Many family businesses suffer from “loneliness at the top” and a lack of external input that can compromise business growth and performance. One option that I would obviously advocate is using an external Coach or Mentor to provide that external perspective and structured thinking.
Another effective tool that can include your Coach/Mentor is to establish a Business Advisory Council. This is a small group of suitably qualified advisors who perform the role of a “quasi-Board of Directors” by overseeing the strategies and operations of the business with a broader and impartial point of view.
Other benefits of having a Business Advisory Council for your business are:
1. The Business Owner, can have an objective “sounding board” for ideas and strategies;
2. It can build rigour into the management of the business by having a requirement for up-to-date Financials, which are reviewed on a regular basis; and
3. You can use it as a mechanism for holding your Team (and yourself) accountableby having them report to the Council.
What makes up a Business Advisory Council?
A workable structure for a Business Advisory Council is to have two or three permanent members with a “spare” seat for technical specialists on an as-needed basis. For example – Owner 1, Owner 2, Business Coach with a spare seat or two for others as required such as an Accountant for tax-planning, Financial Planner, and Marketing Specialist.
After having structured your Council, having a good Agenda is essential, as well as making sure the Council are provided with effective Management and Financial Reports.
I think you should give working with a Business Advisory Council some thought. Overall, a Business Advisory Council can provide clarity with their impartial view and knowledge, provide confidence by helping you achieve your vision, help you execute your plan, and help you focus on your goals.