Creating a Board of Advisors
By Amy Lyden
Business can be lonely sometimes, particularly for small business owners. Out of the 2 million small businesses in Australia, 90% have less than 5 employees and 65% are solo owned and operated - meaning 1.3 million business owners are working alone. With the buck stopping ultimately with you as the owner, it is tempting to feel overwhelmed and stressed. When we are in these emotional states we simply do not make the best decisions and may forget what is truly important.
Asking for Help
Rather than soldiering on, perhaps take a deep breath and time out to consider how setting up a board of advisors may help you and your business.
When I started my own business many years ago, my vision and the realm of possibilities for success excited me and provided the motivation for me to endure the obstacles, set backs and hard work required. But after a few years of this (even at the young age I was) I hit the wall. The burden on my shoulders was winning. What I then decided to do saved my sanity and ultimately contributed to the growth of my business. I created a Board of Advisors.
Board of Advisors – Benefits
We are all at risk of “tunnel vision”. We are so close to our businesses – we live and breathe them on a daily basis, particularly in the start up phase. Being able to access a group of people who have different skill sets, life experiences and ways of being will open you and your business up to new possibilities. You will be able to draw on the wisdom of people who think differently than you do.
When you must report a board meeting by a certain date this certainly lessens the temptation to put due dates back and focus on other areas. Having a regular board meeting in my business forced me to lift my own game in terms of how I presented reporting, clarifying issues that I needed help with and leading the board meetings.
Driving the Strategic Focus
Getting stuck in the day-to-day running of the business is the plague of business owners. I know first hand how this can limit you and stunt your business growth. Having an Advisory Board will keep your focus strategic and constantly challenge you on this. It will force you to lift your head up from your desk and be mindful of ways to grow and seize opportunities.
It’s always about who you know. Having these extended team advocates of your business will be a great benefit. Things will come up that you need help with and chances are one of your board members will know someone who knows someone…you know how it goes.
Creating a New Team
Coming into the new financial year, I encourage you to look at how you can expand your “team”. With economic uncertainty and the calling for further of doing more with less, it is more important than ever to have adequate support around you.
For additional tips on how to set up a board of advisors please see the webinar “Creating a Virtual Team”.
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