Formalizing a Board Can Reap Many Rewards

Business performance management. Does the term sound familiar? It should be a regular phrase in your vocabulary, but many business owners only recognise poor financial management or a lack of planning when facing an uphill battle. When it comes to running a successful company and getting ahead of competitors, it is important to be proactive.

Assembling an advisory board offers your business legitimacy by providing guidance in crucial centers of the business. Your board can be used to develop business plans, handle policy issues and monitor a company’s financial strength and the success of its product and services. Most importantly, it can help focus an overall business strategy.

An advisory board should be consulted in the following situations:

  1. Developing a business strategy
  2. Identifying and managing business risk
  3. Providing a comprehensive external view of business issues and opportunities
  4. Offering expertise and skill not available in the business
  5. Helping drive improved business performance and value
  6. Supporting a strategic exit

Meetings should be structured and outcome-focused, relying on an agenda to remain accountable to business objectives. This is an excellent opportunity to consult your advisory board, who can provide unbiased insight to ease the decision-making process.

These tips will help you establish and implement your first Board (or Business Performance) Meeting:

  1. Set a Routine

Follow the same date and time each month to hold your team accountable.

  1. Establish Your Purpose

While its purpose may be clear to you, clarifying the overall theme will guide the discussion.

3. Prepare in Advance

Reports should be prepared and distributed to attendees at least two days prior to the actual meeting.

4. Focus Your Attention on KPIs

KPIs are one of the most powerful ways to obtain a clear focus on what matters to your business. Make them the focus of the meeting.

5. Use Time as an Educational Forum

Think of your meeting as an opportunity to familiarise the advisory board and executive members about business financials, allowing them to make better decisions.

Some business owners fear creating an advisory board – not because of lack of value but because of the possible cost of fulfilling these roles. This is not always the case. Depending on your business size and needs, many businesses engage professional advisors who are happy to contribute time and knowledge. For many, this is an opportunity to give back. Though some form of financial fee may be required, it is feasible to create an advisory board on any budget.

An effective advisory board will substantially reduce risk, increasing attraction and incentive for a potential buyer to pay a premium for the business. It allows the opportunity to review the business objectively and develop new ways to improve the entire enterprise. Don’t underestimate the power of a board on a family or privately owned business.

Ascend Business Partners offers the service to establish and operate an advisory board. We will provide up to a 45 minute phone call or email response, free of charge, to help guide your company in the right direction. Contact us today.

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