Why Your Small Business Needs a Board of Advisors

Wed, 23 May 2012

Owning and operating a small business in today’s economy is no easy task. Small business owners wear more hats then ever, and many times find themselves having to make difficult decisions without all the necessary information at hand. One way to ensure that you are making the right decisions is to utilize your existing Board of Advisors.  

A Small Business Owner’s Board of Advisors

I’m sure many of you are thinking, “I’m too small to have a board of advisors.” In reality whether you employ one person or one hundred, you already have a board of advisors in place but you’re likely not utilizing them to their full potential.  

Your Attorney

Whether or not you have an attorney on retainer, you likely had an attorney who filed the paperwork to form your business entity. When was the last time you spoke? It’s very likely that your business has changed since its inception. Consult with your attorney from time to time to review your policies, procedures, and business practices. Local, state, and federal laws are constantly changing and you need someone who is knowledgeable in these areas to identify potential risks and how they may impact your business both now and in the future.  

Your Banker

Organizational structure and financial management are key components of any banking and lending relationship. Whether you have an existing banking relationship or are planning to establish one, you need to keep your banker abreast of changes to your business so they can help provide valuable guidance and possible solutions to financial challenges that may arise.  

Your CPA

Many business owners get together with their CPA once a year when tax filing time rolls around, but your CPA can be a tremendous resource. Be sure to interact with him or her regularly throughout the year to truly understand the impact of financial decisions that you make in your business.  

Your Insurance Agent

How recently have you reviewed your policies? No one likes to plan for worst-case scenarios, but there is nothing worse then finding out that you’re either not 100% covered or, worse, not covered at all when you’re faced with an unexpected business interruption or possible litigation. You’ve worked hard to build your personal and business assets and it’s wise to ensure that they are properly protected.  

Approach

Decisions made today will have either a positive or negative impact on your business in the future. Introduce your board members to one another so they can appreciate how their advice may impact other facets of your business. It is wise to share your thoughts and ideas with your board, as formal or informal as it is, as they are exposed to hundreds of business situations each year and likely have come across similar situations to those that you may experience and may already have a viable solution for you.   Does your business have a Board of Advisors? What valuable advice have they given you about your business?

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5 comment(s).

May 24, 2012 at 10:57 am
Jeff - I found this article through your posting to the Mass Bar Association group on LinkedIn. Though attorneys are on your list as a part of every business owner's natural Board of Advisors, perhaps some of the small and solo practitioners who see it (and take the time to read it) will recognize they can benefit from the same thing ;-) I don't usually comment on articles to promote my own business, but I'd love to share a bit of what we're doing to help small businesses be more successful. We take the "Board of Advisor" approach to a whole new level. I'll look to connect with you off line.
Jeff Pagliuca
May 29, 2012 at 8:51 am
Jack, In my experience, small business owners could benefit greatly from sharing whats going on in their respective businesses with others who are familiar with the business--but viewing it from a different perspective. Also, in many cases, small business owners are better off focusing their resources on running their respective businesses and relying on their advisors to do the research and provide them with recommendations, and then make their final decision based on the information presented to them. Thank you for your comments, I will also reach out to you offline.
Lee
July 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm
I think that everything composed was very reasonable. But, what about this? what if you added a little content? I mean, I don't want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added a title that makes people desire more? I mean Why Your Small Business Needs a Board of Advisors - The Bank Roll | The Bank Roll is kinda vanilla. You should glance at Yahoo's home page and note how they create post headlines to get people to open the links. You might add a video or a related picture or two to grab readers interested about everything've written. In my opinion, it might make your blog a little bit more interesting.
September 19, 2013 at 5:16 am
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
September 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Feel free to reach out to Jeff, the author via email with any questions: JPagliuca@websterbank.com Thanks, Dawn