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Q 1.    Please give our readers an introduction to your business. Include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans:    The primary clients of The Alternative Board (TAB) are privately held, local business owners and leaders.  We work with established businesses looking to take their business to a level of performance that affords the owners the scale he or she desires and to achieve the personal vision and goals they have for themselves and those they love.  The core of what we do is to put owners on Boards with other owners where each month they meet and bring specific issues to the table.  Owners leverage their knowledge, wisdom and experience to help each other work through issues, develop strategies and tactics, build operational processes and keep each other accountable.  With the aid of proprietary coaching tools, webinars and planning resources, TAB bring practical, real world solutions to the local business owner.  TAB Atlanta East works with businesses in Duluth, Gwinnett, Tucker, Decatur, East Atlanta, Downtown and West Midtown.  Combined the 4 local TAB owners cover the entire Atlanta Metro area.

Q 2.    Provide a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans:    At any given time I am working with 35-40 local Atlanta business owners.  For over 6 years I have worked on a daily basis getting to know Atlanta entrepreneurs and building a resource network to bring value and resolution to the issues and questions all owners encounter.  Prior to owning the TAB business here in Atlanta, I spent over 25 years working with small local business owners through a career with the BellSouth Yellow Pages division.  I have traveled the Southeast and sat across from hundreds of business owners, listening to their dreams, discussing their challenges and admiring their grit and determination.  In addition to working with BellSouth, I worked with IBM for a while and had the fortune to do some international work, primarily in Scandinavia.  I earned my Master’s Degree in business by participating in Georgia State University’s Executive MBA program and received by undergraduate degree in business from The University of Tennessee.

Q 3.    What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans:    When AT&T acquired BellSouth in 2008, I was fortunate to have the option to stay or take a package and retire.  I chose the latter.  After engaging with, talking to and learning from entrepreneurs all over the Southeast, I knew I wanted to have my own business.  As I began my search for a business to buy, I kept coming across The Alternative Board – a franchise based organization operating in over 13 countries and 1100 cities.  The more I learned about it the more it called to me.  The work is always interesting and challenging, and the skill of coaching and facilitating is strength of mine.  Thus far the decision has been a wise one.

Q 4.    What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans:    If you believe in the service and product you are creating and selling, and you believe in yourself and have confidence in your judgment, then been persistent, have the necessary grit to weather the inevitable storms that can rage, and above all else, love what you do.

Q 5.    What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans:    Tenacity, persistence, belief.

Q 6.    How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans:    As many as necessary to get the job done.

Q 7.    To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans:    In what I do, the absolute key success is for me to be able to really listen to what the owner wants to do with the business and with his or her life.  The business needs to be the basis for a fulfilled and happy life, that’s why we all are entrepreneurs.  Helping an owner identify what the real goals are, and guiding them to understand what truly needs to happen to achieve the goals requires me to truly pay attention and listen to what the owner is really saying.

Q 8.    Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans:    I funded my business through personal funds.

Q 9.    What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans:    Never get complacent – always be improving and innovating what you deliver to your clients.

Q 10.    Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans:    Having on-going, positive impact with 50-60 business owners in any given year.

Q 11.    How do you generate new ideas?

Ans:    By listening and identifying common threads of things that my clients need or are looking for.

Q 12.    How do you define success?

Ans:    Success for me is generating the financial returns necessary for me and my family to live the life we choose to live, and having engaged business owner clients who value me and what TAB brings to the table to help them build the businesses and lives they desire.

Q 13.    What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans:    Having several of my original members still working with me 5 years later having grown their businesses many times over.  It is affirmation that this works and works well.

Q 14.    If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Ans:    It’s easy to look back and say you’d do things differently.  I have had great learnings from every aspect of my career and in every company.  It is those combined experiences that brought me to where I am today, which is a very happy place.

Q 15.    How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Ans:    For years I spent many hours on a plane, and I now know how rewarding it is to be fully immersed and engaged in a local community.  I am present more with my family – although I’m sure there are times they’d like me to get back on a plane!  There is a lot more stress to entrepreneurship, especially when you’re building your business from zero.  Learning how to manage the stress and yet stay positive, engaged and upbeat with the family is a skill folks that are not entrepreneurs do not understand.

Contact Details:

Company : The Alternative Board Atlanta – East
Contact    : Buddy Hull
Address   : 1562 Crossway Dr. NE
City         : Atlanta
State        : GA
Zip          : 30319
Phone      : 770-633-6078
Email      : buddy@tabatlantaeast.com