- Emma Walsh
Establishing an advisory structure for your small business
Running a business is hard, but there’s no reason to go it alone. Setting up an advisory board or finding the right mentor to advise you, can help you grow your business. Talk to us about your advisory structure. #smallbiz #leadership
When you’re planning for success, it’s important to keep your eye on the big picture. This means developing your business in ways that will help growth and could mean appointing advisors to help you.
Getting some additional advice or support may be a good idea when you:
Need skills and expertise you lack internally
Have made a major acquisition
Go through a large restructure
Are going through a period of fundraising.
When you’re considering an advisory function, you may wish to set up an advisory board or look for a business mentor.
Setting up an advisory board
An advisory board gives small businesses the benefit of other’s knowledge without the cost and formal nature of a board of directors. An advisory board is generally associated with a not-for-profit company, but lots of for-profit companies benefit from this resource too. Advisory boards help provide insight and advice to a company, but do not have decision making power or have duties as directors.
Your board should bring a range of perspectives to the position. It should also be a space in which members are going to be comfortable disagreeing, so choose your members and set the tone carefully!
Finding a business mentor
If you’re not quite at the level where you would consider forming a board, finding a business mentor is a great idea. A business mentor can help you to step outside your business and look at the wider picture. Together you can identify ways to take opportunities or meet challenges. If you are looking for a mentor, start by identifying the expertise and knowledge you are seeking.
Build your business network, look at local mentoring organisations and connect with industry-specific networking organisations. Look for someone who has relevant experience but remember that you should also choose someone you feel comfortable sharing your business with. And, don’t forget to repay the favour and become a mentor when you feel you’re ready!