There is the common perception that Company Boards are associated only with large scale corporations and are usually comprised of highly (over) paid, but highly experienced executives.
In today’s competitive business world small business owners are beginning to realise that they too can benefit from having a board of expert advisors to assist with various aspects of the business’ growth and direction.
As with large company boards, the benefit for the small business owner is in gathering together a group of people who can advise in different areas of the business. The challenge is finding the right mix of people to comprise the board and ensuring that they have the right mix of expert knowledge. For example, if a board is made up of mostly accountants and lawyers, there is limited advice on sales, marketing, IT and technology or HR. Hence some areas of the business will receive a lot of attention and be quite proactive and forward thinking, but the balance will be thrown out and the business will find it hard to progress as a whole and maximize its potential in all areas.
Unlike the formality of a Company Board, small businesses that put together their own group of advisors have some flexibility in the structure that they employ. They may chose to pay each advisor a fee for their advice or perhaps they may be lucky enough to secure an arrangement where the advice is provided free of charge, each case will be different. Similarly, it may not suit your business to have regular meetings where all board members are required to attend; the business owner may choose to meet with each advisor separately.
If you are a small business looking to put together a board of experts you should consider having at least one member who can advise you in each of the following areas:
- Accounting and Finance
It is important to include your accountant on your Board of Advisors. They will not only be able to advise you on cash flow, tax and other related areas, but the information that they are able to provide may assist the Board and other advisors in their decision making.
- Sales and Marketing
A sales and marketing advisor can offer a different and fresh perspective on ways to promote your business and improve sales processes. They do not necessarily have to be from a similar industry either, in some cases it may be advantageous that they are not, as they will be able to bring new ideas that perhaps no one else in your industry is doing.
- Human Resources
For many businesses, one of their most valuable assets is their people, or employees. Consequently, having a Human Resources specialist on the Board will help to ensure that the company’s employees are “looked after”. This is important as employees are an integral part of any business and should be given just as much consideration as finance and marketing initiatives.
- IT and Technology
It is not always a necessity all small businesses to have an expert in the IT and Technology field. However, if your business relies on technology as an integral of you operations then it may be advantageous to have someone on board who is skilled in this area and able to not only present practical advice on current systems but is also knowledgeable on current trends and latest developments that may assist in further developing your business.
At The Quinn Group we are consistently advising growing numbers of small business owners on the advantages of having a Board of Advisors. We are able to provide recommendations on what would make the best Board structure for your business. We are even able to recommend people for you to approach regarding providing advice to your business. If you would like further advice regarding establishing or revamping a Board for you business please contact us on 1300 QUINNS or click here to submit an online enquiry.