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The Alternative Board Franchise UK

TAB round table meeting

When was the last time you woke up before the alarm clock and couldn’t wait to get started with your business day? It’s not often that a business opportunity offers a real sense of personal satisfaction combined with financial freedom and flexibility, but a TAB franchise does exactly that.

We have over 30 years’ experience in the SME sector and our worldwide network of over 300 franchisees is supported by a team of experts in all essential business disciplines.

A franchise with proven demand during all economic conditions

TAB helps forward-thinking SME business owners grow their businesses, increase profitability and improve their lives by leveraging local business advisory boards, private business coaching and using proprietary strategic processes.

TAB franchisees lead these monthly business advisory boards and provide the coaching and consulting to the business owners (our ‘members’). TAB board meetings and coaching can be delivered in-person and virtually.

What does a TAB franchisee do?

As a TAB franchisee, you will nurture the growth of local businesses and deliver real-world advice that provides a results-driven advantage to help business owners stay focused on what matters most.

In addition to facilitating TAB Board meetings, you will also provide individual coaching sessions using TAB’s proprietary tools and processes. Working one-to-one with TAB members, you will analyse their business and help them create a customised strategic plan that will allow them to reach their business objectives and personal vision.

Group of TAB franchisees

Benefits of TAB ownership

While TAB franchisees love making a difference in their member’s businesses and lives, they enjoy the flexibility and control that owning their own business provides.  They appreciate earning a good income along the way, as well as the many other benefits that the TAB model provides:

  • Consistent revenue streams
  • Great ROI
  • Initial and ongoing world-class training and support
  • Proven lead generation and member retention programmes
  • Great work/life balance
  • Centralised billing/debt collection
  • Protected territories with no long commute
  • Home-based business that can be conducted virtually
  • Opportunity for life-long learning

Our ‘ideal’ franchisee

We are always on the look-out for great people to join our team. You will be someone with the following attributes;

  • Great communicator; must have gravitas in front of, and the ability to quickly build rapport with, business owners
  • Business leader; you will have either run a business (or had responsibility for a business unit or function), and have the ability to help an SME business grow through its people
  • Passion to learn; whilst you’ll bring your own expertise, you’ll also be passionate about continued learning
  • Can-do attitude; there will be ups and downs as you grow your business – our franchisees are resilient, glass-half-full people
  • Desire to make a difference; we strive to help local businesses, and the emotional rewards are just as great as the financial ones

Group of TAB franchisees

What can you earn?

In 2018, the top third of annual earnings of UK franchisees who have been running their The Alternative Board business for more than 2 years was between £113,790 - £196,178.

The Franchise Package

Full Franchise:

  • Franchise Fee of £40,000
  • Training Fee of £14,500
  • Marketing Spend Required in Year 1 of £10,000
  • Royalty of 20% payable
  • Term of 10 year with 5 year break clause

Option to purchase franchise:

  • Option fee of £10,000 (redeemable on conversion)
  • Training Fee of £14,500
  • Marketing Spend Required in Year 1 of £10,000
  • Royalty of 50% payable
  • Term of 2 years

TAB has relationships with high street banks, all of whom will lend 70% of the total costs. This means applicants for the Full Franchise only need circa £20k in personal funds.

TAB franchisees in meeting

Training and support

TAB’s support team assist franchisees in growing board membership and sustaining desired business levels through strong member retention.

Our support programmes include:

  • Initial on-site training at TAB Headquarters
  • An assigned campaign manager to guide the launch of your business
  • In-territory member recruitment support
  • Quarterly advanced training
  • Monthly peer board with fellow TAB franchisees
  • Annual UK and international conferences
  • Proven and effective member acquisition and member retention programmes
  • Support from a community of 100’s of other TAB franchisees and facilitators

TAB franchisees are proud to be part of an elite community of business advisors from around the world that help each other achieve more in their businesses.

Group of TAB franchisees

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At a Glance

Established:1990 in the US and 2009 in the UK.

Min total investment:

Min contribution:

Development type:

UK presence:
TAB currently has 1 corporate unit and 31 franchise units.

International presence:
TAB has presence in the US, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela

Development type:

Franchisee Case Studies

The Alternative Board Franchisee

Voluntary redundancy called for a change

Paul Winterbottom has been a franchise owner with The Alternative Board (TAB) since April 2014. When offered voluntary redundancy, Paul left his position at NatWest which he had held for more than 30 years in order to pursue a new career and his dream of being a business owner.

Franchisor Interview

Interview with MD of The Alternative Board, Ed Reid

The Alternative Board

Name:           Ed Reid

Position:       Managing Director

Location:      Harrogate

Franchise:    The Alternative Board (TAB) UK

What was your career background before franchising (including what your job / career was immediately before)

My role immediately before TAB (where I started as a franchisee before I became the franchisor) was Sales & Marketing Director for an SME printing business. I’d done this for 18 months having left the corporate world (I’d worked for Nestle and Diageo for about 10 years in sales, marketing and strategy roles, including running a team of circa 300 in sales). My work/life balance at the printing business, who were great, was completely out of kilter; my kids were young, and I was never at home (at useful times!), so something had to change.

When you started your business did you know that you would be going the franchise route?

Yes – we set up in the UK as the first international Master Franchisee for TAB International (who had been operating in just North America since 1990)

Were you, effectively, the first franchisee (pilot franchisee)?

I personally was the 3rd UK franchisee, joining only a few months after the initial pilot franchisee, so in effect, I was one of the pilots. This was in 2009, and we look back on those days very fondly; depending on how you want to frame it, we were either pioneering, or flying by the seat of our pants! We’ve learnt masses in the decade since, and those lessons are now distilled into helping new franchisees have the best possible businesses.

Before franchising your business did you have any other pilot franchisees?

Yes, there were about 5 of us who all started within the first 6 months

How did you discover franchising as a means of growing your business? (When & where)

TAB was already a massively successful franchise in North America, so it was the obvious business format for its international expansion.

Why did you choose franchising over opening company owned outlets?

We knew that our clients (owners and MDs of SMEs) would value the fact we (our franchisees) were also business owners. We wanted to grow through shared risk and reward.

How did you raise the finances required to franchise your business?

I bought the business (along with my business partner, Mags Fuller) from having been a TAB franchisee, so it was a fully operating business already. We raised the funds through traditional bank loans.

How long have you been franchising your business?

11 years in the UK, 30 years internationally

What challenges have you faced since franchising your business?

Finding great new franchisees who share our values, our work ethic, our culture. Launching the UK business in a recession. Weathering the storm of COVID-19 (we’ve actually grown our client numbers since March 2020).

What ‘highs’ have you experienced since franchising your business?

We change the lives of our clients (business owners) for the better, helping them run better businesses, with more control, and better work/life balances. It’s unbelievably fulfilling to help them on their journey, and we’ve no helped 1000’s of business owners do this.

How many franchisees do you currently have?      


How many franchisees would see you at full capacity?     


What initial & on-going training and support do you offer to your franchisees?

There is some very intensive initial training; starting with 7 webinars, followed by 5 days of classroom training (currently virtual), in field training (9 days), and then a follow-up 3 days of classroom training. We then run quarterly 2-day “advanced training” for all franchisees. In addition, every franchisee meets with circa 6 other franchisees every month, in a meeting facilitated by the franchisor. At every meeting, each franchisee gets help with their most pressing issue/opportunity at that point.

What would your advice be to someone thinking of buying a franchise?

Know that it’s hard work, particularly the first year, just like setting up any business. But you’re doing it surrounded by a (hopefully!) incredibly supportive community, using processes that have been honed over years by everyone before you. If you get the right franchise for you, it should be incredibly fulfilling (on all levels). You get out of it what you put in.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with The Alternative Board (TAB) UK, click here!



The Alternative Board nominated for major franchising award

Business coaching and advisory board franchise The Alternative Board has been shortlisted in the Leadership & Culture category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, to be held at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

More news from The Alternative Board