image of an advisory board meeting.

6.21.16

By Dave Gaino, CPA, MTax, PFS | Chairman Emeritus/Principal – Tax Dave Gaino head shot

Business owners are used to solving problems for their company, but they can only come up with solutions for the problems they know about. As an owner, you have to do a lot for your company, but you can’t know about everything. That’s where an advisory team can help.

Business owners will lay awake thinking about the things they know that they should be worried about, but the most dangerous issues are the ones they don’t see coming. A group of established collaborative advisors can help you foresee these hidden problems and set you on the right path toward avoiding or addressing them.

An advisory board comprised of a range of experts can help business owners make more timely decisions, in a more disciplined manner, by filling in the blind spots. Here’s how.

An Advisory Board Helps You Make Timely, Disciplined Decisions

Having an advisory board gives you access to a group of experts in different fields. As an owner, you know your company, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be an expert on sales, HR, IT, legal, finance, and every other discipline involved in your business. Your various board members can point out potential problems that you may have missed so that you can make a timely decision to improve your company.

Timely doesn’t always mean that you need to make a decision right away. It can also refer to the ability to make decisions or take actions in the right sequence. For example, say your business is expanding its services. A sales order may take a week, but it could take up to six months to get proper equipment ready or to build up a labor staff to handle increased production.

Every reaction to a problem or an opportunity has a ripple effect. Good advisors can help you take action in the right order so that your business initiatives go according to plan instead of creating future issues.

How to Know if an Advisory Board is Right for You

Of course, business owners have questions about whether or not an advisory board is right for them. One common question is “Are we big enough?” The truth is that there are some big companies that aren’t good candidates and some small or even startup companies that are ideal candidates. What matters is the complexity of your business model.

A flower stand on the corner isn’t going to be hiring a retired executive from Goodyear, but a business dealing with international sales or a new tech startup may need some guidance to avoid potential pitfalls. Extra complexities can lead to more unforeseen issues. However, bringing on a group of advisors who can help guide you through certain aspects of your business can help you avoid hairy situations.

An advisory board can be scaled to the needs and budget of a business. Whether your business needs three-day retreats or telephonic meetings, an advisory board formation is all about finding the right people for your situation to help provide valuable insight for collaborative decision making.


image of an advisory board meeting.

Putting the Pieces in Place with an Advisory Board

It’s cliché, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Experienced advisors can make you aware of problems before you unknowingly run into them, it’s just a matter of putting the right group in place. If you’re considering an advisory board for your business, feel free to give me a call at 330.315.7803 or email me at dgaino@applegrowth.com to learn how you can find the right advisors for you and your business.

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