Reasons Why You Should Consider a Peer Advisory Board
by The Alternative Board (UK)
A peer advisory board can help every business owner or leader.
It doesn’t matter who you are: a managing director of a manufacturing company with 60 employees with plans to retire; an owner growing a brand with a small, developing team; or a founder of a flourishing business who never sees their kids.
The challenges of owning and running a business are unlike anything else.
It might be you’re growing too fast, or you’re growing too slowly, or you’re not growing at all. You might be recruiting constantly because those staff retention figures never seem to stabilise. Or you know you need to develop a strategy, but you never find the time as there’s always some fire to put out.
On top of all that, who do you even talk to about it? Do you share your business challenges with family and friends who don’t really ‘get it’ or do you stay silent, not wanting to burden them?
Sometimes, it feels like it’s not worth it. The business you started is not delivering the life you expected or wanted. And that can be the case even if you’re hitting the numbers side of the business!
That’s not how it should be. We believe that every business owner deserves for their business to deliver what they want out of life.
For over 30 years, TAB has seen the lives of business owners transformed through the power of peer advisory boards.
Unlike a board of directors or business consultants, these boards are made up of people like you, fellow business owners, all of whom are going through similar challenges. These are the people who will ‘get it’ and who are walking in your shoes.
How valuable would it be to have access to like-minded business owners who can all share insights and expertise to help each other’s businesses grow?
“Over the years, I have received lots of practical advice on ways to improve my business from my TAB colleagues. Especially during these difficult times – knowing you’re not alone and sharing concerns with others who understand has been invaluable and has helped me see the positives in an otherwise bleak time for business. Even though the businesses on my Board are very diverse, we all experience the same fundamental issues and bring different perspectives to tackling them. Board Members may suggest a way forward that I hadn’t previously considered, or they may simply validate my own thought process – either way I come away from my TAB meetings feeling reenergised and full of ideas for my business.” Alison Wells, Plane Talking
Reason 1: Peer Advisory Boards are A Real Time-Saver
It might feel like you don’t have time to sit around ‘talking’ with other leaders, because of all the stuff you need to do. Yet, we have seen time and time again, that business owners regain their preferred work-life balance and accomplish more when they have the accountability of a peer board. Don’t think of it as just talking, think of it as working on your business – working on your challenges and seizing opportunities.
Sometimes, with everything on their plate, leaders cannot see that some tasks just don’t need to be done or would be better off delegated. Peer advisory boards help you identify these things, holds you accountable on them, and therefore frees up time for more of what you want to do; whether that’s working on strategy or having an occasional Friday off for a nice lunch out or round of golf.
Reason 2: Helps you evaluate new ideas and growth strategies
Are you puzzling through a new growth idea? Considering a possible business opportunity? Here’s another place where the real-world experience of an advisory board will come in handy.
Coming up with effective business growth strategies, marketing strategies, and succession strategies can be difficult. Adapting generic advice to your specific business is a challenge and evaluating whether a specific strategy will work for you is easier with the help of other seasoned business owners. But in a board with a diverse membership, it’s likely one of your peers has come across whatever situation you’re considering and can give you advice from hard won knowledge.
Your board members can also ask the tough critical questions or offer suggestions and caveats based on their own personal experience. They can help you uncover your blind spots and confront gaps in your line of reasoning to make sure your new strategy is watertight.
Reason 3: Provide an outsider’s perspective on all matters, from family business tensions to the bottom-line
When you’re too close to your business, it can be difficult to see issues or opportunities that might be glaringly obvious to someone else. Cultivating a group of unbiased outside observers is an excellent way to expand your perspective. (This can be extremely helpful for family-owned businesses, which often suffer from relying on the advice of too many people who are too close and not objective enough.)
This is one of the best values of a board which is made up of members across different industries or disciplines. A business owner who has spent 40 years in manufacturing will have unique questions and ideas to offer a wholesale business. These could spark true light bulb moments, whereas if you brought up your problem to a group consisting only of wholesaling professionals, you might hear only industry-standard advice.
Reason 4: Running a Business won’t feel lonely or feel like you’re sinking
We know it can often feel like you’re on your own running a business. Or it can feel like you’re losing touch and sinking in the quicksand, with no one to pull you out. That’s where the advisory board really does come into its own. The members of your board ‘jump into the quicksand’ with you and become your trusted advisors and quite often, friends, who look out for one another.
“Since joining TAB I have made some good friends who laugh and cry together, which is testament to how strong the bond of the Board is. The different skills and diverse range of businesses on our Board means you get such a variety of views to help you see things from a new perspective. I couldn’t be without it to help me through some of the challenges I face and the bit of time I need to invest each month in the Board meetings and 1-to-1 sessions has made me more efficient and focused.” Rob Watson, PH9
Is an advisory board for you? Answer these questions…
- Have you been running a business smoothly for some time but ready to increase growth?
- Are you considering a new direction for the business and are heading into unchartered territory?
- Do you know the business is in a rut and you’re sinking?
- Are you considering a transition of power or looking to exit and need advice?
- Could you use regular advice with marketing, recruitment, employee management and other day-to-day business concerns?
- Do you want to run your business more efficiently to gain your preferred work-life balance?
- Have you just bought a new business and could use expert mentorship?
- Are you looking to sell a business and want to make it more attractive for a potential buyer?
- Do you like to help others? TAB Boards are a two-way process – you receive great advice, but you also challenge, support, and offer advice to others on the board
If the answer to ANY of these questions is YES, you can benefit from a peer advisory board. Don’t hesitate, we have facilitators running boards around the UK and who will be very happy to guide you through the process.
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