“If you are operating in your comfort zone in business, then you are not growing”. Greg Harding and others
Greg and Fiona Harding own and operate The Alternative Board in Melbourne East, Victoria, own and manage bee hives in Eden, and have owned and sold 3 successful businesses. Greg is a CPA and Fiona a teacher and trainer, both with over 25 years of business ownership experience across a range of commercial sectors. This husband and wife team are business leaders, thought provokers, and an inspiration to their Boards!
Before joining TAB, and through their own business ventures, Greg was a member of a similar business advisory board service. It was the TAB model, its features, the highly structured meeting process and the one on one coaching, which, for the Hardings, took the concept of Peer Advisory Boards to a new level, and saw them take on their own TAB franchise.
“Since joining TAB we have learnt the key elements that separate a well run business from poorly run businesses”. Greg also adds, “as advisors and business mentors, we have grown through our meetings and through building relationships with a number of inspiring business owners, and by consolidating our knowledge of the strategic approach to running a business”.
Greg and Fiona have some outstanding business owners that sit on their East Melbourne Boards, across a range of sectors. Take Andrew Brown from MAIT Industries, a manufacturer of high tech irrigation equipment who rescued the business when it was ailing and has turned it around. He has implemented a culture of transparency, empowerment and autonomy in the business. Staff track the financial performance of the company and are rewarded when they meet their targets. The company is growing despite stiff competition from imported products in his market.
Greg believes the biggest challenge for the SME today is to find and implement the operating efficiencies required to maintain their margins in an ever more competitive marketplace, and without a business advisory Board to help you with this you are doing it the hard way.
Fiona is an expert in internal policy development. But she recognises the challenge of the SME owner to instigate change in an organisation because the business owner is usually time poor and challenged by operational issues. Small but regular steps forward are her mantra.
“The Alternative Board provides an amazing opportunity for business owners to get the benefit of a board of directors, just like the big companies have but at a fraction of the cost. We are absolutely convinced of the value that The Alternative Board offers”.
Being a member of a board provides access to a unique range of seasoned business experience, technical knowledge and different ideas and approaches, which can help business owners address challenges and opportunities in their business. The board also provides genuine support and encouragement to each other through their empathy as fellow business owners.
In addition, the one-on-one coaching and mentoring provides the perfect compliment to the board meetings because of the individual focus on the owner and their business that it provides.
Greg quotes his greatest business influences as his Father “who taught me what a customer really is” and Fiona “without whom we would not have succeeded in our last business (aged care)” and he believes every business owner should read The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.
Outside of facilitating Peer Advisory Board’s with The Alternative Board and coaching business owners through strategic challenges, Greg and Fiona enjoy family time, friends and food. Greg coaches an AFL women’s team and together they own a farm at Eden on the southern coast of NSW where they have 10 bee hives which they farm and manage themselves. Fiona is an avid reader and extends her board involvement to community organisations supporting the aged.
Greg and Fiona are working towards a fantastic work / life balance, and bring their knowledge, expertise and learning to their Board. If you would like to find out more about joining the Melbourne East Board, contact Greg and Fiona via their page http://www.thealternativeboard.com.au/melbourne-east/