Where do you turn when you need advice on what car to buy or what vacation getaway to book? Probably your friends, family and work colleagues. Why? Because you know they have tried different options and you value their advice on what is best…and what to avoid.
So why don’t you take advantage of peer advice in your business decisions? I understand your resistance. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about peer advisory boards, so let’s dispel a few!
#1. Peer advisory boards are for struggling businesses.
This could not be further from the truth.
Sure, your advisory board can—and will—help with issues and struggles your business may be experiencing. Far more importantly however, is that peer boards are looking for members who are experienced with running successful businesses and want to share that experience with others.
Large corporations have a Board of Directors. Do you think they only meet when the company is doing poorly? No! They meet on a regular basis to plan and advise on the strategic direction of a company. Advisory boards, like those ran by TAB, bring this strategic thinking to typically smaller, privately-owned businesses.
Any business owner who sees great potential in their business and is seeking collective wisdom to help meet their goals is a great fit for a peer advisory board.
#2. I‘ve seen it all. I don’t need to be told how to run my business.
We hear it time and time again from our board members – you don’t know what you don’t know.
Maybe you really have seen it all, but it’s the outside perspectives and new ideas you get from your advisory board that are going to make you see your business in an fresh and exciting way. We’ve seen many business owners fall back in love with their business through the support of their boards.
Furthermore, business ownership can feel a bit lonely. Your peer advisory board is the sounding board for which you can truly open up and discuss your business objectively. You can expect to receive honest, unbiased feedback in a confidential setting that you just won’t find anywhere else.
As one of our board members put it: “Board meetings have always brought up fantastic insights and the benefits of being able to discuss any issues in a safe and respected environment should not be underestimated.” (Peter Bird, WATB Creative)
#3. Peer boards are basically networking groups and everyone will be trying to sell me something.
Business leaders join peer advisory boards because they want to lead their businesses more strategically. Board members develop honest, meaningful relationships over time, becoming a trusted group of advisors with intimate knowledge of each other’s businesses.
Richard Branson wrote about the power of peer advice in his article, The Art of Asking for Advice, “When you need to make hard decisions, being able to discuss your ideas with entrepreneurs and business leaders who have solved similar problems can make all the difference.”
Your fellow board members truly care about helping your business grow, and have to knowledge and experience to get you there. You are just not going to find this anywhere else. Period.
#4. My business is unique. Someone in a different industry can’t help me.
75% of all businesses face the same challenges regardless of their industry. What kind of things do you deal with in your business? Financing? Hiring and retaining qualified employees? Increasing sales and/or marketing effectiveness? Along with just about every other business in creation. Your fellow peer board members have been there before and can help answer questions, so go tap into that knowledge and get on with growing your business!
There are many so many reasons why business owners need a peer advisory board, a few of which have been mentioned here. If you think you could benefit, why not get in touch with your local TAB business coach and start your journey towards using collective wisdom to grow your business.