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: TAB North Atlanta, located in Johns Creek, GA, is a business coaching & consultancy firm that provides advisory services to small businesses in Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Cumming, Buford, Duluth, Norcross, and Dunwoody in North Atlanta.
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: Ramesh has extensive business coaching, consulting and advisory experience. Over the years, he has helped businesses grow, gain market share, increase profitability, and improve cash flow.
His expertise is in sales, marketing, biz dev, strategic planning, business turn-around, and mergers & acquisitions.
He has business consulting experience in delivering results in start-up, small, and medium business environments.
Ramesh is familiar with the challenges of small businesses, having started several from scratch – a business division within AT&T, a start-up in Norcross (with funding from AT&T and VCs), and TAB North Atlanta – a business advisory services firm.
Ramesh received Master of Engineering from Cornell University; Doctorate in Management Science from Syracuse University; and Advanced Management from Harvard Business School. He has received four design patents.
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: Three years ago, I decided to change my focus from Corporate America to business owners in my community in North Atlanta – for I felt that this segment was under-served. The Alternative Board’s sole focus on small business owners is extremely attractive to me. I believe:
Collective wisdom provides strategic advantage,
Accountability hastens business results,
Creativity and Innovation offer multiple possibilities, and
Clarity of advice eliminates fear of change.
I have made a significant investment in The Alternative Board and hope to fulfill my dreams of helping business owners in North Atlanta.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: 1. Plan and write it down (what doesn’t get written doesn’t get done)
2. Work hard and be prepared for disappointments along the way.
3. You know what you know and you do not know what you do not know.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: 1. Sales: Every entrepreneur has to be a sales person for his/her products/services – there is no other better sales person. Many are uncomfortable being salespersons, so develop this comfort.
2. Finance: Cash is king – keep eyes on cents and dollars will come. Some basic knowledge of bookkeeping is extremely helpful
3. Listening: Listen to your prospects and customers.
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: generally 12 hours a day, and maybe 6-8 hours on weekends (70-80 hours a week)
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing? We have been successful because we do a better job than most on identifying the customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations in fulfilling those needs. Our most successful marketing is word of mouth from happy customers.
Ans: Word of mouth – referrals
Q 9. 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: No investors involved
100% self funded
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Developing personal relationships
People buy from people they like – personal relationships and providing unparallel value are two key ingredients.
Q 11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: Being successful in serving business owners across industries in my community.
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
Google/Alphabet as an organization
Q 13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: I attribute my success in Corporate America to my team members.
Without dedicated and innovative team members, it is hard to achieve one’s goals
Q 14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: Every idea goes through a triaging process.
Some are good to be implemented right away.
Some are screened after some serious deliberate thinking.
Some continue to percolate for possible future execution.
Q 15. What motivates you?
Ans: Fear of failure
Q 16. What are your ideals?
Ans: Helping others and making a difference in someone’s life/business.
Q 17. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: Listening and reading – learn from others.
Q 18. How do you define success?
Ans: When a person achieves his/her goals – financial and/or personal
Q 19. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Success breeds success. For long term survival, customers must be treated fairly and respectfully.
Q 20. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: Quick decision making
Q 21. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: Experiencing the results when you make a difference in someone’s life.
Q 22. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Loneliness and burden of all risks
Q 23. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: Collaborative, “can-do”, and innovative
Walk the talk is critical in establishing any culture
My firm belief in teaming, getting things done using creative and out-of-box thinking
Q 24. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q 25. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: My career has been very satisfying – I do not think I will do anything differently, except for acting more wisely
Q 26. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: I see my wife more often but unfortunately not for longer periods.
Q 27. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: Fear of failure is my greatest fear but it also fuels me to continue to persist. It does not freeze me, it challenges me and I love challenges.
Q 28. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: My business is focused on business owners in North Atlanta and Johns Creek is kind of a center of North Atlanta.
Q 29. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Yes, don’t give up. Listen and don’t be afraid of change.
Q 30. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: Adolf Hitler – WHY????
Q 31. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: My father, who taught me in my early childhood that one can achieve anything if he/she worked hard for it.
Q 32. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill
Q 33. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: Not listening as much as I should
Letting ego get into decision making
Q 34. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: Own up to your mistakes and keep going
Q 35. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: Work is my hobby. I do not have much non-work time.
Q 36. What makes you happy?
Ans: Achieving results
Q 37. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: One of the major sacrifice that I have made is work over family. Looking back, I am not sure if the sacrifice was worth it.
Q 38. If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Ans: It was pretty thorough for the amount of time.
Company Details :
Company : TAB North Atlanta
Contact : Ramesh Barasia
Address : Bright Water Cove, Suite # 100
City : Johns Creek
State : GA
Zip : 30022
Phone : 678-812-1201
Fax : 770-521-5307
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org