business off the ground – she is unfailingly supportive and encouraging, but not afraid speak plainly when needed. It has made the world of difference having an experienced, objective point of view on where my business is going. She and the board are helping me to focus on the things that will make the biggest difference to my business and not to be distracted by new ideas.

Errol Woodhouse, Woodhouse Financial Services

I have worked with Clare since 2005 and seen her running Teachers TV, Teachers Media and now as a Facilitator at The Alternative Board. She brings a wealth of experience in managing SMEs in some of the most challenging and rapidly changing environments I have come across in my business career. Throughout, she has proved herself a powerful strategic thinker with the ability to spot changing markets and to ensure her organisations are properly aligned to make the most of emerging market trends and new opportunities. She is a strong and consistent manager and a powerful implementer of change: I cannot recommend her too highly to any company facing challenges with survival, changing markets or with significant aspirations for growth.

Nick Russell, 80:20 Financial Management

I was first introduced to Clare through our company solicitors in 2013. Up until my initial meeting with Clare, I had not been aware of TAB or the benefits it provided to small businesses. To say that the introduction was timely would be an understatement. My business has grown exponentially over the past two years to a company employing twelve people and turning over £1.5m. Whilst I felt I had most things in place, I had few, if any experienced business leaders to discuss my opportunities and challenges with. Clare has filled that significant gap in my career over the past six months. Her genuine interest in both myself and my business has helped us develop a professional relationship that I truly value.

If something is troubling me, I call Clare. If something goes well, I call Clare. Together we have managed to negotiate some very challenging times, both from a personal and business development perspective. Clare applies her extensive business acumen in a consultative and supportive manner and always provides clear, pragmatic and non-judgemental approaches to helping me achieve my goals. In the absence of my own board, Clare and TAB now feel like a part of my senior management team and are a benefit I could no longer do without.

Andrew Martello, Spoonful of Sugar

Since joining the alternative board I have found Clare’s guidance and support most helpful in advancing my business. The group she has created is both friendly and professional. It supplies me with good ideas, inspirations, direction and targets. It is all carefully managed by Clare’s ability to control the group to ensure everybody has a chance to give valuable advice and meetings do not deteriorate into general chitchat or one person dominating the meeting.

Mike Connick, Connick Tree Care

TAB has enabled me to be focused on my business, to set realistic targets for myself, and given me the confidence to challenge myself, with the knowledge that if I need someone to critically review a situation, I have TAB behind me supporting. I look forward to the monthly meetings, and find both Clare and the other Board Members fun, affirming, compassionate, challenging and passionate about my business.

Peter Stamps, FD Business Limited

TAB meetings enable me to meet and talk with like minded people, gain new angles and fresh ways of thinking for my business. I meet bright, intelligent people each of who have made a success of their chosen businesses. More importantly, they understand the trials and tribulations that every organisation, irrespective of size, is faced with every day. It is this hard won, practical experience that TAB brings together and which is readily shared around the boardroom table to the benefit of all. Whatever problems arise it helps to know that I am not on my own.

Bob Gomersall, Virtual College

Sharing experience, knowledge, hopes, ambitions and fears with a board of peers is enormously beneficial to my business and to me as an individual. Consultants can only go so far – nothing beats the real life lessons that a peer group of this stature can give. Give me real experience over books and gurus any day!

Ian Thompson, Thompson Brand Partners

One of the great things that TAB has given me is confidence – the reassurance that I am doing the right thing and a good job. You don’t really get to feel like that sat alone at your desk.

Jacqui Hall, CNG Ltd

As a direct result of my Board meetings and my fellow members understanding the DNA of the business and myself to some extent, I had been advised to get a ‘right-hand man’ – someone in operations that could take the heat off the day job. I implemented that and it’s made significant changes to the way I work and freed up my time to focus on the bigger picture. It was clear that I was getting involved in the minutia and that I needed to take a step away. It has been a very effective implementation – I wouldn’t have made that investment without The Alternative Board.

James Cain, Harrogate Spring Water

I have a group of people on my TAB Board who I know I can trust, not only from a confidentiality point of view, but also who I trust to listen to issues I have and give me guidance . Personally, that’s an extra tool I know I can use to help me make better strategic decisions, and I’m there every month so I have the opportunity to use it on a regular basis.

Jon Whiteley, ProAktive Risk Group

“TAB meetings enable me to meet and talk with like minded people, gain new angles and fresh ways of thinking for my business. I meet bright, intelligent people each of who have made a success of their chosen businesses. More importantly, they understand the trials and tribulations that every organisation, irrespective of size, is faced with every day. It is this hard won, practical experience that TAB brings together and which is readily shared around the boardroom table to the benefit of all. Whatever problems arise it helps to know that I am not on my own.”

Bob Gomersall – Virtual College

“I have a group of people on my TAB Board who I know I can trust, not only from a confidentiality point of view, but also who I trust to listen to issues I have and give me guidance . Personally, that’s an extra tool I know I can use to help me make better strategic decisions, and I’m there every month so I have the opportunity to use it on a regular basis.”

Jon Whiteley – ProAktive Risk Group

“Sharing experience, knowledge, hopes, ambitions and fears with a board of peers is enormously beneficial to my business and to me as an individual. Consultants can only go so far – nothing beats the real life lessons that a peer group of this stature can give. Give me real experience over books and gurus any day!.”

Ian Thompson – Thompson Brand Partners

“As a direct result of my Board meetings and my fellow members understanding the DNA of the business and myself to some extent, I had been advised to get a ‘right-hand man’ – someone in operations that could take the heat off the day job. I implemented that and it’s made significant changes to the way I work and freed up my time to focus on the bigger picture. It was clear that I was getting involved in the minutia and that I needed to take a step away. It has been a very effective implementation – I wouldn’t have made that investment without The Alternative Board.”

James Cain – Harrogate Spring Water

“The independent coaching sessions, the accountability to work on my business rather than in my business, the insights from my board members, the spark I get from helping my fellow board members.”

Nelson Martins – DiPaolo Machine Tools

“I have been a member of The Alternative Board for 10 years. My board knows me, holds me accountable and gives practical real world advice. My private coaching sessions are amazing.”

Mark Rickard – Rickard List Marketing

“There are numerous benefits. Certainly having a great coach is a huge asset. Secondly, having the opportunity to vet business opportunities, strategies and plans is a great help. Last, it is very gratifying to help fellow board members work through their issues as well.”

Balon B.Bradley – Law Firm of Balon b. Bradley

“A framework for building a comprehensive and realistic business plan coupled with an accountability structure that keeps me on task to achieve critical milestones.”

Joe K. Mauro Sr. – Raybend

“The ability to leave my business and enter the world of being a CEO once a month was a fantasy to me. The friendships and learning experiences are life and business changers.”

Neeshard Ahamad – The Orpheus Companies, Ltd

“I joined The Alternative Board (TAB) in 2013 and am very happy I did. TAB is a small group of business owners who act as a “board of directors” for your company and provide the platform for a small business owner, like myself, to brainstorm and bounce ideas to grow my business with other owners in a confidential setting. Many of the members on my board have or had similar issues and the insight they offer is priceless. We meet once a month and I always look forward to the meetings and leave with a clear plan and written goals each month. Thanks TAB for providing such a valuable service for small business owners — given the help I receive from my TAB Board, I don’t expect to stay small for long!”

Larry Kagan – Baron Payroll

“TAB is one of the ‘on-going’ training tools which we, as CEOs and Presidents, need. We send our people off to seminars etc., but somehow never find the time to ‘sharpen’ our own saw. TAB provides the opportunity, but also discipline and structure… an excellent investment of my time and money.”

Grace Louise Schmidt – BoatLIFE

“Our TAB Board members and facilitator have helped us deal with the on-going business issues we have faced over the years as a laser job shop. They have worked with us to plan strategically and helped ensure we are secure during the economic downturns and to capitalize on our strengths and grow in a controlled and targeted way. Our three partners now work together much more effectively as a team making all our working time more pleasurable. I am glad I found TAB.”

Reto Hug – Maloya Laser

“One of the biggest benefits to me has been the strategic business analysis. This is not something that most of us do regularly or very well. TAB has required me to continually analyze my business’s strengths, weaknesses, personnel, short-term and long-term goals. I am able to look at my business from a different perspective. As a result, I am more comfortable with the direction I am able to provide.”

Bryan Keen – Keen Compressed Gas

“The mentoring I get is excellent and keeps me focused on the vitally important aspects of my business. My TAB board provides a place where I can have open discussions that involve family, customers, vendors and employees. The feedback I get is critical and constructive and sometimes takes me in new directions of thought that I would not be able to get otherwise. I think any small business owner should seriously consider joining a TAB Board.”

Nelson Johnson – Eccountable Solutions

“The best business decision that I’ve ever made (besides opening my store) was to join the TAB Board. It taught me how to structure and formulate basic fundamental policies and procedures; it has helped me sharpen my vision for future business and personal goals. The TAB Board provides a safe place to bounce around ideas and receive honest, creative solutions to important business challenges. Coaching sessions are professional, focused and very enlightening. They have helped me work on my business and not in my business. My recommendation – JOIN!”

Gina Snyder – Sunny Bridge Natural Foods

“The TAB meetings bring together terrific expertise and creativity. Every meeting is a unique learning experience. My entire thinking about what I want my business to do has shifted. Sales are up 60% in two years. The support I need to make tough choices and start new initiatives may not be found within the company, but will be found in the TAB meetings and coaching sessions.”

Don Rosenberg – Shorehaven Behavioral Health

“There is no silver bullet to becoming successful, you just have to stay focused on your goals. TAB has helped my business grow significantly by encouraging me to take a step back and identify the basics I need.”

Jo McCabe – Mr. Handyman

“Before joining TAB I found that when I am out there “alone” it is hard to attack some of the details that “fine tune” a business. As past experiences and issues are shared from other business owners, it helps me to not make a mistake that someone else may have already made. As more eyes look at a situation, it lends itself to others, who are removed emotionally and physically from the issues at hand, being able to see the situation more clearly, thus presenting solutions that can impact my business in a positive way.”

Craig Christensen – Trinity Fastener

“As a distributor, TAB has helped me expand my business by 40% and develop the structure needed to help sustain that growth. I’m pleased with the results I have received with TAB who helped me work on my business, not just in it.”

Ira Krinick – Ponderosa Packaging

“Makes me focus on my business during the meetings and coaching sessions, taking a hard look at myself and my company with the perspective of some very sharp people who only have my interest in mind.”

Ken Drossman – Lakeview Business Consulting, LLC

“We have an excellent group of professional business owners. I learn something from them each month. Hearing and seeing what they are doing in their business is motivational for me. And they are not “yes” people. They tell me when I should be doing something differently.”

Lynn Gastineau – Gastineau Log Homes, Inc.

“Both components of TAB (coaching and board meeting) are very different but equally rewarding in that I am held accountable for my decisions in a way that nobody who worked for me could ever do. My facilitator has become so ingrained in the business that I rely on his counsel for every major decision and many intermediate decisions. On the flip side, my board is very tough on everybody which creates a true environment of accountability.”

Philip Rosen – Bloomgarden, Goudreau & Rosen, P.A.

“Having insights from others as to how they solve business issues is helpful. Plus I am finding we have the same issues in common – staffing, cash flow, and business development. The diversity of the group is also valuable so for those of us starting out, it helps avoid pitfalls of which we are not aware. For those who have more experience, it allows them to realize how important getting back to basics can be.”

Debra Lord – Job Ready Services, LLC

“16 yrs. in business. Company was run like mom and pop shop for 14 years. Since joining TAB we have been able to identify our niche in the market and now the company is being run like a real company with focus and clarity as to where we are going and an actual plan on how we’re going to get there. Our company is poised to grow in size and wealth beyond my expectations and with TAB I will be able to sleep at night in the process.”

Ted Curato – TLC Painting

“In 2012 my receivables were 45 days. At the end of 2013 that was down to 4 days. My cash flow is greatly improved and predictable. My TAB Board helped me shift my policies and procedures to build a smoother running business and eliminate those awkward “money” calls to clients. I’m sleeping a lot better because this important issue is solved. Thank you, TAB!.”

Rick Maher – Effective Human Resources

“The guidance of The Alternative Board has helped me increase our revenue. The time I have saved and the return my firm has gotten has exceeded our financial and time investment. I am impressed with the organization.”

Steven Kramer, Esq. – Feldman, Kramer & Monaco PC

“What I like the most is the tools. There’s no bull. It’s all straightforward and clear. It’s all laid out in terms of what I need to do and why I need to do it. The accountability we have here in the Board, what your TAF guy is doing to help my people see how vital everyone is on the team; DISC…DISC is a no brainer…$125 for a DISC just saved me $125,000 I might have invested in the wrong person. I liked him but DISC told me he wouldn’t do the job.”

Rick Jones – Fishbait Marketing

CC Business Support Ltd t/a The Alternative Board (North Downs)
Registered no: 8175055

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