A recent study found that small businesses are missing out on valuable guidance from non-executive directors and business advisers. Lack of understanding on how to find and engage with advisers means business owners are not benefitting from the experienced perspective that external advisers bring.
Why external advice is important
As the old saying goes, ‘It’s lonely at the top’. As a business owner, you have many issues and opportunities to address, some of which you may not want to discuss with others inside the business. The future growth path of the company, investment, recruitment, changes in team structure, exit planning, succession and even cash flow are just some of the ‘lonely’ decisions facing business owners.
‘If I could clone myself, the business would be that much more successful.’ It’s a sentiment I hear often from business owners. However, while it may be a tempting thought, you could end up forever agreeing with yourself on every point!
A powerful solution is to build a relationship with an experienced business person who can get close to you and your business – someone who can support, and challenge, you as needed. This type of person may come in different forms and the relationship may vary depending on what you need, where your company is in its lifecycle, your ownership structure and your personal style of working. You might find you need a business adviser, a business coach, a mentor, a non-executive director or simply a peer who has experience and an approach that works for you.
Like flying with a co-pilot
Whatever label you apply to the relationship, think of it as having a co-pilot alongside you. And, like a co-pilot, a business adviser (or non-executive director, or coach, or whatever you call them) will understand your destination, help you plot the best course, and ensure you stay focused and on-track. In this way, working with a business adviser is a great way to plug any skills and management gaps in your business.
In addition, a business adviser can even function as a ‘shadow MD’, with a deep knowledge of the business, and the ability to step in and look after the company if you’re temporarily unavailable.
Over the past 16 years, Henchards has developed strong, valuable relationships with owners of many types of business. In each case, the owner or owners have required someone from outside the company to add a new perspective, inject ideas, challenge the status quo and share the goals of improving, growing and potentially exiting the business.
Filling a gap in your management team is just one of the advantages of working with a business adviser. Discover other reasons to partner with a business adviser in our latest video or talk to us about taking your business to new heights.