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Julian Smith

Improve your business and change your life with The Alternative Board Derby and East Midlands

Explore the power of collaboration with TAB.

Join TAB and benefit from Julian's invaluable guidance as a Facilitator and Coach in Derby and East Midlands.

Julian's 35 years of experience spans diverse industries, offering expertise in sales, marketing, brand development, strategic planning, and change management, gained from working with large Corporate PLCs as well as a number of SMEs in various commercial, general management and oversees roles.

With Julian as your coach, you'll never feel alone again, transitioning from feeling overwhelmed to being in control, enabling you to gain clarity and make smarter decisions.

Over 5x

TAB members’ sales growth is 5.5 times the national SME average


Of TAB members said their advisory boards added real value to their business


TAB members report improved ability to address personal and business issues.

Why Julian?

Julian joined TAB in March 2010, developed his business extremely well, and, in line with his personal vision, successfully concluded a sale of his franchise to Max Crosby-Browne at the end of 2019.

He successfully developed 5 Peer Boards in Derby with members from a broad cross-section of industries, including retail, marketing, manufacturing, and accountancy and training companies.

Julian’s engaging style, leadership acumen, and ability to challenge the status quo have ensured success for all the teams he has worked in and triggered his focus and commitment to business coaching.

Julian has a passion for people and the improvement of their personal and business lives. He believes that The Alternative Board provides a unique, dynamic and challenging environment supported by a number of outstanding business development tools to ensure a business can fulfil its potential and deliver the rewards that the owner deserves.

Julian’s career has involved time spent in the textiles, print, creative design, consultancy, and packaging industries.

He has an eye on the ‘big picture' and has managed business units of multi-disciplined teams with up to £100m turnover and 3000 employees, as well as teams of less than 10 in SMEs.

Book a 15-minute chat with Julian today and embark on the journey to better decision-making and business success.

What is it like to be a TAB member?

What our members say...

I want to wholeheartedly recommend my now good friend Jimi Ball and the TAB Derby team! I joined TAB in May 2020. I was feeling quite lost - the business was doing okay, but I wanted more. I wanted more of a direction. I wanted a different approach to the business. I wanted to be a real leader Having the 1 to 1 support from Jimi has really given me a focused approach to the business - and I didn't want to let him down either!! 
Adam Holland, Progressive Sports

At TAB like-minded people resolve everyday business issues. It’s good to go outside of your bubble and get outside guidance…There’s more than one way to skin a cat and these guys will show you how to do it.

Rob Sear, Whitehouse Construction

I was first introduced to the TAB at an event at Derby arena, after a discussion with Max I decided to join. TAB takes coaching to the next level as not only do you have a great one to one session you are involved in a monthly board coaching session where other business owners share their day to day challenges. It brings to the table other people’s thought process and really does challenge your own mindset and thought process helping towards your own daily focus and running your business.

Neil Cockings, PNE Controls Ltd

It can be a bit lonely at the top. You’re sometimes getting it from all angles... So having people there that you can sound ideas off can be a real benefit. You get to voice your ideas to a party of people who you grow to trust, and they scrutinise your ideas and also offer beneficial insight from their past experience. 

Ben Naylor, Gold Crest Surveyor

TAB allows you to focus on what is the highest value and most challenging problem to solve… it gives you the ability to surface and focus on your business challenges… and it’s great that other people round the table have been on similar journeys.

David Hall, Orderly

I’ve been a member of TAB for a few months now and it’s gone really well. I’m enjoying the process; I’m already taking a better approach to the company finances and gradually building a really clear strategy for the business. I guess to sum it up, it's got me to hold a mirror up and really look at what I’m doing and how I spend my time. I can’t wait to see how my business grows as a result.  

Ian Morris, Three Rooms

The Alternative Board has helped me to focus on the company’s key goals and objectives. You really don’t feel you are alone, there is a whole team of other business professionals to support you through any challenging issue you or your company is facing. It really is a great and positive motivating experience. Most importantly, the Board has made a fundamental difference to the performance and profitability of the business.

Bradley Walters, Hi Fi Racks Ltd

I’ve been supported through some big transitions at work by the board and by Julian and they are things I probably would not have done without the board and they are some of the best things I have done of late within my own business. 

Helen Wathall, Wathall and Sons
The investment in myself by being on the TAB board has given the business more confidence. We're taking decisions quicker and smarter, which is enabling us to grow our business in the current market. 
Neil Foster, Force Engineering

Discover the  power of peer advice

Start with you

Focus on what you want in life and how your business can help get you there.

Increase profitability

Be held accountable to meet your business targets.

Improve decisions

Take control of your decisions through peer support and proven planning tools.

Make better time choices

Spend your time well by utilising the experience of others.

Become a better leader

Motivate your people with the guidance of peers and an expert coach.

Plan a successful exit

Get the best result for you with tailored, hands-on support.

Start your TAB journey

Get in touch with Julian using the forms on this page.

He will contact you to arrange an introductory meeting.

 Chat about whether TAB is right for you and your business.

Attend your first TAB board meeting and experience the power of peer support.

There’s no obligation, only an opportunity to find out more.


Evaluate your business's readiness for exit with this comprehensive report

The Value Builder System™ is a statistically proven methodology designed to improve the value of a privately held business.


Unlock the hidden potential of your people

Enable your team to work better together through DiSC behavioural workshops. 

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Case Study

Simon Leadley

By working with The Alternative Board (UK), Simon Leadley from Cema Vending was able to achieve commercial success, which included launching two new brands, increasing turnover, and meeting the demand for healthy, fresh food options and premium coffee in workplaces.

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Unlike traditional business meetings that many of us have experienced, a TAB board gives everyone equal time - equal time to discuss and seek help on their own challenge or opportunity. There is a structured process for the running of the meeting which means everyone also has the opportunity to give their own advice and opinion. We don't allow one person to 'hog' a meeting!

In combination with the TAB meeting, members also get access to our business coaching services.

The other business owners and leaders on your board will be very experienced and will have no vested interest in your business, other than a desire to help you. As a result, they'll give you impartial business advice based on real-world experience because often they will have faced similar challenges themselves. What's even greater is you get to do the same for them. Not only does the board provide accountability and expert advice, it becomes a mechanism for developing valuable friendships.

If you have decided you want to improve yourself and your business, but feel like you don't have the time, how will that change if you don't take action?

TAB encourages you to take time away from your business and benefit from the insight, experience, and wisdom of your TAB facilitator and your fellow board members. It's a chance to take a step back. This way, you can actually save time by making better decisions and learning from others.

Whilst all businesses are unique in some way, they still face many of the same major issues with time, people, strategy, money, vision and exit.

You are an expert in your sector, but we are all experts in business. The advantage of working with fellow business owners and leaders from diverse backgrounds is their ability to provide new perspectives and different ways to handle the same situation based on real world experience.

You will also get the opportunity to help others with their business growth, by offering your perspective and advice. It's a win-win!

We are confident you will get a return on investment for your monthly TAB membership fee. As we offer personalised business support services,  a conversation with your nearest TAB facilitator will guide you through the process and allow them to provide you with your bespoke quote.

We’re so confident in our service that we offer a money-back guarantee - if you don’t feel you’ve received value after three months of TAB membership, we’ll give your money straight back.

Put simply, no – a competitor cannot join your board. We have a comprehensive process which makes sure that you do not sit on a board with potential competitors. A key part of our screening process allows existing members to prevent new members from joining their board where they feel a conflict of interest could exist. This will guarantee no competitors join your group.

Some of our TAB facilitators offer the opportunity to attend a TAB Taster Board Meeting, giving you the chance to experience how TAB works and the value it can provide for you and your business. Equally, if there are places on an existing board and your facilitator thinks you'd be a good fit, they may invite you as a guest. Find your nearest TAB Facilitator to get the conversation started!