We believe you can learn a lot from an advisor !
Establishing an advisory board.
Small businesses do not have the benefit of a traditional Boards of Directors. However, they do have the opportunity to assemble a panel of outside advisors that can provide critical insight and expertise. Advisors typically include accountants, bankers and experienced business executives with years of experience. Advisors sign a confidentiality agreement, review performance (monthly financials) and participate in periodic meetings and or conference calls. They are paid a small stipend supplemented by occasional hourly charges, documented in a formal engagement letter.
Business has its ups and downs and small businesses without access to boards or advisors are at a disadvantage, especially when things get difficult. Also in a small business there is no structure like periodic board meetings to keep you focused and sharp. A steady stream of ideas improves with the addition of advisors who can question plans and or help develop business strategies.
The time to start is now, whether things are going well or problems are causing trouble. As an example, we were in discussions with a company about an ongoing role. Before the small business owner involved an advisor, a major business issue developed, relating to a licensing agreement. The owner was is in court weekly and having trouble fighting the issue, running the business and trying to replace the business volume he lost. It will be difficult for an advisor to jump in, without any background information. A small retainer now looks very good to this business, as well as, the pre established provision for a discounted hourly rate for additional work.
If you are interested in discussing an advisor or advisory board, for your business, we should talk further. It is basically good governance!