Is It For You?


My Business, My Board

Real results from membership

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See what our members have to say about the value they’ve received from The Alternative Board

We, brothers Paul and Michael had some crazy idea to go into business together nearly 11 years ago.  The first 7 years was less complicated than the last 3 and a half.  There was no problem that could not be fixed with just a little more hard work.  We have gone beyond that.

 With three offices and twenty full time staff members things have somewhat changed.  We have grown rapidly and continue to do so.  We recognised that we needed some vision, some perspective and some assistance in managing our business for now and into the future.

 It has been refreshing, eye opening and confronting at times to work with the TAB group in general. Years of past experiences, knowledge, ideas, mistakes and emerging information about the world of tomorrow meet in one place once a month in the form of TAB.

 Our meetings, to date, with TAB have assisted us in taking a good look at our structure and our future and has helped with clarity of mind and confidence in decision making for the future.

 Thanks to Claire Wilson and TAB.

Micheal & Paul Sciberras, Sci-Blue Services

The Koha Shed Australia acknowledge and thank Claire of TAB for her assistance in guiding our charity and introducing us to new businesses we can leverage off and learn from and share resources.

Mike Iafeta, The Koha Shed

I get a lot of value, not only in terms of speaking with other business owners and learning from their experiences, but also as a great sounding board for ideas and issues for my business.

David Bateson, My Marketing Person

The TAB process is helpful to me.  It enables me to discuss business problems and to hear the opinions of business owners from different industries in a supportive environment.  The personal coaching sessions are also helpful as they force me to think about my business strategically rather than being consumed with operational matters.

Grant McCarthy, McCarthy & Co Accountants

“I feel incredibly fortunate for connecting with The Alternative Board.

In such a short time, my business is seeing a lot of positive changes that have been a direct outcome from attending the meetings. The meetings are an opportunity to hear advice and solid solutions from highly experienced business owners and accomplished leaders. They have really challenged my thoughts and how my business is structured to which I have begun to review and have now changed for the better. My profits and leads are now better than ever and I am really grateful to these monthly meetings.

Another fundamental and beneficial element to The Alternative Board is having one on one coaching with Doug Downer. I have previously contracted other business coaches, but no one has ever been as successful for my business as Doug. His approach is professional, fair and honest – he challenges my ideas, provides plans and solutions that have enormous impacts on my business. I am astounded at the wonderful opportunities from a business perspective that have quickly developed, along with the personal growth I have experienced in a short amount of time.

If you are a passionate business owner looking for more clarity, a fierce steer in the right direction from senior business leaders who have “been there” and don’t sugar coat and you are keen to take your business to the next level, The Alternative Board could be for you.”

Danielle Grant, Creative Buzz

Recently we had our first experience with The Alternative Board after being invited by the highly qualified Claire Wilson. We were never sceptical of the program but were unsure if it was the right fit for the company as we are only newly established. Some of the other businesses involved are much larger with more staff, higher turnover and at different stages. Cash flow is also especially important during start up so we need to make sure our expenses are prioritised. During the session we were pleasantly surprised, what concerned us at the beginning was actually an unexpected benefit.

Others on the panel had fresh new ways to looking at challenges we had been facing because they had already been down that path with years of combined experience to leverage off. They questioned what we believed was fact opening up new doors and new opportunities. Not once did they propose a magic bullet, how to run our business, assume they knew our industry better than ourselves or that we had been doing something wrong. It was a very positive conversation asking the right questions to come to our own conclusions. One of the reasons we found it so valuable is because it was an honest representation of what our clients would be thinking which allows us to connect better to our market.

Daniel Wong, Constancy Wealth Management

I have worked with Doug for almost 1 year and his support and direction in our meetings has helped my business grow.

Doug has an excellent level of business knowledge which as a client I can tap into to help my business continue to grow.

The board meetings he holds are always beneficial and great to bounce ideas of other business owners.

If you need help in clarifying your business direction, Doug and The Alternative Board is for you.

Phillip Raish, WildFX Sydney

Doug’s Board is like no other! Very hands on approach to assisting business owners grow and learn from others going through similar paths.

Tuan Duong, Duo Tax

“I can highly recommend Crystal to anyone who is looking to grow their business. When I first contacted Crystal 3 years ago I was in the very initial stages of setting up our construction company. In those early days she helped me to establish the basic systems and processes my business would need in order to grow. From there she helped me to gain a thorough understanding of the financials of running a business, and now 3 years on we have a very successful company with solid foundations. Now that I have a thorough understanding of how to run my business I continue to work with Crystal to assist me with the strategy and planning that will enable us to continue our growth. I absolutely love my meetings with Crystal!  She is always able to see things differently and offer solutions to any problems we may encounter. To think that 3 years ago I didn’t know the first thing about running a business to now running a company with a turnover of $2 million is crazy! There is absolutely no way I could have got to this point without Crystals guidance and support”.

Amy Thackeray, Sunday Homes

“When you compress years of multi-faceted experience, a broad knowledge of business and intense passion you get Crystal.

During her career Crystal has been an award-winning participant in business at start-up level, small business, franchising and corporate. This gives her a unique perspective on what it takes for all types of businesses to be successful. She continues to invest in developing her own knowledge, seeking out the best in the world to learn from. Crystal distils from these learnings and her own personal experiences the best solutions for each individual circumstance. She is hard working and fearless in the pursuit of excellence in business and derives great satisfaction from helping others do the same”.

Neil Gibbins – Former Vice President, Citibank Australia Corporate

“Be fearless in the pursuit of that which sets your soul on fire” unknown; “be driven and steadfast in that pursuit and you can achieve amazing things. We have worked with Crystal for over five years and she has been a guiding light in this pursuit”.

Ian White – Hire a Hubby Turramurra

Steve has always impressed me as a business person with a high degree of integrity and professionalism. He has a win/win focus and brings a wealth of experience to the table. He’s also a really personable guy.

Phil Lee, Dynamic and engaging Keynote Speaker, Author, Transforming Engagement and Performance of Employees and Teams

The Alternative Board is a refreshing way to introduce group-think based ideas and solutions into my business which has been helping me each month to resolve business issues and make improvements in operations effectiveness. The fellow members on my particular peer advisory board are well suited to assist me with my discussion topics each month, and I too have been well matched to provide valuable advice and solutions to assist them with their topics.

The one-to-one coaching as part of the TAB program provides guidance, advice and accountability on agreed actions items between my coach and I as well as helping to further explore and solidify plans from solutions gained from the peer advisory board.

Regardless of the size of business or industry type, TAB appropriately groups together individual board members and tailors one to one coaching to really help the business owners deliver measurable results.
9 months in, I’m very much enjoying the progress I’m making with my objectives for my firm, and look to the continued support and leadership provided by TAB. I would highly recommend other business owners at the very least visit a TAB board meeting and discuss their business goals with the facilitator to see how they too could benefit from the program.

Corinne Zuchetti – Director of Master HR Solutions

“The TAB has been a great surface and knowledge both from a business perspective and a life learning perspective. On top of this, the contacts I have met have been invaluable. The TAB have been flexible and easy to deal with from the very beginning”.

Adam Dragic – Solar Design and Installation/ Energy Management

I have known Steve as an advocate of franchising and small business advisor. His work in this area has provided sound advice to people who are interested in starting their own business. Steve can be commended as someone who has assisted numerous candidates in establishing their own enterprises.

Todd Matea – Operations Director at United Franchise Group

I have known Steve for several years and he has proven to be thorough, hard-working and professional in all aspects of his business.

Geoff Dalgliesh – Architect

Steve is a highly motivated and focused operator. He exudes integrity and a “can do” attitude. It is always a pleasure working with him.

David Michell – CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer) at The Protectors Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd

We are extremely impressed with the results that we are achieving since engaging Steve’s services. Specifically, our productivity has improved, with our Leaders and Staff now actively more engaged and focused on driving the company strategy, through their personal professional goals.

Terry Leckie – Founder of Flow Systems

“The Alternative Board (TAB) has helped us improve the running and performance of our existing business and at the same time helped us lay the platform for a new business. In the face to face consultations Doug has been able to identify aspects of our business that needed tweaking like time management, staff issues and the accountability of us as business owners. The monthly board meetings with fellow business owners are fun, informative and surprisingly, very rewarding. Doug, with his credentials and abundance of emotional intelligence, has helped transform our business in a positive way. I would highly recommend the TAB business model of board meetings and coaching, to other business owners.”

Patricia Mallos, The Heritage Pharmacy

“I have personally known Doug Downer for 30 years, having also worked with him for 25 years. When Doug introduced me to discuss T.A.B approximately 12 months ago I immediately responded by saying ‘this is the perfect business for you’.

On a personal level I have a successful business and felt there was no need for additional support at the time. I was wrong, having attended my first board meeting I quickly came to the realisation it was the best business decision I had made since becoming an owner.

The members attending the meeting shared ideas and insights into their day to day running of their business, being a positive  thinker of course  I had all the great ideas! Well it was evident I was far from it and I very quickly learnt to sit back and listen more often, to those with many more years’ experience than me and thoughts form people with different personality traits.

So a BIG thank you to Doug and T.A.B, sharing ideas and learning form others has been the best move I’ve made for many years, God Bless Doug.”

Michael Sleiman, Daystar First National Real Estate

“I have been in business for over 20 years now, working with the corporates, small & medium businesses and now running my own business for a few years. Most of my roles have been in the sales, people and general management, so you think that I would be on top of everything.

The Alternative Board provides accountability to my Goals and keeps me on track with week to week objectives. The board provides a structure and discipline for me to manage my business more effectively while learning new processes that other board members have implemented. The benefit I receive from other board members is the sharing of problems with like minded people, helping to see you’re not alone and by assisting to develop solutions.”

Simon Bishop, MyGas

“ Not knowing what to expect on joining TAB, after the first session I know I needed this for my business. Although I am only at the beginning on what will be a long and beneficial process I am very impressed with Jim’s ability to focus clearly on the areas of the business that need addressing. Often seeing through the initial thoughts that come up, he has the ability to digest and reconcile the issues of a business and help turn them into actual goals and objectives. I would recommend anyone who is needing to take their business to the next level and look holistically at their goals and objectives with the added benefits of turning them into actionable steps.

TAB is the business you should turn to”

Matt Hermitage, Thirdegree Web Design

“The Alternative board has helped us focus on what we need to be doing and it is nice to have a sounding board which has helped us enormously in being more confident in making decisions”

Jan Conlon, Traffic Lights NSW

“The benefit of The Alternative Board to myself and my business are the sharing of idea’s, upholding of commitments and troubleshooting problems, all in a professional and collaborative environment.”

Darren Price, Westbury Constructions

“The Alternative Board provides a great forum to bounce ideas and issues around with like minded business owners experiencing the same issues regardless of industry.”

Chris Matthews, Sydney Accounting