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5 benefits of hiring a business coach

Today there is a growing knowledge of the term business coach. Not many years back, very few people were familiar with the term or exactly what one did. More familiarity was in terms such as business advisors and business consultants. Even though these terms are often put in the same category as coaching, they are not the same.

When you think of a coach what comes to mind? Is it a sports coach? There is soccer, football, softball, baseball, basketball, to name a few. Professional sports people are very familiar with the benefits of coaching. Most today have one on staff or seek out guidance on various occasions.

What are some benefits of hiring a coach?

Coaches through encouragement and accountability get their players or clients to work harder for peak performance.

Coaches enhance performance through more effective methods or skills they learned or figured out for themselves.

Coaches offer realistic assessment of where you are and how to improve.

Coaches help to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and help you focus on what you do best.

Coaches help you brainstorm for ideas for needed changes and help you plan how to make the change.

There are a variety of coaches for all areas of your life. There are life coaches, organizational coaches, business coaches, sport coaches, executive coaches, career coaches; you name it and you can probably find a coach to suit your needs. The greatest commonality with all of these types are their goal is to help you reach the greatest potential in the area of focus.

The most successful people today either have had a coach or a mentor in their life. Having someone to guide you in the direction of your goals and give guidance for success is one of the greatest decisions a person can do for self-improvement.

With the abundance of coaches available today, some things to be aware of when searching for one:

Compatibility-when speaking and spending time with the coach you should feel comfortable and able to speak openly.

Professionalism-is the coach credible in the fact they are competent in the area of your focus and able to bring knowledge, skills, and good advice? Do they have references?

Listening skills-are they a good listener? If your first conversation, phone or in person, is one-sided and mainly from them you may want to consider interviewing others. It is the coach‘s job to help you find your inner wisdom while giving guidance and advice but they can only do this if they are listening effectively.

Most coaches offer a free introductory session to alleviate the fear of taking the next step and working with them. Take advantage of the offer and seize the opportunity to see if you are ready to be coached to reaching your ultimate goals.

To schedule a free coaching call to see if coaching might be the help you need, simply call 760-930-9604. There is no charge. This is a no-pressure, no-obligation opportunity to see if coaching is right for you.

 

Greg Clowminzer offers advice and personal coaching for CEO’s, small business owners, and professionals who are stressed out and overwhelmed by the challenges of business, relationships and life.

 

Why Hire A Business Coach?

The benefits of a top CEO Coach

The question is; you’re already the CEO so why should you make the investment into retaining a Top CEO Coach? The obvious anwswer is CEOs simply have more to gain from intelligent counsel than any other person on the org chart. Given the nature of the position, along with the numerous studies, which provide ample data affirming the extraordinary results that can be achieved by utilizing a top CEO coach, I’m always amazed at the number of CEOs who don’t yet have a coach on retainer. In today’s blog post I’ll examine the reasons why I believe all (yes, I said all) chief executives should leverage the services of a top CEO coach.

 

As bright, talented, experienced, motivated and savvy as most CEOs are, they are only one person. Moreover, CEOs are the individual in the company most likely to be operating in a vacuum. The only thing CEOs can count on is their performance is constantly being evaluated by virtually everyone in the value chain. Combine that with the fact performance standards and expectations are constantly being raised, and it is no wonder that CEOs often feel overwhelmed. The simple truth is, there is no more difficult job than that of the chief executive. This is largely because the proverbial buck stops with the CEO as he or she is expected to have all the answers and make all the tough decisions.

 

Executives who rise to the C-suite do so largely based upon their ability to consistently make sound decisions. However, while it may take years of solid decision making to reach the boardroom, it often times only takes one bad decision to fall from the ivory tower. The reality is in today’s competitive business world, an executive is only as good as his/her last decision, or their ability to stay ahead of contemporaries and competitors. CEOs who don’t maintain an edge will be replaced by those who do. One of the keys to maintaining such an advantage is to find someone who can keep you on the razor’s edge (see why CEOs most often call me).

 

As the CEO, the reality is you have no true peers within the business, so where do you turn for advice and counsel? If you’re like many CEOs, you’re put in the awkward position of seeking feedback from those individuals reporting to you. This is not where you should seek unbiased information, as it’s unlikely your subordinates will tell you the hard truths or provide you with open, candid criticism of your actions. They are certainly not in a position to hold you accountable, or most times, even provide you with intellectually challenging input.

 

Most successful chief executives make heavy investments in building their skill sets, knowledge base, and subject matter expertise early in their careers, only to make minimal investments in their professional development when they reach the C-suite. It is however at the C-suite level an executive must be on top of his/her game as they have the broadest sphere of influence, the largest ability to impact a business, and they also now have the most at risk. It is at this point in the career lifecycle the CEO should make the heaviest investment in refining their game because it’s at this level increased performance will pay the biggest dividends.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to seek counsel from an objective third party who has walked in your shoes, and is not caught-up in office politics therefore having no axe to grind or turf to protect someone who has an extensive network outside your business and is a true intellectual and experiential peer of yours? A top CEO coach can afford all these benefits and more…

 

In addition to my operating duties at N2growth, I also maintain an active personal advisory practice where I’ve worked with thousands of leaders around the globe, including working directly with more than 150 public company CEOs (most of whom are Fortune 500 chief executives). For most of these professionals, the decision to retain my services was driven by one of two distinct motivations;  some had a defensive motive wanting to protect what they had worked so hard to achieve, and; others had an offensive motive looking to take their companies or careers to the next level.

 

Regardless of which camp the aforementioned CEOs fell into, they were already very successful people who recognized that its lonely at the top, and that they could not afford to keep operating in a vacuum. I actually have a few clients where I am just one member of a coaching team that is on call to deliver real time advice and assistance when the need arises.

 

I don’t actually like the term coach as a descriptor for what I do as that particular label can tend to give the wrong impression. Sure, in some cases I coach and/or mentor, but most of my clients simply view me as their closest personal advisor. As their advisor, my role is to serve them in the manner of greatest value whether it be behind the scenes or in plain view. Over the years I have played the role of ambassador, emissary, influencer, facilitator, expediter, personal brand manager, lobbyist, buffer/shield, crisis manager, negotiator, publicist, strategist, tactician, collaborative thinker and a variety of other roles as needed. These are the capabilities chief executives should look for in a coach. I urge you not to settle for anything less than the best advisor available.

 

The question is not whether coaching will provide results, rather, it’s can you find the right coach capable of producing the results you’re looking for? While my personal practice is somewhat limited in terms of the type and number of clients I work with, we have other coaches that can assist you, or I can provide you with referrals to other professionals outside of our firm. Regardless of how you find your advisor, you should consider asking the following representative questions when evaluating a potential coach:

 

1. Who’s paying the coach? It is my recommendation that you personally retain the coach or use company funds under your discretionary control. You want someone whom you can trust implicitly, and whose loyalty is pledged to you and you alone. If the coach is being paid for by the board of directors or company investors then while you will likely still receive good advice, the coach’s loyalty will reside with someone other than you.

2. Is your coach qualified? Remember that the coaching industry is full of practitioners that paid a few hundred dollars for a professional designation, but yet have little or no real experience. Make sure that your coach not only possesses a track record, but that their skill sets and competencies are relevant to your needs.

3. Does your coach have references? The best indicator of a coach’s ability to help you will be based on how he or she has helped others…No successful clients’ equals a coach that should be avoided.

4. What does the coach charge for his/her services? Remember, you get what you pay for. If your coach is only charging a few hundred dollars a month it’s likely representative of the caliber of advice you’ll receive. If your total annual compensation is well into the seven figures, and your company is producing billions in revenue, then you can afford to (actually you can’t afford not to) retain the services of a tier-one coach.

 

In closing, I’ll issue an open challenge to any CEO reading this post: I can come-up with a virtually endless amount of legitimate reasons and benefits for why you should leverage the services of a top CEO coach, and I’ll bet you can’t come-up with a single valid reason (excuses are not reasons and don’t count) why you shouldn’t. If you would like to discuss how coaching can benefit you or your executives feel free to contact me. If you still have doubts about coaching Click Here to see what other noted executives and the media are saying about retaining an executive coach. Best wishes for continued success.

 

http://www.n2growth.com/blog/ceo-coaches/

– See more at: http://www.n2growth.com/blog/ceo-coaches/#sthash.oNw59zrv.dpuf

12 Point Advice on Start Up Advisory Boards

I recently had a lively discussion with Yolanda Wardowski from the Avalon Group on the subject of Advisory Boards. This helped me frame some more specific thoughts which I am sharing in this post. I came up with 12 observations. What did I miss? What don’t you agree with? All comments appreciated!

The Big Picture

1. In my view Advisory Boards can give start ups great advice and access as well as being a resource that is always “there for you”. But, in the vein of “take advice, don’t follow advice”, a CEO needs to balance the input they get from their Advisory Board with their own expertise and the confidence they have in their own and their team’s abilities. Bottom line you don’t want to be (or be seen to be) too reliant on your Advisory Board.

Advisory Board Basics

2. You can have an Advisory Board at any stage. 
They can add value for the smallest start up through to large public companies.

3. The Board part of the title is a misnomer! This is because Advisory Boards rarely meet … as a Board. Rather they are mostly all one on one bilateral relationships with the CEO. Communications tend to be ad hoc with perhaps monthly preset check-in calls but with a verbal understanding (very early stage) transitioning to written expectations of time expended (later stage.)

Structure and Benefits

4. Cosmetic Advisory Boards are a very bad idea. By this I mean lots of names of “important” people on your website … but where the reality is these folks do very little for you. Needless to say if investors (or actual/potential customers in a B2B context) ask to talk to Advisory Board members as part of due diligence, and it becomes clear they have no meaningful role, that sends a bad signal. This is especially the case if you put those names in a pitch you deliver to investors. By represented them as being part of your team … if fact they aren’t … well, let’s just say you were being “economical with the truth”. So have a functioning Advisory Board, or don’t have one at all.
 
5. A CEO/company that who establishes a strong functioning Advisory Board has multiple wins.  First and most obviously you get advice from folks who are consistently involved and add value so in areas that are key to the CEO and the business. But this also sends positive signals to potential investors to the effect that, in addition to that valuable advice: a) You can identify and engage with experienced individuals relevant to your business (so says something about your people skills and judgement) b) The fact that those people are willing to commit time to support you and your business is a form of social validation of itself.
6. A well constructed Advisory Board is composed of people with diverse skills/experience that are relevant to the CEO/founding team. Meaning they can support the company’s progress in clearly defined areas. e.g. finance, customer acquisition, marketing, scaling, technology etc etc. or who have broader experience e.g. a former CEO in the space who has scaling experience. (How do you find these wonderful people? And how do you work out where an Advisor best fits the companies needs and the CEO/Founders strengths and weaknesses? I don’t address those issues here – that is another couple of posts on their own!)7. Better to have 3-6 strong engaged players than 7+ not very engaged people. Start Ups are time starved so work with a small number of committed partners who can give you time and add value. Avoid everyone else! And by having too many members a CEO will make declining engagement a self fulfilling prophecy, simply because she/he will not have the time to interact with all the Advisors at a meaningful level.
8. Whatever role they fill Advisory Board members should expect, and be used, for their full network. Use each Advisory Board member to the full. So the person who has a clear role as your financial expert say could well have valuable connections to the media, to other domain experts or whatever. One thing to be wary of – having a known active investors as an advisor but who is not him/herself an investor in your company. That can send a bad signal too for obvious reasons, although not in my view where that individual’s personal investing is clearly focused on another area of domain knowledge or expertise.

Formal vs Informal

9. At the early seed stage, so at and shortly after friends and family financing, these Boards are usually pretty informal. This means Advisor relationships are based on a verbal understanding of time commitment and responsibilities. I see no issue with this – avoid red tape at all costs!
10. Heading to the A stage and beyond they become more formal. This make sense too in my view. As the business develops having written Advisory Board contracts is the way to go. (Law firms can provide standard versions so this is not a big deal.) The contracts should have specified time commitments (at a minimum) and can include written details of what each Advisory Board member is expected to contribute.

Compensation

11. Advisory Board positions are typically not compensated at the very early stage. This speaks to the informality mentioned above. These are willing supporters who do it for one reason – they have faith in and want to support the founding team.
12. At the Advisory Board contract stage stage compensation starts to make sense. As the business expands adding professionalism in all areas is a must. Advisory Board compensation is a matter of agreement but I start from the position that early stage full Board members (who are not founders/VCs) typically get 1% of equity through options vesting over 3-4 years. An Advisory Board member will have less time commitment and no fiduciary responsibility. So, logically, should be paid less. How much less? Something like 0.10%/year seems fair. Maybe more depending on contribution. Again this is a matter of agreement and also the magnitude of the expected benefit to the company. Note that this is not a fee for “showing up” or answering the email/phone from time to time. Optimally this compensation should be tied to specific deliverables and with the options being granted on appointment but not vesting until a later date. (One year out say.) And typically, no cash component … other that for reasonable expense reimbursement. Advisory Board members are best remunerated through direct connection to the value creation process.
With thanks to – http://adamquinton.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/12-point-advice-on-start-up-advisory.html

How An Advisory Board Can Grow Your Business…

Entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone. They can put together an advisory board for their business made up of people who can provide insight into marketplace trends, gauge future trends, make introductions to customers, facilitate funding, and suggest alliances.

 

Building a top notch advisory board is one way that Lisa Xu, CEO, NopSec is ensuring the success of the company she leads. NopSec identifies and fixes IT security vulnerabilities. In other words NopSec makes sure corporate computer systems can’t be hacked and if they are, the vulnerability is fixed quickly. She specializes in the financial services industry, which requires computer systems that are extra secure.

 

Xu  is thoughtful and strategic about asking people to be on the NopSec board of advisors and in how she uses the board.

 

1.) Choose the right people.

When forming an advisory board, determine the skills you are seeking. Xu knew the types of people she wanted on her board: potential customers, partners, and companies that might want to purchase her company down the road. She wanted industry experts, investors, and people who would make introductions to all of the above. She also wanted experts in technology, sales and marketing, finance, and the financial services industry.

 

Choosing among candidates wasn’t just about resumes and lists of accomplishments. Only by getting to know a potential advisor in advance could Xu determine if a candidate could provide actionable insights and if she had chemistry with the person.

 

She met one advisor, Adam Quinton, at an event. They then met for coffee. His value became readily apparent — potential investor as well as introductions to other investors, customers, media, and other entrepreneurs. Other advisors represent companies including CA, Cablevision, Dell, and SecureWorks. These companies can be customers or strategic partners.

 

2.) Set expectations.

When inviting a candidate to join your advisory board, you should lay down the ground rules about what is expected in terms of time, responsibilities, and term of office, advises Xu.

 

Xu is both formal and flexible about the relationship. A formal agreement, between NopSec and the advisor details what is expected and what the compensation is. However, the agreement is flexible. After all, startups do pivot. When priorities or workflow change, the agreement changes.

 

3.) Engage the board by making the work interesting and mutually beneficial.

The compensation for the advisors isn’t only financial. They also benefit from networking, sharing, learning, and shaping something that has enormous potential. Xu wants the Nopsec board to be emotionally invested and proud to be building something with great potential. She also wants to make sure that the board enjoys the experience and has fun.

 

The advisory board meets quarterly, but Xu schedules individual meet-ups with board members. She does her homework and knows exactly what she can expect from each. She finds LinkedIn a great tool for researching which advisors can introduce her to an opportunity.

 

4.) Incentivise your board.

Depending on whom you are asking and how involved you need them to be, compensation can vary from just providing food at meetings  to covering expenses to stock options to cash payments to a combination of all four. Xu gives options, but board members have other motivations. It’s a chance for them to give back, feel appreciated, and get recognized. It’s a great chance to network and learn. Advisors don’t do all the giving.

 

For more advice about advisory boards, see what Quinton has to say.

 

What could an advisory board do for your business?

 

With thanks to – http://www.forbes.com/sites/geristengel/2013/08/07/how-an-advisory-board-can-grow-your-business/

Why Start-Ups need Advisory Boards…

An outside perspective is critical to building the future of any business, big or small.

 

As we built our business from a bedroom start-up to an Inc. 500 company, our priorities were creating a differentiated offer to our customers, building a world-class team, and managing cash flow to keep us afloat as the business grew.

 

The last thing on our minds was building an advisory board.

 

Advisory boards, we reasoned, was something that big, slow-growth companies have. We could get around to creating one after we took care of the more important business at hand.

 

We were wrong. Every company can benefit from a well-structured advisory board. External advisors bring networking opportunities and much-needed advice, but most importantly they bring something that is priceless to any successful business: an outside perspective.

 

One of our clients is a large, publicly-traded technology company, with a highly profitable business. They are no stranger to rapid growth, with revenues having risen from less than $100 million in 2002 to more than $1 billion last year. But guess what: they need an advisory board!

 

They have a business model that will be stable for years to come, but given the evolution of cloud computing, they also have some major opportunities for reinvention. As is true of many fast-growth companies, they are fraught with the innovator’s dilemma and have a strong incentive to stick close to their core business–a strategy that conflicts with the new paradigm and market opportunities offered by the cloud.

 

This is the problem when management teams that have incentives to maximize the core business are also expected to create a disruptive technology in a new space. For our client, winning in the cloud space will likely require strategic acquisitions and solid R&D investments. But to do this in a new paradigm, they need an outsider’s perspective. Specifically, they need a view that is removed from their core business.

 

A well-structured advisory board would provide this perspective. An advisory board can make critical contacts with CEOs of potential acquisitions and get real-time market knowledge of the start-ups that are currently working toward disrupting their core business. The right advisors will think about market transition as a start-up rather than an established company.

 

Our company is in the same boat. Seven years after founding the firm, we are finally getting around to building an advisory board. In fact, when we mentioned it to one client last week, he said, “I thought I was already a member of your advisory board.” That was a sign that we are behind the eight-ball. We need to move our company to the next plateau. And an advisory board will be critical to getting us there.

 

How have you used an advisory board to help your company achieve growth?  Share your thoughts and questions with us at karlandbill@avondalestrategicpartners.com.

 

Reproduced from: http://www.inc.com/karl-and-bill/why-you-need-an-advisory-board.html

Advisory Board Guidelines

What is an Advisory Board (Or Group)?

An advisory board or group (nomenclature interchangeable) is a collection of individuals who bring unique knowledge and skills that complement those of the formal head or board of an organisation, in this case you. The advisory group can help run an organisation by making recommendations or providing key contacts, information, knowledge, skills, or materials to your organisation that you might not have access to independently. Additionally, an advisory group can further aid an organisation by the members bringing their status or clout with them to enhance the reputation and reach of that organisation (while also benefiting themselves by adding to their own reputations.) However, they do not have the formal authority to make any direct business decisions.

In general, a three to five person advisory board should meet smaller organisations’ needs.

When should an Advisory Board be formed?

Any organisation should look to form an advisory board when its tasks become too complex or too demanding for the formal head or board of an organisation.

How does one form an Advisory Board?

Determine an objective: The most successful advisory boards are formed with a specific goal in mind. Therefore, when forming a board and company or organisation should make sure to think about what supportive roles it wants these advisers to play. This in turn will help the company decide who it wants to be on the board: Is the company looking for diverse representation of industries, age or gender? Is it looking to stay with people familiar to the company or work with new faces? A combination of these? And so on.

Look for “challengers”: A good advisory board will not be comprised of uninvolved or uninterested “yes” men and women. On the contrary, an advisory group should challenge the head(s) of an organisation to think differently about his or her company’s trajectory. To do this effectively, a board will need to have people that have skill sets different than those already in place.

Use networks: In addition to looking for people whose skills differ from the existing company or organisation management, the company should look for people who run in different circles as they can bring new resources with them. That having been said, regardless of his or her background an advisory board member should be willing to participate and interested in your program, otherwise they won’t do or bring very much, despite his or her potential.

Offer compensation: Advisory board members can be compensated in different ways, ranging from a nice meal once a quarter to annual stipends.

Create a contract: Although more informal than boards of directors, advisory boards should still be governed by some form of written agreement. This could include having members sign a nondisclosure agreement, drafting a charter that outlines a board’s responsibilities, and an agreement on logistics, i.e meeting frequency, expected time commitment, and compensation, if any.

Advisory boards and their respective rules and roles will differ depending on the size of their partnered organisation. For example, larger companies may want to have larger advisory boards and smaller or start up organisations should not worry about compensation from the outset. Therefore, parts of the board-forming process are adaptable to your organisation and its needs.

Ventell provides Advisory Boards to Owner-Managed businesses – ask us how we can help your business grow profitably? Or got our Business Advisory Board page.

 

With thanks to – http://dowelldogood.net/?p=663

Ten Tips to Creating an Effective Advisory Board

You don’t need to navigate unfamiliar waters alone. Put together a good board of advisers, and you’ll create a powerful asset that can make a huge difference when you need to get objective advice, scout the marketplace, gauge future trends, seek new strategic positions, have introductions made or build repeat customers.

 

Unlike corporate boards, advisory boards have no fiduciary responsibility and their advice is non-binding. Some are hands-on, meeting monthly or more, even getting involved in the daily grind. Others meet quarterly, with an eye to the big picture. Many consist solely of interested outsiders, but a good number include investors as well. What all such boards share is this: They advise, evaluate and play devil’s advocate.  Here are ten rules of thumb to follow when building an effective advisory board.

 

1.         Determine the Objective of Your Advisory Board: Advisory boards can be general in scope or targeted to specific markets, industries or issues such as adopting new technology or going global. They provide timely knowledge about trends and competitors, as well as identifying upcoming political, legislative and regulatory developments. They can help you enter new businesses and look at your own operations with an open mind. Advisory boards can also be made up of customers and prospects who provide insights into product development and marketing issues.

2.         Choose the Right People:  Of course, when forming a board you need to understand its purpose, but you also need to know what specific skills to seek. In general, look for diverse skills, expertise and experience. You want members to be problem solvers who are quick studies, have strong communications skills and are open minded.

Big names can be a bonus … but not always: Getting a heavyweight on your board of advisers can give you credibility, but it’s also important to have members who are going to spend the time to give you thoughtful advice or are well connected and willing to make introductions.

 

3.         Set Expectations: When inviting a prospective member to join your advisory board, you should lay down the ground rules about what is expected in terms of time, responsibilities and term of office. Specify the areas in which you’re seeking help. If the advisory board is going to discuss issues that include private information, members should be notified that they will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

4.         Compensate Your Advisory Board: Depending on whom you are asking and how involved you need them to be, compensation can vary from just providing food to covering expenses to stock options to cash payments to a combination of the four. Keep in mind that your members will likely benefit themselves in a variety of ways. Being on your board will expose them to ideas and perspectives they may have otherwise missed. It will also expand their own networks and provide them with a way of giving back.

5.         Get the Most Out of Advisory Board Meetings: Prepare for meetings well in advance. Choose a site that is comfortable and free of distractions. Careful thought should be given to developing the agenda and managing the meeting. Solicit input for the agenda, and distribute important information ahead of time. Run the session as you would any professional meeting, and follow it with an action plan. The facilitator should know which experts to draw out and how to stimulate a dialogue. He or she should be result-oriented, as ideas without action aren’t worth much. The minutes should be written up and circulated to top management. The notes should include recommendations on key issues.

6.         Ask for Honesty: An advisory board must be open and frank, so don’t be offended if you hear things you don’t like. Your board will also suggest ways of correcting the problems they identify.If appropriate, encourage members to tell you about their mistakes so you can avoid making the same ones. You can learn a lot by finding out what other people did wrong.

7.         Consider Alternative Feedback Methods: Getting the entire board together on a regular basis may not be possible. Instead, meet or have conference calls with specific members about topics relevant to their expertise as needed. E-mail is a great way to reach everyone and have them respond to you at their convenience. Respect your Board’s Contributions:  Don’t abuse or waste their time. Listen to what the board says. Sometimes, a business executive is so close to an issue, you can’t see the forest for the trees. But remember: This isn’t a corporate board, so you don’t have to do everything they suggest. Ask yourself, “Does this work for my company? Am I comfortable with that?” Then make a decision.

9.         Keep Board Members Informed:  Once they’re on the board, keep members excited about your business by giving them updates at times when you aren’t soliciting their advice. The fact that they’ve agreed to be on your board means they care about your company, so keeping up-to-date will help them be of greater value to you. Remember that these people are evangelists for the company.

10.       Fire Bad Board Members: If you realize you’ve made a bad choice, get rid of him or her. Unlike a board of directors, advisers can be replaced without a lot of legal headaches.

Prepared by:

 

Geri Stengel, president of Stengel Solutions, a business strategist.  She can be reached at 212-362-3088 or E-mail

 

Copyright © 2003 Stengel Solutions. All Rights Reserved.

Why You Should Have A Small Business Advisory Board

Small businesses face a variety of challenges.

There are tasks to complete, systems to build and margins to optimise.

For new business owners it can be very beneficial to create a small business advisory board. Many owners and managers do this because they recognise that they might do well on their own, but are likely to do much better with help from experienced individuals.

Here is an overview of how a small business advisory board can help your business.

Direction and Mentorship

The biggest benefit to a small business from an advisory board is direction. Small business owners often get caught up in the daily tasks required to serve clients.

This leaves little time to focus on the business.

An advisory board can be there for your small business to provide direction for the business. The board can also provide mentorship and advice on common business decisions.

The folks that occupy advisory boards are often business owners themselves with experience dealing with the situations new entrepreneurs will face.

Someone To Push You

It’s also good to have someone to push you. Small businesses are often solo ventures or small groups of individuals. Again, it’s easy to get caught up in the regular day-to-day work leaving no time for focus on the business.

While you’re likely self-motivated it’s good to have an advisory board to push you. One of the things a board can help with is budgeting and setting goals.

They will also be there to ask questions and push you when it comes time to review your budget.

Compensation

Compensation is a good idea for anyone involved in your business. It can range from providing for any expenses incurred as a result of meetings or communication to full investment options.

Paying your advisory board gives them an additional incentive to see your business succeed.

In most cases, the members of your board will want to see your succeed regardless, but making sure they’re invested in the outcome is good for you and it can be good for them as well.

Finding Your Advisory Board

Your business network is a great place to start in looking for advisors. You can reach out to people you know and respect in real life and maybe some you’ve met on networks like LinkedIn.

It can be a good idea to look outside your group of “friends” for mentors. They can bring a different approach to the relationship and not feel like they need to tell you what you want to hear.

One possible source for this kind of advisor is your client base. If you serve business owners with your small business, you likely deal with some successful people that could provide you with great direction and mentorship.

You could also ask the people in your network if they have any recommendations for people that would make good advisory board members. You don’t have to know the people directly at first.

You can develop the relationship to see if you trust them. From there the relationship will revolve around the interest in your business and that’s a good place for an advisory board relationship to begin.

Conclusion

Owning and operating a small business has many advantages. You’re free to work on your own and you’re in charge of your professional fate.

But it’s difficult to find success completely on your own. The best entrepreneurs in history have often had assistance.

Consider adding an advisory board to your small business. It can help you in a variety of ways that all would lead to the growth and success of your company.

 

With thanks to: http://getquaderno.com/blog/why-you-should-have-a-small-business-advisory-board/