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Keeping your dream alive

Article provided by The Alternative Board

Do you believe that one individual, can know all there is to know about your business? Do you believe that a course or program, during a specified period of weeks or months, can help you with all there is to know about your business? Do you believe that once a course or program has been completed, that you are set for the future and all its opportunities and challenges?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you will not survive.

You cannot be expected to keep up with the changes and innovation in your industry. Neither can you expect it from one person or one course or program.

Your business and your opportunities and challenges are unique. You are unique.

Courses and programs are not unique – it caters for many.

From the time that you started reading this to now, the world, your world, has changed. And by the time you are finished reading, it will have changed again and again, and it won’t stop changing.

So how do you keep up with the change? And is it even possible to stay ahead of the change?

How many businesses do you know that have been around for more than twenty years – started before the year 2000? How many dreams are still going?

I took a random look at the things around me and Googled them, and these were the names –

What do these companies have in common?

They are unique with their own strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in customer service, employee development, finances, human eesources & procedures, information technology, internal communications, marketing, operations, planning, and sales.

What do their owners and key decision makers have in common?

They are unique with their own strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in their continuing role in the business, compensation, health, friends and family time, business exit strategy, fun & recreation time, work vs. personal time, humanitarian activities and community activities.

At The Alternative Board® (TAB) we believe that coaching is critical. We believe even stronger that coaching has to include real-life, real-time learnings from those actually playing the game. Business owners and key decision makers have to learn from other industries to be truly innovative in how they approach every facet of their business and personal life.

Who better to, without any judgement, push you, hold you accountable, check your blind spots, test your plans against, and support you than other business owners?

The “2019 National Small Business Survey” shows that 35% of respondents believe that their “biggest business mistake” was “failing to market my business”.

Their second biggest mistake (21%) was “selling myself short”.

When asked “What is the biggest obstacle holding your business back from growing?”, most owners answered, “Lack of funding/Poor Cash flow”.

Although only 35% said failing to market their business was their biggest business mistake, when asked for an estimate of their total marketing budget, 40% of respondents said “I don’t have a specific budget, I keep it flexible”.

My experience is that many business owners don’t have a formal budget.

In response to the question, “what is the most important area where you require assistance?”, in order of importance, answers were (1) sales & marketing, (2) business & strategic management, and (3) financial management.

Business owners are not budgeting for marketing, because they like to keep it flexible; not marketing their businesses, was their biggest mistake; they need assistance with sales & marketing; it is the biggest obstacle holding their businesses back from growing is cash flow; and the second and third most important areas they need assistance with are business & strategic management, and financial management.

It seems that business owners, at least the ones that participated in the survey, have a problem with business & strategic management, and not sales & marketing and financial management.

At TAB we provide business owners an exclusive system to access solutions, experiences and expertise of other global and local business owners, to help them with their challenges and opportunities.

Joining one of our business owner peer boards is a mutual selection process of two steps, where TAB and a prospective member decide together on the mutual benefit to be gained from the relationship.

Members pay a monthly investment towards being a TAB board member, and start off with a guarantee period with no financial risk to the business owner. Membership is monthly, with no term-contracts. All we ask for is a 30-day notice period.

Our peer boards of 4-10 non-competitive-industry business owners meet once a month on a confidential basis for 4 hours.

During this facilitated session, each business owner presents a specific topic to their peers – typically an opportunity or threat to their business. Using the collective practical business experience around the table, the advice and guidance not only helps business owners make better decisions but also holds them accountable for improving their businesses through execution.

The board discussions are complemented by one-on-one meetings, once a month, between our certified TAB facilitators and each business owner, using TAB’s proprietary tools, to review the progress to goals and identify any new opportunities and threats to the business.

All engagements are about real business matters, tangible issues that can dramatically change the success of a business, and the life of its owner.

TAB membership gives business owners of private businesses access to –

•          Business owner advisory boards
•          Proprietary Business Builder’s Blue Print®
•          Private one-on-one sessions
•          Strategic consulting
•          Business assessment and strategic planning tools
•          International business owner network
•          Training
•          Professional networking

To keep your dream alive, apply here.

The Alternative Board is a proud Partner of the NSBC