At some point every CEO or business owner has to make tough choices which affect the future of the business, from securing finance to making key hires. Carrying the responsibility of these decisions can be extremely stressful and isolating.
Getting help to navigate obstacles as your business grows can make all the difference. However sometimes a business simply won’t have the time or resources to hire a full management team. This is where a carefully selected board advisor can be a life saver. Here are eight reasons why every business needs a board advisor:
Impartial sounding board
It’s often difficult for a CEO or owner to make objective decisions when they have worked in a business for a long time and become emotionally invested. A board advisor can act as a sounding board and provide you with experienced and objective advice. Enabling you to see what needs changing and how to make the difficult decisions. Whether you need help navigating a particular issue or you need an honest assessment of where your weaknesses lie as a business, an advisor can provide that vital intel you need.
One of the biggest challenges for a growing business is how to ensure you have all the skills you need to run the business when you simply don’t have the budget for a lot of staff. This is where an advisor can be a great help. They provide specific expertise where you need it most without the complexities and financial burden of having to employ full time staff. The right board advisor can provide specific expertise in areas such as finance, law or business strategy.
A 2018 report by Startups.co.uk found that attracting new customers is the biggest challenge for small businesses in the UK. Of those surveyed 27% of them felt their existing strategies were not effective. It can take a lot of time and budget to break into new markets and broaden your client base and SMEs often don’t have the resources to spare. A board advisor can act as a shortcut, assisting you with making introductions and giving you the inside knowledge you need to gain traction with a particular customer base or a new sector. The right board advisor will have a readymade network of business contacts who will be highly relevant for your business.
A board advisor can also be hugely beneficial when you are seeking investment. Research by banking group Close Brothers, found that 46% of UK SMEs have experienced barriers when trying to access finance. This makes it difficult for smaller businesses in the country to grow. At a time when traditional lending from banks is increasingly hard to access, financing from alternative investors can be vital. A board advisor can help you identify the most appropriate sources of capital for your business and work with you on your fundraising efforts. They can also act as an advocate for your business, helping to introduce you to potential investors and widen your business network.
Partnering with other companies can be critical to the growth of a business and for reaching new markets. Finding the right partnership opportunities however, can be challenging. An advisor with the right business network can help with finding these opportunities and then making the necessary introductions to suitable partners. A board advisor can also be extremely helpful if your business is looking to acquire another business. They can help you identify suitable candidates and provide guidance from negotiations through to integration.
Gaining credibility can be a huge issue for a small business. Especially when you are operating in a competitive market against more established companies. Advisors are not only a source of introductions and opportunities but more importantly they can provide that holy grail of credibility. This is vital for so many parts of growing the business. If your business is relatively unknown or you are trying to break into a new market, this can be invaluable, particularly when it comes to making key hires, securing investment or negotiating new partnerships.
SMEs are under constant pressure to continue to grow and expand (as we’ve discussed in another blog post. But identifying and implementing the best strategy for developing the business can be very difficult. A study by the British Business Bank found one in three SMEs wanted to expand their business but were unsure how to go about it. Board advisors can be hugely helpful when it comes to devising strategy. By working with an advisor with leadership experience and expertise in your sector, you will gain access to an invaluable source of strategic guidance and insight. This can also help you and your team to develop new ways of navigating existing challenges.
An often overlooked benefit of a board advisor is just how much more efficient it can be for a business. Hiring and working with a management team takes a huge amount of time and investment and often comes with additional complexities. Working with a board advisor on the other hand is far more cost effective. It leaves your business flexible and able to operate in an agile way.
In conclusion, a board advisor can offer significant benefits to your business in many ways. But of course this relies on finding the right advisor for your business and that’s no mean feat. You need to find an advisor who understands your sector and how you operate in order for them to give you relevant advice. This is where SynergyMode can help connect you with the right advisor to drive your business forward. Have a look at our Board Advisory Service for more information.