About Advisory Boards
It’s perfectly normal for businesses to reach a growth ceiling and get stuck.
What a lot of people don’t appreciate is that the skills you need to start a business aren’t always the same as the ones required to take it to the next level. At some point you’ll have enough people working for you that you need to take a step back from the hands-on side of the business and focus on management.
This is the first big hurdle that a lot of small businesses never manage to clear. Entrepreneurial spirit, a willingness to do whatever needs done, and hard work got you to where you are, but they’re not enough to help you break through that growth ceiling. You’re going to need ongoing access to skills that aren’t available to most business owners or CEOs.
If you’re turning over $10 million a year or more, you’ve made it past this hurdle. Unfortunately, it isn’t the last one you’ll find in your way. The larger your business grows, the more issues you have to deal with, and there are limits to what any one person can do on their own, no matter how skilled.
An advisory board structure is the best way to get ongoing access to the expertise you need, regardless of where your business is on the growth curve. It’s more than mentoring but not as involved as a traditional board of directors. An advisory board is a bridge to cross the chasm that naturally occurs when your business is between growth stages.
Benefits of Advisory Boards
- You have someone objective to talk to without having to form a board of directors or hire expensive consultants
- There are a wide range of skills and expertise available from advisory board members who have “been there, done that”
- On average, businesses enjoy increased sales of 66.8% in the first three years after setting up an advisory board
- Businesses experience increased productivity of 5.9% on average, compared to a 3.2% rise in the previous 3 years
- Strategic business choices are improved and better decisions are made
- Company leaders find it easier to develop new ideas and enhance management structures
Advisory boards are also viewed as having positive effects on a company’s vision and its ability to innovate and manage risk. Leaders of businesses with advisory boards are more confident in carrying out ambitious projects. And advisory boards are a good way to cope with the very real problem that most business owners discover when they get to a certain level — it’s lonely at the top.
The bottom line is that advisory boards help businesses break through and scale into the next level of growth and success, benefitting from outside wisdom which delivers long-term sustainable value and game-changing advantage.
*As found by The Business Development Bank of Canada in its 2014 survey of business owners, advisory boards deliver outstanding results – 24% annual sales growth 18% productivity increase 18%.