With an increasingly connected world, small businesses can now access the platforms to compete against the big-name brands and corporations. However, where small businesses can miss out is through their limited spending power and resources. Consequently, they may struggle to access the industry experts that can help their business grow, scale and move forward.
This is where an advisory board can be vital to small businesses. Hiring an independent board adviser in Lancashire, you can create an expert panel of industry leaders who have your business’ best interests at heart. However, this comes without the need for acquiring and hiring high-investment internal staff.
As an independent board adviser in Lancashire, I have helped many small businesses across the country and beyond to make a bigger impact. Whether the goal is to grow, scale, diversify or disrupt the market, I use my wealth of experience to help small businesses achieve more.
I have seen first-hand the benefit of hiring an advisory board. In this post, I’ll share the benefits of independent board advisors. Furthermore, I’ll also share the tips to make your advisory board a successful partnership.
What is an advisory board?
An advisory board is a panel of business experts who can partner with your business to advise and guide your organisation through a range of business decisions. Independent board advisors can help your business throughout a range of aspects. As such, this can include financing, scaling, sales and marketing.
Often, an advisory board doesn’t just have a wealth of knowledge to tap into. They’ll also have the first-hand experience of the challenges you may be experiencing, as well a wealth of contacts who can help you reach your goals.
While you invest and compensate members of an advisory board, you will not have the expense of hiring the expertise in-house. Furthermore, despite being independent, an advisory board will still partner with your business. What’s more, they’ll ensure they have your goals and best interests at the forefront of their counsel.
Why is an advisory board important for small businesses?
Growing a small business can be a challenge. You may have a fantastic team. However, you may not have the ability or finance to bring in all the experience and expertise that your business needs. So, by creating an advisory board, you can cherry-pick the skills and know-how across a range of business facets, depending on the areas you need support with.
As an independent board adviser in Lancashire, I have used my skills in commercial finance, digital marketing, advertising and consultancy to help small businesses succeed.
Fourteen benefits of an advisory board
- Receive sage business advice from experts
- Use business mentors as sounding boards for critical business decisions
- Access subject matter experts who are industry leaders
- Fill gaps in your team without the long-term requirement or investment of internal hires
- Address matters quickly, even if you haven’t got a team in place yet
- Use expert steering to help you move towards your goals
- Receive introductions to prospective clients, financers and key contacts
- Build a diverse panel and create a wealth of different perspectives to make well-considered strategic moves
- Expand on new ideas and get the ball rolling on key concepts
- Third-party support helps to remove emotional decision making
- Build a bigger business circle and network
- Provide reassurance to investors by seeking expertise from industry leaders
- Attract more clients and business relationships with big-name advisory panellists
- Enjoy a partnership for success that provides peace of mind to the business.
Why hire an advisory board?
- Studies show that annual sales of businesses with advisory boards can be 24% higher than those without advisers
- Productivity can increase by more than 18% with an advisory board supporting your business
- 86% of businesses believe an advisory board makes a significant impact on their business.
Building an advisory board for your small business
Before hiring independent board advisers, it is important to make sure you’re clear on what your advisory board can do. An advisory board is not a board of directors. However, many small businesses do use an advisory board as a stepping stone in building a longer-term board of directors.
As a board of directors typically takes a more active role and responsibility in the business, they will have more duties and, as such, will have more liabilities. Consequently, an advisory board will usually not be as heavily involved in the business. Instead, independent board advisers will provide counsel, advice, support and ideas to help move your business forward.
If you already have a board of directors, then using an advisory board can still be valuable. A board of directors will have the final say on the ideas, plans and projects of the business. However, independent board advisers can be a sounding board of ideas. They create a place to define and refine plans using their expert advice and feedback before presenting them to your directors.
Five key considerations for hiring an independent board adviser in Lancashire
- Choose quality over quantity
Your advisory board can be as big or as small as you like. Critically, the key aspect is to find the expertise and experience that will move your business forward.
2. Consider diversity
Studies show that diverse organisation can improve business performance. By having an advisory board comprised of individuals from different backgrounds and experiences, you can enjoy a wider breadth of knowledge.
3. Look for commitment
While a successful industry name can be a draw to your investors and clients, it is more valuable to your business to have board advisers who are committed to your business. Determine how much interaction and support you are looking for. Don’t be lured by the names that may only provide you with a fraction of the time and attention that the business needs.
4. Avoid the agreers
An advisory board is there to support you, but they should also challenge you. There is little business benefit in having a panel of ‘yes men’. Your independent board advisers should add values with their own ideas and knowledge.
5. Seek out effective partnerships
Having a good rapport with your advisory board can help you get the most out of the relationship and create long-term success. Independent board advisers should be willing to work with you in a way that’s right for your business. However, don’t be afraid to explore their preferred working methods as you may be able to better utilise their value and create a stronger working relationship.
Are you looking for an independent board adviser in Lancashire?
As an experienced business mentor with an extensive corporate career, I have supported many small businesses across Lancashire in executing their vision and achieving their business goals. If you’d like to find out more about how an advisory board or an independent board adviser in Lancashire could benefit you, I’d love to hear from you. Please request a callback here, and I’ll be in touch soon.