Being a small business owner can be lonely. It’s hard to know where to get to get both personal and business advice. Here at The Alternative Board (TAB) we often hear that business owners don’t feel they can share their business challenges with friends, family or even colleagues. Business owners don’t need to feel alone. They can get together with like-minded business owners as part of a peer advisory board and there are many benefits.
What Makes a Business Owner Advisory Board Different?
There are many misconceptions about peer advisory boards but for over 30 years, TAB has seen the value of their boards across 20 countries. A traditional business advisory board is a hand-picked group of business owners who come together to help guide each other through tough decisions. These individuals generally complement the business owner’s own expertise and could include anyone from a financial advisor or a lawyer to a sales expert or a marketing specialist.
Business owner advisory boards are a long time staple of large businesses, but owners of privately held businesses generally haven’t had the resources to take advantage of them. Plus, when you’re bogged-down in a business problem, even expert advice from an advisory board often can’t compare to sharing your concerns with a group of people who not only understand your business but also understand the pressures you face as a business owner. So let’s go through the benefits of advisory boards for small business owners.
Benefits of Business Owner Advisory Boards
Improve your core strengths
Every member of an advisory board will have different strengths that have developed through their experiences in the business world. This means that a board is a powerful tools as small business owners can help each other improve each other’s knowledge and capabilities in different areas. In fact, peer advisory boards are a safe space for business owners to be vulnerable and assess their strengths and growth.
Evaluate New Ideas and Strategies
When business owners have a new growth idea or a potential business opportunity, it can be frustrating to have no one to run it by. On a board that offers a diverse range of experience, it’s likely that someone on the board has experienced your current situation. Your board members can ask the tough critical questions or offer suggestions and business advice based on their own personal experience. This will ensure any new strategies and ideas are watertight.
Provide an external perspective
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 observers is an excellent way to expand your perspective. Therefore, it is great when advisory boards have members across different industries and disciplines. Their distanced advice can provide true lightbulb moments.
Many business leaders excel at meeting the day-to-day deadlines of the business. But big-picture goals designed to stretch the business, like implementing a new digital strategy or networking with potential business partners, often get put on the back burner.
An advisory board helps provide accountability to keep you on track with your overall business goals. Knowing that you will be expected to report on your progress at the next meeting creates the positive peer pressure needed to achieve things that will contribute towards true business growth.
Listen to our members’ talking about the accountability and how it is a benefit of advisory boards:
Our Members’ Experiences of TAB Advisory Boards
“Having a group of like minded business people to bounce ideas off and to get advice from is invaluable. If you are serious about wanting to improve your business I would recommend that you check TAB out.” – Howard Soltau, Beech Consumer Services Ltd, Stockport, TAB Member since 2016
“Becoming members of TAB has been hugely valuable to our business. Our fellow Board Members are a really good bunch of people for whom we have great respect. The ongoing nature of our relationship with one another has built up a lot of trust and we have been given some useful advice, which we would not have been able to gain easily elsewhere. The one to one sessions have been vital in helping us to plan the growth of our business, and allowing us to tap into his many years of business experience and contacts.” – Sharon Klein & Sue Alderson, Azure Consultants, Harrogate, TAB Members since 2012
“TAB is very good at asking me questions I don’t want to answer but need to address! I would recommend TAB to anyone who is prepared to look at themselves and their business — it will show the ‘ugly spots,’ but it’s enlightening to see them, accept them and do something about them.” – Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, Professional Polishing Services Ltd (Industrial) West Midlands, TAB Member since 2011
“My experience of being a TAB member is absolutely positive! The support I have been shown is of tremendous importance through very difficult and stressful times. TAB has been instrumental in helping me to overcome my business demons and develop my business knowledge and understanding.”- Paul Hastings, Manor Electrical, Derby, TAB Member since 2015Read TAB Members’ Stories
Do you think you could benefit from a peer advisory board?
85.5% of our advisory board members say that they add real value to their business. See the value of joining an advisory board? Get in touch or find your local board.Find Your Local Board
At TAB, we don’t stop at our advisory boards. A TAB Membership includes one-to-one coaching sessions and a suite of business tools. 86.3% of members agreed that TAB’s private coaching added real value to their business.Find Out More About Coaching