Being a business owner can be a lonely job. You may have people around you, such as managers, employees etc. But at the end of the day the buck stops with you. You have to make the decisions. You’re the one who is accountable for the effect of those decisions. This kind of responsibility can be pretty overwhelming. It can leave you feeling isolated, tired and harassed. Often scared and confused as well.
A Trusted Team
As a business owner, it’s important to have someone on your team that you can trust. Someone who’s on your side, looking out for your best interests and that of your business. Better still, a team of committed people. More often than not, you’ll need to look outside your business for these people.
In the fast paced world of today it’s more important than ever to have the help of trusted, competent advisors. If these advisors are worth their salt, they will always enhance and add value to your business. A board made up of experienced outsiders will bring a fresh perspective. They will help to solve the problems you and your business face. They’ll also help develop any opportunities that come your way.
Getting The Right Advisors
No doubt you’re proud of your business and your ability to provide first class services or products. So don’t surround yourself with second-class advisors.
It’s a great idea to take a good look at all your professional advisors from time to time. Are they making a good contribution to your business? Is their input positive and creative? (Or are they happy to just maintain the status quo?)
Are they solving current problems? Are they avoiding potential problems?
You don’t want to pay top rate dollars for second rate work. Make sure your advisors aren’t still on your payroll merely due to length of service. Consider what you’re sacrificing for the comfort of using someone familiar.
Your advisors need to measure up. They need to have commitment to your success, and the success of your business.
Beware! Make sure the perceived non-performance of advisors isn’t because you don’t know the right questions to ask. Or don’t know how to interpret their advice. It’s important to ensure this is not the case. If it is, changing advisors is unlikely to make any difference. It pays to make sure you are clear on how to get the very best out your advisors.
Often problems develop outside the domain of advisors like accountants or solicitors. This is particularly true for a family/private business. A whole raft of things come into play here that never feature in a large public company.
This is where it’s important to make sure one of your advisors is a specialist in family/private businesses. The kind of expertise and guidance this person can offer is hard to find anywhere else.
You’ll need to make sure this person is fearless and has the ability to tell it like it is – without the sugar coating. Someone who’s not afraid to ask the hard questions. Someone who’ll confront you, stand up to you when you need it most … even if it means they might lose their job. Don’t banish this person because they don’t say what you want to hear. That’s what they’re there for, that’s when they are at their best!
The Importance Of A “Sounding Board”
Ideally you’ll have a “sounding board” of advisors. A team of trusted people you can draw on for their individual talents and expertise. Together their ability to solve a problem (or avoid a potential one) will be enormous.
Your business doesn’t have to be in trouble to benefit from such advisors. Meeting with them regularly, better still all together as a group, will reap handsome rewards for you and your business.